NZ Woman's Weekly

Ways to add volume to your hair


As a first step, use a volumising shampoo and conditioner. They contain ingredients that coat and swell the hair shaft, making it look temporarily thicker. Most are heat activated so a blow-dry will help the product swell. Avoid repair or colour-care products as many are too rich and heavy. Try Sebastian Professional Volupt Shampoo $38 and Conditioner $40. This leaves hair feeling conditioned and soft without weighing it down. Follow up with Sebastian Professional Thickefy Foam $40 before styling as normal.

HOT TIP: Keep conditioner away from roots – only use on the mid-lengths to ends of hair.


For sleekness and shine, hair oils are fantastic. However, be careful and take the ultra-light option and use it sparingly. Kérastase Elixir Ultime Rose Millenaire $49 is formulated for finer hair. It’s enriched with vitamin E and left my tester’s locks sleek and shiny without any lankness issues.

HOT TIP: Use hair oil as an overnight conditioner or before swimming.


Use a hair dust for volume. It soaks up oil and adds grip to achieve height and texture. Dusts are great for up-dos. They have a matte feel, so won’t leave hair soft and shiny. Try Redken Powder Grip 03 $36, Matrix Design Pulse Mega Dust $21 or Schwarzkopf Instant Volume Powder $7.29.

HOT TIP: Sprinkle dust into roots and lightly backcomb


My tester reported that Pureology’s Pure Volume range gave lift and shine to her very fine hair, but the results felt a little gritty rather than silky. The range is designed for fine, colour-treated hair. There’s a Shampoo $36 and Conditioner $42, plus two styles – the Blow Dry Amplifier $42 and Instant Levitation Mist $42, which boosts hair at the roots.


As opposed to thick hair, each strand of fine hair is thin and there aren’t as many. With fewer cuticle layers, it also doesn’t reflect light to the same extent and is prone to static.


Louise Pilkington from Auckland salon Dry & Tea says if you have long, fine hair, ask your hairdresser for some sneaky internal layers. “Just a few to add an illusion of fullness,” she suggests. “To achieve great texture in long, fine hair, use heated rollers and give locks a good scrunch up with your fingers.”

For fine, wavy hair, a classic graduated bob (think sexy Marilyn Monroe length) works well. To blow-dry volume into fine hair, Louise advises tipping your head upside down, angling the hairdryer into your roots and blowing deep into them until hair is 90% dry, then using a round brush for a polished finish.

About Nicky Pellegrino

Nicky Pellegrino has been a journalist for over 20 years, both here and in the UK, and is a former editor of New Zealand Woman's Weekly. These days, as well as working on the magazine's beauty pages, she writes popular novels like Recipe For LIfe, The Italian Wedding and The Villa Girls. For more about Nicky check out her website

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