Allure August 10, 2023



20 Best Volumizing Hair Products to Say Goodbye to Flat Styles


The category is body and these picks are getting 10s across the board.

Look, not everyone is blessed with thick hair. For some of us, thin or fine hair is a simple fact of life. Maybe you inherited fine strands from your parents (thanks, mom and dad). Maybe you're going through a stressful time in your life and your hair is falling out. Whatever the cause, there are a number of reasons why you may have sparse, flat, or thin strands. Cosmetic chemist Ginger King says, "Heredity, stress, poor nutrition, improper care of hair, and environmental damage (such as sunlight and harsh brushing)" can all be potential causes of thinning hair.

There is some good news to be circulated, however, in the form of hair-care products that will help plump up your hair and make it at least appear as if it's got more thickness and volume than it actually does. In terms of what key ingredients to look out for when hair-product shopping, King recommends polymers to "hold up" the hair and proteins to "leave a coating" to give off the impression of thicker hair.

On the flip side, King says to avoid heavyweight oils and silicones because "not all oils or silicones are created equal," and calls out coconut and jojoba as touting higher weights than other oils (In other words, save the jojoba oil for your skin-care routine.) Silicones, similarly, also vary in weights and grades. The best way to test, according to King? "If it feels greasy on your fingers, chances are it will weigh down your hair," she explains.

Good thing there are tons of products out there to help you achieve the look of fuller hair. Though with all the mousses, shampoos, spritzes, and powders on the market, it can be difficult to wade through them all. Fortunately, we did so that you don't have to. Discover some of our favorites, below, that add volume and thickness and basically bless you with a head of hair that looks a lot plumper than what you started with.


Best Overall: Nexxus Mousse+ Volumizing Foam

Unlike the "mousse mania" moment from the '80s, this Nexxus Mousse + Volumizing Foam will not leave your hair feeling stiff or crunchy. Instead, it'll give your hair a smooth, natural feel with a boost of long-lasting volume. The plumping formula, enriched with keratin protein and ceramides, is made for all hair types, protects against humidity, and fights frizz, too. It's a lightweight volumizing mousse that also moisturizes and targets frizzy strands — how could you not love it?

Oil Absorber: Oribe Thick Dry Finishing Spray

Get voluminous, bombshell-like hair in a cinch with the Oribe Thick Dry Finishing Spray, one of Hurtado's favorite styling products. "It adds volume by lifting the roots and adds thickness," she says. "It works great for updos, and you could also use it as a dry shampoo." Once your hair is dry and styled, spray it at the roots for extra fluff and bounce. Hurtado adds, "You can also touch up your second-day blowout without having any residue."

Worth the Splurge: Sisley-Paris Volumizing Spray

Though the Sisley-Paris Volumizing Spray has a light, featherweight texture, you can expect this leave-in volumizer to bring all the hair-raising oomph you desire. This formula features a combination of Boswellia gum, rice bran protein, and resin to create instant volume with each and every spritz — stickiness and buildup not included.

Best for Fine Hair: Andrew Fitzsimons Body Volume Blow-Dry Hold Spray

The Andrew Fitzsimons Body Volume Blow-Dry Hold Spray is part of the brand's volumizing, Allure Best of Beauty-winning line that's crafted especially for fine and thin hair types. Like the award-winning shampoo and conditioner, this spritzer creates a bouncy, bold look without weighing hair down. As this pre-styling hairspray locks your look into place, its protein-enriched formula enhances softness and shine. The results: strands with photo-ready volume for hours on end.

Best Hairspray: Color Wow Raise the Root Thicken and Lift Spray

The beauty of Color Wow's Raise the Root Thicken and Lift Spray is its root-focused formula to set any volumized look in place for hours on end. This crunch-free thickening spray's strand-raising properties are all thanks to the brand's proprietary polymers, which act like mini springs to lift and volumize each hair.

The Multitasker: Living Proof Full Dry Volume and Texture Spray

There are tons of hair volumizing products to choose from, but one of our favorites is the Allure Best of Beauty-winning Living Proof Full Dry Volume and Texture Spray. As its name suggests, this spray provides a thicker look and enhanced body, but this styling Swiss army knife also provides heat protection of up to 410 degrees Fahrenheit and lightly absorbs excess oil through its starch-spiked formulation.

Simple and Effective: Not Your Mother's Plump For Joy Thickening Hair Lifter

Keep your wallet as plump as your hair will be after using this spray. The Not Your Mother's Plump For Joy Thickening Hair Lifter is an affordable, drugstore shopper-friendly step in making sure you get the thickness you desire. Just spray some into your palms, rub your hands together, and apply the thickening treatment onto areas where your hair could use a little more lift — it's that simple and effective.

Best Hair Mousse: Shu Uemura Awa Volume Hair Mousse

Seeking voluminous hair with a silky finish? Raven Hurtado, Chicago-based hairstylist at Maxine Salon recommends the Shu Uemura Awa Volume Hair Mousse for maximum shine. This lightweight formula is all about adding volume while giving your hair medium hold and flexible control. "You want to use this on towel-dried hair and apply a generous amount as needed from roots to ends for full body and style as desired," says Hurtado.

Strong-Hold Formula: Nioxin 3D Styling Thickening Gel

Your hairstyle isn't going anywhere with this Nioxin 3D Styling Thickening Gel, which promises to provide a strong, volumizing hold to your hair without leaving a ton of gunk behind. What makes this formula so effective is that it's infused with thickening polymers that wrap around each hair strand. To use, simply apply to damp hair, and then use a blow-dryer to enhance volume.

Scalp Soother: Verb Volume Dry Texture Spray

Infused with pro-vitamin B5, the Verb Volume Dry Texture Spray is all about adding light hold and weightless grit, while star ingredient aloe vera soothes scalp irritation, reduces flakiness, enhances elasticity, and maintains hair's natural pH. Hurtado calls out that this volumizing spray is ideal for creating beach waves. "Once you're done curling your hair, spray this all over and comb out the curls with your fingers," Hurtado instructs. "For more volume, you can flip your hair upside down and spray."

Most Affordable: Dove Refresh+Care Volume & Fullness Dry Shampoo

"All of Dove's dry shampoos are great, but this one is particularly nice for people whose hair tends to deflate when it gets a little dirty," says Los Angeles-based hairstylist Clariss Rubenstein. Whether you're looking for a hair-pick-me-up after a workout, or anytime really, the Dove Volume & Fullness Dry Shampoo does the trick and absorbs excess oil, while giving hair a volume boost. "Spray anywhere from six to 12 inches away from hair, let it soak in for about a minute, brush through, and voilà," Rubenstein says.

Best Pre-Styler: Bumble and Bumble Go Big Volumizing Treatment

Flat hair can fully benefit from this Bumble and Bumble Thickening Go Big Volumizing Treatment, which lends lifeless hair high-impact volume for many hours. "This pre-styler is formulated with strand-swelling emblica technology, provides heat protection and volume, and leaves hair feeling soft," says New York City-based hairstylist Ro Morgan. "It's great for hair with fine-to-medium density, and I use it on all curl types." Simply shake well, spray the peptide-infused treatment through damp hair, and follow up with a blowout or curl cream to lock the volume into place, Morgan suggests.

Shine Booster: R+Co Rodeo Star Thickening Style Foam

If you're ready to be the center of attention, reach for a bottle of this R+Co Rodeo Star Thickening Style Foam. Just scrunch into damp hair and blow-dry as usual to instantly give your hairdo that va-va-voom factor. Packed with good-for-you ingredients including vitamin E, kiwi fruit extract, and aloe vera leaf extract, the nonsticky, sulfate-free formula deeply moisturizes hair and adds shine.

All Volume, No Frizz: DevaCurl Frizz-Free Volumizing Foam

Curls tend to be pretty voluminous, but even those with textured hair could use a little help in the thickening department. The lightweight DevaCurl Frizz-Fighting Volumizing Foam gives your hair that extra boost and definition, all while keeping frizzies at bay. It also provides humidity resistance for up to 48 hours, so you can walk out of your home with utter confidence — no matter what the forecast holds.

Volumizes and Strengthens: Sachajuan Thickening Shampoo

Fine hair, you've met your match. Sachajuan's Thickening Shampoo is formulated with sea algae extracts to add fullness to your hair. What's more, this volumizing shampoo contains heat- and UV-protectants to make hair healthier and shinier. Yes and yes to double-duty products that boost hair volume and strength.

Best for All Hair Types: Unite Liquid Volume Texture Spray

What makes this Unite Liquid Volume Texture Spray unique is its ability to activate and reactivate with each touch. "It will support volume in any style from a full blowout to an intricate updo," says Rubenstein of this spray that goes on wet and then instantly dries — giving hair a strong hold and matte finish. "It's incredible for teasing [hair], too. Start small, because this product is serious!" Rubenstein advises, adding that the formula works wonders for all hair types, whether you have fine or coarse hair.


Best Shampoo: Kérastase Densifique Thickening Shampoo

Fine hair types can benefit from this shampoo, which is filled with hyaluronic acid to hydrate and plump hair. Use the Kérastase Densifique Thickening Shampoo regularly to boost your hair's volume, and prevent breakage simultaneously. "To use, wet your hair, squeeze a quarter-size amount into your palms, massage it into your scalp, and then rinse once you've massaged through your whole head," says Hurtado. "You can repeat a second time for maximum results."

Best for Minimal Styling: Ouai Air Dry Foam

Thank you, Jen Atkin, for capturing that sexy, tousled, just-got-laid-but-my-hair-looks-amazing look in one sleek and simple bottle that is the Ouai Air Dry Foam. Work this kale-protein-infused foam into dry hair and watch your strands plump up seemingly instantly. Another plus: It helps to eliminate frizz and amps up your hair's shine factor.

Best for Fine Hair: Christophe Robin Cleansing Volumizing Paste

If you've got fine hair and oily roots, this Christophe Robin Cleansing Volumizing Paste is about to be your new BFF. The goopy brown paste sucks up excess oils (thanks to that rassoul clay) and gives your hair the lift and volume it deserves. Former digital deputy beauty director Sophia Panych says "it actually feels like your hair is being inflated like a balloon." As an added bonus, the baobab leaf extract-infused paste doesn't leave your hair feeling super dry either.

Best Microneedling Set: BeautyBio Rejuvenating Scalp + Fuller Hair Therapy Set

What does a needle-studded roller have to do with your hair? "Microneedling creates micro-injuries that ultimately trigger an increase in circulation to the scalp," says Dendy Engelman, a board-certified dermatologist in New York City. "Nutrients and oxygen are better distributed to follicles, so benefits could be stronger, possibly longer hair." These 0.3-millimeter microneedles are safe for home use, but this is key: After each session, sterilize the tool with 70 percent isopropyl alcohol or higher. 

Part hair and gently glide the BeautyBio GloPro Scalp tool back and forth for five seconds per section, and then massage a few drops of the Healthy Scalp Serum into the treated areas.