First things first: It’s nearly impossible to thicken your hair at the root itself unless you medically intervene with supplements or injections. But that’s not what this article is about .It’s about how to make your hair look and feel fuller—to maximize the follicles you’re already working with, and to be all the more confident when you head out into the world with each passing year.
Because the truth is every single one of us will lose hair to some extent—some quicker and to a greater degree than others—but if you act quickly and get a little crafty no one will be the wiser.
It mostly comes down to using the right hair products, and some minor dietary fixes, says Los Angeles-based celebrity groomer, KC Fee.
These are her tips for getting a fuller head of hair.
1. Switch to a Milder Shampoo
Hopefully you already know that too much shampoo is bad for your hair. It strips all the good oils along with the bad, drying it out and making it hard to style. However, sometimes that’s the tradeoff if you actually want your hair to look fuller: When it’s parched, it stands up more and looks thicker. So, since you might be shampooing more frequently in order to get this effect, Fee suggests switching to one that’s engineered to be less harsh on your strands. It’ll still lift the hair since it removes the oil at the root, but it’ll dry the actual hair out less in the process, by preserving its natural oils.
She prefers Christophe Robin Men’s Cleansing Thickening Paste for her clients.
“It gives hair volume and a thicker feel,” Fee says.
2. Use Light, Dry Products
“When it comes to thinning hair, you don’t want to use heavy, greasy products that’ll weigh the hair down,” says Fee. “It will cause separation that only accentuates the hair loss.”
She’s referring to things like standard shiny pomade. Instead you want something with a matte finish that lifts the hair. She uses Kevin Murphy Rough Rider Clay Pomade (note that it’s not a “traditional greasy pomade—sometimes the word ‘pomade’ is used interchangeably with ‘hair product’), or a texturizing spray like Oribe’s, which kind of works like a dry shampoo to soak excess oils and add some lift.
“Both are light and dry products that give volume and texture,” says Fee. “A good rule of thumb is to start with a little product and build as needed.”
3. Use a Round Brush (and a Hair Dryer)
You probably know that a brush isn’t the best styling device for short hair. It’s used to evenly distribute natural oils to the ends of longer hairs. So, while you keep a comb nearby for your styling needs, there is one brush you should have on-hand: a small, rounded one, like the 3/4″ brush from Spornette. If you use a cream styler, like Baxter of California’s Hard Cream Pomade, apply a small amount to clean, towel-dried hair, then use the brush with a hair dryer (a cheap, simple Conair hair dryer will do) to lift the hair and dry the product at the root, Fee says.
“It gives the hair volume and a thicker look,” she adds.
4. Follow These Dieting Principles
“Diet and supplements can be very helpful in strengthening hair and prolonging the inevitable, as hair loss comes down to genetics,” Fee says.
You can take a proactive approach to hair loss, aside from pills and procedures, by focusing on your diet.
“It can be as easy as eating a clean diet—no sugar or processed foods—and one high in antioxidants,” she says. “Or you can take supplements that include biotin, zinc, vitamin C, iron, and niacin—such as Viviscal daily hair growth supplements.”
5. Opt for Hair fibers—Hollywood’s Big Grooming Secret
We asked Fee for the “Hollywood secret” to making hair look thicker—something beyond these everyday salon tips.
Her answer was a bit of a shock: It’s hair fibers—like those sprinkle-on powders guys use to cover their bald spots.
“You’d be surprised to know how many men being photographed or in films and on TV use this trick,” she says. “There’s absolutely no shame in it. And it works! I use Toppik Hair Fiber. It comes in every shade in a shake bottle. You can either shake it in to cover bigger areas, such as the top or back of the head, or it has a pump nozzle you can buy separately to use for a more precise application along the hairline.”
If you aren’t balding but simply want to make your hair look thicker and fuller, this could be the solution. Just don’t touch the hair much once it’s applied, and shampoo thoroughly before resting it on any pillows.