Beauty And The Bath

Styling Limp Hair

Styling limp hair for fuller looks and bouncy locks featuring Susan Blakely.

Products For Limp Hair

Good news: Your limp locks can be cured, at least temporarily, with dozens of products designed to deliver the fullness required for styling limp hair and certain styles.

Unfortunately, many products with similar sounding names are not at all alike or your best choices for styling fine hair.

Results can vary widely from one item (or brand) to the next, and the success of a given product depends greatly on whether it’s appropriate for the styling method you’ve chosen.

To help you sort through your choices, we’ll play matchmaker here, and marry a few popular styles to the volumizing goods you’ll need to attain them.


For the kind of bouncy, high-energy waves that look great against your shoulders as you walk down the street, choose a body-building mousse like Salon Selectives Bodifying Mousse or L’Oreal Studio Line Mega Mousse.

To apply, simply comb in through damp, towel-dried hair from roots to tips. For maximum effect, try this stylist’s trick: Divide the hair on each side of your head into eight small sections— four in a horizontal row just in front of your crown, and four directly behind.

Then, set damp hair on large velcro rollers.

Texturizing Sprays

For a tousled—yet still full—look, choose texturizing or thickening sprays like Paul Mitchell Volumizing Spray or Aveda Purescriptions Volumizing Finisher.

To apply, towel- dry your hair, then direct spray at roots and at any spots where you want added volume. For a tousled look with even more volume, blow-dry rather than towel-dry, bending forward as you do so and fluffing the hair at the roots with your fingertips.

Spritz on volumizing spray a few times while you dry, then finish with conventional hair spray to keep the whole affair from collapsing.

Shampoo For Limp Hair

Another way to add fullness is to shampoo your roots really well with a body-building shampoo such as Vidal Sassoon Shampoo A Extra or Revlon Outrageous Volumizing Shampoo.

Be careful, though, to avoid overuse of these protein-rich formulations, especially if you also use lots of special gels and mousses.

If that’s the case, put the fancy stuff away at least once a week and lather up with a deep-cleansing shampoo to remove volume-killing product build-up.

Along the same lines, if you need a conditioner for detangling, choose a superlight rinse-out variety (such as Aussie Slip Detangler or Joico Lite Instant Detangler & Conditioner), and apply it only to the ends.

For overall volume when styling limp hair, work in a body-boosting gel mousse like Regis Dual Action Gel-Mousse or Dep Extra Body Mousse ‘N Gel, both of which enhance fullness and improve control.

For a lift at the roots, try a volumizing spray or gel. Aveda vulumizing Tonic is a good example of the former, Dep Root Boost of the latter.

After applying either of these products, turn your head upside down and blow-dry, lifting hair away from your head and rubbing the roots with your fingertips.

When your hair is almost dry, flip your head back up and now dry your hair section by section with a jumbo round brush, pulling the brush the opposite direction of your hair’s natural growth pattern.

A stylist secret for max lift when styling limp hair: Roll up a few sections at the crown with large velcro rollers when your hair is dry. Heat with a blow-dryer for 10 minutes, allow to cool for another 10 minutes, then unwind rollers and fluff hair with your fingers.

If you want smooth body when styling limp hair or fine hair, use a volumizing shampoo like Bare Essentuals Full Body Shampoo or J.F. Lazartique Body- Giving Shampoo, followed by a volumizing tonic or “serum” like Redken Fat Cat Volumist or Système Biolage Daily Leave-In Tonic.

After shampooing, simply use your hands to distribute the tonic through towel-dried hair from roots to tips, then blow-dry with a large, round brush, grasping sections of hair by the roots and curving them under as you go.

Finally, to keep your new “do” from falling flat, try Vidal Sassoon Extra Body Mousse. This is a product we like a lot because it provides the kind of volume everyone hopes for, but without weighing down the hair.

To apply it, first work the mousse through damp hair, concentrating on the roots.
Next, lift the hair away from the roots while blow-drying, then remove heat and continue holding hair until it cools and sets.

All content and images are copyright protectedStyling Limp Hair
Updated February 23, 2012

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