How to Make Fine Hair Look Thicker

Doing my hair has never been for me. I had a fleeting relationship with straightners and the Carmen Girls Angel Curls wand as a pre-teen, but since then I’ve generally been a tie-it-up-and-ignore-it type. I wish I could put this lack of self (hair) care down to a lack of vanity – but it’s actually down to the lack of hair on my head.

I look back at pictures of myself as a kid and my ears were always poking out of my hair. Granted, my ears are on the larger side but, even if they weren’t, they were always bound to stick out under such a thin veil of blondeness. Bar my hair colour, nothing much has changed. My ears still poke out. My hair’s flat, fine, thin, occasionally soul-destroying and a complete nightmare to style.

I’m now in my 20s, flailing around, trying to put on the illusion that I’m a proper grown-up. I don’t think proper grown-ups wear their hair tied back into limp ponytails, nor do they backcomb it and Elnett it with as much fervour as I used to do before going to gigs aged 16. So sometimes it’s good to have some hacks at hand to trick people into thinking that you’re the kind of person to have naturally luscious locks. Here are some of mine.

Wash your hair properly


Even the slightest bit of oil can make thin hair look thinner, so washing your hair every day might feel essential. However, washing your hair – especially with sulfate-rich products – can strip your hair of its natural oils, therefore making it drier and frailer.

If you shampoo less, you’ll have more hydration going on up there, making your hair look and feel thicker. Try washing your hair every other day and dry shampooing in between. Consider applying a hair mask or treatment every 1-2 weeks, especially if you colour your hair or it’s heat-damaged.

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Make your styling products hold


I used to throw so much product at my hair in order to bulk it up, but once I’d walked out of the door into the wind it would revert to being limp and sad. The key to making your products work harder, and last longer, is to prime your hair beforehand.

Percy & Reed’s Wonder Balm is a unique primer, of sorts, that works wonders. Massage in a bit before you put on any other products – avoid damage by distributing it with a WetBrush – or use it on its own for smoother locks.

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Embrace texture


When your hair is flat, texture is your best friend. Texturising sprays and salt sprays will give your hair a bit of crunch with minimal effort required. Ultimately, though, you can’t go wrong with a classic – dousing your hair with a can of mousse before blow-drying is one of cheapest ways to volumise your hair.

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Spray your roots with hair spray to keep the volume going throughout the day, and stash a pot of thickening hair powder in your bag for a midday touch up.

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Add Extensions


Once fine hair grows past the shoulders, it often begins to look stringy and limp. If you have very few hairs on your head in the first place, extensions seem misguided – generally speaking, they’re going to end up pulling more of your hair out. There are some extensions that can work for you, though.

I love my Halo London hairpiece, which comes with an invisible ‘halo’ band around the top, so you can just pop them on your head, comb them through to blend with your real hair and then go. No pulling, no damange and no faffing around with glue required.

Images @toniandguyworld @livingproofnyc @percyandreed @hairbyginala @mc_salon

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