I like Bumble&Bumble Surf Spray, it does a nice job of bulking up my fine hair and creating some lift at the roots. But man is it expensive. A while back I ran across this simple DIY version at Makeup Alley (registration required, worth it). I find that it works pretty much the same and it this has become my everyday product. Note, the salt in it does give a matte finish to your hair, so if you like shiny this won’t make you happy:
– 1 or 2 teaspoons epsom salt. Available at drugstores.
– 1 or 2 generous squirts of hair gel. Make sure it’s water based, water should be one of the first ingredients. I used Pantene Volume Gel because it was on sale when I went looking, the original instructions used half Dove Shine & Define and half TIGI Creative Genius.
– 4 ounces water.
Combine in spray bottle, shake well. I had a B&b surf spray bottle left over, it has a nice misting thing going on. I think any spray bottle should work out ok.
I also use B&b Thickening Spray, and the main ingredient in that is hydrolyzed wheat protein. So of course I did try to reproduce this as well. I thought wheat protein = wheat gluten, right? Turns out, not at all. But before I learned this I bought a bag of Bob’s Red Mill vital wheat gluten powder and mixed 1/4 teaspoon in about six ounces of water, shook it up and sprayed it. The spray nozzle almost immediately gummed up and stuck, and the gluten left to settle in the bottle floated around until it found each other and formed a blob that floated on the surface menacingly. And when I tried to clean it out it stuck to the inside of the bottle, the outside of the bottle, the sponge and the sink so tenaciously that I ended up tossing everything except for the sink. So, don’t try wheat gluten. Subsequent and equally uninformed trials with bread flour went about as well. You’ve been warned.
It only took a second of Googling (yes, hello, why don’t I do that first?) to find that you can actually buy hydrolyzed wheat protein. According to The Herbarie it does not actually contain gluten, and it “constitutes a unique hydrating complex offering a combination of moisture-balancing and film-forming properties that work synergistically to give hair better body control”. I might just buy a few ounces and see if I can make a home version of the Thickening Spray as well.