The Best Products for Fine, Flat Hair

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The Best Shampoos, Mousses, Volumizing Sprays and More

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How to fix fine, flat hair. Getty Images

Fine hair can be incredibly annoying to style. I know because I have fine hair, loads of it. Curls don't hold. Updos don't hold. And forget about wearing your hair long, it falls as flat as a sheet.

Our best bet is to get a proper haircut with a few layers cut in to give hair body and movement, but the other big secret to styling fine, flat hair, is in the right hair products. I'm talking texturizing sprays, mousses, hair sprays, salt sprays, volumizing shampoos and dry shampoos — all of which can add body to hair where before there was none.

I've pulled together the very best hair products for fine hair and presented them in this list from cheap to steep. Each product is beloved by people in the know, including me. I have fine hair but lots of it so I rely on knowing what works and what doesn't. These products work.

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A Great Eco-Choice Mousse: Alterna Bamboo Mousse

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It's not expensive, but it's also not a cheapie drugstore mousse. It's recommended by renowned stylist Juan Carlos Maciques in the New York Times. The online reviews are also excellent. Apparently, Alterna Bamboo Mousse is a solid pick for fine hair that needs a root lift. And it contains no sulfates, parabens and the other stuff you really don't want absorbed into your system. 

Sold!

Buy it from Amazon

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Inexpensive Mousse: John Frieda Luxurious Volume Building Mousse

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John Frieda Mousse. John Frieda

Can't afford a fancy mousse? No problem. This mousse ($6) will create volume once the heat from the blowdryer hits the product.

Buy from Amazon.com

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Best Inexpensive Shampoo: Garnier Fructis Body Boost Shampoo

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Garnier Fructis

A great alternative to fancy volume shampoos is Garnier Fructis. Try the shampoo and the conditioner. Another great inexpensive shampoo is Pantene Sheer Volume. Where to buy: Your local drugstore.

Quick tip for extra body: If hair is flat and greasy, add instant lift with baby powder at the roots and crown. When you apply, avoid the hairline and the part, massage in and watch your greasiness disappear.

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Great Mid-Line Mousse for Fine Hair: Matrix Root-Lifter

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Matrix

Celebrity hairstylist Steven Ward swears by this root-lifter for full-bodied Brigitte Bardot volume. With this mousse, your hair won't feel stiff or crunchy. Plus, at under $15, we love the price.

Buy from Amazon.com

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Best Mousse for Fine Hair: Pantene Pro-V Volumizing Mousse

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Pantene Pro-V Mousse. Pantene

This inexpensive mousse works great to add volume to fine hair. Apply a tennis-ball sized amount to roots and comb through with a wide-tooth comb. The volumizer is activated by the heat from your blowdryer.

Buy from Amazon.com

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Best Volumizer Hairspray: Big Sexy Hair Flip it Over

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Once you've applied styling mousse and blow-dried hair, section hair and mist with an aerosol hairspray like this great one. This spray creates height and stands up to humidity.

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Danilo's Favorite Shampoo: Phyto Volumizing Shampoo

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Phyto

Elle Magazine dubbed Danilo — the guy who gives Gwen Stefani big hair — "The Body Builder." A celeb stylist for the past 15 years, Danilo is known for creating voluminous red carpet hair. According to Danilo (in Elle), up to 40% of hair's total volume can be achieved in the shower and Phyto is his shampoo choice. For best results, pair a volume shampoo with a volume conditioner. Danilo says they build on top of each other.

Buy from Amazon.com

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Best Texturizing Spray: Privé Finishing Texture Spray

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Prive

When you have fine, limp hair but want curls or waves or just plain body, a texturizing spray can be a godsend. Texturizing spray adds body, shine and hold to hair. Ann Colville Somma, the blogger behind, Cult of Pretty, swears by Privé Finishing Texture Spray for giving her fine, limp hair life. To use, spray over every inch of hair.

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Great Volumizing Spray: Bumble & Bumble Thickening Spray

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Bumble and Bumble Thickening Hairspray. Bumble and Bumble

This is our all-time favorite volumizer. "It makes fine hair look like Texas hair," Rodger Azadganian, owner of Seattle's Seven salon, said in InStyle magazine. Spray on damp hair for instant fullness. I use this myself every single day. Can't live without it.

Buy from Amazon.com

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Best Root Booster: Rene Furterer Naturia Dry Shampoo

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Rene Furterer Naturia Dry Shampoo. Rene Furterer

Molly Sims said in Marie Claire magazine that she loves this dry shampoo for building body and disguising dark roots. Dry shampoos (a cheaper version is baby powder) are great for building body. I use the dry shampoo myself and love it.

Another great dry volumizer: Stila Hair Refresher (buy online from Amazon). Plus, don't miss my list of the Best Dry Shampoos.

Buy from Amazon.com

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The Hairstylist's Favorite: Phytovolume Actif Maximizing Volume Spray

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Phytovolume Actif Maximizing Volume Spray. Phyto

When you have flat hair, you want to give hair volume at the sides, not at the top, according to Allure beauty editor, Jolene Edgar, who makes the good point that volume at top will make you look like a beauty queen (oops!). Edgar suggests this Phytovolume Actif Maximizing Volume Spray, which should be sprayed at the roots while hair is damp. If you lay off the blowdryer and let hair air dry, you'll notice your hair has much more volume than it does when dried straight. Scrunch hair with your hands as hair dries for added volume.

Buy it from Amazon.com

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Shu Uemura Ample Mousse Volumizing Light Foam

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Shu Uemura Ample Angora. Shu Uemura

This mousse will give your fine hair volume without the crunchy effect of cheaper mousses. Comb the foam through damp hair from roots to ends and massage in with your hands (for some reason I believe this helps and I do it this way myself). Flip hair upside down and blow dry hair with a round brush or scrunch hair dry for quick, beachy waves. According to the company, this mousse is "enriched with Japanese Cedar Bud, a giant sacred tree known for its fortifying properties." Ok, whatever, I love it.

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Pricey-but-Worth It Mousse: Kerastase Volumactive Mousse

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Kerastase Volumactive Mousse. Kerastase

Mousse works much like spray. You want to add to roots and work it through the rest of hair.

Another great mousse: Nioxin volumizing reflectives bodifying foam.

Buy it from Amazon.com

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Overall Best Shampoo for Fine Hair: Kerastase Bain Volumactive

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Kerastase Bain Volumactive. Kerastase

By far the best shampoo on the market, Kerastase is consistently rated by the pros and can be found in the top salons in the country. I have fine hair and Kerastase's Volumactive is the shampoo I have in my bathroom. I buy the biggest jug I can find and it lasts me more than a year. It's a pricey shampoo, but worth it. It leaves no residue, smells amazing and keeps my fine hair from falling flat.

Buy it from Amazon.com