Fine hair is, quite frankly, frustrating. Too little product and hair looks limp, yet too much product and hair looks, well, limp. Thin hair is prone to looking flyaway but also a little, dare we say it, lank too. So we called on hairdressers in London and over in Los Angeles to share the mistakes to avoid and the styling tricks to employ. From the hair length to veto and the cut to try, to the products every fine-haired girl should own we've got you covered. Trust us, you'll never have an LHD again—that's "limp hair day," by the way.
Keep reading for the 11 tips that will transform your tresses.
The Mistakes to Watch Out For
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Meanwhile, Jen Atkin suggests using two shampoos: "A volumising one at the roots and a moisturising one on the ends. Avoid using conditioner at all on the scalp, and instead focus mostly on the ends."
"Don't comb your hair in a neat parting—try to keep the parting messier and directed back over the crown—and don't grow hair too long," says Scott Ade of Larry King salon. "Invest in a good haircut; you can't get away with a bad haircut on fine hair!"
"Lots of layers will make hair look thinner. Try to keep the ends blunt with some slicing to give some texture—the shorter the hair the thicker is it," explains Jonny Long at Lockonego.
"The lighter your hair, the thinner it can look. For blondes, one block colour can make hair look one dimensional and thin. Have darker blonde colour added through the hair, which acts as an optical illusion and gives a 3D colour effect," advises Jack Howard at Paul Edmonds London for L'Oréal Professionnel.
The Styling Tricks to Try
For fine hair, it's actually very simple: Less is more. Stick to volumising mists at the roots and a little hair spray for hold. Don't have the time, patience or know-how to try a salon-style blow-dry at home? Atkin recommends this instead: "Prior to styling, spray in a mist like Christophe Robin Instant Volumising Mist with Rose Water (£29), and using your hands, blow-dry your hair upside down for maximum volume, or use a diffuser to bring out a natural wave pattern."
The thing is too much brushwork can make fine hair limp. Dry your hair at least 90% with your hands before going at it with your round brush if needed. "Lift your roots prior to styling with a brush," says Ade. "Using a comb or vent brush, lift the roots of your hair whilst drying to give a good voluminous foundation. Use products just in the root area such as Redken Rootful & Thickening Lotion 09 (£19) so it doesn't weigh down the rest of the hair."
"Once you have achieved the volume you want, it's important to seal it in. Finish every blow-dry with a cold blast of air. Use product to maintain the volume such as our Big Bold and Beautiful Dry Instant Volumising Spray (£14). If you're tonging the hair, it is essential to let each section cool before running your hands or a brush through it so that the style can set; otherwise you'll undo all your good work, and your hair will look flat," says Paul Percival, co-founder of Percy & Reed.
"Silicones in products tend to weigh the hair down; try a great silicon-free volumising range like Pureology Clean Volume," recommends Long. "It will swell the cuticle and make hair look thicker and voluminous."
"Don't spray hair spray directly onto hair. Top tip: Spray L'Oréal Professionnel Infinium (£12) into a brush or comb, and brush in at the root outwards to give extra lift," says Reed.
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It's a known fact that fine hair can get flat and greasy faster than you can say "dry shampoo." To resuscitate lifeless locks sans showering, Roszak says to keep a spray bottle filled with water on hand. When your hair is looking limp, lightly mist it with the water and spritz in a root-lift spray. Use your hands to rough-dry your hair until it's mostly dry. "With a round brush, smooth out the pieces around [your] face by blow-drying them forward along with the top layer of the hair. Flip [your] head backwards and spray with hair spray all over," she says. Voilà! Easy volume.
Try an inside-out approach. "Start taking hair supplements," advises Atkin. "I developed Ouai Thinning Hair Supplements (£26), which are designed to build strength and density in fine and limp hair, with black currant seed oil, amino acids and biotin."
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Next up, how to make your curls last all day.