How to Add Volume to Hair (for Men)

Five Methods:Utilizing Volumizing ProductsAdjusting Your Hair StyleApplying Hair Growth or Coloring ProductsUndergoing Hair Transplant SurgeryUsing Folk Remedies

Men who want to add volume to their hair may have any one of several reasons for doing so. Often, the idea is to present a more youthful appearance that helps the man be more attractive and appear more vital in the workplace. At times, the motivation is to make the best possible use of thinning hair and create the impression of fullness as a way of feeling a little younger. In some cases, the goal is to add hair volume for a special occasion such as a costume party. Whatever the reason, there are a few ways to add some volume to the hair in a very short period of time.

Method 1
Utilizing Volumizing Products

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    Establish a regular washing routine. Many men think that regular washing of their hair will lead to increased hair loss or will increase the appearance of thinning hair. However, the opposite is true. Greasy or unwashed hair tends to clump together, leaving areas of the scalp exposed to a greater degree. Find a hair washing regimen that seems to maximize the appearance of volume and stick to it. A number of volumizing shampoos and conditioners will coat the hair follicle with a special polymer designed to increase the appearance of volume and can be used in your regular washing routine. Before deciding on a post-shower hair treatment, be sure to try shampoos and conditioners that are specifically designed to increase volume.[1]
    • To achieve the best results, try pairing a volumizing shampoo with a volumizing conditioner. Suggested combinations can often be found on the label of volumizing products.
    • Volumizing shampoos and conditioners do not actually add volume, but rather the appearance of volume. You should notice a difference in the appearance of volume of your hair directly after using these products, drying, and styling your hair.
  2. 2
    Rinse with warm or room temperature water. Never rinse shampoos and conditioners out of your hair with hot water. Hot water can damage your hair follicles and exacerbate the appearance of thinning hair. Warm or room temperature water is ideal for washing volumizing shampoos and conditioners out of your hair.[2]
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    Use a volumizing styling product. A wide variety of waxes, sprays, mousses, gels and other topical styling products claim to increase the appearance of volume in a man’s hair. However, these products are not uniformly effective for each individual. Try to identify where and why your hair seems thinnest and choose products that can help increase the appearance of volume in that area.[3]
    • Use a "light" or "airier" product. Heavy gels, sprays, waxes and mousses can leave hair matted down and greasy looking, which will increase the appearance of thinning hair. As a general rule, the less you feel the product in your hair, the better it is for increasing the appearance of volume.[4]
    • Mousse is generally preferable to wax or gel-based styling products. This is because mousse tends to leave less residue in your hair after it has been styled.[5]
    • The effects of volumizing styling products should be evident immediately after use.
  4. 4
    Avoid products that stiffen the hair. If a volumizing styling product leaves your hair feeling “crispy” or “crunchy” it is probably not ideal for increasing the appearance of volume. The more flexible your hair is after using a volumizing styling product, the more effective it will be in increasing the appearance of volume.[6]
  5. 5
    Be sure to use volumizing styling products regularly. While gels, mousses, waxes and sprays do help increase the appearance of volume, their effects are temporary. You will need to maintain a consistent regimen when using these products to most effectively increase the appearance of volume.[7]
    • It is best to follow the label’s recommendations for applying a volumizing product. Generally, overuse of any topical styling product, volumizing or otherwise, leaves too much of that product in your hair throughout the course of the day, leading to a patchy or matted appearance. So, use an amount of the product that is recommended on the label or, if possible, use less than recommended.
    • Most styling products recommend application to damp or moist hair. This helps the product to uniformly coat your hair follicles.
  6. 6
    Use a blow dryer after application of volumizing styling products. Dry hair tends to appear more voluminous than wet hair or hair that has been oversaturated with product. For the best results, blow dry your hair after using a volumizing styling product.[8]

Method 2
Adjusting Your Hair Style

  1. 1
    Avoid combing your hair. Combs, while long considered the ideal tool for styling a man's hair, can negatively impact the appearance of volume. Combs have a tendency to pull and tear at the roots of the hair and can pull hairs in an unusual direction, which opens up larger patches of visible scalp. Use your hands to style your hair for better results in increasing the appearance of volume.[9]
  2. 2
    Apply styling products to the tips, not the roots. Applying a volumizing styling product to the roots of your hair can have an adverse effect on the appearance of volume. Again, this is because applying products to the roots of your hair will tend to cause a clumping effect, making areas of the scalp more visible.[10]
  3. 3
    Experiment with various style adjustments. Changing your hair style to maximize the appearance of volume is often a process of trial and error. Spend some time trying various techniques to see what works best for you.[11]
    • Use your fingers and hands to make the necessary alterations. If you have naturally curly or wavy hair, try breaking up the curls and waves with your fingers to help maximize the appearance of volume.[12]
    • If your hair is straight, try “lifting at the roots” to increase the appearance of volume.[13]
    • Apply more styling product to the areas where the hair seems thinnest and use less on the areas that are already voluminous. This should help ensure that the application of styling products leaves your hair looking naturally thick and not oversaturated with product.[14]
  4. 4
    Solicit an outside opinion. When attempting to adjust your hair style to increase the appearance of volume, it is important to ask someone else what they think of your “new” style. Often times, we are the worst judges of our own appearance because we are too invested in, or close to, the problem and the solution. Asking a trusted friend or relative what they think of your new style should allow you to better gauge the effectiveness of your hair style adjustment.
    • It is important to note here that, sometimes, thinning hair may look better on you than drastically altering your hair style to increase the appearance of volume. Since the manifestation of hair thinness is specific to you, make sure the solution is equally personal.
  5. 5
    Employ a “comb over” technique. If your hair seems to be thinning at the top of your head, it can sometimes be effective to take the areas where your hair is thickest and comb that area over where your hair is thinning. Many men, both with and without thinning hair, choose to employ a “side part” method of style their hair. This method can easily be used to comb hair over thinning areas while looking as if it is a natural style choice.[15]
    • While comb overs are effective in some cases, a widespread cultural understanding of this method often makes it easy to identify when a man is using a comb over to cover up areas of thinness. Moreover, comb overs are often ineffective if the area of thinning hair is too large or drastic to effectively cover up. In cases like this, comb overs often exacerbate the noticeability of thinning hair.[16]
  6. 6
    Grow longer hair. Since all areas of your hair are unlikely to be thinning equally, it can often be beneficial to grow your hair longer to cover up the areas of thinning hair. In particular, if you are experiencing hair thinness around the forehead or the temples, allowing your hair to grow to a length where it is able to “hang” down off of your head can help to increase the appearance of hair volume.[17]
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    Cut your hair short or shave your head. In contemporary society, some men choose to wear their hair short as a style choice irrespective of lacking volume. Utilizing a crew cut or simply shaving your head may be a good look for you and can go a long way in covering the appearance of thinning hair.[18]

Method 3
Applying Hair Growth or Coloring Products

  1. 1
    Exhaust other options. Purchasing hair growth tonics, pills, gels, topical creams, and rubs can be expensive and, often times, these products fail to produce the desired results. Because of this, it is important to try less expensive or less invasive products and styling tactics before deciding to purchase a hair growth product.[19]
  2. 2
    Identify user-reviewed hair growth products. It is important to keep in mind that someone out there is suffering or has suffered from the same pattern of thinning hair as you. Search the internet to find other men who suffer from the same problem, have tried to increase the volume of their hair with growth products, and solicit their opinions. Chances are someone out there is suffering from a lack of volume in the same ways you are and has had success with a particular brand or type of hair growth product.[20]
    • The two most popular hair growth products on the market contain minoxidil (found in products such as Rogaine) and finasteride (found in products like Propecia). Minoxidil is a topical treatment and finasteride comes in pill form. It is important to note that these products both have better success rates at stopping hair loss than they do with re-growing lost hair.[21]
    • Topical hair growth products that contain minoxidil can take up to four months to work. So stick with the routine and be patient when looking for results.[22]
  3. 3
    Purchase hair growth products from a reliable source. Lack of volume is a common problem among men. Because of this, a wide variety of retailers, both online and offline, offer hair growth solutions. However, many of these retailers carry off-brand or “bargain” hair growth products that show little proven effectiveness in increasing the volume of your hair. Be sure you purchase your hair growth product from a reliable and trusted retailer to ensure your money is well spent.
  4. 4
    Read instructions carefully. Hair growth products are often composed of various active ingredients, many of which can be harmful to one’s hair or overall health if not properly applied. Make sure you read all the instructions and warnings on a product’s packaging before use.
    • Some hair growth products have been linked to a diminished sex drive in men, so read the warning label carefully and be aware if you are experiencing any of the listed side effects.[23]
    • Some hair growth products, especially those using the active ingredient finasteride, have been proven dangerous to women who are nursing or pregnant. As this is the case, be sure to store the product responsibly and avoid leaving exposed or crushed pills out in the open.[24]
  5. 5
    Apply as directed. Following the directions on the product’s packaging, apply the hair growth product to the areas where you are experiencing a lack of volume. Application, in general, requires you to gently rub or massage the product into your scalp for 3 to 5 minutes, twice a day. However, this method changes from product to product. Also, it takes anywhere from 12 to 16 weeks to see the best results with these products, so do not expect an immediate impact.[25]
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    Decide if “coloring” will increase the appearance of volume. Often times, darkening the shade of one’s hair can increase the appearance of volume. If you feel this could be beneficial to you, identify reliable hair coloring products, select a shade that will blend nicely with your natural hair color, and apply as directed.[26]
    • Take care not select a color that is much darker than your natural hair color, as an unnatural or overly dark shade can make it obvious that you used a hair coloring product. Also, selecting a very dark shade of hair coloring can actually make your hair look less voluminous if it greatly contrasts with the color of your roots.[27]

Method 4
Undergoing Hair Transplant Surgery

  1. 1
    Identify the benefits and drawbacks of hair transplant surgery. Receiving surgery to increase the volume of your hair is a drastic step and must be considered carefully. If you are experiencing a minor lack of hair volume, surgery is likely not a worthwhile solution to your volume problem. Again, these procedures can be very expensive and, at times, can have painful side effects. Make sure you are well-educated about hair transplant surgery before moving forward with the procedure.[28]
  2. 2
    Schedule a consultation with a hair transplant specialist. Speaking with a hair transplant professional will give you a better idea of the overall effects a hair transplant surgery will have on your particular volume problem. Furthermore, a specialist will be able to inform you about the limitations, side effects, and cost of hair transplant surgery.[29]
  3. 3
    Be aware of the costs. As noted above, hair transplant surgery can be very expensive and is not covered by most insurance policies. Be prepared to pay out of pocket for this procedure and, before scheduling the procedure, make sure the benefits of increasing hair volume will be worth the costs.[30]
  4. 4
    Prepare for the impact of hair transplant surgery. Recovering from hair transplant surgery often involves some tenderness of the scalp and affected areas. Be prepared to take the necessary time off from work and other responsibilities, as your recovery process may require you to take heavy pain medications.[31]
  5. 5
    Undergo the procedure. Most hair transplant surgeries involve removing a patch of hair-growing scalp from the back of the head and replanting this patch in areas where hair no longer grows. This procedure should be carried out in a doctor’s office under local anesthesia.[32]
  6. 6
    Follow post-procedure directions. It is critical that you follow the instructions of the doctor performing the hair transplant surgery to ensure the success of your procedure. You may need to avoid washing or combing your hair, vigorous activities, excessive contact to newly-planted hair follicles, or other activities for a designated period of time.[33]
    • Recovery time for hair transplant surgeries varies from person to person. On average, recovery periods last from 3 to 10 days.[34]
    • Be aware that the transplanted hair will fall out after the surgery. However, you should begin to see new growth between 9 and 12 months after your operation.[35]

Method 5
Using Folk Remedies

  1. 1
    Know the limitations of folk remedies. For hundreds of years, men have been trying to add volume to their hair through folk remedies. Much of the evidence for success with these remedies is anecdotal and the impact of the following remedies remains unproven by medical science.
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    Mix some vinegar and mayonnaise. According to anecdotal evidence, this combination can help add volume to thinning hair and help hair grow faster. Combine the ingredients together, and then apply liberally to the hair, rubbing the mixture into the scalp. Leave the vinegar and mayo mixture in place for at least 20 minutes before washing it out and shampooing as usual.
    • The effects of this tactic occur gradually, so be patient and repeat the process monthly.
    • It can also be beneficial to wrap your head in cellophane after this treatment and cover your head with a towel.
  3. 3
    Apply eggs to your hair. Protein plays a large role in contributing to the volume of hair. One folk remedy is to crack one to two eggs (depending on the length of your hair) into a bowl, whisk the eggs up into a well beaten mix and then apply the mix to your wet hair. Allow the eggs to sit in your hair for at least 30 minutes before washing it out with lukewarm water. Use this method once or twice a week.
    • It can take up to several months to see a noticeable difference in volume when using eggs to increase the thickness of your hair.
  4. 4
    Apply oils to increase volume. Certain oils, usually associated with cooking, have been said to add the appearance of volume to your hair. Both olive oil and castor oil have shown some ability to add the appearance of volume. When trying this method, rub the oil liberally throughout your hair and massage the oil down to the scalp. Let it sit for 30 to 45 minutes and wash the oil out with a mild shampoo. The process should be repeated bi-weekly.
    • Like other home remedies, the impact of this treatment occurs gradually. It can take up to two or three months to notice a difference in the volume of your hair.
  5. 5
    Try using a combination of natural products. Avocados have been shown to contain vitamin E, which can increase the appearance of volume in your hair. When trying to increase volume with natural food products, blend together one whole avocado, one mashed banana, and a tablespoon of olive oil. Massage the mixture gently into your scalp and let it sit for 30 minutes before washing it out with a mild shampoo.


  • Thinning hair may be hereditary or it may be a sign of a developing health issue. Before writing off the loss of hair to nature, have a checkup and make sure there are no health problems causing the hair loss.
  • Depending on how thin the hair happens to be, it may be necessary to use more than one strategy to achieve the look desired. For example, combining the use of volumizing shampoo with hair spray may be the ideal combination. Experiment with different combinations until you find the best overall approach for your situation.

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Categories: Men's Health