We have a lot of customers looking for hair accessories that work in fine hair. So we talk to women every day about the issues they have with their hair being so fine and how it looks.
If you've got fine hair you know how frustrating it is to look in the mirror and see your hair clinging to your head or hanging down in an unimpressive curtain. Wouldn't it be wonderful to have masses of swishy hair that actually looked like something when you wore it up or styled it?
The shampoo companies know your feelings of frustration. They feel your pain. So, voila, they found a solution for you. Volumising shampoo.
But how do these work and are they any good for your hair?
Thicker Hair? Or More Magic-In-A-Bottle?
These volumising products do make your hair thicker and they work in one of two ways.
1. They coat your hair, or
2. They swell your hair
Coating the hair
The original volumising products from a few years back, coating was the common solution. Like conditioner, a fine layer of sticky molecules would be deposited along the length of each hair.
So your hair was fractionally thicker. It felt thicker when you touched it. But only by a microscopic amount. You couldn't double the thickness of your hair this way.
Plus the coating weighs your hair down, contributing to the limp feeling that some fine hair has. The end result would be hair that felt thicker, but didn't really look thicker.
Swelling the hair
Now, the most common volumising products work by swelling the hair. This is basically done by attracting and trapping more moisture in the centre of the hair. This sounds harmless, but it isn't.
The structure of your hair is very spongy. You know yourself how much heavier your hair feels when you take a shower and your hair is completely saturated with water. Your hair can hold a lot of fluid.
However, your hair is also very exposed and more susceptible to damage when it is swollen because the cuticle is flexed out and disturbed from its protective closed shape that it takes when the hair is completely dry. To have hair that is dry and "blown up" means your cuticle is roughed up, and its edges are easily chipped and broken.
Using volumising products on a daily basis will damage and weaken your hair.
Saying all this, fine hair with a roughed up cuticle can be less slippery and easier to style. If you don't have ambitions to have very long hair and the shininess of your hair isn't important to you, then volumising products (or indeed any styling or treatment that ruffles the cuticle, such as perming or dying) might be the solution you are looking for.
However, if you want to grow your hair past shoulder length and you want your hair to be naturally shiny, then you must protect the cuticle of your hair. In this situation, I would not recommend volumising products for your hair.
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