Product Review: Volumising Shampoos and Conditioners

Team ELLE has put a bathroom full of volumising shampoos and conditioners through its paces

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Ever since Cheryl Cole removed her hair extensions because of the uproar her L’Oreal advert caused (it wasn’t her hair that had ‘its mojo back’), it just doesn’t seem cool to fake full hair with fake hair.

Instead, we need to find hard working hair products to lift and volumise for us. While there are some amazing root lifting, body boosting products out there, if you haven’t properly prepped with a good volumising shampoo and conditioner, the results from styling just won’t be as effective. Team ELLE has put a bathroom full of volumising shampoos and conditioners through its paces (we’re a very picky bunch); here are the best…

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Your Highness By Tigi Catwalk

Price: Shampoo £12, Conditioner £14

Stockist: Tigi

Best for: A good boost
I used to have the thickest hair ever, but over the past few years I've noticed the thickness I once moaned about has gone. And you know what? I want it back.
The scent of this shampoo is divine. Infused with lavender, wisteria, jasmine and violet, I loved it. Rinsing was easy as there wasn't a huge amount of lather to contend with. The conditioner was thick and a little went a long way. I recommend leaving it on for a couple of minutes to get a good condition. Once blow dried I noticed a difference immediately; my hair felt lighter, bouncier and healthier. My highlights were brighter too.
The volume in my hair lasted all day even after wearing a beanie hat. I would definitely buy this set again. I have my eye on the Root Boost Spray too.

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Leanne Bayley, Picture Researcher. Hair Type: Long and fine, but lots of it.



Volume Shampoo and Conditioner By Toni & Guy

Price: Shampoo £6.99, conditioner £6.99

Stockist: Toni & Guy

Best for: Super clean hair with volume

For an affordable volumising shampoo and conditioner, Toni & Guy offers lift and thickness to thin hair. The metal pump cylinders are a great addition to the bathroom but some qualities were lacking. The shampoo is clear and smooth with a thin gel-like consistency while the conditioner is much thicker. Its lather is very thin though with no visible bubbles so it didn’t feel luxurious. Post-rinse my hair did feel extremely clean - maybe those bubbles are overrated? For someone who blow-dries their hair every day, I would recommend a stronger a conditioner as I didn’t think this gave my hair enough shine or hydration. However, my thin hair did gain volume and felt great throughout the day. Only buy this if you want added volume, but don’t suffer with dry hair or wash your hair everyday. 

Alice Watt, Fashion Intern. Hair Type: Short and fine.



Full Volume By Frederic Fekkai

Price: Shampoo £18, conditioner £18

Stockist: HQ Hair

Best for: Great quality products that work

After just one wash with Fekkai my short, fine hair felt fuller and softer. I am now a devotee! Both the shampoo and conditioner are a gorgeous custard colour with a divine fresh smell makes them a pleasure to use. They are both quite concentrated too. The shampoo creates a luxurious, big lather so you don’t need to use too much- which is good considering the price! My hair is fine and lifeless but both the shampoo and conditioner gave it subtle lift and volume. My hair becomes dry with regular washing and blow drying so the conditioner is hugely important. I applied the Fekkai conditioner and it didn’t immediately feel effective. But don’t be fooled like I was, as soon as I rinsed it out, my hair felt silky soft. Thankfully, this feeling lasted. For those on a budget, Fekkai probably doesn’t seem like the sensible option but for a high quality product, this is worth investing. 

Alice Watt, Fashion Intern. Hair Type: Short and fine.


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Aussome Volume By Aussie

Price: Shampoo £3.99, conditioner £3.99

Stockist: Aussie

Best for: Good everyday products

The Aussome products have a medium texture with a really fresh scent and a good price tag to boot. However I didn’t really feel the volumising effects, probably because I already have thick hair and it would be better suited to someone with a fine hair type. On the plus side the products were great for adding shine and softness to my hair and I did achieve a little bit of bounce. My hair was also easy to blow-dry and style after washing. Even though I didn’t find it volumising, I would use these products again.  

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Josie Gealer, Pictures Inter. Hair type: Long, thick and straight.



Volumactive Range By Kerastase

Price: Bain Volumactive, £14, Masque Volumactive, £25.30 and Spray Volumactive, £17.50

Stockist: Kerastase

Best for: Dry hair in need of a boost

With my fine, flyaway hair I have long been a happy customer of Kerastase. Every hairdresser I've ever had recommends me Bain de Force shampoo for weakened hair. But if becoming "immune" to products is true, maybe I should try a new one. So long as it's from Kerastase... 

Volumactive has that luxe silky consistency and salon smell that you only get from professional products. It lathers immediately, reaching right in to the roots of your hair to give a deep clean. You have two follow-up products; a thick, conditioning mask and a volumising spray post-towel-dry. The mask is pure cream, my brush felt like it was combing through butter. But when my hair was dry, I found it too thick for my hair type which got greasy quickly. 

My advice is to stick with the shampoo, use a lighter conditioner and use the Volumative Spray in place of hairspray, not as well. This way your hair won't be weighed down with products and hair's bounce will last all day. 

Carrie Gorman, Acting Web Editor. Hair Type: Short and fine.


Muroto Volume Amplifying Range By Shu Uemura

Price: Shampoo £21.50, Conditioner £29.50

Stockist: Shu Uemura

Best for: Volumising benefits, rather than a luxurious experience.

This shampoo and conditioner had a masculine aroma. The shampoo was thick but didn’t create a lot of lather which I found disappointing. I know I shouldn’t have, but the lack of lather led me to use more product to get a clean feeling. The conditioner was a gel which didn’t feel amazing to apply but did give my hair a softer feeling post blow-dry. After styling, my hair felt more silky and glossy; I also noticed that it had a lot more volume which lasted until I washed it again. I wouldn't buy it as a shampoo because I love a good lather but I really did enjoy the volumising benefits it gave me.  

Jae Lee, Web Designer. Hair Type: Shoulder length and fine.




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Volumising Range By John Frieda

Price: From £5.69 each

Stockist: John Frieda

Best for: Volumising products with a great price tag

If I could count on anyone to sort my mane out it had to be Mr Frieda. Sarah Jessica Parker is a fan and check out her mass of hair... 
The scent of the products clung to my hair for the whole day. The shampoo lathered up lots and the conditioner was very rich. It took a while to rinse but the result was well worth the extra shower time. My hair felt lightweight, conditioned and the ends felt soft and healthy.
My full bodied bounce lasted all day long, even after straightening my hair. Usually my hair needs to be brushed throughout the day as it gets knotty,  but after using these products there was no brushing required. At 5pm I could run my fingers through my hair and not encounter one tangle.
Big thumbs up from me - Mr Frieda, I knew I could count on you.

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Leanne Bayley, Picture Researcher. Hair Type: Long and fine, but lots of it.


Body Full Range By Redken

Price: Shampoo, £10.95, Conditioner, £12.55

Stockist: Redken

Best for: Long lasting results

My hair is already thick so finding a product that can get bounce into my straight hair is tricky. This shampoo had a light texture so my hair wasn’t weighed down with residue; it also meant I could wash it less. Post wash and condition I definitely noticed my hair had added volume. It also felt more manageable and easier to style. I didn’t need to load my hair with styling products - post blow dry, it was bouncy enough. I would definitely buy this shampoo and conditioner again. Although it is more expensive than others I wouldn’t need to use it everyday or invest in pricey styling products.

Josie Gealer, Pictures Inter. Hair type: Long, thick and straight.



Pure Abundance Range By Aveda

Price: Range from £12

Stockist: Aveda

Best for: Volumising and not weighing down fine hair

I have very fine hair that can be flyaway yet rather coarse, so when it comes to shampoos and conditioners I always struggle to get the right balance. To give my hair a little boost I tend to go for volumising products, but they seem to fall into two categories; heavy and sticky or drying and frizz-inducing, neither of which I desire! Never having used Aveda products, I wondered about how great their natural formulas would be on my difficult hair. But I was impressed.

The first thing I noticed about the product was its smell, which was a gorgeous fresh herbaceous and minty scent that got me hooked from the first whiff. The shampoo is light and foamy and easy to apply. My one complaint is that it left my hair knotted, however the conditioner soon rectified this. The conditioner was clay-based and offered a luxurious feel to daily conditioning. It felt more like a mask than a conditioner.

Once styled my hair was shiny and had a new fullness to it. A colleague from work even asked me whether the roots had been back-combed (they hadn't). What I liked most about this was that it didn't leave that familiar stickiness that many volumisers do. In fact, my hair had renewed shine and seemed smooth whilst still having movement and root-lift.

Another bonus - I usually wash my hair every other day but today is day three and I got away without washing it this morning (although it definitely had to be an 'up' day).

Susannah Edwards, Beauty Intern. Hair type: mid-length, very fine.

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