Throughout the years of going to the hair salon, there's always the same chorus of remarks that I get from the hairdressers: "wah! your hair is so thin", "very flat leh" and "so dry... do you use conditioner?".
This is then followed by a list of haircare and styling tips that I eagerly lap up. If you're having the same hair woes of thin, flat hair that's also frizzy, you might be interested in this round-up of advice I've had from professional hair stylists in Singapore to get smoother and more voluminous hair.
Keep reading to find out more!
#1 Use a lightweight conditioner & leave it in longer
They all say the same thing, don't be tempted to reach for products aimed at frizzy and damaged hair as those tend to be too rich and creamy which will weigh down your hair. Go for shampoos and conditioners for fine or thin hair instead.
If your hair still feels dry with the lightweight conditioner, you can try leaving it in your hair longer than what the label says, perhaps five minutes or more, before washing it off.
#2 Shampoo just the roots of your hair
This is a trick to getting rid of the oil build-up on the scalp that causes flat hair while also avoiding drying out the ends. Work the shampoo into lather in the palm of your hands, then massage it just into your scalp. When you rinse it off, the shampoo will run down the ends of your hair, cleansing it gently.
P.S. check out 8 Anti-Hair Loss Shampoos For Thicker Hair & A Healthier Scalp.
#3 Massage your scalp gently
Use your fingertips, not your nails, to massage your scalp while you're washing your hair. This stimulates blood flow into the hair follicles, promoting hair growth. This also helps nutrients from the shampoo absorb into your hair better, plumping up fine, thin hair.
If your hair falls flat mid day, you can give it a lift by flipping your hair upside down and massaging your scalp with clean hands.
#4 Use conditioner before shampoo
Another way to target both oily roots and dry ends is to condition before shampooing. Conditioner can leave a residue on your hair which makes it look limp and flat. Shampooing after conditioning helps get rid of this residue.
#5 Use a clarifying shampoo once a week
Many hairdressers agree that the most common cause of flat hair is a build-up of hair products and pollutants on the scalp. They suggest using a clarifying shampoo once a week to get rid of the residue.
#6 Use a hair tonic
I once frequented a hair salon where a hair stylist in his 60s pointed out his full head of thick hair, crediting it to a daily use of hair tonic. He explained that having healthy starts at the scalp. A scalp tonic can deliver key nutrients to the roots, promoting hair growth and keeping hair thick, smooth and shiny. Check out our top 7 picks of hair tonics in Singapore.
#7 Turn your head upside down and scrunch dry
Vigorously rubbing rubbing your hair with a towel will only make it more damaged. Instead, turn your head upside down and gently scrunch your hair using a microfibre towel. This minimises frizz while giving your hair an extra lift.
#8 Blow-dry just the roots
While heat can make dry hair even frizzier, leaving the roots to air dry makes it lie flat on the scalp. After washing your hair, blow dry just the roots to add volume while letting the ends of your hair air dry.
#9 Lift roots and blow-dry with hot and cool air
The technique of blow drying is key. Avoid pointing the hair dryer nozzle in the direction of your hair growth as this only flattens it even more.
A trick that a hairdresser taught me is to use a hair brush to lift the roots from the scalp, blast it with warm to hot air for a few seconds, and then with cool hair, and releasing it once the hair has cooled down. You'll instantly get volume at the roots. Psst, Jessica Jung uses the same technique in her everyday hair routine.
#10 Use a vented boar bristle brush
Avoid plastic hair brushes as they can create static in your hair, making it look even frizzier. Boar bristle brushes can help smoothen and detangle while vents circulate the air to create volume. Try the Vent Hair Boar Bristle Brush 2-Piece Pack ($9.56).
#11 Get a short haircut
Generally, hair stylists recommend short hairstyles for those who have fine, flat and frizzy hair. Frizz is the worst at the ends of the hair and long, heavy hair makes it go flat. Once the ends are snipped off, the hair immediately looks healthier, smoother and more voluminous.
Before you write off short hair, check out 8 Reasons Why You Should Cut Your Hair Short.
#12 Layers inside the hair
If you're like me and will guard your long hair for life, hairdressers recommend light, long layers inside the hair for a more voluminous look as having short layers outside of the hair can emphasise frizziness.
#13 Change your hair parting
Once your hair gets used to a hair parting, it tends to lie flat on your scalp. Switching your hair parting every now and then can help create volume on top.
#14 Go for a rich, darker hair colour
Hair stylists recommend a rich and warm colour like dark chocolate brown which adds depth and dimension to the hair, making it look thicker. Then again, avoid colours that are too light as it'll emphasise flyaways and any hair that poufs out.
#15 Use styling products - but sparingly
Styling products like dry shampoo and give your roots an instant lift while sea salt spray adds waves, texture and volume to limp hair. Avoid oils or using too much product as that will weigh down your hair and make it look flatter.
#16 Sleep on a silk pillowcase with your hair up
As we (ideally) spend a third of our lives sleeping, it's also an important time to care for your hair. A silk pillowcase can minimise frizz while keeping your hair tied up while sleeping makes it look more voluminous when you let it down in the morning. You can tie your hair in a loose bun or ponytail. Make sure to leave a few inches from your scalp for a natural look and a more comfortable sleep.
Try the Slip Pure Silk Skinny Scrunchies - Fierce Trio ($32) and Pillowcase ($143). Both are made of Slipsilk™, a fabric that developed to for the former to reduce those unsightly ridges caused by regular hair elastics, and for the latter to prevent sleep creases and bed head.
#17 Have a healthy lifestyle
Rather than pushing products for me to buy, some of my favourite hairstylists gave their honest advice that hair products can only do so much and a healthy lifestyle is crucial for healthy hair in the long term. That includes having sufficient sleep, de-stressing and including protein and biotin-rich food in your diet.
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Text by: GirlStyle SG