Allure February 26, 2022



The 25 Best Volumizing Products That Make Fine or Thinning Hair Look Way Thicker


Flat hair woes, be gone. Find the plumping shampoo, conditioner, hairspray, or mask — as recommended by stylists —that'll make your full-hair dreams come true. 

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.

All products featured on Allure are independently selected by our editors. However, when you buy something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

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.

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 Rubinstein. 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.

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."

Kérastase Bain Densité Shampoo

Fine hair types can benefit from this shampoo, which is filled with hyaluronic acid to hydrate and plump hair. Use the Kérastase Densifique Bodifying 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."

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 body that lasts all day. The formula, enriched with keratin protein and ceramides, is made for all hair types, protects against humidity, and fights frizz, too.

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.

Got2b Volumaniac Bodifying Hair Mousse

Use this Got2b Volumaniac Bodifying Hair Mousse on damp hair to get lasting thickness at an affordable price point you can't be mad about. For a mere $5, the medium-level hold gives you volume, sans residue and stickiness. Bonus: The formula, which is created without parabens or sulfates, also helps protect hair from drying out.

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."

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 a great, affordable 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.

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.

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.

Briogeo Blossom & Bloom Volumizing Conditioner

If you're washing your hair and are planning to use a conditioner anyway, you might as well find one that's specifically created to boost volume, if that's your goal. This Briogeo Blossom & Bloom Volumizing Conditioner does the job, thanks to the infusion of ginseng and biotin. These key ingredients transform your hair from flat to full. P.S. It's also safe for color-treated, keratin-treated, chemically-treated, and relaxed hair.

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, it contains heat- and UV-protectants to make hair healthier and shinier. Yes and yes to double-duty products that boost hair volume and strength.

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.

Herbal Essences Arabica Coffee Fruit Shampoo & Conditioner

The Best of Beauty-winning Herbal Essences Arabica Coffee Fruit Shampoo & Conditioner is a drugstore duo that works like a charm every time. "Following every wash, I discovered the shampoo actually significantly helped remedy my shoulder-length bob's lack of volume," writes associate beauty director Sarah Kinonen of the shampoo. "After air-drying my hair (without brushing it), it seemed to gradually begin to lift on its own (yay!) — and stay that way for the majority of the day." The conditioner is just as awesome. After using it, Kinonen found that her "thin, color-treated hair is super soft and bouncy to the touch."

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.

Aveda Pure Abundance Style-Prep

Start off your hair look with the right foundation. Before executing your style of choice, spritz on some of this Aveda Pure Abundance Style-Prep to maintain fullness all day. It works especially well for fine hair, as the formula feels weightless, yet still packs a punch of volume due to a natural, corn-derived polymer.

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. 

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.

Big Sexy Hair Powder Play Volumizing and Texturizing Powder

Spray this Big Sexy Hair Powder Play Volumizing and Texturizing Powder at your roots, massage in, and watch your hair rise up like Andra Day. It also is a big help in providing some extra texture to your style. "Because this powder is so dense, it also gives your hair what hairstylists like to call 'grip,'" Panych says. "What that basically means is your hair has a greater ability to hold a style — strands literally grab onto each other, while bobby pins grab tightly onto strands." Not only will your hair be fuller, but your hairstyle will stay firmly in place throughout a night of dancing.

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.

The Hair Fuel Growth Mask

The Hair Fuel Growth Mask both tingles and warms while it works wonders on your scalp, targeting growth literally at the root of the issue. In addition to being all-natural, this formula is also vegan and paraben-free. As hair health is a journey and not a destination, this brand sells its goods on a subscription basis. Remember: Consistency is key.

Apothecare The Booster Shampoo & Conditioner

Apothecare's The Booster Shampoo & Conditioner promises to breathe life into limp, flat hair while removing impurities and hydrating strands, respectively. The lightweight formulas are jam-packed with natural ingredients like rosehip oil, geranium, and aloe vera that give hair the illusion of thickness and body. Allure editors also love how soft this combo makes your hair feel post-wash.

David Mallett Spray No. 2 Le Volume

Volume addicts with expensive taste will love the David Mallett Spray No. 2 Le Volume, which includes Japanese nori extract to give your hair some oomph. It's a lightweight, liquid-like formula that gives hair a dose of shine and strength — without the stickiness, thank you very much. A bit of this scrunched up at your roots before a blow-dry or style lifts your hair up towards the heavens.

Kevin Murphy Angel Masque

Sure, it's fun to color your hair, but doing so requires extra maintenance to keep it looking and feeling healthy. Made especially for fine hair, the Kevin Murphy Angel Masque is infused with essential amino acids and bamboo extract to thicken and strengthen hair at the same time. Simply massage this deep-conditioning formula into your freshly-washed hair and scalp, leave on for five to 10 minutes, and rinse.