A Lesson in Creating Volume – My Flat Hair Care Routine

Posted in Beauty.

My name is Jen and I’m addicted to volumising products.

It’s true – I’ve tried every ‘innovation’, from ‘shaft-expanding mousse’ (seriously) to pouring beer over my head (again, seriously). My quest for big hair has spanned decades and probably cost thousands in products that are used once and quickly resigned to the this-doesn’t-work pile.

But after much trial, plenty of error and a very close call in a wig shop, I’ve finally stumbled upon a routine that kinda sorta works. I haven’t achieved the big hair Holy Grail as seen on every female celebrity ever, and I’m still a sucker for new ‘miracle’ products, but generally, my tried and tested method achieves a moderately lifted ‘do for those with fine hair, or as lovely Olivia put it – ‘ghost hair’.

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It all starts in the shower (or bath, if that’s your preference). I wash my hair with Big shampoo by Lush. This has been the biggest revelation in my haircare routine – it contains grains of sea salt that give my hair texture, which is something I could never get with synthetic volumisers. It’s not cheap at £10.95 a pot, but a small amount goes a long way… although the stack of empty pots in my bathroom doesn’t really support that theory!

Fine hair doesn’t need a lot of conditioning, but skipping this step leaves me with flyaway, static hair. Veganese is another Lush product that works like a charm – it’s really light so doesn’t weigh my hair down and contains lemon to give it great shine. I apply to the ends only, so my 250g bottle lasts months.


Fine hair is a fickle mistress – every few months, it gets bored of my miracle products and decides it needs something new. To keep it happy, I have a break from my usual routine and use whatever’s on offer in Boots. At the moment it’s Umberto Giannini – I’m a bit of a beauty snob so always go for mid- or high-end products.


Once washed, I have an arsenal of products to battle deflation. Moroccan Oil doesn’t really do anything for volume, but it keeps my hair smooth and supple. John Frieda’s Brilliant Brunette volumising mousse, on the other hand, volumises like a BAWS. If this product is ever discontinued, I will weep. Backcomb in a Bottle is a great thickening product – I spray this after styling to create a mussed-up effect. And Osis Dust It can be used to add texture, again after styling – I bought mine from eBay as it’s much cheaper.

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When it comes to styling my hair, I’m lazy. I blowdry it upside down and use my trusty, 10-year-old ghds to straighten the kinks. The Babyliss Big Hair styler is a new addition – after reading countless reviews and not finding a single negative one, I bought it hoping I’d finally found the answer to my big hair prayers. But unfortunately, it can’t change genetic makeup (I know, such a bummer). My hair is baby fine, so although the hot rotating brush does add volume, it doesn’t give me the dramatic umph I was looking for.

So there you have it – a lesson in creating volume from someone whose hair very often resembles a pancake. YOU’RE WELCOME.

What are your must-have haircare products? Any fellow flatties got a tip, trick or cheat to share?


A Thrifty Mrs

I have very fine hair but lots of it so seem to go through volumising products like something chronic. I’ve found egg works for a shiny, glossy and bouncy look but I only dare resort to it now and again for fear I end up walking around looking like Humpty Dumpty without knowing it.

As to the Big Hair doodah, as you know it is on my birthday list and I’m so hoping it works for me better than it does for you, oh how I dream of big bouncy hair without having to resort to my natural curls.

P.S. I did mean to say the other day (your fur and France post) that I think your hair is looking ace at the moment.


My hair is fine too so thanks for the product recommendations. I will definitely look at that shampoo and conditioner when I’m next in lush! x


I absolutely love my babyliss big hair! I imagine your hair is too short for it though Jen!

Zoe {Conversation Pieces}

Oooh never heard of the lush shampoo stuff… so going to try that! I don’t have thin hair but it’s flatish and very straight – and I don’t suit either of those things!

I use sea salt spray before styling (the kms stuff) and I have a version of the dust too… great stuff until you tip too much on 😉

Peacock's Hat

Ooh, this is a very useful post- I’ve got really fine silky hair but lots of it, but it just tends to be so neat and flat. I want to try the Babyliss Big Hair thing but I’m not sure how well I’ll be able to use it- I’m not exactly a hairstyling pro! I really like the Backcomb in a Bottle and will definitely give the Lush shampoo a go.

Farrah Abigaelle

I have a lot of hair on my head, and it’s really thick. Every time I straighten it, it never completely straightens. After I wash it that’s even worse haha. It’s like a huge ball of thickness. But I like it that way. I think the best way to thicken up your hair is to:
1)Air dry, don’t apply any heat to the hair
2)Massage your scalp daily
3) Loosely curl, or braid your hair at night, take them out in the morning.
4)DON’T TEASE THE HAIR- that causes breakage and leaves the hair even thinner than before.
Hope that helps a bit
Farrah’s Muse


Hmm I may need to try some of these! I have pretty thick hair tho so when it’s longer like it is now, it kinda weighs me down and makes the top flat, not so good! 🙂


I’m a fellow flatty too. So thank you for sharing your tips. I’m using a lot of red hair products at the moment to keep my color but I dream of more root lift.

Eve Maria

Thanks for this post Jen, it’s really useful, wil def. give some of the products a try. My hair is thick on a good day but long and naturally straight so the top gets weighed down.


Oh Jen, I wish I lived near, I’d pop round and blow dry your hair so it was super big! 🙂
I didn’t get on with the LUSH shampoo but glad it works for you, I did however love the feel of it when washing.
Have you tried whacking big velcro rollers through the top and leaving in till you leave the house? Might help the oomph factor.


Im a fellow pancake…
I too have had this problem for oh so many years.. Was ok for a while when Jen Aniston had her super sleek do, but then that Cheryl Cole came along with her big barnet!
I dont straighten my hair as it falls and dries pin straight, plus the heat iv been told isn’t good for fine hair as it breaks easy..
Im currently trying the treseme 24hr body shampoo and conditioner, going ok so far..
Not heard of the lush product, will put them next on my list!



Definitely had a little giggle at “shaft expanding mousse”! As for the beer, I remember the time I read in a magazine that mayonnaise makes your hair shiny – complete lie, it just makes it sticky and smelly for a week and a half!! x


I love Big from Lush too and will be trying out some of those products.

I’m not convinced by the Babyliss styleras I borrowed my friend’s and it seemed to pull my hair out! Must be doing it wrong (although I admit I am rubbish at styling hair).


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