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How to add volume to fine, limp hair

Some people are blessed with naturally thick hair or bouncy curls. Others (like me!) lie limp like a dishrag. Over the years I’ve found ways to make it look thicker, and add that oh-so-desirable volume and swing. Many of these tips don’t require hours in front of the mirror, or constant blow drying (which actually damagers hair—and fine hair is more vulnerable than most). Read on for tested beauty tips.

Change where you part your hair

It’s a temporary fix, but it works: part your hair the opposite direction. You’ll need styling products or a clip to hold it in place. I like using cute barrettes or bobby pins: the small, delicate size doesn’t look too bulky on fine, limp hair.

Pay for a good hair cut

A good hair cut will save you God knows how much on styling products and blowdrying time. So go to a good salon and ask for a stylist who will study your hair and give you a cut that adds volume. As a rule, avoid razor cuts or heavy layers. Blunt cuts work for me, and artfully placed layers (again, you need a stylist who knows what he’s doing). Strategically placed highlights can also make your hair look thicker. You may want to get a perm, but only if your hair is healthy. Chemical treatments can damage hair, which means you lose the few strands you have!

Use volumizing shampoos and canditioners

Shampoos are formulated for different hair types. The ones for fine, limp hair has less conditioning agents, so they won’t weigh down your hair. However, you may notice your hair getting dry, especially if you use a lot of styling products. So deep-condition hair about once a week, or in the extra dry summer months, use a leave-in conditioner that’s formulated for dry hair.

You can also shampoo hair just every other day, or every three days. To get the grimy feeling out, use a dry shampoo on the days that you’re on a “shampoo break.”

Blowdry hair like a pro

You want to add volume to hair by “lifting” th roots. One trick is to flip your hair down and blow dry upside down. Some products can also add extra bounce, like volumizing mousse. It also helps to dry your hair in sections.

Here’s a common blow drying mistake: spraying too much styling product in a desperate attempt to hold hair in place. That actually weighs it down, and your hair will slump back by the middle of the day, if not by the time you walk out the door.

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