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Baby-fine hair is cute only when you’re actually a baby. For many adults with fine, flat hair, the struggle is real. It’s lank, flimsy, wimpy. It can barely hold a curl and falls flat and greasy by midday, but all you want is Kate Middleton’s bouncy blowout or Giselle’s thick, beachy waves.
The right styling products can bring even the finest, flattest, wispiest hair back to life. A thickening cream can create all-over body; a texturizing powder can add lift and grip to fine, slippery strands; a styling spray can help make volume last as long as possible. Now a thick, luscious head of hair is only a spritz, dab or spray away. But with so many products out there, which one actually works?
Here is a roundup of the best volumizing products that will take your God-given hair to new heights.
Best Overall: Living Proof Full Thickening Cream
Developed with the help of MIT scientists, this award-winning thickening cream is pretty genius. Living Proof Full Thickening Cream features a breakthrough thickening technology that makes flat, limp hair look, feel and behave like thick hair. And how do they do that might you ask? The company developed a patented polymer that deposits tiny, lighter-than-air dots along each strand so that they don't lie flat against other strands of hair. You can’t see or feel these fibers, but they create space between each strand, building your hair to take up more space. The result? Gravity-defying, all-over volume. And the material is flexible as well, so your style won’t fall flat even if you brush it out. While it may sound too good to be true, 10,000+ likes on Sephora can’t steer you in the wrong direction.
Best Budget: got2b fat-tastic Instant Collagen Infusion Mousse
This volumizing mousse has a light, foamy formula that’s infused with collagen to add fullness and hold to your style without a sticky or crunchy residue. The formula is so lightweight that you can apply it from root to tip, not just at the roots. Doing so creates a nice lift at the roots and thickens thin, wimpy strands all over. For maximum volume, apply a palmful over damp strands, distribute it evenly with a wide-tooth comb and style as desired. It’s a great way to beef up skinny braids or wimpy blowouts.
Best Drugstore: Kenra Volumizing Spray #25
Whether you’re looking to set a blowout or hold an updo firmly in place, the Kenra Volumizing Spray is the best drugstore volumizing spray out there. This lightweight styling spray sets voluminous waves, bouncy blowouts, and topknots with incredible hold, but you can still brush it out for do-overs without flaking. The ultra-fine mist dries quickly and is impossible to overdo, providing weightless hold and shine to any style. Once you spray, it’s budge-proof for up to 120 hours, humidity resistant for up to 24 hours and wind resistant up to 24 mph.
Best Classic: Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray
This invisible dry spray is truly revolutionary. Not only can it lift hair at the roots, but it also adds texture and volume throughout without leaving behind a white residue. That, plus a truly divine scent that lingers for hours, makes this formula one worth splurging on time and time again.
Best Anti-Frizz: Morocannoil Treatment Light
Moroccanoil Treatment Light is a less concentrated version of the cult-favorite Moroccanoil Treatment and is specifically formulated for the delicate needs of fine hair. It has the same frizz-fighting, shine-enhancing ingredients as the original—antioxidant-rich argan oil to condition and linseed oil to strengthen—but this weightless formula won’t weigh down wispy strands as other smoothing products can. A pea-size amount of this liquid gold is all you need to do wage a serious battle against frizz. You can work it through damp or dry strands and it will leave your hair smooth and more manageable—even in hot, balmy weather.
Best Mousse: Tresemme Tres Two Extra Hold Mousse
Thin, fine hair can be difficult to style, which is why you should add a little texture and grip with this hard-working mousse. It builds fullness and delivers maximum hold so whether you're rocking an updo or low bun, your hair will remain the way you want it to all day long.
Best Spray: Bumble and Bumble Thickening Dryspun Volume Texture Spray
Whether you're looking to add life to second-day hair or texture to your braids and ponytails, this dry texturizing spray can help. Apply a few spritzes at the roots and use your fingertips to nestle it in well. Immediately you'll notice fullness and volume, essentially that oomph your flat hair was missing.
Best for Short Hair: Big Sexy Hair Powder Play Lite Volumizing Powder
Big Sexy Hair Powder Play Lite Soft Volumizing & Texturizing Powder is a volumizing and texturizing powder that adds soft volume and grip to short styles, whether you have a pixie or a bob cut. Formulated with açai berry pulp oil and rice bran oil for protection and care, this lightweight powder can be applied to the roots for instant root lift as well as the lengths of short hair for all-over body and texture. Unlike other volumizing powders that you shake out (which can get really messy!), the tiny bottle comes with a targeted pump dispenser that sprays the perfect amount of powder in a fine, cloud-like mist exactly where you want it. It also adds texture and grip to fine, slippery hair to hold your style better.
Best for Thin Hair: Toppik Hair Building Fibers
We tend to think of hair loss as a guy thing but the truth is men aren’t the only ones who face thinning hair as they age. Roughly half of all women over 40 experience hair loss. And when you’re born with fine, flat hair, the issue becomes even more obvious.
But don’t freak out. There’s an amazing temporary solution called Toppik Hair Building Fibers—and it doesn’t require a prescription. Toppik Hair Building Fibers are tiny hair-like fibers made from keratin (the same type of protein found in real hair) that cling to your existing strands, making your hair appear instantly thick and lush. All you have to do is sprinkle them onto thin areas on your scalp, then pat or rub in. The fibers are held in place by static electricity, creating the look of fuller, thicker hair until your next shampoo. That’s right: They won’t run, smear or stain, even if you sweat or get stuck in the rain. It comes in nine shades, including white and gray.