Table Of Contents
Products That Add Volume To Hair
Limp, lank hair occurs when hair is too sparse, overly oily, or its diameter is significantly narrower than normal. Consumers who perm or color their hair gain noticeable volume by “roughing up” the cuticle of the hair with ammonia or other alkaline chemicals.
For completely “virgin,” unprocessed hair, one tablespoon of glycerin, one tablespoon of clear ammonia, and one tablespoon of shampoo added to one cup of water and shaken thoroughly will accomplish the same thing if left on hair for ten minutes and then rinsed out. For everyone else, many conditioning and styling products add volume to the hair by either lightly coating it with film-forming substances or pulling moisture out of the air into the hair shaft.
Best Chemicals to Thicken Hair Temporarily
These ingredients make fine hair look and feel fuller:
• Collagen and elastin (not keratin)
• PVP, PVP/VA, PVM/MA, acrylates/acrylamide copolymer, and many other substances with the word “copolymer” or “polymer” in their name
• Quaternary ammonium compounds, such as stearalkonium chloride (look for “onium chloride” ending in an ingredient name)
• Glycerin, which is especially good in damp environments and in combination with quaternary ammonium compounds
• Sodium PCA
• Hyaluronic acid
A combination of the above ingredients is found in most volumizing products for the hair. For instance, collagen is used in Schwartkopf’sgö t 2b fat-tastic line and a number of different polymers are present in Thicker Fuller Hair, Aussie Aussome Volume, and the Samy Fat Hair collection.
Hairstylists and cosmetic chemists have highly recommended the Umberto Beverly Hills Volumizing line, Phyto Professional Intense Volume Mousse, Neutrogena Triple Renewal Body Boosting Foam, and Redkin Body Full products.
Balsam is still found in some few products, but it is difficult to wash out. It also has a tendency to make the hair heavy and sticky, and is not recommended.
Sea Salt: An All-Natural Hair Thickener
Products with sea salt in them also coat the hair shaft and swell it up slightly, giving it amazing body and wavy texture. They can be used on either wet or dry hair, but overuse will often dry out the hair and scalp and leave locks feeling oddly “crunchy.”
Umi Foam is one of the best sea salt volumizers; it costs about $28 and has so many conditioning ingredients that it is unlikely to dehydrate the hair. An almost-as-good drugstore product is David Babaii for Wildaid Bohemian Beach Spray. It is both sulfate and paraben-free, and smells just like fresh coconut. However, it also contains a lot of plant extracts; so if a consumer has plant allergies, she will probably want to avoid this one.
How To Use Hair Volumizers
The key to getting the best possible results is to only use one or two hair volumizingproducts.Layering on too many film-forming ingredients or humectants will only make the hair look limper than ever.
A volumizing conditioner is a better choice than volumizing shampoo, since shampoo is not formulated to cling to the hair. Avoid the roots of the hair with such conditioners, and use a fairly small amount.
Once or twice a week, use a clarifying shampoo to remove any buildup from the hair. The least expensive is Neutrogena’s Anti-Residue Shampoo.
Careful use of hair volumizers will make styling techniques work better and give a pleasing illusion of thickness even to baby-fine hair.