Give fine hair the brush off. Lisa Haynes reveals how to fatten up your tresses with some insider tips and tonics.
January's undoubtedly the month of diet talk and slimming chat. But there's one area that many women are in constant pursuit of fattening up - the top of our heads.
It's estimated that around 10.9 million women in the UK have fine hair - that's 40% of the female population, according to Kantar World Panel consumer research.
While the ageing process can result in thinning tresses due to hormonal changes, a dramatic difference in hair texture can strike at any age, with triggers including poor diet, extreme stress, hormonal imbalances or childbirth.
"Big or 'fat' hair is the picture of health and can make even the most ordinary of outfits look fabulous," says Katie Hamburger, creative stylist at Regis Salons.
"It's thick, healthy and full of life, so it all starts with keeping your hair in great condition."
Go big on the prep and fling back a fuller mane for spring.
It's impossible to create more hair, but you can lather up with products that create thicker, healthier locks right from the follicle.
Choose a thickening shampoo, apply into your palms and give your scalp a DIY massage for a couple of minutes. Massaging the scalp can stimulate blood flow, which can strengthen hair roots.
"Apply a light conditioner to ends only, so the strands aren't weighed down by any extra product," Hamburger advises.
For an extra volumising boost, she recommends a leave-in treatment specifically for thinning hair: "Nioxin's Diaboost is ideal for thin hair as it strengthens and improves the density of each hair strand, while creating volume and thickening the hair."
How you wear your hair can make all the difference between fine or fabulous. Avoid styles that hang limp around your face and opt for bodyifying layers and clever cuts.
"A shorter cut will help when it comes to thinning hair, as well as adding in layers to create body and movement," says Norris Ogario, founder and creative director of Ogario.
"Trying a different parting can also work wonders - a sweeping fringe can create the illusion of thicker locks."
Gentle waves will add extra texture and a fuller appearance. Place inch sections of hair into medium-size rollers all over the head, apply heat with a hairdryer, then let them cool completely.
If you prefer your hair off your face, certain styles can give the gift of volume - try a Bardot-inspired ponytail that involves a bit of backcombing on day-old hair.
3D colour boost
Hair colour has evolved from simple 'blonde', 'brunette' or 'cover grey' ambitions to transformative textural results.
"Ask for a multi-tonal colour - it's a bit like a 3D effect," says Josh Wood, hair colour expert.
"If you have a slightly darker, medium and lighter colour, it will look as though you have almost three times the amount of hair than with a single shade."
Using different tones on different areas of the hair, a skilled colourist will play on light and dark to create the illusion of thicker looking hair.
"Roots that are a little bit darker and ends that look lighter will generally make your hair look fuller," Wood advises.
Simply having colour in your hair can also have a physical effect. Hair that's coloured has been chemically processed, which gives the feeling of slightly bulkier tresses.
Tried & tested
:: Lisa Haynes delves into a pure air treatment bubble and detoxes her face
You know a facial's good when it breaks records for compliments. Within half an hour of my Natura Bisse 'The Cure' facial, I clock up three emphatic "your face is glowing" remarks - and that doesn't include the staff at Josh Wood's Atelier Beaute where I have it done.
Wood doesn't like the word 'spa'; this is a more decadent house of hair and beauty with resident top industry names. Barcelona brand Natura Bisse is one of them and I sample this city detox facial, which claims to neutralise the ageing effects of environmental pollution.
I've had a few facials in my time, but never before in a giant white inflatable 'Pure Air Bubble' that zips down revealing a luxurious treatment bed. My therapist tells me that the bubble of pure, sterile air increases the efficacy of the treatment products, as well as detoxifying skin. Inside, I feel immediately tranquil. The treatment begins with a double cleansing, followed by a three-phase exfoliation, which I'm told is especially needed around my nose area (I'm asked if I've recently had a cold, it's that bad). It stings a little around sensitive areas, like my cheeks, which I'm told to expect, but that subsides within a couple of minutes. My therapist applies hot, steamy white towels carefully across my face and then expertly performs extractions to remove impurities and blackheads. It's uncomfortable but supremely satisfying.
As she applies pressure to particular areas during the detox massage, which uses lymphatic drainage techniques to de-puff my face, I almost drift off.
Next, an effervescent therapy mask is brushed on, which gently fizzes leaving my skin feeling so fresh, it's as though it's been steam-cleaned. An Oxygen Cream's applied for hydration, followed by The Cure Sheer Cream - like a BB - that neutralises any redness. At the end, when I look in the mirror, it actually looks as though I've had a secret facelift! My cheekbones have lifted, my skin feels smooth and I've got my glow back for spring.
:: Natura Bisse The Cure facial, £125 for 60 minutes at Josh Wood Atelier Beaute (www.joshwoodcolour.com)
:: Natura Bisse The Cure facial, available at select locations nationwide. Visit www.naturabisse.es/en/store-locator
Buy it now
Design house Balenciaga's fragrance range has blossomed with the launch of Rosabotanica. The decadent floral packaging houses an 'enchanted spicy vegetal rose, lightened by notes of citrus drops and white woods'. Balenciaga Rosabotanica EDP, from £53, available nationwide from January 29.
:: Burch beauty
Designer Tory Burch has branched out into beauty. A decade after the fashion label was born, you can now wear - and smell like - the brand, with the luxe collection of fragrance, skincare and make-up. The range sold out within hours of hitting counters but has been re-stocked exclusively at Harrods, priced from £22-£80 (www.harrods.com).
:: Recessionista alert
Brave rain or snow storms with a bright designer brolly. Buy any Marc Jacobs scent priced £40 or more at The Perfume Shop and receive a free striped umbrella. Offer available from January 30 to February 14, in stores or online at www.theperfumeshop.com