The Science of Beauty: How Do Volumizing Hair Products Work?



In our new series, The Science of Beauty, we're going to do a bit more research into the making of a great beauty product. While we've talked about the textures, scents, and efficacy of our favorite formulas in our Reviewed series, this one is meant to feed the other side of the brain—the side we perhaps haven't tapped into since chemistry class. We'll talk science, experiments, and the ingredients that make each product work with experts in each specific field. Then we'll check back in with our favorite hair and makeup artists to get a breakdown on how to best use the products once they're out of the lab and back in our bathrooms.

First up: volumizing hair products. How do they actually work, you ask? Well, we wondered the same thing. To get answers, I spoke with Alicia Leo, StriVectin's product development senior manager. StriVectin has been a go-to brand for some of our absolute favorite skincare products, but recently it launched a line of hair products that boast serious results. If anyone was going to be able to explain the process behind a volumizing hair product, it was this company.

Keep reading to find out everything we learned about the making of a volumizing hair product.

Other than using great products, Fugate explained the best way to prep your hair for the most volume possible. "It is important to get the water out before the product goes on—water dilutes the product and allows it to spread to unwanted areas, making your hair sticky and hard to work with. Once your hair is 50-75% dry, apply your product and flip over your hair. Use gravity and the heated air from your blow dryer or diffuser to activate the product. Grab a large round brush or Velcro rollers once your hair is 80% to 90% dry, and shape and form your desired style. Setting the hair like that will always result in the most volume!"

The most vital tip? "Stop pulling on your hair," Fugate asserted. Crafting the proper volume is a game of finesse, not a strength test. "You should be putting life into the hair, not pulling, combing, or stretching the life out of it."

For even more volume, read these five hacks every thin-haired beauty editor knows.