If you feel like you’re constantly pumping thickening products into your roots, only for them to fall flat mere minutes later, you likely need to take a few steps back. The road to thick, full hair actually starts in the shower – specifically, with a shampoo for fine hair. As Louise Garbutt, Creative Director at Aveda Gina Conway explains, the secret to a great volumising shampoo isn’t necessarily what’s added – it’s what’s not in there. ‘Try to avoid silicone or polymers, especially in fine hair,’ she says. ‘They weigh the hair down by coating each strand in a plastic-like substance, so it might feel silky but will probably look limp. Check the ingredients list for anything ending in “-cone”.’
If this sounds familiar, Garbutt recommends using a clarifying shampoo once a week, to remove the build-up.
However, finding the best shampoo for fine hair is only the first step – next, you need to refine your washing technique. According to Garbutt, one of the primary reasons we don’t see success from volumising products is placement: remember, shampoo in the roots, and conditioner only on the mid-lengths and ends. ‘Also, always shampoo with warm water to open the cuticle, then rinse the conditioner with cool water, until it runs completely clear,’ she says.
Below, see the shampoos for fine hair that have been approved by team ELLE – and we’re a very fussy bunch.
1. Kérastase Resistance Bain Volumifique Thickening Shampoo
Kérastase’s volumising shampoo, specially formulated for fine hair, is a stand-out. If your hair gets greasy too quickly, this will deeply cleanse from root to tip without leaving your ends feeling parched. It’s ideal for anyone with thin hair who doesn’t want to compromise on hydration, and the finished result is textured body that doesn’t look or feel crispy. In fact, it’ll impart a shine like no other.
2. Aveda Pure Abundance Volumising Shampoo
If you like your products to be on the natural side but still want them to deliver the goods, then Aveda’s long-loved, volume-boosting shampoo is well worth a whirl. The plant-based formula contains coconut-derived surfactants (which are not the same thing as SLS), that deliver a supreme lather, sweeping away every last trace of oil and product residue.
This one lends fine hair a touch of weightless nourishment, so you can use it on its own. However, we reckon the coordinating kaolin-infused conditioner is too good to skip.
3. Kiehl’s Rice and Wheat Volumising Shampoo
The rice and wheat proteins in this volumising shampoo work with the natural structure of each strand, amplifying after just one use. Thanks to the lightweight texture, you can use it daily without worrying about it sucking the moisture from your ends. You’ll notice your thin hair becomes more resilient to damage and it’ll feel heaps healthier, too. P.S. It smells divine.
4. Bumble and Bumble Thickening Shampoo
Do you spend what feels like hours styling and curling your hair, only for it to drop out moments later? We feel you. Thankfully though, Bumble and Bumble’s volumising shampoo is on hand. It’ll give hair enough guts to hold styles for much longer, while injecting it with an impressive fullness usually only attainable via a professional blow-dry.
For maximum results, follow with the conditioner and spritz roots with the world-famous Thickening Treatment once dry.
5. Percy & Reed Bountifully Bouncy Volumising Shampoo
Percy & Reed’s clean-scented shampoo is ideal for hair that falls flat almost instantly. The lightweight gel texture is enriched with pro vitamin B5 – for sealing moisture into dry patches – and rinses out with ease. Use it with the aloe vera-enriched conditioner for an effective double act.
6. Philip Kingsley Body Building Shampoo
This trichologist-developed shampoo is easily one of the best for volumising fine hair. It contains strengthening keratin as well as natural cellulose, which plumps the surface of each hair fibre to make them appear instantly thicker and bouncier.
Side note: the brand’s line of specialist root-boosting products is also worth trying. Head straight for the Tricho Pro Volumizing Protein Spray.
7. Living Proof Full Shampoo
This is the best choice for fine hair that’s subjected to a lot of styling products – dry-shampoo addicts, we’re talking to you. Not only will it deeply cleanse overloaded roots, sweeping away every last trace of oil, grease and residue, but it’ll leave your lengths feeling noticeably swishier. It’s not the most moisturising of shampoos, but that’s what the matching conditioner is for.
8. Davines Volu Shampoo
If you’ve found volumising shampoos to be too stripping in the past, consider this ultra-gentle offering from Davines. It lathers satisfyingly well, thanks to the coconut-based surfactants, and seems to plump hair up right down to the ends – rather than focusing solely on the roots.
This article originally appeared on ELLE UK.