Ever since I chopped my hair off four years ago, I’ve had a love-hate relationship with masks. My hair is already fine in texture, so as soon as the length was gone, anything remotely heavy or rich would weigh it down. Shampoos and conditioners too – these days I find it hard to use products that deliver huge amounts of moisture or coat the hair in silicones. I’ll go through the effort to wash, rinse, and style only to find my hair dirtier than when I started. Disheartening to say the least.
But four years of short hair have taught me a lot, and naturally I’ve road tested many a product, vetting those that add volume and shine without heaviness. The last few months in particular have helped me uncover a few gems, shampoo, treatments and scalp exfoliators included. So if you too feel like you’re living on a diet of dry shampoo and volume spray, try the below on for (literal) size – you might find the natural lift is all you need.
Aveda Botanical Repair Intensive Strengthening Mask Light, $44. SHOP NOW
This hair mask is holy grail status for anyone with fine hair (me). It’s loaded with nourishing oils (like avocado, sunflower, meadowfoam seed and Sacha Inchi, so works to strengthen without weighing it down. I applied from the mid lengths to my ends, left for five minutes to work its magic and the rinsed. When I let my hair air dry, I was pleased to find it soft and shiny but still voluminous. A revelation as far as fine-hair treatment products are concerned.
Klorane Acquatic Mint Scalp Detox Shampoo, $9. shop now
This shampoo is so zingy and light. And the smell is divine – mint, citrus and the ocean? Regardless of what it is, it’s fresh. It feels cooling on the scalp and thanks to a blend of botanicals and antioxidants, it strips away grease and product build-up like nothing else. But the best part is the finish – I skipped conditioner altogether but still my hair felt soft and airy and voluminous (not tangled in the slightest). Oh, and the price is right.
Kevin Murphy Scalp Spa Wash, $37. SHOP NOW
This shampoo is designed to stimulate the scalp and clarify the hair, and I can confirm it delivers on both accounts. It’s super frothy (impressive given it’s sulfate-free) so you really only need the tiniest amount. It contains a blend of micelles (as in micellar water) and celery seed extract, so I found the fresh hair feeling lasted two days (very rare for me). It was fine without conditioner but longer lengths could add this step in, no worries. For mega volume, I recommend using this with the adjoining scalp scrub. One word: Wow.
Briogeo Scalp Revival Charcoal + Coconut Oil Micro-exfoliating Scalp Scrub Shampoo, $42. SHOP NOW
This product is by far my favorite. Part shampoo, part treatment, it’s like a thick, gritty paste that takes a while to work in but once I rinse, my hair had literally doubled in size. Charcoal does a great job of absorbing product and oil, so I love this on hot summer days, post-facial or if I’ve OD’d on dry shampoo. It smells like a dream too.