The Thick Things: How To Fake Fuller Looking Hair

Janell M. Hickman


It’s every girl’s dream to wake up with full, lush and voluminous strands that fall perfectly in place. But what happens when your hair…well, falls flat in comparison? Fake it of course! While the jury is still out if you can actually make fine hair thicker, it’s pretty simple to create the illusion of denser strands. Read on below to learn a few expert tips on pumping up the volume. Finally, cheating has a few benefits.

Know the Difference Between Fine and Thin Hair
“It’s important to note that fine hair and thin hair are two different things,” shares Suave Professionals Celeb Stylist Marcus Francis. “You can have fine hair, but have lots of it, making it actually look fuller,” he shares. Master Stylist at mizu salon, Dominick Pucciarello, elaborates further. “Fine hair is segregated into two categories: low density and high density,” he uncovers. “Yes, all fine hair is ‘limp’ and lays flat to the head, but it can be cut and styled beautifully. The secret to success lies in your styling techniques.”

Don’t Overload with Products
You might to tempted to pump up the volume via products like mousse, but it may hurt more than help. “Sometimes less is more,” says Matrix Artistic Director Nick Stenson. “You really only need a dime size instead of a quarter size of the product.” He recommends looking for products that help expand the hair cuticle for a thicker, fuller look like the Matrix Biolage VOLUMEBLOOM line prior to styling. Shampooing less frequently can also help fake fullness. “If you have a dry scalp, you really only need to wash your hair once a week,” adds Pucciarello. “The pH in water alone will clean your hair–even for people that go to the gym and sweat everyday.”

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Treat Your Hair with TLC
Francis warns fine or thin-haired ladies to use styling tools sparingly. “Scorching temps from hot tools will damage the proteins that make up your hair and its protective cuticles.” Other culprits? Excessively hot showers (which can dehydrate strands) and rough, towel drying post-shampoo. “Try wrapping hair in a microfiber towel instead to minimize cuticle breakage.”

Teasing Doesn’t Mean Tangles
“To begin, tease hair with a fine tooth comb focusing on the root,” explains L’Oréal Paris Celebrity Hairstylist Mara Roszak. “Start with a small section of hair [a few inches away from the scalp] then gently comb towards the scalp,” she continues. “Do this a few times in a row so a ‘pillow’ of hair forms at the root.” How do you undo all of your hard work without nasty repercussions? “The best way to brush out your hair at the end of the day is with a wide tooth comb or Mason Pearson brush,” advises Pucciarello. “You should always start gently at the ends, so you don’t rip through the teased part of the hair. Otherwise,  you’ll cause excess breakage.”

Avoid Excess Oils
“Dry shampoos are also a must-have for fine-haired ladies,” says Francis. “In addition to absorbing oil, they also rough up the cuticle a bit to make hair appear fuller.” His pick? Suave Professionals Moroccan Infusion Weightless Dry Shampoo. “Don’t apply oil or serum to scalp–only focus on the ends,” Roszak recommends. “If you have a dry scalp try olive oil on just the scalp before washing your hair.” Not into DIY? Try a weekly hair mask like L’Oréal Paris Total Repair 5 Damage Erasing Balm to hydrate brittle tresses.

The Cut Is Key
“Making sure you have the right cut for your hair type is important,” warns Roszak. “Overly layered hair can make hair look thinner at the ends,” Pucciarello who works with Victoria’s Secret Angels including Alessandra Ambrosia, Adriana Lima and  Doutzen Kroes, is a fan of shorter pixie cuts and edgy bobs. “For women with longer hair, a quick trick for adding instant volume is changing up your part,” add Francis. “Comb hair toward the opposite side for a quick, no-fuss way to add instant volume at your roots.”

Highlights Trick The Eye
“Hair color can be the best way to camouflage thinning hair,” shares Stenson who works with Giuliana Rancic and Katrina Bowden. “Lightening your hair color or adding a few sun-kissed streaks pushes the hair shaft open, increasing overall thickness,” adds Francis. “Just be careful not to over process since the hair is [more] delicate and can break,” emphasizes Roszak.

Pop A Pill
“Vitamins can help, but they aren’t a quick fix” says Pucciarello. “They usually take about four to five months before you see a difference–a lot of people give up too early because they don’t see instant results.” Stenson advises clients to see a doctor first. “You want to make sure you aren’t deficient in anything. If you are, your physician can recommend a treatment plan for you to follow.”