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Adding Volume to Fine Limp Hair


What Creates Hair Volume?

  • The number of hairs per square inch of scalp. More hairs equals greater volume. The thickness of each hair. The greater the diameter of each hair, the more volume you will have.
  • The flexibility of each hair (known as the bending modulus). This is essentially a measurement of the stiffness of each hair fiber. Fibers that are stiffer will stand up more on their own contributing to greater volume. Fibers with a low bending modulus will tend to be floppy and limp.
  • The interaction between hair fibers. Friction between hair fibers can increase volume because the hair fibers will rub against each other more and sort of lock into the position. This is why the old trick of back combing or teasing your hair works so well to add volume. It lifts the cuticles and creates a rough surface so the hairs snag against each other to create a more voluminous network of fibers.

What is a hair volumizer?
A hair volumizer is a hair styling product that adds volume and body to thin or flat hair. Often in the form of shampoos, conditioners or mousses, hair volumizers temporarily give flat hair some much-needed thickness. Some hair volumizers are also found in the forms of hair sprays, pomades, hair masks and thickening creams.

How does it work?
Hair volumizers contain humectants that swell the hair shaft, temporarily making it look thicker. Polymers in the hair volumizers coat each strand, also adding to the thicker look. A humectant is a non-oily substance that pulls in moisture from the surrounding environment and attracts it to the hair strand. The increased moisture also helps each strand of hair look thicker. These ingredients give hair body, bounce and fullness. That is also why your hair feels and looks fuller after it is dyed.

What types of products make your hair appear to have more volume?
Hair volumizers are relatively easy to use, depending on what form.

  • A hair volumizing shampoo and conditioner are used just like regular shampoo and conditioners. Volumizing shampoos help in two ways: They should remove residue form stylers and conditioners that can rob your hair of volume. They can also deposit small amounts of stiffening polymers that help give the hair more body. They are more effective if you don't over-condition your hair after shampooing.
  • Volumizing sprays and mousses are worked into dry or wet hair, while hair masks are left in wet hair for a few minutes to give it body and fullness.
  • Hair care products that improve hair stiffness will give your hair a plump. Polymers can provide a temporary coating that give the hair more rigidity. This is how volumizing styling products like mousses work.
  • Dry shampoos do a good job of increasing interaction between hair fibers because they deposit powder. The tiny particles of starch and talc rub against each other increasing friction and therefore improving volume.
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