Thicker, fuller hair for summer? It's one of the few beauty ideals you can truly achieve instantly.
Here are a couple more natural hair thickeners to bring you a thick, bouncy mane that stands out in the summer style stakes.
Achieving Thicker Hair For Summer
Coconut oil and guar gum are excellent natural hair thickeners, but there are a couple of other ways to give your hair a natural boost in volume for those sultry summer waves and curls we thought you should know about, too.
These natural ingredients are easy to find, easy to use and slot in well into a typical hair routine, leaving you with fullness that lasts for days, and plenty more besides.
Natural Hair Thickener: Bentonite Clay
This mineral-rich clay occurs naturally, formed from weathered volcanic ash. Since ancient times, its unique properties have seen it used for an array of purposes, from metalworking to medicine, to clarifying wines, preserving soil and, of course, in beauty rituals.
How bentonite clay thickens your hair: As soon as it's mixed with water, this fine, powdery clay swells up. Applied to your hair, it causes each strand to gently do the same, resulting in a temporary thickening effect.
Side benefits: Bentonite is a natural cleanser; you can use it in place of shampoo, though it won't replace a clarifying shampoo for the removal of certain ingredients. It also makes a great purifying face mask.
Where can I get bentonite clay: It is widely available from herbal or health food stores.
How should I use bentonite clay: Pour some clay into a bowl. The amount you need will vary depending on the length and density of your hair, but for shoulder length hair of medium thickness, 20-40g should be adequate.
Then, start to add water by the tablespoonful, using another spoon, fork or spatula to stir. You don't want it to get too watery, but you do want it to be able to spread easily and not leave clumps of dried clay in your hair. You can stop adding water when you've reached the consistency of a slightly lumpy mayonnaise. Then, stir, stir and stir to get a more even mixture.
Once you've made a viscous paste that's relatively free of lumps, allow it to sit and fully hydrate – it should be ready to use in anywhere from 10 minutes to half an hour, depending on how much you've blended; thicker mixes typically reach a usable consistency more quickly.
When it's ready, the clay should have a smooth, almost gel like texture. That natural slip is part of what makes bentonite great on your hair. Apply it to your hair generously, massaging into your scalp and making sure your length is coated thoroughly.
Cover your hair with plastic wrap or a tightly tied plastic bag. DO NOT allow it to dry; it will be heartache to rinse out. Leave it in 15-30 minutes, then rinse thoroughly with warm-hot water to reveal thicker, fuller, springier hair.
Follow up with a small application of your favourite Superconditioner to lock in the moisture and silky texture.
Watch out for: Dried clay. If you're not careful to rinse every last trace of this from your hair, you could end up with a dusty layer of clay that leaves your hair dry, crunchy and hard to manage. So remember to rinse well – it will take at least a good 5 minutes to get it all out.
Natural Hair Thickener: Epsom Salts
This natural form of magnesium sulphate has been used for its therapeutic powers for centuries. Known as Epsom salts for the English town where it was first distilled, magnesium sulfate occurs naturally in waters around the world which have been used as healing baths, thanks to its health-giving properties. As well as an elixir, Epsom salts are also a little-known, but highly effective natural hair thickener, capable of giving even the finest hair a boost.
Where to find Epsom Salts: The best place to pick these up is at your local pharmacy.
How Epsom Salts work: These salts temporarily swell the hair shaft, giving a passing but significant boost in thickness.
How to use Epsom Salts: After shampooing your hair, mix Epsom salts with your conditioner, 1 part Epsom salts to 2 parts conditioner. Leave in 10 minutes and then rinse thoroughly.
Watch out for: Epsom salts can be drying if overindulged in. Save for occasions when you are wearing your hair out and need a volume boost.
Side benefits: Epsom salts reduce inflammation so can be used to soothe a sore scalp. Plus, magnesium has long been rumoured to help with hair loss.
Thick Hair All Summer Long. . .
A great way to enjoy added thickness all summer long is to cycle through all the hair thicken-ing ingredients, never using one more than twice in a row without moving on to another. That way, your hair won't have the time to get used to the ingredient, so you can keep using it to enhance your hair's thickness all night long. Check out Part I of this article for more natural hair thickeners.
Alexandra Galvis |Peter, Lucidio Studio| Bryan Hughes