How To Get Thicker Hair Using Products You Already Own

All Your Hair Questions, Answered

How To Get Thicker Hair Using Products You Already Own

11 September 2018
Woman brushing long brunette wavy hair with silver hairbrush
emilyarataheadshot

Emily Arata

Senior Editor, Hair.com

As an employee of L’Oréal, Emily works with celebrity stylists to make finding the right cut, color, or style easier than ever before. She's previously written for Allure, Elite Daily, and First We Feast.

Almost every woman we know wants thicker-looking hair. It’s pretty much a fact of life, just like bad hair days and the occasional pimple. Whatever the consistency of your locks, it’s important to realize you have very little say in the matter. Genetics, environmental stressors, and diet can all play a role in the health (and amount) of your hair.

Luckily, there are plenty of temporary fixes available to help your hair look and feel thicker, not to mention healthier-looking. A combination of new habits, tools, and styling products from the L'Oréal portfolio of brands can help you rethink the hair you’ve been battling for years.

Start with your brush.


First of all, it’s important to realize how much of thickness is actually just your eyes playing a trick on you. If you have oily hair, the natural oils may weigh down your mane at the root and make it seem limp. Instead of agonizing over the reality of the situation, pick up an inexpensive boar bristle brush to replace your paddle brush. The bristles may help distribute the oil throughout your hair more evenly, making your strands seem less weighed down and more voluminous.

Pro tip: Make sure you’re brushing dry hair, not wet, to avoid unnecessary breakage.

Master your brushing technique.


A quick note about a common problem: Breakage happens to all of us, but minimizing it can help your hair appear thicker. It’s important to treat your hair gently so as to avoid snapping strands; but note, everyone experiences a little bit of fallout during styling. It’s normal!

Because undue breakage can often happen during overly-rough brushing, it’s important to remember how fragile each strand is. We like to place a hand mid-hair shaft, then brush in small strokes. Start with your ends, then slowly work your way up to the root. Easy does it.

Choose the right hair care system..

Every shampoo and conditioner formula has an end result in mind, whether that’s clarifying or adding shine. If thickness is your main concern, choose a system that claims to be “volumizing” or “densifying”.

Pro tip: The way you use the system is just as important as the product’s formula, so pay close attention to the instructions on the back of both bottles.

Don’t skip on heat protectant.

The name of the game is maximizing the look of hair you actually have, so it’s important to take good care of it. Regular blow drying and heat styling may make hair feel dehydrated and brittle, so it’s extra important to guard your strands against damage. Before hitting the “on” button, use a heat protector like Kérastase Résistance Ciment Thermique, which helps protect damaged hair during blow dry sessions.

Pro tip: Choose several days a week to put down the hair dryer and opt to air dry instead. We love to apply a texturizing product like Matrix Style Link Wild Boho Texturizing Air-Dry Cream, which texturizes and enhances the natural shape of the hair for an effortless, tousled look. No heat needed.

Find a go-to texturizing spray.

We live and die by texturizing sprays and they’re about to change your life, too. Like a magical combination of dry shampoo and mousse, the right product can help your hair feel bouncier, sexier, and (of course) thicker. This stuff doesn’t mess around, so don’t be surprised if you become addicted.

Need a starter product? Try Redken’s Windblown 05 spray, formulated to create a windswept effect, or Shu Uemura’s Texture Wave dry texturizing spray.

Backcomb for extra volume.

Southern girls can attest to the fact that teasing hair is truly a way of life, particularly if you can get the technique down. Using a comb, choose 1-inch sections around the crown and gently comb the hair toward the root. Slow and steady is the best strategy, especially since we’re focusing on ways to minimize damage.

When each teased section is finished, gently comb a top layer of hair over the top of it to hide the teasing. We like to finish with a light spritz of hairspray, just to make sure your amped-up ‘do stays in place. Backcombing is an excellent choice for ponytails and updos, as well.

Pro tip: Practice teasing your hair in front of a mirror, so you can see exactly what you’re doing. Every stroke of the comb is important, especially on thin-feeling hair.

Invest in a set of extensions.

It seems like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised how many women never really consider extensions a viable option. There’s no better guarantee to achieve the look of thicker hair quite like adding more hair to your head, whether that’s through clip-ins or keratin bonded extensions.

Whatever your preference, we understand that the world of extra hair can be overwhelming for newbies. Your best option is talking to your stylist to review your options (don’t forget to share a rough estimate of how much you’d like to spend). Rest assured, there’s a custom solution that will work with even the busiest lifestyle.

Sleep tight, but never on your ends.

Here’s a lesser-known tip that’s worked wonders for our hair over the years: Before going to sleep at night, we recommend tying back your hair with a no-crease elastic. This genius hack works to make your hair look and feel thicker in two different ways. First, you can avoid the static and stress potentially put on hair by being dragged across your pillow’s surface for eight hours a night. Secondly, a loose side braid or topknot is a heat-free way to achieve bounce and a gentle wave for the next day.

Pro tip: Skip sleeping in a ponytail. The style doesn’t really protect your ends, and may also leave you with an unfortunate crease that’s practically impossible to get rid of in time for work.

Ask a professional.

Real talk: It’s not healthy for your mind, body, or hair to stress out over your hair. If breakage, hair loss, or general thinness is getting you down, it may be time to take your concerns to a professional.

Schedule an appointment with your tried-and-true dermatologist for more clues about what may be happening.

Need some product recommendations to help stock your bathroom vanity? Read on.

L'Oréal Professionnel Serie Expert Volumetry Shampoo

If you want to see serious volume, don’t use anything less than a professional formula. This cleansing formula with a combination of purifying salicylic acid and HydraLight is designed to help create a volume effect. Hair looks volumized, feeling cleansed and lightly moisturized. To ensure you’re getting the best results from your care routine, follow with the line’s conditioner.

L'Oréal Professionnel Serie Expert Volumetry Shampoo, $30.00 MSRP

Matrix Biolage VolumeBloom Aqua-Gel Conditioner

Those starting out with fine hair will want to invest in a hair system designed for maximum impact. That’s where Matrix Biolage VolumeBloom comes in. Discover a new way to condition your fine, delicate hair using Matrix’s lightest conditioning gel technology. It imparts lightweight, silicone-free nourishment from roots to end. Fragile ends become strengthened and limp hair is revived with body—and, as an added bonus, it’s even suitable for color-treated hair.

Matrix Biolage VolumeBloom Aqua-Gel Conditioner, $8.97 MSRP

Kérastase Densifique Masque Densité

No care routine is complete without the addition of a mask for days your hair is feeling a little more fragile than normal. We love Kérastase’s Densifique Masque Densité, a rinse-out treatment formulated with hyaluronic acid and gluco-peptides for maximum results.

Kérastase Densifique Masque Densité, $59.00 MSRP

Pureology Strength Cure Best Blonde Miracle Filler Treatment

If you’ve already invested time and money in getting your dream hair color, it only makes sense to buy styling products designed to keep your shade looking beautiful. We’re big fans of Pureology’s Strength Cure Best Blonde Miracle Filler Treatment—particularly if you’re experiencing sensitized hair after a salon service.

Pureology Strength Cure Best Blonde Miracle Filler Treatment, $26.00 MSRP

Shu Uemura Volume Maker Invisible Hair Texturizer

Wouldn’t it be lovely if every hair product in your arsenal conveniently fit inside your purse? Well, you’re in luck. Shu Uemura’s Volume Maker Invisible Hair Texturizer comes in a pen-like shape with an attached brush and cap, so you’ll never have to battle flat hair on the go again.

Shu Uemura Volume Maker Invisible Hair Texturizer, $48.00 MSRP

Mizani True Textures Curl Enhancing Lotion

Amping up the texture is a surefire way to make hair look thicker. Try Mizani’s True Textures Curl Enhancing Lotion, which is formulated with coconut, olive, and marula oils. The lotion can be used by every kind of curly girl—from wavy to very curly—and is best-applied section by section to wet hair.

Mizani True Textures Curl Enhancing Lotion, $18.00 MSRP

Redken Beach Envy Volume Wave Aid

You know how your hair looks big and bountiful after a day at the seashore? So do we, which is why we always recommend Redken’s Beach Envy Volume Wave Aid. For big, beachy style, this formula is the ultimate companion.

Redken Beach Envy Volume Wave Aid, $20.00 MSRP

For more personalized tips about getting thicker-looking hair, use our salon locator to book an appointment with a stylist near you.


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