You've Been Taking Care Of Your Flat Hair Wrong This Whole Time

Having fine hair can be such a pain — you spend what seems like hours styling it, only to have it collapse into flat, limp strands within minutes. Why even bother? Does fine hair mean being doomed to going through life with super-short pixie cuts, suffering serious shampoo commercial-induced envy? Surely modern technology and/or ancient wisdom transmitted through the mystic portal of Google must contain some kind of miracle treatment that can transform limp, lank locks into luscious ones.

Well, there may not be any one magic potion that can cure flat hair (needless to say, be extremely skeptical of any advertising promising to sell such a thing), but there are a number of mistakes that could be contributing to the problem. If you pay a little more attention to your hair care routine as well as your styling, you may be able to go from flat to fabulous after all.

You've been going for a long or layered look

Keeping your fine hair from going flat begins with a good cut. As Matrix celebrity stylist George Papanikolas told Byrdie, "Thin hair should be kept at shoulder length or shorter, with very little layering to maintain bounce and shape. ...Keeping it too long looks ratty, and having too many layers can make it look stringy." The reason why shorter is better for fine hair is because it is more damage-prone than thick hair and thus harder to grow out. As stylist Jon Reyman explained to Reader's Digest, "With fine hair, it breaks off so you usually can't get it really long."

Southern Living explains why layers may not be the best for fine hair, saying that layers can have the effect of making hair look even flatter and lacking in body. They recommend going with shorter blunt cuts instead as these can enhance your hair's volume without the need for layering.

You've been neglecting your scalp

If you don't take care of your scalp, this could also be contributing to your hair's flatness problem. It all starts at the roots, you know. A good scalp scrub or clarifying shampoo will help get rid of anything that could be weighing those roots down and thus flattening your hair. 

Franck Izquierdo, co-founder of IGK Hair Care, told Southern Living: "A scalp scrub will give you a deeper clean and will physically exfoliate away the dirt, oil, and product build-up that can clog hair follicles." A clean scalp can allow for better hair growth, and the more new hairs, the more overall volume you'll have.

You've been blow-drying the wrong way (or not at all)

According to Reader's Digest, air drying is no friend to flat hair. They claim that blow-drying is actually crucial to giving your hair a little lift. Hairstylist Adam Broderick said you need to blow-dry using a specific technique that's best for fine hair, though — blow dry upside-down, on a low-heat setting, and be sure to finish off by giving each section a blast of cold air using the "cool" setting as this will keep your hair from going flat as soon as you're done drying. 

Broderick also suggests you not part your hair until it's dry. Papanikolas also told Byrdie his special tip for blow-drying fine hair: "round-brush your roots away from your head to get extra lift."

You've been teasing your hair

Shampoo manufacturer Pantene says that teasing fine hair is a big beauty no-no. While it is supposed to boost volume, backcombing actually damages the hair. How it works is, hair is combed against the direction of its cuticle cells, which could wind up stripping them away from the hair fiber. If you then use hairspray on top of your teased tresses, this is likely to make for a sticky mess, and when you inevitably have to brush out the mess, your hair might possibly break off and become even finer –- and flatter –- than before. What's more, repeating the tease-spray-brush out cycle could weaken your hair over time. 

Stylist Danielle Allyson tells Prevention: "frequent tugging can put a lot of strain on your hair." This leads to weakened hair and, according to Prevention, is one of the top styling mistakes that can lead to hair loss and, oh no, you do not want to end up president of the Hair Club for Women.

You've been using too much product

The number one don't for fine hair is using too much product — since it can barely support its own weight, much less that of all the gunk you're trying to load it up with. Papanikolas recommended that Byrdie readers skip using conditioner, or else only apply it to the ends of the hair since conditioner + hair roots = flat, flat, flat. As for styling products, he says to use only half the amount given on the product label for a volumizer or root lifter. 

Cosmopolitan echoes the warning about overburdening your hair with styling products, encouraging readers to use no more than two different products on fine hair and only using hair oil at the very tips, if at all.