More Body

Woman with fine hair
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Q: I am currently attempting to grow my hair out from chin length to mid-back. My hair is very fine, and I find that my hair often goes flat.
Although my hair is fine, I have quite a lot of it. My ponytail circumference is 3.5 inches. As part of my attempt to grow long, healthy hair, I am trying to reduce damage, so I am trying to cut back on using a hairdryer. However, when I skip the dryer, my hair tends to go horribly flat and looks thin.
The only method I have ever found that helps my hair look thicker is blow drying upside down. This is obviously out of the question. Is there anything I can do to give my hair more body? Please don't suggest a shorter cut or extensions.
I have tried volumizing shampoos. I take a multivitamin daily and 600mcg of biotin. I have heard neutral henna swells the hair shaft, making it thicker - is this true?

A: Well, you can use a blow dryer without harming your hair if you do it properly. You could try using a towel turban-wrapped on the head to absorb as much moisture as possible from the hair (usually leave it in place for 15-20 minutes or more), then finish drying the hair using a diffuser attachment on your hair dryer with your head inverted. However, if you are insistent on not using hair dryer, then you will need to make sure to avoid styling product that will weigh the hair down.
Other tips for fuller hair include using volumizing shampoos and conditioners, the occasional use of clarifying shampoos to remove product buildup, and using Witch Hazel as a styling lotion, which will gently swell the hair shaft and help the hair look and feel fuller.
Many women claim that their hair feels thicker and fuller after a color service, and using henna can help to give that same feel. However, you need to be aware that aside from generating some swelling in the hair shaft, henna also coats the hair, and can interfere with other services down the road.
If you use a neutral henna now, you will need to make certain to advise your hair stylist of that fact before you undertake any other hair chemical service or conditioning treatments as the henna could prevent the products from penetrating fully into the hair and can inhibit the results.
Taking multivitamins and Biotin daily are not a bad step to take, but be aware that having your hair healthy and undamaged may not include having it be high in volume. To achieve fuller, more voluminous hair, you typically need to use specific styling techniques, or products (such as thickening shampoos and serums) and make sure that your hair care products are designed not to weigh the hair down.
Finally, if you don't invert your head while drying, but want to try to "fluff" the hair a little after it becomes dry, you can invert your head and brush the hair away from the scalp. Use a light misting of hair spray in the hair and allow it to dry. Once it is again dry, continue brushing the hair to make sure it's soft and separated.
See also:
How to blow dry hair
How to wrap a towel in turban-fashion?
Does hair thickening spray really work?
Body-building tips for hair