How to add volume and body to thin, fine hair: All the products, tools, and techniques to know
At the risk of sounding ungrateful, I don't love my hair. On good days, I'd say it's fine — in terms of both texture and how I feel about it, that is. On bad days, I liken it to raw spaghetti, Avril Lavigne's tresses circa the early 2000s, and Sadako's wig. Yes, that's the notorious wraith who crawled out of the TV in horror movie classic, The Ring. You get the picture: it's long, straight, and thinner than the prospective iPhone 12 Pro. Heck, a full-blown tornado could barrel through my hair and it'd resume its lank, limp state in all the time it takes me to blink.
So, yes, I'm not a fan of my God-given locks. Does it hold a candle to the struggles faced by those with textured tresses, though? Nah. I'm far from naïve, and would never choose to equate the years of discrimination, prejudice, and overt racism experienced by those with natural hair to my inflated sense of vanity. I am, however, writing this to set the record straight (ha) about a pin-straight mane. In sum: it's not all it's cracked up to be, folks. In fact, I'd dare say it comes with its own set of challenges that you probably didn't see coming. Below, the ones I've experienced over the years that have (very nearly) tempted me into tearing my hair out.
#1. Getting a perfect ponytail is a near impossible feat
A hair tie is not just a hair tie. At least, not when you have slippery locks that slither out of ponytail holders at just the slightest provocation. In an alternate universe, I would have a revolving door of stylish silk scrunchies — so commonly sported by VSCO girls — to choose from. Reality, on the other hand, has me opting for the tight, rubber renditions that leave me with a pounding headache once I've had my hair up for over two hours.
Not forgetting the part where no amount of mousse or spray is able to boost my flat, lank strands to the height of a perky, cheerleader-worthy pony either. I'd settle for braids, except a thick, chunky scorpion plait is impossible to manoeuvre considering my delicate (read: breakable) tresses.
How to fix it
The quickest — and most fuss-free way — for me to attain a bouncy pony is by switching up my hair parting. Using a fine-tooth comb, I create a line along my scalp, then heave my locks to the side to create the illusion of fullness.
#2. Layering your hair is a tricky endeavour
Ah, remember the good ol' days when the Rachel cut was all the rage? Unlike most of my thick, coarse-maned friends, though, it appeared choppy and uneven on me thanks to my fine, brittle locks. Yup, this meant I bore a closer resemblance to Justin Bieber from his 2009 Baby era rather than Jennifer Aniston. Except less full and luscious, of course, which meant that I actually looked more like a member of a J-Rock boy band. If I was braver, I would have spiked up the shorter ends and leaned into the look, but alas.
How to fix it
While layers are a sure-fire way to add dimension to fine-textured tresses, too much can leave you with stringy, fraying-looking hair instead. Stick to a single-length cut so it appears fuller. Failing that, get a stylist to work a few face-framing layers right by your visage instead so you can add body and movement to locks without sacrificing on density.
#3. Your hair looks oily all the damn time
There's a fine line between silky smooth hair and grease-slickened strands. If you have hair like mine, you'll find yourself toeing aforementioned line pretty frequently. A quick jaunt to the nearest kopitiam in bright, balmy, 26-degree weather, for instance, is a sure-fire way to get my scalp looking as shiny as an oiled pan.
How to fix it
Dry shampoo is your best friend, as is a specialised shampoo developed to help add volume and shape. A good tip is to keep away from thicker, creamier formulations as those tend to weigh hair down. Leave those for dry, frizzy hair types, and opt for ones designed to strengthen and plump strands instead.