After sporting a pixie cut for seven years, I’ve been letting my hair grow out. During this 18-month growing period, I have been relearning through trial and error how to maintain longer locks. As I reached chin-length, I thought I had fine hair, but it turns out the mistakes I was making in my hair care were causing my hair to appear thinner than it actually is. Now that I’m closer to shoulder-length, I’ve realized the washing and styling techniques I used were hindering my hair from reaching its thicker and fuller potential. Ahead, I review some tips and tricks so you can avoid sabotaging your own follicle thickness.
Like so much in life, how much conditioner to use comes down to a question of finding the right balance. Applying too much will weigh down your hair, not enough and you end up with a frizzy mop. Also, let’s not forget that not all conditioner is created equal. I’m all for a bargain and, most days, the good old 12-ounce Suave Ocean Breeze will get the job done. But, a few times a week, I’ll use a conditioner hair mask, like Garnier’s nourishing mask for a deeper moisturizer to nourish and brighten my hair. I’ve also been considering the season when it comes to conditioners. For summer, I’ll go with a tea tree oil conditioning treatment to help repair my hair from sun damage. During the winter, I use a thicker product, like Bumble and Bumble Thickening Conditioner, to nourish and lock in my hair’s natural moisture. For every season, there is a conditioner, and using the wrong one, too little, or too much, can affect how full your hair appears.
If your tresses ARE naturally on the thin side, consider adding a volumizing powder to your hair care routine. Massaging a volumizer directly onto your roots is one of the easiest ways to get fuller-looking hair instantly. Giving yourself a lift at the crown makes your hair appear thicker all day long. Hair powder, like Not Your Mother’s Girl Powder Volumizer, should be applied to dry hair to get the most volume and texture. If need be, reapply during the course of the day.
In terms of styling, using a flatiron will make your hair appear thinner, especially if you’re leaving your ends pin straight. For a look that’s both sleeker and fuller, blow-dry your hair, lifting up at the roots with a round brush and rolling out at the ends. Full disclosure, I’m not coordinated enough to give myself a blowout. For this trick, I add another hack to it and blow dry my hair upside down. Flipping your head over gives you easier access to your roots for the round brush.
Even if you are using the right products and treating your hair in the right manner, if your cut doesn’t support a thicker look, you can only do so much. Long hair weighs more and looks thinner, so next time you see your stylist, ask for rows of subtle layers. If you still want length but need some bounce, get some shorter pieces to frame your face and keep your hair long in the back. Be sure to keep up with your cut; trimming dead ends will keep your healthy and fuller looking.
You may think that using too many hair products will strain your hair and make it appear thinner. You’re right. However, on the flip side, going out with naked hair, i.e., product-free, will also compromise the look of your do’. At the very least, use mousse. Whether you’re blow-drying or letting your locks air dry, a lightweight mousse adds volume and density to your hair. Apply a dollop at the root and work it through the ends to make your hair look thick once it dries.
Of course, the ultimate solution to thin hair is to cut it short. And I have been very tempted to go back to my shorter style these past few months. But, now that I’ve gotten down some haircare basics, I feel much better about gaining more length and maintaining a thicker mane.