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Best hair thickening products 2024: Shampoos, conditioners and styling formulas to volumise fine hair

Add volume and fullness to fine, limp and flyaway hair with our pick of the best hair-thickening products

When imagining healthy hair, we often think of thick, shiny locks that grace billboards and catwalks. For many of us, however, the reality is a little flatter and finer – up to 56% of women say that lack of volume is their biggest hair disappointment. Fortunately, the best hair-thickening products can help to address this concern.

Many things can contribute to flat, fine or thinning hair, including hormonal changes, overall hair health and natural hair type and texture. But don’t despair: even if Mother Nature hasn’t given you the bouncy hair of your dreams, hair-thickening products can add volume by hydrating and strengthening each strand and boosting circulation to the scalp to improve growth. If your hair feels fine and limp, you’re not alone – UK sales of volumising hair products are now worth over £80 million per year.

So, which is the best hair-thickening product for you? We’ve sorted through the shampoos, conditioners and treatments to help you choose 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

Best thickening conditionerPaul Mitchell Lemon Sage Conditioner (~£20)Check price at Amazon
Best volumising shampooNexxus Diametress Shampoo (~£23)Check price at Amazon
Best serum for hair growthScandinavian Biolabs Hair Growth Serum (~£49)Check price at Amazon
Best thickening styling productOribe Maximista Thickening Spray (~£45)Check price at Amazon

How to choose the right hair thickening products for you

What causes limp, flat and thinning hair?

The texture of hair is a 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, 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 result from 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 down shedding (where the hair drops out of the follicle). If you’ve noticed recent changes to your hair’s density, call your GP to check if there’s an underlying physical cause that needs to be addressed.

How do hair-thickening products work?

Hair thickening products can’t change the natural texture or density of hair. What they can do, however, is nourish and hydrate the hair so that each 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 scalp’s surface so that, eventually, the new hair becomes thick and strong.

What else can help with fine and thinning hair?

A good haircut can help revive thinning hair by cutting away broken and flyaway ends. If your long hair is limp, 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 and those with silicones or pearlising agents that will make hair heavy and limp.

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

How we test hair-thickening products

We test all the hair-thickening products we review by using them as directed. If a product is recommended for a particular hair type, where possible, we will test on that type to provide an accurate assessment.

We start by reviewing the main ingredients of the shampoo, conditioner or styling product and note how easy and pleasant the product is to use – including aroma, the feel on the hair and scalp and any tingling we might experience. We then evaluate the effects on hair volume and feel after one use and with continued use over a week. For styling products, we note how long the effects of one application last and how much product is needed for one application.

The best hair thickening products you can buy in 2024:

Best shampoos:

1. Nexxus Diametress Shampoo: Best volumising shampoo

Price when reviewed: £23 | Check price at 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.

Including gentle cleansers and vitamin B5, Nexxus Diametress lifts hair from the roots without adding weight to the ends. A small amount delivers great results: massage into wet hair, leave in for a few minutes and then rinse out.

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

2. OGX Thick & Full Biotin & Collagen Shampoo: Best value hair-thickening shampoo

Price when reviewed: £6.99 | Check price at Lookfantastic 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 includes wheat protein to strengthen hair and help reduce breakage. Sulphate- 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 soft and bouncy, and definitely looking thicker – all for under a fiver.

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

3. Kerastase Densifique Bain Densite: Best thickening shampoo for stimulating hair growth

Price when reviewed: £28 | Check price at LookFantasticbest hair thickening products Kerastase Densifique Bain Densite on a white background

Hair that’s thinning owing to increased hair fall – a possible result of hormonal changes or the body’s natural ageing process – needs two things to improve its texture: moisture to plump up the cells of the hair itself and ingredients that stimulate hair growth and keep the hair on the head for longer. Kerastase’s Densifique contains both of these in the form of hydrating hyaluronic acid to bring hydration and volume to individual strands of hair and the topical hair-loss treatment, Stemoxydine. Stemoxydine stimulates hair growth by mimicking the anagen growth phase of the hair’s growth cycle, effectively tricking your hair into staying longer in this phase. It increases growth, reduces hair fall and keeps more hairs on the head, improving the overall thickness and density.

Kerastase’s Densifique shampoo also feels luxurious on the hair and scalp, emulsifying into a rich and creamy lather and leaving hair feeling nourished, soft and clean. For best results, apply a 50p-sized blob to wet hair and massage through – one application is enough to leave hair clean and refreshed – and rinse well before applying a hydrating conditioner. The Fondant Densite conditioner in the same range also includes hyaluronic acid to improve strength and volume.

Key specs – Product type: Shampoo; Quantity: 250ml

Check price at LookFantastic

4. Christophe Robin Cleansing Volumising Paste: Best volumising shampoo for greasy hair

Price when reviewed: £40 | Check price at John Lewis 

Have you ever heard of shampoo paste? We hadn’t either until we got our hands on this Christophe Robin Cleansing Volumising Paste. Granted, we didn’t know what to do with it at first, since it arrives in a mask-like tub, but we figured it out; it isn’t rocket science. Scoop out a tablespoon-sized dollop and apply to your head as you would any other shampoo – and on using it, we quickly realised the reason this product comes in at the higher end of the price scale. Delivering a superior clean with just one application, as opposed to the regular double shampooings we’re used to, we immediately felt its thickening effects.

One common culprit for flat and lifeless hair is grease that can weigh hair down. This paste zaps hair oil into oblivion, leaving nothing but a squeaky-clean scalp and a spa-like scent. Some customers couldn’t get past the fact that it doesn’t come in the regular squeezy or pump bottle, while others felt like it was too much for their dry hair. However, for those with oily hair that’s limp, difficult to style and requires washing daily, this is definitely worth a try.

Key specs – Product type: Cleansing paste; Quantity: 250ml

The best hair thickening products you can buy in 2024:

Best conditioners:

5. Paul Mitchell Lemon Sage Conditioner: : Best thickening conditioner

Price when reviewed: £24 | Check price at Lookfantastic The usual advice for fine hair is to avoid rich conditioners, since 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, while leaving the rest of your head of hair full of body.

A firm favourite among hairstylists and beauty editors, it also strengthens locks and boosts shine. The product leaves hair smelling lovely and fresh, with its fragrance lingering all day. Plus, you won’t need much of it, so the bottle should last you a while.

Key specs – Product type: Conditioner; Quantity: 300ml

6. Kiehl’s Rice & Wheat Volumizing Conditioning Rinse: Best conditioner for thin hair

Price when reviewed: £24 | Check price at John Lewis  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 specs – Product type: Conditioning rinse; Quantity: 200ml

Check price at John Lewis

7. Aveda Invati Advanced Thickening Conditioner: Best strengthening conditioner

Price when reviewed: £30 | Check price at LookFantasticbest hair thickening products Aveda Invati Advanced Thickening Conditioner on a white background

Hair that appears thinning owing to breakage requires strengthening products to promote growth and increase fullness and density. Aveda Ivati Thickening Conditioner does just that, using an aromatic blend of botanicals, including ginseng and turmeric, to replenish and strengthen hair, helping it grow. Coconut and kukui nut oils add moisture and shine, and caffeine extract stimulates circulation to the scalp to boost growth at the root.

Hair feels soft and slightly thicker owing to the moisture boost immediately after use. With regular use, you should see reduced breakage and improvement in the hair’s strength and overall density in around three months. It is a great-smelling product that adds moisture while feeling light and non-greasy on the hair.

Key specs – Product type: Conditioner; Quantity: 200ml (also available in 40ml travel size and 400ml)

The best hair thickening products you can buy in 2024:

Best shampoo and conditioning duos:

8. Noughty Get Set, Grow Thickening Shampoo and Conditioner: Best shampoo/conditioner duo

Price when reviewed: £16 | Check price at John LewisThe 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 fresh scent and feels gently tingly on the scalp on applying; 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 specs – Product type: Shampoo and conditioner; Quantity: 250ml

Check price at John Lewis

9. Grow Gorgeous Intense Shampoo and Conditioner: Best hair thickening shampoo/conditioner duo

Price when reviewed: £30 | Check price at Lookfantastic Once you’ve tried any item from the Grow Gorgeous Intense range, we’re certain that you’ll be hooked for the scent alone. Although this isn’t the only reason to pick up the Intense shampoo and conditioner, it’s a noteworthy mention since it’s absolutely delectable and lingers in your hair right up until the next wash. This duo is made with the brand’s richly nourishing and thickening hair formula that includes a mix of super ingredients such as keratin, caffeine, biotin, amino acids, niacinamide and rice protein.

The shampoo deep cleans from the scalp through to the ends of the hair, delivering nutrients to both the scalp and strands. It’s designed to nurture and strengthen hair, boost elasticity to reduce breakage and enhance shine. The conditioner works alongside the shampoo to fortify locks and make them stronger and thicker, while maintaining softness. What’s more, the formula also includes ingredients that stimulate the hair follicles to promote hair growth. Having used the duo for a fortnight, we found our tresses felt soft and smooth, yet fuller and more manageable – and did we mention the divine smell?

Key specs – Product type: Shampoo and conditioner; Quantity: 250ml each

The best hair thickening products you can buy in 2024:

Best treatments:

10. Grow Gorgeous Intense Hair Growth Serum: Best serum for fine, thinning hair

Price when reviewed: £45 | Check price at Lookfantastic Sporting the same amazing fragrance as the shampoo and conditioner in Grow Gorgeous’s Intense range, this Hair Growth Serum promises to restore limp, lacklustre and thinning hair into a full-bodied and youthful barnet. The product is vegan, gluten-free and also free from parabens, sulphates, silicones, and phthalates. It’s made with a cocktail of biomimetic peptide, Chinese skullcap, organic pea sprout extract, red clover extract, caffeine and larch tree green tea. These ingredients stimulate the roots to boost blood flow and encourage hair growth.

When embarking on a hair growth treatment journey, it can take anywhere from six months to a year to see significant results. However, having used just a bottle of this stuff (10–20 drops from the included dropper after each wash, three times a week), we could definitely notice baby hairs around the hairline sprouting. The formula is lightweight and doesn’t leave the hair greasy. Men can use it, too, although the scent might prove too feminine for some.

Key specs – Product type: Hair growth serum; Quantity: 60ml

11. Scandinavian Biolabs Bio-Pilixin® Activation Serum: Best serum for hair growth

Price when reviewed: £49 | Check price at Amazon A naturally derived, vegan hair treatment from Scandinavian Biolabs, this formula comprises niacinamide, aloe vera and Scandinavian Biolabs’ own proprietary Capilia Longa compound that’s been clinically proven to improve hair growth while boosting strength and thickness.

Apply using the special pipette, massage into the scalp and leave overnight before rinsing in the morning. 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 to hair growth after 4–5 months. This version is particularly designed for women, but a version for men is also available.

Key specs – Product type: Treatment serum; Quantity: 100ml

The best hair thickening products you can buy in 2024:

Best styling products:

12. Oribe Maximista Thickening Spray: Best thickening spray

Price when reviewed: £45 | Check price at Amazon No time to wash your hair before a night out, but want to get rid of flyaways? Simply spritz this product 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, it’s worth the compromise for gloriously full locks with minimum effort.

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

13. Aveda Thickening Tonic: Best thickening blow-dry lotion

Price when reviewed: £27 | Check price at 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 right from the roots through to the tips.

The tonic comes in a compact bottle, which you’ll be able to throw into a bag for boosting volume while you’re out and about. 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 specs – Product type: Blow-dry lotion; Quantity: 100ml

Check price at John Lewis

14. Bumble and Bumble Thickening Full Form Mousse: Best hair-thickening mousse

Price when reviewed: £31 | Check price at LookFantastic  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 specs– Product type: Mousse; Quantity: 150ml

Check price at LookFantastic

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