The Best Hair Thickeners to Effectively Bulk up Thin Hair

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Byrdie / Chloe Jeong

If you have thin hair, you're probably always on the lookout for ways to give it some va-va-voom. Whether you've always had fine hair, lost a little hair postpartum, are going through a stressful time, or just have sparser hair than you used to, we're pleased to tell you there are several products out there that can give you the fullness you crave.

Lots of brands and product lines make big claims about their ability to fortify, lift, plump, and pump your hair with volume—or at least make it appear more voluminous. They might seem too good to be true—and yeah, some are—but we found a handful that do what they say. From shampoos, conditioners, and leave-ins to sprays, lotions, powders, and pomades, there's something for everyone, every budget, and every fine-hair concern.

Meet the Expert

Haley Balayage, a Las Vegas-based hairstylist who specializes in balayage color.

Without further ado, here are the best hair-thickening products you can buy today.

Best Overall: Oribe Maximista Thickening Spray

Oribe Maximista Thickening Spray
What We Like
  • Long-lasting volume

  • Strengthening

  • UV protection

What We Don't Like
  • Pricey

Coming in hot as our number one pick, we've got Oribe Maximista, which calls on copolymers to create fullness and amino acids to strengthen each hair. Working overtime to lift your roots and add all-day body—while protecting your hair from heat and UV rays!—this thickening spray has a well-deserved fan following.

We also like that it's safe for keratin blowouts and color-treated hair. Spritz it onto your damp hair, working through one section at a time, then blow-dry or style as usual, and watch as your hair reaches a new level of volume.

Product Type: Spray | Key Ingredients: Thickening copolymers, amino acids | Size: 6.8 ounces

Best Budget: Garnier Fructis Mega Full Thickening Lotion

Garnier Fructis Style Mega Full Thickening Lotion for All Hair Types
What We Like
  • Budget-friendly

  • Lightweight

  • Reduces frizz

What We Don't Like
  • Leaves hair slightly crunchy

You don't have to spend a lot of money to make your hair look and feel thicker, thanks to this standout thickening spray from Garnier. The sheer formula creates fullness, body, and shine without weighing your hair down, which can make it look flat and limp. It contains copolymers and cotton flower extract for bouncy, silky-soft hair.

Product Type: Spray | Key Ingredients: Thickening copolymers, cotton flower extract | Size: 5 ounces

Best Drugstore: Hair Biology Biotin Thickening Treatment

Hair Biology Biotin Thickening Treatment

Amazon

What We Like
  • Budget-friendly

  • Strengthening

  • Supports healthy growth

What We Don't Like
  • Strong smell

This leave-in spray calls on caffeine and copolymers to make hair look and feel thicker while giving your roots a volume boost. It also contains haircare's favorite ingredient, biotin, to support healthy growth.

Product Type: Leave-in spray | Key Ingredients: Biotin, vitamin B5, caffeine, thickening copolymers | Size: 6.4 ounces

Best Splurge: Oribe Serene Scalp Thickening Treatment Spray

Oribe
What We Like
  • Noticeable results

  • Supports healthy growth

  • Strengthening

What We Don't Like
  • Pricey

If you're open to splurging on a truly promising product, we recommend Oribe Serene Scalp. The spray-on treatment fortifies with biotin and peptides to promote healthy growth, then coats every hair with copolymers to deliver a fuller, thicker head of hair.

Product Type: Treatment spray | Key Ingredients: Biotin, peptides, thickening copolymers | Size: 4.2 ounces

Best for Thinning Hair: Grow Gorgeous Intense Hair Density Serum

Grow Gorgeous Intense Hair Density Serum

Amazon

What We Like
  • Minimizes shedding

  • Stimulates scalp

  • Supports healthy growth

What We Don't Like
  • Pricey

Thinning hair? Reach for this ultra-concentrated treatment serum. The secret to the sauce is organic pea sprout extract, which has been shown to minimize shedding. It also contains caffeine to stimulate the scalp and Chinese skullcap to create instantly denser-looking hair.

Product Type: Scalp treatment serum | Key Ingredients: Pea sprout extract, Chinese skullcap, caffeine | Size: 2 ounces

Best Night Treatment: THE ORDINARY Multi-Peptide Serum for Hair Density

The Ordinary Multi-Peptide Serum for Hair Density

 Courtesy of The Skinstore

What We Like
  • Minimizes shedding

  • Promotes healthy growth

  • Noticeable results

What We Don't Like
  • Not ideal for styling

According to The Ordinary, this leave-in treatment is best used right before bed. The concentrated, no-nonsense formula contains redensyl and procapil, breakthrough ingredients shown to improve hair density, stimulate the scalp, reduce shedding, and promote healthy growth.

Product Type: Leave-in treatment serum | Key Ingredients: Redensyl, procapil | Size: 2 ounces

Best Cream: Living Proof Full Thickening Cream

4.3
LIVING PROOF Full Thickening Cream

Courtesy of Sephora

What We Like
  • Noticeable results

  • Softening

  • Conditioning

What We Don't Like
  • Pricey

If Jennifer Anniston, the hair goddess herself, didn't convince you of the powers of Living Proof when she was the face of the brand, allow us to sway you. Lack of texture can make the hair appear thin and flat, and this cream addresses the issue with finesse. Formulated with the brand's mysterious yet effective "thickening molecule," it deposits teensy-tiny dots on your hair, making it look bigger and fuller.

Product Type: Leave-in cream | Key Ingredients: Thickening molecule, emollient blend | Size: 3.7 ounces

living proof full thickening cream

Byrdie / Joline Buscemi

What Our Testers Say

"I love that the cream made my hair look fuller whether I was wearing it down or just wanted to boost a simple ponytail. It actually felt like it made my hair healthier rather than just increasing volume, and for that, I think it's a must-have for thicker hair." — Joline Buscemi, Product Tester

Best Spray: John Frieda Volume Lift Thickening Spray

John Frieda Volume Lift Thickening Spray
What We Like
  • Budget-friendly

  • Texturizing

  • Noticeable results

What We Don't Like
  • Leaves hair slightly sticky

For salon-level hair at drugstore prices, John Frieda won't let you down. This thickening spray lifts flat hair from the roots to deliver noticeably fuller, natural-looking volume. Spritz it onto towel-dried hair, focusing on your roots, then work it through with a comb and style as usual.

Product Type: Spray | Key Ingredients: Thickening copolymers, sea salt | Size: 6 ounces

Best Texturizing: Bumble and Bumble Thickening Dryspun Volume Texture Spray

3.3
Bumble and bumble Thickening Dryspun Volume Texture Spray
What We Like
  • Versatile

  • Long-lasting texture

  • Holds styles

What We Don't Like
  • Pricey

To give thin hair a little oomph, reach for Bumble and Bumble's Dryspun Spray. This product has you covered, whether you want: beachy waves, a fuller updo, texturized curls, or just a refresher for second-day hair. It adds the ideal amount of dimension and body with a lifted and airy effect.

Product Type: Aerosol spray | Key Ingredients: Thickening copolymers, zeolite, silk powder | Size: 3.6 ounces

Best Volumizing: Briogeo Blossom & Bloom Ginseng + Biotin Hair Volumizing Spray

Briogeo Blossom & Bloom Ginseng + Biotin Hair Volumizing Spray
What We Like
  • Instant fullness

  • Strengthening

  • Supports healthy growth

What We Don't Like
  • May weigh down hair

This double-duty thickening spray maximizes fullness while offering long-term healthy hair benefits. The secret ingredient? Maltodextrin. The all-natural sugar starch coats each hair to deliver dramatic volume. It also contains biotin for long, strong hair.

Product Type: Spray | Key Ingredients: Biotin, maltodextrin | Size: 5 ounces

Best Plumping: Kevin Murphy Full Again Thickening Lotion

Kevin Murphy Full Again Thickening Lotion
What We Like
  • Noticeable results

  • Not stiffening

  • Stylist-recommended

What We Don't Like
  • Contains plastic

Kevin Murphy Full Again is a favorite of Las Vegas-based hairstylist Haley Balayage, and we can see why. "It contains particles of rayon used to help surface hair appear thicker and help finer hair act thicker," she tells Byrdie. "The entire KM thickening line is great for hair types that need a little boost."

Product Type: Leave-in cream | Key Ingredients: Rayon, beeswax, thickening copolymers | Size: 5.1 ounces

Best Strengthening: Mielle Organics Rosemary Mint Scalp & Hair Strengthening Oil

Mielle Organics Rosemary Mint Scalp & Hair Strengthening Oil
What We Like
  • Budget-friendly

  • Smooths split ends

  • Supports healthy growth

What We Don't Like
  • May weigh down hair

You might have to play the long game to achieve truly thicker hair, and this strengthening oil from Mielle is here to guide you through. The nutrient-rich blend is infused with biotin and contains upwards of 30 essential oils. It's formulated to nourish each strand, hydrate every follicle, smooth split ends, stimulate your scalp, and support growth.

Product Type: Leave-in oil | Key Ingredients: Biotin, essential oils | Size: 2 ounces

Best Lightweight: Ouai Volume Spray

Ouai Volume Spray

Amazon

What We Like
  • Lightweight

  • Long-lasting volume

  • Texturizing

What We Don't Like
  • Leaves hair slightly crunchy

If you have particularly fine hair, a lightweight formula is crucial. We love Ouai Volume Spray, a virtually weightless mist that creates a natural-looking body, lasting volume, and airy texture.

Product Type: Spray | Key Ingredients: Thickening polymers, vitamin B5 | Size: 4.7 ounces

Best for Blow-Drying: Alterna Caviar Multiplying Volume Styling Mist

Alterna Caviar Multiplying Volume Styling Mist

Amazon

What We Like
  • Strengthening

  • Smooths split ends

  • Supports healthy growth

What We Don't Like
  • Not ideal for air-drying

Alterna's Multiplying Volume Mist coats your hair with a smoothing, strengthening blend of keratin, biotin, and amino acids, while algae and kelp plump the individual strands. Though it can be stiffening if you allow your hair to air-dry, a few spritzes before you blow-dry will yield stunning results.

Product Type: Styling spray | Key Ingredients: Keratin, biotin, amino acids, algae, kelp | Size: 5 ounces

Best Leave-In: Amika 3D Daily Thickening Treatment

Amika 3D Daily Thickening Treatment

Sephora

What We Like
  • Noticeable results

  • Supports healthy growth

  • Smells amazing

What We Don't Like
  • Pricey

Amika's 3D Thickening Treatment pulls out all the stops to deliver fuller-looking hair. We're talking redensyl for density and healthy growth, hydrolyzed proteins to smooth, strengthen, and protect, and copolymers for instant oomph.

Product Type: Leave-in spray | Key Ingredients: Redensyl, thickening copolymers, rice protein, vegetable protein | Size: 4 ounces

Best Pomade: Qhemet Biologics Castor & Amla Nourishing Pomade

Qhemet Biologics Castor & Amla Nourishing Pomade
What We Like
  • Budget-friendly

  • Strengthening

  • Supports healthy growth

What We Don't Like
  • Not ideal for long hair

Sometimes, all fine hair needs is a little nourishment. With this in mind, Qhemet Biologics made this hair-healthy pomade. The vegan formula contains ayurvedic amla oil and castor oil to hydrate, soften, strengthen, and thicken your hair while reducing shedding and encouraging growth.

Product Type: Pomade | Key Ingredients: Castor oil, amla oil | Size: 4 ounces

Best Shampoo: OGX Thick & Full Biotin & Collagen Shampoo

OGX Thick & Full Biotin & Collagen Shampoo

Courtesy of Ulta

What We Like
  • Budget-friendly

  • Strengthening

  • Supports healthy growth

What We Don't Like
  • Doesn't lather well

Styling products can go a long way, but you might want to kick off your hair-thickening routine in the shower. This velvety-smooth shampoo from OGX contains biotin and collagen, plus hydrolyzed wheat protein for fuller, plumper, healthier-looking hair with every wash.

Product Type: Shampoo | Key Ingredients: Biotin, collagen, hydrolyzed wheat protein | Size: 13 ounces

Best Conditioner: R+Co DALLAS Biotin Thickening Conditioner

Dallas Biotin Thickening Conditioner
What We Like
  • Long-lasting volume

  • Smooths split ends

  • Supports healthy growth

What We Don't Like
  • Pricey

As the saying goes, everything's bigger in Texas. Your hair can get in on the action when you use R+Co's Dallas conditioner. Made specifically for folks with thin, fine hair, the volumizing formula leans on saw palmetto to expand your hair and pump it with soft volume.

Product Type: Conditioner | Key Ingredients: Biotin, vitamin B5, saw palmetto | Size: 8.5 ounces

Final Verdict

When it comes to creating fuller-looking hair, Oribe Maximista Thickening Spray (view at Sephora) is your best bet. The brilliant styling product delivers instant volume while strengthening your hair. And if you're open to shelling out a little more, you might consider the brand's Serene Scalp Thickening Treatment Spray (view at Sephora). For something a bit more affordable, go with Garnier Fructis Style Mega Full (view at Amazon), a thickening leave-in spray that adds lightweight body and shine.

What to Look For in a Hair Thickening Product

Intended Use

The main thing to look for when buying a hair-thickening product is its intended use. Look for the words "thickening," "volumizing," "strengthening," "texturizing," "full," "plump," or "lift" in the name or on the label. These terms usually mean a product is formulated to thicken the hair or at least make it look thicker.

Formula

Hair-thickening products come in many forms. There's shampoo and conditioner, plus lotions, sprays, mousses, pomades, powders, and treatments. While you can stock up with one of each type, we recommend considering the unique needs of your hair and the look you're going for to figure out what'll work best.

"I would look for anything that adds fibers to the hair. It's the best bet to be sure that the hair itself will expand in size," says Balayage. Texturizing formulas often deposit product onto the hair and wrap around each hair to create a fuller look. Volumizing formulas typically penetrate each hair strand to plump them from the inside out.

Ingredients

The ingredients list can tell you a lot about how a product works and whether it can live up to its claims. Hair-thickening products are often made with ingredients like biotin, collagen, amino acids, zeolite, peptides, and niacinamide (vitamin B3), which help strengthen and plump the follicles and promote growth.

You might also see options with castor oil or essential oils, which can help nourish the scalp and help hair grow in fuller. Then with texturizing sprays and powdery formulas, you'll want to look for thickening agents like silica silylate and starchy ingredients like maltodextrin or silk powder.

FAQ
  • What products help hair thicken?

    Products that help hair thicken include shampoos, conditioners, masks, leave-in creams, weightless mists, and scalp treatments. Check for specific hair thickening ingredients. Look for options containing copolymers, maltodextrin, Chinese skullcap, redensyl, or rayon for instant results.

  • How do I make my hair thicker?

    You can make your hair thicker with hair thickening products, styling techniques, and (possibly) nutrition strategies. Hair thickening products can create the appearance of thicker hair while also nourishing your hair to provide strength and resilience against thinning and breakage.

  • Does biotin thicken hair?

    Biotin may thicken hair. However, the evidence is limited and inconclusive. The good news is that biotin is a nutrient that offers other benefits and cannot harm hair, so adding it to your routine may provide benefits without drawbacks.

  • Should I use hair thickening shampoo every day?

    Using thickening shampoo every day is not typically recommended. This is because shampooing cleanses the hair and often removes natural oils. Using any type of shampoo every day is not ideal for most hair types. Instead, rinse your hair and use a thickening conditioner or other thickening product.

Why Trust Byrdie?

Theresa Holland is a professional writer specializing in beauty and lifestyle. When writing this article, she interviewed a stylist for their product recommendations and expertise on various formulas, then looked at dozens of products from several brands. As a human with inherently thin hair, she's tried a wide range of thickening products. From this list, she can personally vouch for the effectiveness of Oribe, Living Proof, Bumble and Bumble, R+Co, Kevin Murphy, and Amika. Theresa covers haircare, skincare, and makeup at Byrdie.

Article Sources
Byrdie takes every opportunity to use high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial guidelines to learn more about how we keep our content accurate, reliable and trustworthy.
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