Does volumising conditioner really work?
Andrew Bidwell
11 Jul, 2023

Let’s dive in … Does volumising conditioner really work?

In short, volumising conditioner does work, but not all brands do it with your hair health in mind.

Some brands promise to expand the hair shaft by impressive percentages.

This is done in two ways.

1. Volumising the damaging way

By adding stickiness to create lift or by roughening the cuticle layer, sure your hair strand will look thicker and stand up more, but this will weaken hair and leave it prone to breakage.

This leaves hair empty of goodness.

They will then often coat hair in Dimethicone or other Silicones to add a synthetic shine and slip to soften the damaging effects.

We call this a cover up and hair will not hold volume for long if covered in silicone (despite their claims that it is weightless) silicone is the death of volume!

2. The healthy way to volumise

By packing hair with powerful active botanicals, proteins, moisturisers, vitamins and minerals, which improve hair growth and hair quality.

Hair absorbs all of these ingredients, naturally, plumping up your strands in a strengthening and hydrating way, fortifying your hair.

Hair will literally suck water from the atmosphere if it is dehydrated, (hair is hygroscopic) and covering in silicone creates a barrier that starves hair of hydration.

Swell’s haircare range has been natural and silicone free since we launched in 2013.

How to use volumising conditioner to amplify

It’s all about product placement, how much you use and how long it’s left in your hair to work.

Not only will this be far more effective but also stop wastage!

1. Cleanse roots only, never mid lengths and ends.

It’s the roots that become greasy, rinsing out suds over mid-lengths and ends will gently and adequately cleanse these porous areas.

2. Nourish mid-lengths and ends

Focus applying to mid-lengths and ends. Avoid applying conditioner to roots, only nourish roots if they tend to be dry/chemically treated or frizzy.

How much Conditioner you use will depend on hair texture, the more fine your hair the less you need to use.

The shorter your hair length the less you need to use.

Let’s stop overloading hair!

3. Rinse your hair with cool water to seal goodness in.

This closes the cuticles and adds volume and shine.

4. Gently towel-dry your hair and avoid rubbing it vigorously

This can cause damage and frizz when brushing out tangles. Over stretched hair loses its elasticity and collapses.

Using a volumising shampoo & conditioner like Swell’s Ultimate Volume range is a great start to fuller, thicker & stronger hair

More volume can be gained by using other silicone-free styling products. Ask your stylist for advice on techniques to achieve the desired volume and body you are after.

Which conditioner is best for hair volume?

There are many volumising conditioners available in the market, and the best one for you will depend on your hair type and specific needs.

What goes into your volume conditioner and what is left out are equally as important.

ingredients to avoid in a volumising conditioner:

1. Silicones, dimethicone, cyclomethicone, anything ending in ’icone’. These are the death of volume.

2. Sodium laurel sulfate is an industrial foaming agent which weakens and dehydrates hair.

3. PEGs. These can be identified as numbers like 100, 120, 14M, 30, 32, 40, 75 and so on. These are carcinogens and respiratory irritants

4. Certain alcohols. Steer clear of alcohols like propanol and isopropyl alcohol. They cause brittleness, making hair fragile, weaker and less voluminous.

What ingredients help with hair volume?

1. Peruvian root maca increases hair thickness

2. Babassu oil for hair volume and moisture

3. Almond oil for strength and UV protection

4. Malus domestica fruit cell culture extract (Swiss apple stem cell extract) for anti-aging and strengthening

5. Jojoba oil, rich in vitamin C B & E/copper and zinc for stronger/thicker hair

6. Maltodextrin thickens hair strand

7. Hydrolysed quinoa volumises and softens, provides strength and protein

8. Oat beta glucan for added moisture and strength

9. Carnitine tartrate provides follicle stimulation from Amino Acid (protein)

10. Silica, anti-aging, growth and strengthens hair

What does a volumising conditioner do?

A volumising conditioner is designed to add volume and thickness to fine or limp hair.

Remember the purpose for all conditioners is to nourish, strengthen and repair your hair. Not all conditioners are equal, avoid synthetic cover ups!

The healthy way to do this, which natural brands like us do with our volumising conditioner, is to contain active botanicals & ingredients that strengthen and fortify hair, from the inside out (Cortex to Cuticle), making it appear thicker and fuller.

Volumising conditioners that do not contain dimethicone (silicone) also help to detangle, and smooth your hair, making it easier to style and hold a style with volume that lasts.

Some volumising conditioners may contain ingredients that strengthen and nourish the hair, promoting healthy growth and preventing breakage.

Be wary of brands that do not contain healthy and natural ingredients, as they will roughen hair cuticles to gain thickness, then coat with silicone (dimethicone) to smooth the damaging effect without providing any nourishment.

How often should I use volumising conditioner?

The frequency of using volumising conditioner depends on your hair type and personal preference. If you have fine or limp hair, you can use a volumising conditioner every time you wash your hair.

However, if you have normal or thick hair, you may not need to use it as often. It is important to avoid overloading your hair with overly softening conditioners full of silicone, as this can weigh your hair down and make it look greasy.

If you find that your hair is becoming too heavy or oily, try reducing the amount of moisturising conditioner you use and switch to a volumising conditioner.

The amount you use and the amount of time you leave it on for will depend on your hair texture. Focus application to your mid-lengths and ends.

Try to use in a bespoke manner, depending on what you’ve put your hair through will determine how much nourishment and repair your hair will need.

Active botanicals, no nasties, minimum 97% natural ingredientsvegan and cruelty free haircare since 2013