Our hair can be a fickle thing. One day it seems to fall perfectly, shine beautifully, and radiate health, and another it feels out of place, flat, and lifeless. Volume is one of those attributes that always seems to show up on good hair days, and is something everyone wants.
So what is hair volume in the first place, how do our daily activities affect it, and how do we get it to stay for good?
There are a number of things that affect the health and appearance of our hair, volume included. Let’s dive into the science behind hair volume to better understand why we lose it and how we can get it back with things like diet changes and hair volume spray.
What Does Hair Volume Mean?
Hair volume is how much body hair has. It is typically thought of as how much lift there is at the root, how full hair appears, and how thick it feels. Natural volume is determined by how many hair follicles grow per square inch of area on one’s scalp and the thickness of those follicles.
Hair volume is highly influenced by the hair growth cycle, as well as lifestyle and genetic factors that influence that cycle. Hormonal changes, diet changes, stress, and even weather can alter your hair growth cycle and make hair feel thinner and/or lacking body. This explains why you may experience full, voluminous hair at certain times and not at others. However, you also may have fewer hair follicles and/or thinner follicles based on your genes.
Signs of Healthy Hair Volume
Hair comes in a variety of textures, lengths, and types. Healthy volume for one person doesn’t necessarily mean healthy volume for another person. However, there are signs anyone can look for that signal healthy hair follicles that contribute to healthy hair volume:
- Your hair can achieve greater lengths
- Your hair seems consistent all over your scalp
- You aren’t losing abnormal amounts of hair in the shower or on your pillowcase
Signs of Loss of Hair Volume
There are also signs your hair may be thinning, or that you may be battling temporary or more serious conditions that lead to hair loss. It’s important to take notice of these signs and see a dermatologist if you think your case would benefit from medical attention. Signs of a loss in hair volume include:
- Your ponytail feels thinner and lighter when you pull your hair back
- You do notice excessive amounts of hair left on your pillowcase, in your brush, or in the shower
- You begin to see an area or spots of balding on your scalp
- Your part becomes wider
Keep in mind these signs won’t appear overnight. As you begin to notice them, notice if they continue and/or heighten. While many women experience hair thinning at some point during their life, it is often just a brief disruption in the hair growth cycle.
Let’s get to the root of the issue and what you can do to increase hair volume if you are experiencing a loss of volume.
Does Hair Lose Volume with Age?
As we age, our body undergoes a lot of changes, and that includes our hair. Hair naturally thins with age due to decreased estrogen. This causes hair growth to slow and hair follicles to shrink and eventually stop growing hair. This is a natural process that will cause everyone to lose some volume as they age.
What Causes Loss of Hair Volume?
Your hair may be experiencing a loss of volume for a few reasons, but medically (yes, this is a medical issue), the conditions boil down to either androgenic thinning or telogen effluvium. What do these conditions mean?
- Androgenic Thinning: This is when the hair follicles shrink due to increased sensitivity which causes reduced volume.
- Telogen Effluvium: This is when hair falls out prematurely, typically due to a shock to the system, which causes excessive shedding. Normally, a person loses 80 to 100 hairs per day, but someone with telogen effluvium may lose up to 300 hairs per day.
The above are the most common causes of temporary hair loss, but the following conditions can also lead to permanent hair loss without medical attention:
- Androgenic alopecia
- A hereditary condition
- Alopecia areata
- An auto-immune disease
Here, we are going to focus on the temporary conditions that you can address from home. If you are experiencing a loss of hair volume, one or all of these causes may be the culprit:
Diet plays an important role in hair health. In order for hair follicles to produce more hair strands, the body needs nutrients such as protein, which hair is made up of, and vitamin D, an essential vitamin to stimulate hair growth. Other vitamins and minerals including zinc, selenium, biotin, and omega-3 fatty acids are also great for promoting hair health. If you aren’t getting these nutrients from your diet, it could be impacting your hair volume.
Thinning hair can also be the result of a hormonal imbalance. Some events such as pregnancy, giving birth, or going off of birth control, and conditions such as a thyroid imbalance, and polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), can all cause changes in hair volume. Typically, though, hair can recover within 6-9 months after giving birth or seeking treatment.
Stress affects us more than we think, including our hair. It can cause the excessive shedding we mentioned above. Stress can also cause some people to pull out their hair, which also leads to thinning. The good news is, this is usually temporary and your hair can recover as long as you take action to address the stress in your life and avoid pulling out your hair.
Is it Possible to Increase Hair Volume?
We get it, lackluster hair isn’t only about appearance. It can affect how we feel about ourselves, reducing our overall confidence. Thankfully, it is possible to increase hair volume (pause for applause). With a detailed look at diet, a few simple self-care practices, and the right products, your hair can experience greater volume and you can give your confidence a boost too.
Here are some ideas to increase hair volume if you have thin or fine hair.
Improve Your Diet
The first step to increasing hair volume is to attempt to address the root cause. One way to do this is through diet. If you are experiencing a loss in volume due to poor nutrition, improving your diet can have incredible benefits on your hair, not only for volume but also for breakage, shine, dullness, and more.
Reach for protein-rich foods such as eggs, which also contain the healthy-hair vitamin, biotin, and fish, which also contain omega-3 fatty acids that could help improve hair health. Both of these foods contain vitamin D as well, which, as we mentioned above, is essential for stimulating hair growth.
Massage Your Scalp
Of course, not all of the causes of decreased volume can be solved, but there are actions you can take to combat their effects. One of which is to massage your scalp. A good scalp massage in the shower can be great to help promote hair growth. Plus, it feels great and can help ease stress. Consider giving yourself a scalp massage when applying a treatment like our Revitalizing Treatment. This treatment is made to help you improve the appearance of thinning hair, thanks to our Healthy Follicle Complex™. A healthy scalp is a happy scalp. It’s more than scalp care, it’s self-care too.
Use Volume-Enhancing Hair Products
Another way to increase hair body and fullness is with hair volume products. If you’re battling thinning hair or your hair is just naturally thin and a bit flat, products formulated for fullness will be your ride-or-dies. If you have straight hair and want dimension, consider a volumizing shampoo such as our Full Shampoo to prep your hair for maximum fullness and body. Follow it with our Full Conditioner for a combination that will transform fine, flat hair to look, feel and behave like naturally full, thick hair.
For even more volume, use Full Root Lift at your hair roots on damp hair and a blow dryer and a round brush to style your hair. The result? Natural-looking, long-lasting volume at the root for anyone looking for the ultimate lift, whether you have fine hair, curly hair, thick hair, or anything in between.
Not sure how to blow dry your hair properly? Learn how to blow dry hair for volume with volume-enhancing products from Living Proof.
What Do Hair Volumizers Do?
If you’re wondering how to add volume to hair, another great product to have in your beauty arsenal is a hair volumizing spray. Hair volumizers can add lift and texture to dry hair to make it visibly more voluminous.
At Living Proof, our best-selling hair volumizer, Dry Volume Blast adds volume to your hair by increasing the space between hair fibers thanks to our innovative Volumizing + Texturizing Molecule. Your hair will have weightless volume and texture that lasts—instantly. Depending on how much volume and texture you want, you can continue to add layers of Dry Volume Blast until your desired style is achieved.
Whether your hair has fallen flat or you’re experiencing some form of hair loss that has it feeling thin and lackluster, it is possible to increase your hair volume with simple lifestyle changes and hair volume products. With new habits and systems in place, you can experience the lustrous, full, voluminous hair you’re after all of the time.
Browse our hair products online today to see what volume does to your hair.