I Tried It: Every Hair Volumizer in the Beauty Closet

Sick of her fine, flat hair (her words!), FLARE’s senior features editor Rachel Heinrichs tests the new plumping products on the market

I had a boyfriend once who loved it when my ears poked through my fine, fine baby hair. He said I looked like a sexy elf, which I guess was his thing. Whatever does it for you? My hair definitely doesn’t do it for me. When gathered into a bun, it resembles a Timbit on top of my head. Air-drying isn’t an option unless I want to show off my scalp and/or look like the kid from Dazed and Confused (see below). And stylists almost always go for the chin-length bob, giving me some version of “You could grow it past your shoulders but, uummm…it’s not that it would look bad…it’s just that it would look tattered and sloppy and the wispy ends would make it unmanageable and you wouldn’t like it. But, you know, we could try it…”

Wiley Wiggins, my fine-haired brother from another mother; and me (learning to weave a basket) with air-dried hair.

Wiley Wiggins, my fine-haired brother from another mother; and me (learning to weave a basket) with air-dried hair.

If you have fine hair, you’ve likely bitched these same bitches a million times, and if you have super-thick or curly hair, you probably lust after silky locks and would prefer I shut the hell up. Such is the chronic follicular dissatisfaction experienced by all but a handful of lucky women (see: the hair-smug Lainey). And with mane malaise comes products. So. Many. Products.

I recently pilfered FLARE’s well-stocked beauty closet for every bottle marked “volumizing,” “thickening,” and “plumping.” After three weeks of testing, I learned that serious jeujing is about developing a regime with more steps than a South Korean skincare routine. There are serums, primers, supplements, texturizers and texturizer–dry shampoo hybrids, stuff that penetrates each shaft and puffs it up from the inside, and a bunch of new treatments that aim to slow shedding so you have more hair on your head. The trick is finding a combo that leaves hair luminous and light, but a little gritty, without feeling tacky or heavy.

Click through to see all the hair volumizers I tried—and which ones helped my mane adequately cover my elfin ears.


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