I used to be obsessed — like, hours-in-front-of-the-mirror fixated — with having the most voluminous hair I could muster. I would load it up with sticky products and blow-dry it into a huge, tangled mass of lion’s mane. Disgusting. Those days are long gone, but I’m still a little bit pathological about my desire for body. You see, I have super-fine hair that’s gotten pretty long recently, and the longer it gets, the flatter it goes. It’s almost, like, physics or something. The thing about volumizing products is that so many of them end up making hair crunchy, dirty-looking, and decidedly unsexy, and who wants that? Naturally, I made it my mission to try every volumizing product ever and report back on which ones made it into my arsenal. For the fine-haired, or even just the flat-haired, these seven volumizers — sprays, creams, and even powders! — have got you covered.
Alterna Summer Ocean Waves: A little difficult to track down in the off-season, but totally worth it — this light spray is everything you’ve ever wanted out of a volumizer and wave-maker. No stickiness, no crunch, no weird stuck-together pieces, just perfectly tousled hair with a subtle coconut fragrance. Spray it on damp hair and twirl sections for super-easy soft, loose waves. [$24.99, Amazon]
Sachajuan Volume Powder: This powdery aerosol, scented with Sachajuan’s signature spicy floral, also works to mop up excess oil at the roots, which makes it perfect for keeping tresses aloft on no-wash days. Like a dry shampoo, this product comes out white, so it may leave a trace on darker hair. Fortunately, Sachajuan has the answer in the form of a dark version… but because I ill-advisedly purchased the original, I’ll just rock my white hair until I run out. [$32, Sephora]
Aveda Volumizing Tonic: My go-to volumizing spray (I use it every time I wash my hair) builds body and adds shine, so if you like to keep your products to a minimum but still need a bit of a boost, this tonic is the holy grail. It’s perfect for air-drying because it never gets sticky or dulling, but used in conjuction with a blowdryer, it thickens and inflates hair like crazy. Oh, and it smells amazing, thanks to Aveda’s signature Pure-Fume essential oil aroma. [$17, Aveda]
L’Oreal Professionnel True Grip Texturizing Powder: If you’ve never used a volumizing powder before, you’re missing out. This one is perfect because, even applied liberally, it doesn’t make hair stick together or appear dirty. I don’t even know what’s in it, so as far as I’m concerned, it’s magic. Just tap a bit out into your palm and rub it into roots for a lift that lasts all day. [$16.50, LP Salons]
got2b Powder’ful Volumizing Styling Powder: This one is pretty much the budget version of True Grip, and while it isn’t as long-lasting as the pricier take, it definitely gets the job done — just dampen your hands and re-fluff during the day to revive your style. [$7.99, Folica]
Bumble & bumble Thickening Creme Contour: Bumble & bumble has never sold a product that hasn’t been outstanding, so you can be sure any of their releases are going to kill it at their respective games. The brand has added to their Thickening line with this pliable shaping cream, which melts into a lightweight paste that you can use to form waves or just scrunch through the ends for a lived-in effect. Also, maybe a “supple drape,” whatever that is. [$27, Sephora]
Living Proof Amp² Instant Texture Volumizer: If you’re lazy like me, this tacky cream is a lifesaver: you can rely on it to keep your hair looking rad for 48 hours after application. You can feel the fibers in the formula when you rub it between your hands to activate the product. Rub it into the under-sections of clean, dry hair and just, like, fluff it up. Fluff it up again when you wake up the next day, or any time you need to look like a freakin’ bombshell. [$24, Living Proof]