Thursday, May 11, 2006

Looking for ways to make fine hair look fuller?

There are certain hair cuts that make fine hair look a lot better, but first, you should understand what fine hair really is, because it's not necessarily thin. "Fine" refers to the diameter of a single strand. So, you can have fine hair that's abundant, because you can have many individual strands per square inch.
You can also have fine and thin or thinning hair, which means you've got strands that are small in diameter and you don't have a lot of them. Age, diet, stress, medication and other factors can make fine but abundant hair begin to thin, and appear sparse in density.
While the degree to which hair is fine or both fine and sparse determines the best cut for you, as a general rule, it's true that when hair is shorter and almost all a single length, it'll look its fullest.
The top five cuts for any type of fine hair are:
The Bob - A short bob (ear-lobe length) will make your hair look super-healthy and about twice as abundant as it really is.
The Chop - in basic bob-length with irregular ends. Will give fine, sparse hair both style and shape and will be easy to maintain, when cut above the shoulders. It worked lots better than a totally blunt cut, which will look limp and lack dimension.
The Cap Cut –A bang cut. Best for petite or oval facial shapes.
The Crop - which really refers to any short, tapered cut. Crops look cool on younger women; if you're over 45, watch out for what they do to your chin and neckline in profile. Also, short crops put so much focus on your eyes; they draw attention to less than flawless skin.
The Lightly Layered Mid-length - You can go just to or even below the shoulder with a smart shape and regular trims. It brushes the shoulders, and is cut on a slightly diagonal-forward moving line at the sides and contains a few, light layers, which provide volume when you blow dry your hair.
In Addition
If your hair is fine but abundant, your hair will look thicker and fuller:
With some layers. While you can wear your hair to shoulder-length, or even longer if you wish, a few carefully cut layers will add fullness and dimension. However, if too many layers are cut in, the shape of the cut will collapse, which can make fine hair look thin and lifeless.
If your hair is both fine and thin or thinning (sparse):
Stylists say a short cut is best, but how short is too short? This depends largely on your facial shape. If its round, go with a longer, short cut to slenderize your face. If it's elongated, create the illusion of width with fullness at bottom. If it's diamond-shaped, keep the length below widest part of your face. Of course, there are plenty of times you'll want to break these old rules, which were created to "downplay flaws." If you've got confidence and attitude, you can even look great highlighting a feature that has been traditionally downplayed.
Wear your hair smooth and close to your head, with the ends flipped up or under. Try cuts that were intended to be worn behind your ears. This naturally makes it look like you've got more hair.
An asymmetric style makes it look like you have more hair. The cut stacks up on the heavy side and lighter side is supposed to look like less. Tuck the lighter side behind your ear and all that fullness on heavier side stands out even more.
If you like a longer look, get trims religiously. Fine hair looks its worst when it starts to lose the shape of the cut and the first sign is straggly, ragged ends.
Five Great Hair Thickening Products That Really Work:
Rather than using roller sets and styling techniques that create the illusion of thicker hair, there are a large number of products that come in complete product lines that include a shampoo, conditioner, and styling products especially for fine, thin or thinning hair.
Listed are the top five products that fatten up fine hair, all on their own. If you like the product and the company also offers an entire line, obviously it's worth trying.
Styling Infusion Thickening Crème from Graham Webb. This product is part of a "System," but on its own, just a dime-sized amount makes fine, sparse hair look fuller and feel thicker. It takes a little getting used to, Even though you're supposed to activate the product with heat, it adds thickness even when combed through the hair, put your hair up and allow it to air dry.
Basic Texture's Be Thick Thickening Hair Crème from Graham Webb. Webb's Basic Texture product line includes a "Be Thick" shampoo, conditioner, thickening & texturizing spray gel, and the hair crème. The crème had more body/fullness benefits than actual fattening-up-each-strand action, like my Number One choice, but it still is an excellent product--especially if you have fine but somewhat abundant hair. Webb Rules!
ARTec Textureline Volume Gel. While this product is more of a traditional voluminizer than an individual-strand fattener, I love it because: it works; it leaves your hair manageable, full and shiny; and the way it leaves my hair feeling is more like the way I'm used to it feeling--soft, not rough. If you blow dry regularly or want a dab of gel to mix with water and mist onto a Velcro set, this is the product to use.
KMS' AMP, Volume Leave-in Thickening Cream. AMP is another high-tech product that actually makes a difference, but I'd add a caution--be careful you don't use too much. Just a pea-sized amount might be enough for your hair, and always emulsify the product between your palms before applying, like the directions say.
While everyone has styling tricks that make fine hair look better, here are a few that are easy for anyone, and work especially well with a great, fine-hair cut and the new thickening products.
One of the simplest ways to get full-looking locks, root lift and volume is to let your hair dry on top of your head. Because roots dry upward, the lift lasts! The only drawback: this home trick requires you have enough time to let hair air dry. After shampooing, use a super wide-toothed comb to remove tangles, working from the ends, up. Then comb through a voluminizer like ARTec's Volume Gel or your favorite hair thickener. Comb hair straight up, and secure it on top or curve the ends smoothly and clip them in place. You can also make a top ponytail and twist all your hair until it buckles back. This gives you volume and texture, but even fine, thin hair takes a while to dry this way. You can cheat by blow drying when hair is still damp, or occasionally re-wrapping hair to expose different sections to the surface air.
Dry and style in two steps. Use high heat on your blow dryer to get most the water out of your hair, then apply styling products and begin styling when hair is 80% dry. The more water you remove from your hair before you begin styling, the more likely it will hold the style and look full. It's absolutely true.
If you want extra volume, start by lifting the roots straight up or out with a round brush while your head is held upright. This gives you lots more lift that you get from hanging your head upside down, because you're using more tension and creating the amount of firm, root lift you want.
Fine hair looks thicker with a darker hair color; if it's light blonde, it looks thinner. If your hair is actually thinning and light blonde, you risk scalp show-through. You can add brightness, lightness and dimension by getting surface highlights. When highlights contrast against a dark base, hair looks thicker and more dimensional.

You've probably heard that you should use lower blow dry settings(less heat) for fine hair, so you don't "scorch" or heat-damage hair. The truth is, it matters more your hair is exposed to heat for less time. So, use high heat and dry your hair faster. Don't use a lower setting and expose your hair to heat for a much longer period of time. If you use curling irons or crimpers, use only as much heat as you need, for only as long as you need. Frankly, there are better, safer styling tools for fine hair.
There are some great body-building shampoos out there that make a genuine difference (Matrix Amplify, ARTec volume) and you should generally favor them. When it comes to conditioning, say yes, but concentrate on conditioning your ends. Occasionally bring conditioner up to the top and scalp, and then rinse immediately. Of course, with new conditioners specifically for fine hair, the only way to discover how they'll act on your hair is to experiment.

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