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Best Shampoos, Conditioners for Fine Hair

The best products on the market for limp, flat or fine hair


Fine hair can look "oily" and can get this way after only one day. Opt for clear shampoos and stay away from the creamy ones that were made for your curlier sisters. You want a gentle shampoo marked for daily or frequent washing. Look for a shampoo with a bodybuilding ingredient called panthenol which penetrates the hair cuticle making each strand thicker. Sometimes product build-up can weigh down hair. Try a clarifying shampoo once a week. Another tip: Use a dry shampoo or talcum powder between washings. Not only will the powder soak up oils, but it adds body as well.

See How to Shampoo Fine Hair Correctly and Flat Hair Fixes: How to Give Your Fine Hair More Body for more information.

Also try:

Kerastase Volumactive Shampoo

I swear by Kerastase shampoos, they are the Cadillacs of shampoo. Kerastase is consistently rated by the pros and can be found in the top salons in the country. Those with fine, oily hair need clarifying shampoos that don't add build-up to already oil-heavy locks. 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. $26 on up.
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Kerastase Volumactive Mask

Not all limp-haired ladies need conditioners. If you find you can easily comb out hair after washings without a conditioner you can skip it. Conditioners are good for combing out fine hair. Just don’t let the product touch your scalp. Massage a light-weight conditioner like this fabulous mask from Kerastase (formulated to add body to limp strands) from mid-shaft down and no need to leave it on for long. If you have extremely greasy hair, look for the oil-absorbing tea-tree oil in your conditioner. Use this volumizing mask every other wash.

Bumble and Bumble Thickening Shampoo and Conditioner

I used this volumizing shampoo for years before I discovered Kerastase. Unless you have thick, lush hair (and you likely wouldn't be on this page if you did), you could use a shampoo formulated to add volume. $20 on up.

Pair this with Bumble and Bumble Thickening Conditioner.

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Phyto Phytovolume Volumizing Shampoo

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. $23
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Garnier Fructis Shampoo and Conditioner

A great alternative to fancy volume shampoos is Garnier Fructis. Try the shampoo and the conditioner.

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. $4

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Pantene Sheer Volume Shampoo and Conditioner

Pantene is a great drugstore brand. This shampoo and conditioner will clean fine hair without causing build up. $8
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Paul Mitchell Tea Tree Lemon Sage

InStyle Magazine named Paul Mitchell's Teas Tree Lemon Sage Thickening Shampoo as their top pick in the 2009 issue. Priced well at about $11, this shampoo adds volume at the roots.

Paul Mitchell Extra Body Daily Shampoo

Paul Mitchell is another mid-line shampoo that you can get in a drugstore. It's well-priced and great quality. $10 on up.

Redken Body Full Shampoo and Conditioner

One of the best things about this high-quality shampoos is you can find it in drugstores and grocery stores these days. $11 on up.

Pair this with Redken Body Full Conditioner.

Rene Furterer Klorane Dry Shampoo

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.

Another great dry volumizer: Stila hair refresher
Related Video
How to Clean Oily Hair

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