Hair Thickening Spray

Spray for thicker hair
Photo: Robert Przybys/Shutterstock
Q: I've seen a lot of advertisements for hair thickening spray. Does it really work, and if so, how?
A: There are several products available today that are billed as 'hair thickening formulas' - sprays, gels, mousses, shampoos and conditioners - and all work in one of two ways achieve a thickening effect.
Some of these products are designed to simply adhere to the outer layer of the hair shaft, the cuticle, adding an extra layer to the hair, making it feel and look thicker. Others are formulated to actually lift the cuticle layer of the hair and swell the hair shaft to achieve the thickening. Both types of product work, as long as you use them with realistic expectations.
No hair product is going to change the type of hair that grows from your head. If you have fine textured hair of medium density, you can't expect to use a spray and suddenly find thick, wavy hair in its place. The changes these products offer are purely cosmetic and rarely last beyond your next shampoo.
However, if your question refers to the spray formulations of the over-the-counter medications for thinning hair (like rogaine or minoxidil) then these products work, too. These sprays contain drugs that stimulate the hair follicles to resume the production of terminal hair and are used to combat male pattern baldness, and hair loss in women.
The big differences in these situations are that the "products" discussed in the first paragraphs are not medications and can be used without worry over side effects, while hair-loss treatments, even over-the-counter formulas, can have serious side effects. In most cases any benefit from using these medications is lost if you discontinue the use.
See also:
Tips for thicker and fuller hair
Does permanent color really thicken your hair?
Is there anything I can do to give my fine hair more body?
Thinning hair and fine hair Q&A