Do Volumising Shampoos Really Work?

Do Volumising Shampoos Really Work?

Traditional volumising shampoos and conditioners all promise the ultimate dream of thick, luscious locks but as many women know, the quest for volume can sometimes feel entirely fruitless.

Do volumising shampoos really work? Why do some products seem to work initially but lose their effect? And worst of all, why do some volumising products seem to damage hair further? 

The path to true volume is actually far more complex than many women realise and the ability of a product to create lasting hair volume depends on a few varying, independent factors...


An age old question

Every woman with fine, thin or thinning hair has tried AT LEAST one product throughout their lives designed to create added hair volume. This is done with varying levels of success. Sometimes, these products seem to work for a little while and then lose their effect. Worse still, as we age, products that previously seemed to work no longer do. This may be particularly true if you don't find a product designed to accommodate the changes associated with ageing hair. As our hair transitions through various stages in our lives, it's not just the colour that changes; the underlying hair biology and physical structure does too.

The aging process alters the way in which our follicles function, changes our hair texture and affects overall scalp health. Once thick and smooth hair may begin to turn wiry and become coarse while women with fine silky hair may begin to notice that their hair thins and becomes more brittle. These changes can be attributed to shrinking, less active hair follicles that produce less oil and grow thinner strands of individual hair. [1] 

The problem with traditional volumising shampoos

The problem with some volumising products is that they simply produce a temporary, artificial result by roughening the hair shaft enough to make it seem thicker. This is usually done by adding ingredients designed to dry the hair out. Some women find that the very products promising to help thicken their hair, cause dryness and frizziness instead. And if there's anything worse than managing thin hair to begin with, it's trying to manage thin, dry AND frizzy hair all at once! 

Many traditional hair volumising shampoos contain harmful ingredients like sulfates and paraffin or beeswax that dry the hair shaft, create frizz, affect strand structure and inflame the scalp — leaving you with lasting damage. [2] The damage also predisposes hair to breakage long term so now you're dealing with less volume at the roots AND through the lengths of your hair too. 

It's time to re-evaluate product choices and pay close attention to the ingredients in your volumising hair products. When you align your choices with your of hair's real needs, you're finally back on the path to true hair volume...


How do I choose a volumising shampoo that really works? 

It's easy to find a generic shampoo or conditioner that's labelled as a 'volumising' hair product. It may even appear to work initially as a result of ingredients that strip the hair and make it dry and rough. Once these ingredients wash out, much of the damage has been done and your hair may be thinner and weaker than it was before.

Beware of volumising shampoos that:

  • Use harsh chemicals — Avoid the usual nasties like sulfates and parabens - there's ample information out there to make this an easy one. Good quality shampoos and conditioners will note the absence of these chemicals on their packaging. Other sinister ingredients include silicones (which dry the hair from the inside out), alcohol-based formulations (most common in volumising spray-gels and mousses), Zinc Pyrithione and Coal Tar (active ingredients in most anti-dandruff shampoos) as well as petrochemicals, phthalates, MEA, DEA and artificial colours.
  • Come in a can — Dry shampoos contain a powder that can increase the texture and lift your hair at the roots through friction. Increased volume only lasts for a short time following application and the long-term effects are not worth this temporary "fix". (We previously discussed the detrimental effects of dry shampoo here.)
  • Use synthetic polymers — Always avoid thickening shampoos with synthetic polymers. These ingredients coat the hair shaft and although they may appear to provide some initial benefit and temporarily plumper strands, the coating builds up over time and leaves a heavy residue that's difficult to wash out. Eventually this build up makes hair thin and damaged and causes it to fall flat. It also stops responding to other treatments as well because of the heavy, residual coating. Examples of silicones used in volumising hair shampoo includes polyethylene glycols (PEGs) and carbomers. 
  • Have a high pH content — Hair is naturally slightly acidic, with a pH level of 4.5 to 5.5. When the pH level of your hair drops and changes, hair cuticles close and lie flat. Alkaline shampoos (with a pH level of 7.0 or higher) can trigger your cuticles to open. This creates roughness which may create the illusion of immediate volume, but ultimately leaves the hair shaft open to environmental and chemical damage.

The damage caused by cheap, traditional volumising shampoos and conditioners requires corrective intervention to treat and reseal the hair follicles. Many women with thin hair avoid nourishing shampoos for fear of having their hair weighed down further but the great news is that modern research and understanding have resulted in kind-to-hair product formulations like Boost & Be Shampoos and Conditioners which are designed to help volumise your hair from root to tip without weighing the hair down!  

Restore your hair with 
volumising shampoos that:

  • Reduce heavy build-up — Paraben and sulfate free shampoos use milder cleansers to remove hair residue. The hair is effectively cleansed while removing any heavy build-up. We've previously discussed the benefits of using more organic hair care products here too.
  • Contain Provitamin B5 — Provitamin B5 is a weightless, natural  volumiser that lifts hair from the root making it look more full and luscious. Provitamin B5 (Panthenol) is one of the most nourishing vitamins available to us. It deeply penetrates the hair cortex and scalp for optimal follicular health. Boost & Be Volume Boost Shampoo contains high levels of Provitamin B5 and ensures that nourishment penetrates into the lower skin layers and is readily absorbed into follicular cells. 
  • Contain natural ingredients — Shampoos that contain natural ingredients and the right essential oils, boost hair volume and thickness by balancing scalp oil production and stimulating shine and improved natural  hair growth. Essential oils like Jasmine, Ylang Ylang, Clove, Geranium, Chamomile and Lavender Oil have been proven to nourish and protect the skin and hair. Lavender Oil has specifically been linked to hair growth, while Geranium has anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial qualities.


Natural, restorative hair volume!

A new breed of volumising hair care products have arrived. These products are designed to support your hair and scalp health, restore damaged follicles and hair shafts and ultimately rebalance your scalp's natural oil and pH balance in order to create an optimal growth environment. Natural volumisers are most effective over time and work towards healing and restoring damaged hair in parralel to providing the volume you've been dreaming of!

The Boost & Be Volumising range is available at each of our global online stores: 




[1] US National library of medicine -

[2] The Cleveland Clinic -

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