I have terrible hair. It's fine, it's thin, it's straight but just frizzy enough that it needs to be hit with a straightener when I want to wear it down, and it doesn't agree with most products. I've searched high and low to find serums, balms, liquids, sprays, and mousses that will whip it into shape and hide the truth from the world, and had fail after fail. So I wasn't expecting much with Paul Mitchell's Thicken Up styling serum, which promises "serious volume, flexible body, softness and big shine." Typically, everything I try leaves my hair stiff or greasy or coated or weighed down or looking like it would have without anything in it in the first place. So no, I had no high hopes, but one must keep trying.
Paul Mitchell Thicken Up Styling Liquid
Thicken Up is a semi-thick liquid...more of a thinnish gel consistency. The fragrance is pretty strong, which doesn't thrill me...it isn't a bad fragrance...vaguely floral and pretty sweet. It's just that I love me some perfume, and I'm sick and tired of the makers of styling products adding so much fragrance to their stuff that it interferes with whatever I'm going to wear that day. Annoying...
Anyhow, back to the review. I applied the liquid to my damp roots and worked it through to the ends. It felt soft and slick, which admittedly is much better than a lot of the thickeners out there, which tend to be either rough or sticky. However, I was a little worried I would end up with some serious grease factor. As I dried my hair, though, my fingers and brush ran flawlessly through my hair and I could feel the volume pumping up as I went. Things were looking promising!
Once I was done, I had a good bit of volume. It wasn't extraordinary, but it was definitely enough to make me happy. My hair was thicker, fuller, and easy to manage. It also had a lot of shine, which is very important for my dark, colored hair, which tends to be dull if I don't treat it well. I did experience some falling when I brushed my hair out, but that's to be expected, and it wasn't a deal breaker.
While the volume (as in height) wasn't overly extraordinary, the thickness of my hair seemed to be significantly increased. As I've stated, I've tried a lot of thickening products in the past. Most of them have been total fails. A lot of them make my hair stiff, some make it look greasy, and almost all of them leave behind an odd rough texture that I can't stand. It makes me feel as if I forgot to condition. However, Thicken Up left my hair feeling thicker, fuller, and softer. When I use Thicken Up, it actually appears that I have hair!
Overall, although I didn't have sky-high volume, the addition of thickness was well worth the price. I'm really enjoying this one. I haven't experienced any buildup over time, and it's continued working every day for several weeks. Finally, a success!