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Ever wonder what is it about a hair product that gives it more volume? Which ingredients are used – and is the effect temporary or permanent? In this blog post, we will investigate and share some insight so you become more familiar with the ingredients you should be checking out if volume is your aim.

red headed woman with big hair volume
Depending on the ingredients in your products, big volume is no longer reserved just for those with curly hair.

In the world of hair care, the pursuit of volume is a timeless desire. Many of us crave that soft bounce, body, and overall fullness in our hair. But why is voluminous hair so coveted, and is the era of big hair still in style? 

Why Would You Want More Volume?

Voluminous hair is more than just a trend; for many, it's a timeless aspiration. The desire for increased volume often stems from a wish to achieve a more "youthful and vibrant appearance". Full-bodied hair is associated with health and vitality, and who doesn't want that radiant, confident look, right?

Beyond aesthetics, voluminous hair also provides versatility in styling. Whether you're aiming for loose waves, a bouncy blowout, or an elegant updo, having ample volume serves as the perfect foundation for various hairstyles.

Some of us also aspire for a hair type we don't have or haven't lived with all our lives, so the desire for change – even if it's temporary – is something we would like. It's a known fact that those with curly hair would often like to have more straight, shiny hair, while those with straight hair would love to try out some bouncy curls – which is what made perms so popular in the 80s until we learned how damaging they can be to the hair structure, and instead reached for the curling iron – which unfortunately is also damaging as it weakens the cuticle and has cumulative effects.

woman getting hair styled with a curling iron
Both perms and daily heat by curling or straightening are equally as damaging to the hair. Neither is a healthy option.

Is Big Hair Still in Style?

The dynamics of style are ever-evolving, and the notion of "big hair" has transformed over the years. While sleek and minimalist looks have gained popularity, the desire for voluminous hair remains timeless. Interestingly, the Covid era has accentuated our focus on overall health, and healthy-looking hair has become a symbol of well-being.

With face masks covering a significant portion of our facial features, attention has shifted to other aspects of our appearance, making luscious, voluminous hair a focal point. The emphasis on health and self-care has revived the appreciation for natural beauty, and voluminous hair is at the forefront of this resurgence.

Perception vs. Reality: Understanding Ingredients for Volume

The beauty industry is filled with products claiming to provide voluminous hair, but understanding the science behind these claims is crucial. It's essential to distinguish between temporary and permanent volume. Some ingredients create an illusion of volume, while others work to enhance the actual structure of the hair.

Ingredients that "perceive" more volume often create a coating or texture on the hair shaft. This can make individual strands appear thicker and more voluminous, providing a temporary boost. On the other hand, ingredients that contribute to the structural integrity of the hair provide longer-lasting volume by strengthening the hair shaft.

How Do Ingredients Achieve Hair Volume?

  • Structural Support: Proteins and amino acids play a crucial role in providing structural support to the hair. Ingredients like keratin and collagen can fortify the hair shaft, preventing breakage and promoting a fuller appearance. - Examples of proteins include baobab, wheat and rice hydrolyzed proteins. - Examples of amino acids include arginine, cysteine, and lysine.

  • Moisture Balance: Hydration is key to maintaining plump and healthy-looking hair. Ingredients such as Aloe vera and glycerine help balance moisture levels, preventing hair from appearing limp and flat.

  • Stimulation of Follicles: Ingredients like caffeine and rosemary oil stimulate hair follicles, promoting healthy hair growth and contributing to thicker strands.

  • Oil Control: Excessive oil can weigh down hair, making it look less voluminous. Ingredients like chamomile or citrus extracts can regulate oil production, promoting a more voluminous look.

  • Texturizing Agents: Ingredients like sea salt or certain clays create a light texture on the hair, making it appear thicker and more voluminous. - Examples of clays for volume include kaolin, rhassoul, and bentonite clays. - Salt sprays are often used to increase volume, yet they can be very drying.

Maltodextrin, a carbohydrate derived from starch, is another noteworthy ingredient known for its volumizing properties. It works by increasing the diameter of individual hair strands, providing instant volume without compromising the health of the hair.

We created our Greasy Bang Fix "dry shampoo" powder using a combination of herbs, extracts, and clays, which not only absorb excess oils on the hair but also provide volume to help with the appearance of flat hair. Have you tried it yet?

Natural Ingredients for Healthier Hair and More Volume:

  • Aloe Vera: Nourishes the scalp and adds thickness to the hair.

  • Horsetail Extract: Rich in silica, it strengthens hair and promotes volume.

  • Rosemary Oil: Stimulates hair follicles, contributing to fuller-looking hair.

  • Biotin: Supports overall hair health and thickness.

  • Chamomile Extract: Adds shine and enhances hair texture.

Breaking it down, let’s use Aloe vera as a good example: 

aloe vera mucilage
The gooey inside of the Aloe vera plant contains 'mucilage': an excellent hydrator for oth skin and hair.

Aloe vera extract is a versatile natural ingredient that offers various benefits for hair health, and it can indeed contribute to adding volume. Here's how Aloe vera extract achieves this:

  • Scalp Health: - A healthy scalp is crucial for promoting voluminous hair. Aloe vera has soothing and moisturizing properties that can help maintain scalp health. - When the scalp is in good condition, hair follicles are more likely to produce strong and healthy hair, contributing to overall volume.

  • Hydration: - Aloe vera is known for its exceptional ability to hydrate without weighing down the hair. Proper hydration ensures that individual hair strands remain plump and well-moisturized. - Well-hydrated hair tends to appear fuller and healthier, enhancing the overall volume and texture.

  • Nourishing the Hair Shaft: - Aloe vera contains a variety of vitamins, minerals, and enzymes that nourish the hair shaft. This nourishment helps fortify the hair, making it more resilient and less prone to breakage. - Strengthened hair strands contribute to the perception of volume, as they are less likely to appear thin or flat.

  • Balancing pH Levels: - Aloe vera has a pH level that is close to that of the scalp. Using products with Aloe vera can help balance the pH levels of the scalp and hair. - Balanced pH levels create an optimal environment for hair growth and health, promoting the appearance of voluminous hair.

To learn more about the optimum pH for both scalp and hair, 
read our blog post below:

  • Reducing Frizz: - Aloe vera can help reduce frizz and create a smoother hair surface. Smoother hair reflects light better, giving the illusion of shinier and more voluminous locks. - Frizz-free hair also tends to appear more manageable and structured, contributing to a voluminous look.

  • Aiding in Detangling: - Aloe vera has natural detangling properties, making it easier to comb through wet hair without causing damage. - Detangled hair appears smoother and more organized, enhancing the overall volume and manageability.

The Biotin trend:

Why is it so popular?

Biotin, also known as vitamin B7, is a water-soluble B-vitamin that has gained immense popularity in the realm of hair care, particularly for promoting hair volume. Here are several reasons why biotin is a sought-after ingredient for those looking to enhance the fullness and thickness of their hair:

  • Supports Keratin Production: - Biotin plays a crucial role in the synthesis of keratin, a fibrous protein that forms the structure of hair, skin, and nails. - Keratin is a key component of hair, providing strength and structure. Adequate biotin levels contribute to the production of healthy keratin, promoting stronger and thicker hair strands.

  • Encourages Hair Growth: - Biotin supports the process of hair growth by aiding in the production of new hair cells. - When hair follicles receive the necessary nutrients, including biotin, it can result in improved hair growth, contributing to overall volume.

  • Helps Prevent Hair Loss: - Biotin deficiency has been linked to hair loss. Supplementing with biotin can help prevent hair loss, ensuring that existing hair remains in the growth phase for a more extended period. - Retaining existing hair contributes to the appearance of fuller and more voluminous locks.

  • Strengthens Hair Structure: - Biotin contributes to the maintenance and strengthening of the hair's structure. This results in hair that is less prone to breakage and split ends. - Stronger hair strands create a fuller and thicker appearance.

  • Improves Hair Texture: - Biotin promotes overall hair health, improving the texture and elasticity of the hair. - Healthy and well-nourished hair is more likely to appear voluminous, as it reflects light better and has a smoother surface.

  • Addresses Nutrient Deficiency: - Biotin deficiency is rare, but when it occurs, it can manifest as hair thinning and loss. - Including biotin in hair care products or supplements helps address potential deficiencies, ensuring that the body has the necessary nutrients for optimal hair health and volume.

  • Enhances Nail Health: - Biotin is also known for promoting healthy nails. While this may not directly impact hair volume, the overall improvement in nail and hair health is often associated with a well-balanced nutritional state.

  • Compatibility with Other Ingredients: - Biotin is often included in formulations with other vitamins and minerals that support hair health. This synergy can amplify the overall effectiveness of a product in promoting volume and thickness.


to Avoid:

While many shampoos claim to provide volume, some may contain synthetic ingredients that can have both positive and potentially negative effects. Here are five synthetic cosmetic ingredients that are commonly added to shampoos for volume:

  • Polyquaternium-11: This polymer is often used in hair care products, including shampoos, to enhance volume by providing conditioning and anti-static properties. It helps to reduce friction between hair strands, making them appear smoother and more voluminous. Not an easily biodegradable ingredient that may accumulate in the aquatic environment after being washed down the drain.

  • PEG-12 Dimethicone: A silicone-based polymer, PEG-12 Dimethicone is added to shampoos for its conditioning and detangling properties. While it can contribute to a smoother texture and increased manageability, excessive use of silicones has been reported to lead to buildup over time, potentially weighing down the hair and reducing volume.

  • Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS): SLS is a surfactant commonly used in shampoos to create a foaming lather. While it effectively cleanses the hair and scalp, it can be harsh and may strip the hair of its natural oils. Overuse of SLS can result in dryness, which may affect the overall health of the hair.

  • Polyethylene Glycol (PEG): PEG compounds are commonly used in cosmetics as emollients, thickeners, and moisture carriers. In shampoos, PEGs may contribute to the overall texture and feel of the product. However, some individuals may be sensitive to PEG compounds, and there are concerns about potential contamination with harmful substances during the manufacturing process.

In the quest for voluminous hair, understanding the reasons behind the desire, staying attuned to style trends, and deciphering the science of volumizing ingredients are key. Keep up the fantastic work of inquiring about the ingredients that go into your hair and your body, and may you find your ideal hair product!

Don't forget to have a look at our products and try out the natural way of looking after your hair! It's good for your body, hair, and for the planet! Why not start by trying out our Powdered Shampoo? It's a gentle yet thorough cleanse that will leave your hair with a natural yet gorgeous volume that others will envy!

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