Best hair thickening products 2022: Shampoos, conditioners and styling products to volumise fine hair

Kate Hilpern Lise Smith
9 Aug 2022

Fine, limp or flyaway hair? Add volume and fullness with these treatments and styling products.

If you’re hoping to get voluminous hair fast, finding the best hair thickening products is a surefire way to go. In a perfect world, we’d all have shiny, thick hair that looks lush and swings when you flick it. Sadly, this isn’t something that Mother Nature has doled out to the majority. But don’t despair: there are countless products on the market designed to add thickness and volume to hair, and UK sales of volumising hair products are now worth over £80 million per year.

Many things can contribute to flat, fine or thinning hair, including hormonal changes, overall hair health, as well as your natural hair type and texture. We’ve sorted through the shampoos, conditioners and treatments that address a range of those issues to provide a guide to the best products for adding fullness to fine hair. See our guide to volumising treatments below, and then scroll on for our favourite products.

Best hair thickening products: At a glance

How to choose the right hair thickening products for you

What causes limp, flat and thinning hair?

The texture of hair is in large part defined by the width at which it grows from the follicles, which is genetically determined. To test the natural texture of your hair, pluck a strand and roll it between your fingers. If you can’t feel it, your natural hair texture is fine. Naturally blonde hair is often finer than black, brunette or red hair, so if you’re a Nordic blonde then you may find your tresses are fine-textured. To improve the volume of fine-textured hair, look for products that hydrate and bulk up the cuticle to make individual hairs appear fuller.

The other factor in how thick the hair appears is density, or the number of hairs on the head. A thinner hair density can again be the result of genetics; but it can also be caused by stress, poor diet, or hormonal changes that come with ageing. Products that improve scalp health can help your hair grow to its maximum natural strength and slow the process of shedding (where the hair drops out of the follicle). If you’ve noticed recent changes to your hair’s density, do call your GP to check if there’s an underlying physical cause that needs to be addressed.

READ NEXT: The best hair masks to restore the health of your hair

How do hair thickening products work?

Hair thickening products can’t change the natural texture or density of your hair; what they can do is nourish and hydrate the hair so that each individual strand appears thicker. Typical ingredients include moisturising oils and hydrators such as hyaluronic acid to boost the hair’s moisture content, plumping it up from within, and proteins such as wheat or rice protein to strengthen the hair’s outer layer. Thickening treatments may also include ingredients such as collagen, which boosts the health of the live portion of the hair that grows just below the surface of the scalp, so that over time the new hair that grows becomes as thick and strong as possible.

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What else can help with fine and thinning hair?

A good haircut can help to revive thinning hair by cutting away any broken and flyaway ends. If your long hair is limp then you may find the length is weighing your hair down, and a shorter style may encourage more volume and bounce. A blunter cut will reduce wispy ends and help hair look fuller and healthier. Avoid styling formulas designed to make hair look shimmery, as well as those with silicones or pearlising agents that will make hair limp.

If you heat-style your hair, be sure to use a lower temperature on fine hair to avoid damage and breakage to the ends. To add volume to the roots, add a spritz of volumising spray or mousse, turning your head upside-down as you blow-dry to encourage some extra lift.

READ NEXT: Best products for curly hair

The best hair thickening products to buy: Shampoos

1. Nexxus Diametress Shampoo: The best volumising shampoo

Price: £18 | Buy now from Amazon

This protein-rich volumising shampoo will make locks stronger and give even delicate hair a noticeably fuller look. It reduces static, too, which can be a common problem with finer hair. The moisture-boosting formula with ginseng and flaxseed smells great and leaves hair feeling fresh for days. With gentle cleansers and vitamin B5, Nexxus Diametress lifts hair from the roots without adding weight to the ends. A small amount gives great results: massage into wet hair, leave in for a few minutes and then rinse out.

Key details – Product type: Shampoo; Quantity: 400ml

2. OGX Thick & Full Biotin & Collagen Shampoon: The best value hair-thickening shampoo

Price: £4 | Buy now from Boots

This shampoo from stylist-led brand OGX contains biotin (also known as vitamin B7) and collagen to plump up hair from within. The thick, rich formula also contains wheat protein to strengthen hair and help reduce breakage. Sulfate- and paraben-free, the formulation is quite thick, but it spreads easily through the hair and lathers well. In terms of fragrance, the shampoo is slightly sweet-smelling, but not unpleasant. As the name suggests, Thick & Full leaves hair lovely, soft and bouncy, and definitely looking thicker – all for under a tenner.

Key details – Product type: Shampoo; Quantity: 385ml

Buy now from Boots

The best hair thickening products to buy: Conditioners

3. Paul Mitchell Lemon Sage Conditioner: The best conditioner for thicker locks

Price: £21 | Buy now from Feel Unique

The usual advice for fine hair is to avoid rich conditioners as they can weigh down hair and make it look limp and droopy. However, this creamy, zesty conditioner from Paul Mitchell hydrates dry ends without adding weight, leaving the rest of the hair full of body, too.

A firm favourite among hairstylists and beauty editors, it also strengthens locks and boosts shine. The product’s scent carries with hair all day, too, leaving it smelling lovely and fresh. You don’t need much of it, so the bottle should last you a while.

Key details – Product type: Shampoo; Quantity: 300ml

Buy now from Feel Unique

4. Kiehl’s Rice & Wheat Volumizing Conditioning Rinse: The best conditioner for thin hair

Price: £20 | Buy now from Kiehl's

Kiehl’s conditioning rinse is used after shampooing like any other conditioner; but unlike heavy conditioners, it moisturises the hair to give body without weighing it down. Resulting in hair that’s more manageable and easier to style, it also makes it look noticeably more voluminous. The conditioning rinse acts as a great detangler, and helps prevent split-ends, too. It smells gorgeous and feels like a real treat for hair; try it with the shampoo in the same range for an even greater boost to volume.

Key details – Product type: Conditioning rinse; Quantity: 200ml

Buy now from Kiehl's

5. Noughty Get Set, Grow Thickening Shampoo and Conditioner: The best shampoo/conditioner duo

Price: £8 each | Buy now from LoveNoughty

Just launched this spring, the new Get Set, Grow range from sustainable brand Noughty uses natural pea sprout extract to add volume and moisture to hair, while caffeine increases circulation to the scalp to stimulate hair growth. The shampoo has a subtle but nicely fresh scent and feels gently tingly on the scalp; the lightweight hydrating conditioner with moisture-trapping hyaluronic acid adds volume and shine. Use the two together for a super-clean feel and noticeable volumising effect.

Key details – Product type: Shampoo and conditioner rise; Quantity: 250ml

Buy now from LoveNoughty

The best hair thickening products to buy: Treatments

6. Swiss Clinic Hair Renewal Serum: The best renewal serum for thinning hair

Price: £42 | Buy now from Look Fantastic

If you have thinning hair, this hair growth reactivator complex may just become your new best friend. Put simply, this product includes active ingredients that treat the hair in the growth (anagen and catagen) stages and the resting (telogen) phase, so that hair loss is reduced and growth is stimulated in the resting hair follicles.

To use, apply the oil-like solution using the dropper and massage it into the scalp daily – a little goes a long way. Expect to see results on hair as it grows in, after around four months. A long-term investment, but one that promises great results for both men and women.

Key details – Product type: treatment serum; Quantity: 150ml

Buy now from Look Fantastic

7. Scandinavian Biolabs Bio-Pilixin® Activation Serum: The best serum for hair growth

Price: £37 | Buy now from Scandinavian Biolabs

A naturally derived, vegan hair treatment from Scandinavian Biolabs, this serum with niacinamide, aloe vera and Scandinavian Biolabs’ own proprietary Capilia Longa compound is clinically proven to improve hair growth, strength and thickness in women. Apply using the special pipette, massage and leave in overnight before rinsing; you’ll feel a light tingling on the scalp as the serum takes effect. You’ll notice a reduction in hair fall after around six weeks, and improvement in hair growth after 4-5 months. This version is particularly designed with female hair growth in mind – a version for men is also available.

Key details – Product type: treatment serum; Quantity: 100ml

Buy now from Scandinavian Biolabs

8. Oribe Maximista Thickening Spray: The best thickening spray

Price: £41 | Buy now from Amazon

No time to wash your hair before a night out, but want to get rid of flyaways? Simply spritz this onto dry hair and ruffle with your hands for instant volume. There’s no nasty residue, nor does it make your hair look greasy, dull, heavy or flat – all common problems with other hair thickening sprays. You can use the formula on wet hair – in fact, you’ll get extra thermal protection if you do.

It doesn’t smell all that lovely, but in our opinion, that’s well worth the compromise for gloriously full locks with minimum effort.

Key details – Product type: Thickening spray; Quantity: 200ml

9. Aveda Thickening Tonic: The best blow-dry lotion

Price: £24 | Buy now from John Lewis

This blow-dry lotion combines wheat proteins and natural plant gums to add bulk to hair and give it a significantly thicker texture. Use it before blow-drying locks and you’ll certainly notice a difference; it works to thicken hair from the roots right to the tips.

The tonic comes in a compact pot, which you’ll be able to throw into a bag anywhere you go. It’s from a well-respected brand, too: Aveda has been going since 1978, producing everything from skincare, makeup and hair products, with a focus on natural plant extracts.

Key details – Product type: Blow-dry lotion; Quantity: 100ml

Buy now from John Lewis

10. Bumble and Bumble Thickening Full Form Mousse: The best hair thickening mousse

Price: £26 | Buy now from Bumble and Bumble

Use this mousse on damp hair before styling for instant lightweight hold, bounce and shape – minus the nasty stickiness and crunchy feeling that such products can often leave you with once they’ve dried. In fact, it leaves hair feeling surprisingly soft, and promises to keep it hydrated too.

That said, you need only a tiny amount to achieve your look – and for it to last all day. Bumble and Bumble has been a salon favourite for more than 30 years. Follow this mousse with the thickening dry-spun finish spray from the same range to add volume without stickiness or any lingering smells.

Key details – Product type: Mousse; Quantity: 143g

Buy now from Bumble and Bumble

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