My Favorite Hair Products for Fine, Thin Hair

I’ve had some questions recently about the hair products I use for my fine, thin hair, and I finally got around to writing a post about it! But first, a little history… and a disclaimer.

My hair has always been fine and thin, but thankfully it has a lot of natural volume, and I’ve always liked it best when it’s a little longer than shoulder-length.

But after I had my 3rd child, I started to struggle with excessive thinning, and I finally had to cut it and wear it short. I still look at my hair in this post from 2011 and feel sick to my stomach.

I never got any sure-fire answers as to why that happened to my hair or why it got better, but I had a lot of digestive issues at the time, and I’d spent the majority of the previous 12 years either pregnant or breastfeeding. Plus, I didn’t have the healthiest diet back then. I think my body was severely exhausted and depleted of nutrients.

After running all the tests and coming up with nothing besides GERD and gastritis, I changed my diet to more real foods and less processed crap, and my digestive health gradually improved.

Eventually I was able to grow my hair back to shoulder length, but it was still quite thin – not as bad as that picture back in 2011, but thinner than I’d like, especially in the front and around my temples.

Which brings me to my disclaimer: Not all the hair you see here is mine.

Last winter, I decided to get extensions. I tried a halo style first, and I liked the look, so I ended up getting natural beaded rows. They’re basically sewn in, for lack of a better explanation, and I get them moved up every 6-8 weeks.

My extensions are pretty much the same length as my natural hair, which I’ve finally been able to grow out a bit more to the length where I like it best. They just give me some extra fullness and volume.

That said, I still use pretty much the same hair products and tools that I have for the past few years, since I still have to take good care of my fine, thin hair. The main exception is shampoo and conditioner, but I didn’t switch those due to my new extensions; I was just feeling like it was time for a change.

And now we can talk about what I use on my hair! Sorry for the lengthy intro, but it would be disingenuous to talk about these hair products as if I don’t use anything else to give the appearance of thicker hair. And I know a lot of you have followed my “hair saga” for many years, and I knew you’d want to know all the details!

My Favorite Hair Products for Fine, Thin Hair

Oligo Professional Calura Moisture Balance Cleanser Shampoo // For years, I used MONAT shampoo and conditioner, which I can’t link because it’s an MLM. I was always happy with it, and I still buy their sample sizes when I can find them (they don’t always sell them) because they’re perfect for travel.

But this Oligo Moisture Balance Shampoo is what the hairdresser who does my extensions recommends for my hair type, and I like it a lot. It’s very gentle and safe for color-treated hair, and all Oligo products are sulfate and paraben free.

Oligo Professional Calura Moisture Balance Conditioner // This is the conditioner that my hair dresser recommended to go along with the shampoo, and I like that it doesn’t weigh down my fine, thin hair. Even though I have extensions, they are attached underneath my natural hair, so all you see on top is my own hair, and it’s important that I keep it healthy and shiny so it supports the extra volume provided by the extensions.

Davines Naturaltech REPLUMPING Leave-In Treatment // My regular hairdresser (who is different from the one who does my extensions) has been with me for many, many years. She is the one I referenced in that post about my thinning hair back in 2011.

She knows my hair intimately (haha!) and she’s the one who recommended this Davines replumping product. I buy it at her salon, but you can also find it on Amazon. Not only does this leave-in spray smell divine, it gives my fine hair more texture, and it makes it feel and look thicker.

I used it religiously before I got my extensions, and while I don’t feel the need for it as much now, I still use it sometimes because I like how it makes my hair feel. It’s like it has more substance to it, or something. It’s hard to describe, but this is a great product if you want something to give fine hair the appearance of extra fullness.

KERASTASE Resistance Hair Serum and Blow Dry Primer // My regular hairdresser also recommended this product to me, even though they don’t even sell it in her salon. It’s that good! In fact, all Kerastase products are good and come highly recommended by many haircare professionals.

This is a cream, rather than a spray, and I use this every time I dry my hair because it helps protect from the heat of the hair dryer. It’s also supposed to repair and restore damaged hair, prevent breakage, and enhance shine. I feel like it sort of locks the ends of my hair and makes them feel more substantial.

Again, I am terrible at describing this sort of thing. This is why I usually stick to fashion! All that to say, I love both of these hair styling products, and I won’t be without them.

COLOR WOW Dream Coat Supernatural Spray // Now this one, I haven’t used much since getting my extensions, although I still have it. It works best if it’s used regularly (they recommend every 2 or 3 shampoos), so I really need to either commit to using it or ditch it, but I wanted to mention it because I LOVE how glossy and shiny it makes my hair look.

It also wicks out humidity and leaves it looking silky and smooth. It’s almost like using a straightening iron on your hair. In fact, now that I think about it, I stopped using it regularly when I got my Dyson Corrale, not my extensions. At any rate, it’s a great product if you struggle with frizz and/or dullness.

Living Proof Perfect Hair Day Dry Shampoo // When I need a dry shampoo to extend my hair one more day, Living Proof is the gold standard, in my opinion. There’s a reason why it has a cult-following. It absorbs quickly, soaks up dirt and oil, and doesn’t leave my hair feeling sticky and gross.

It also doesn’t leave a terrible white cast on my dark roots, although I do have to be careful not to overdo it, and to rub it in really good.

Before you ask, yes it has a strong scent, and I don’t care. Scents are such a personal thing, so I can’t promise you this one won’t be offensive to you, but it doesn’t bother me. If you are bothered by them, my best advice is to buy the trial size and give it a try.

If you don’t like it, I’m sure you can find someone to take it off your hands. I can’t keep mine in my bathroom; for some reason, it always ends up in one of my daughters’ rooms!

My Favorite Hair Tools

Dyson Supersonic Hairdryer with Attachments // I’ve written a whole post about if the Dyson hair dryer is worth it, so I don’t want to reinvent the wheel here, but I will just say this has been a game changer with my hair. I know it’s crazy expensive, but I would buy it again in a heartbeat if mine broke.

This hairdryer driers my hair dries faster than any other I’ve tried, which matters a lot more now that I have extensions. If you have thick hair, you will really notice the difference. It also uses less heat, and it makes my hair look and feel smoother and bouncier and overall healthier than it has in years. The difference was noticeable the first time I used it, and I believe it helped improve my hair health over time.

I use that wide-tooth comb attachment to give it extra volume as I start the drying process, and the styling concentrator once it’s mostly dry to style it with a big round brush. Which leads me to my next tried and true hair tool…

BIO IONIC Bluewave Conditioning Brush // This brush was recommended to me by a hair dresser many moons ago, and I’ve replaced mine a few times over the years because I like it so much. In fact, I recently purchased a second one to keep in my travel bag, since I forgot to pack mine when I went to Italy.

This hairbrush is infused with NanoIonic mineral to add condition and shine, and I think also helps control frizz, but I don’t pretend to understand the physics behind it. I just know I like how it styles my hair. It also has a comfortable handle that I find easy to maneuver.

Olivia Garden Brush Cleaner // I use this little gizmo to clean and extend the life of my hairbrushes. I know you can use a comb, which I’ve done over the years, but this works so much better.

Dyson Corrale Hair Styling Iron // And finally, this is what I use to smooth and curl my hair, depending on how I want to wear it that day. Some days I wear it straight without using the styling iron, but I usually at least give it a few swipes because it helps cut down on frizz throughout the day.

It heats up super fast, you can control the temperature, and it’s really gentle on your hair. I also love that you can charge this styling iron and use it cord-free, or if you forget to charge it, you can plug it right into the wall and use it that way.

Again, I realize these products are pricey; but I’ve learned over the years that you really do get what you pay for when it comes to hair styling products and tools. Plus, my hair is so fragile, and I’ve struggled so much with hair loss and damage that I’m willing to spend the extra to keep it healthy and strong.

I’m sure there are other options that work very well, but this is what I’m currently using on my hair. I hope it’s helpful, even if you just find one new item to try. At the very least, everyone who uses a hairbrush should have that Olivia Garden Brush Cleaner!

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26 Responses

  1. I appreciate your honesty. Can you share how you changed your diet and what you eat now? Take care and thanks for sharing!

    1. I don’t eat as well as I used to, but I still avoid all soda, artificial colors and sugars, I try to keep sugary desserts to a minimum. I really need to get back to eating more veggies and cooking more meals, but the goal is more of a real food diet, shop the perimeter, etc.

      I wrote a TON of posts on real food living back in the day. This is a recap and this one is sort of my health journey.

  2. Fine hair here as well, was using a seawood based product by Aveeno which was discontinued. Already put this in my cart. Thanks for the tip

  3. Hair extensions?! You’ve been holding out! lol But thanks for sharing. I’m looking forward to trying a couple of items for frizz control. I have thin, fine, curly hair! Uugghhh the struggle with frizz here in Southern Louisiana is unreal Love Living Proof dry shampoo. I’m usually very sensitive to strong, perfumy odors but this one doesn’t bother me at all.

  4. Thank you for this post. I’ve always had thin hair but it seems more so lately. I so appreciate your honesty about extensions and I’m intrigued. If you are able to share, do you also die your hair to hide the gray? Do they work ok with that?

  5. It’s common for women’s hair to thin after child birth and the texture to change. Mine got wavier after each child. It does the same in menopause 😬

    Living Proof’s heat protectant is a good one too. It doesn’t have a heavy perfume smell.

  6. I’m still thinking about pulling the trigger on that Dyson dryer. Been buying too many clothes lately but next time I have extra money, I might have to do it. I feel like my home blowouts look fine, but could be better. I’m blessed with thick hair that has a lot of natural volume, but it does have a tendency to frizz, and it’s also long so takes time to blow out. It was interesting reading about your hair journey!

  7. I just wanted to comment that your hair looks great, I would never have known you had extensions. I sent this over to a couple friends who also have thin hair just to show what you are using and having luck with. I have the total opposite problem; my hair is super thick, which is why I keep it short

  8. Thanks for sharing all this information. My hair thinned after menopause too. I wore my hair shorter in the past in a bob too. I don’t like some of those pictures either. Lol. I’m using a laser comb for hair growth. I only use it in the front because that’s where it’s thinner. I can’t tell if there’s a difference yet. It doesn’t work for everyone. I’m going to try the products you use. I want to especially try the replumping leave in treatment.

  9. Forgive me if this is a dumb question, but the Dyson hairdryer looks like a donut to me. Is it hollow in the middle and where does the air come out? Is is powerful enough with enough hot air to quickly dry regular hair or is it mostly beneficial to thin hair?
    TIA 🙂

    1. It is hollow in the middle, there are vents around the circle where the attachments magnetize onto it, and that is where the air comes out. The motor is in the handle, so I believe the air swirls around in the “head” and that is part of the ingenuity of design. You can find articles on the design that are pretty interesting. Dyson was a pioneer with redesigning the traditional hair dryer (which all worked the same way until he invented this one), although of course now there are dupes.

      And it absolutely works well on thicker hair, I think that is where you really appreciate the faster drying time. Before extensions, it didn’t make much difference to me b/c my hair didn’t take long to dry no matter what I used. Now with these extensions, it really makes a difference. When I used the T3 in Italy, I realized how much! Plus, the ease of changing and adjusting the attachments. I had forgotten how cumbersome they were on the T3.

      1. Okay wow- sounds very cool. We have a Dyson vacuum and love it….. must be a similar high tech design. I’m keeping this as a maybe purchase for the future. Right now I’m pretty low maintenance with my hair (Revlon hair dryer, Revlon curling iron 😆) and I go to the salon every 6 weeks for highlights/color and every 12 for a cut or a trim. Obviously I’ve heard you sing the praises of the Dyson many times over the years and seems like a lot of your followers love it too. I just spent $600 for a 3-month membership to a Pilates studio so the hair dryer will have to wait. Thanks JoLynne!

  10. Thank you for sharing the fact that you have extensions, your hair looks great! I struggle with fine-thin hair and have considered them but my stylist recommends against them as she said they will ultimately damage my hair. I am curious if you have had this conversation with your stylist and if feel confident that they are safe for your hair. Also, you are usually very open so wonder if you could share how long the process takes, and the price range for the service. It feels like such a big step.


    1. I was very concerned about the potential for damage, but everything I’ve read says the kind I have aren’t a problem. My hair dresser always moves them a little higher or lower on my head when moving them up so they aren’t stressing the same hair for a long period of time, which she says is best practice. So far, I haven’t had any issues.

      It takes about an hour to remove them and move them up, a little longer if she washes and dries it in between. I get it colored at another salon, which isn’t necessary, but I didn’t want to leave my regular hairdresser, who I’ve seen for years, but I could have it done all at once.

      The price range varies a lot by region, from what I understand, and it also depends on the salon or the stylist you use. Mine are a lot less expensive than others I’ve talked to, and I’m not sure why, so it’s best to ask around where you live.

  11. Thank you for the post! I would have never guessed you have extensions. I have the Dyson hair dryer too and love it! It was a gift last year for Christmas and I am asking for the Corrale this year. 😁 I had already ordered the WOW product (based on a previous post) and not sure about it either…Also, can I or should I use any other styling product with the Kerastase before drying my hair?
    Thanks again!!

  12. Im in the same boat as you! I’m trying to grow my hair out but it’s so fine,thin, and oily. I’ve never had long hair so I’m attempting to grow it out! How often do you wash your hair? I used to everyday but I’m trying to get it down to 2-3 days for less breakage. But now in starting to break out. I don’t know what to do. Do you have any tips or recommendations? Thanks!

  13. My hair as I’ve aged has become even more fine thin and frizzy… Unfortunately I’m constantly loosing more…My hair is below shoulder length…Idk even how to style it anymore…so I just throw it in a ponytail EVERYDAY…UGHHHHH…PLEASE HELP

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