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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