I am 26 year-old Caucasian male, and have really, really fine, dead-straight, dark brown hair with some slight thinning in the temples (which thankfully seems to have stabilized).
Over the past four to five years, I've found that my hair has become very dry and brittle and responds poorly to any sort of high-street shampoo or conditioner. Obviously I have always had fine hair, but prior to the age of 21 I was able to wear it long, wash it infrequently, and use copious amounts of product in it, to give it a fuller, thicker, and matted appearance.
Between the ages of 21-24 it is fair to say I had a bit of a nightmare with my hair. Gradually it seemed to become limper than ever before, and combined with a bit of paranoia about excess hair shedding (which I now think was just the development of a mature hairline), I began to over-wash my hair to the point where it lost any sort of moisture, resisted all styling products, and generally sat woefully on my head like a sack of singed straw.
I have noticed quite a big improvement in the last couple of years in terms of its general appearance, and this is largely a result of a much shorter cut, but also using better quality grooming products.
The best shampoo/conditioner in terms of improving the quality of my hair, has been Joico K-Pak Deep Penetrating Reconstructer, which has restored a bit of a lustre to my locks, and allows me to style my hair a lot easier than I was previously able to.
Also, I have found Redken for Men Moulding Paste Work Hard to be a bit of a revelation in terms of styling my hair. It is non-greasy, has a strong hold, and imparts a natural looking shine to your hair. Having tried Tigi BedHead 3-1 thickifier, Fudge styling hair putty, American Crew Fiber, Paul Smith Hard Wax, and countless other high-street brands, I have founds this by far and away the best product for my very fine hair.
However, problems still remain. While the Joico K-Pac Reconstructer that I have been using has seen a marked improvement, the annoying thing is that I have to use this almost everyday - and it has only seemed to improve the moisture of my hair and not the general thickness.
Because it has not improved the thickness it means I have to style my hair every single day, just to give it some sort of shape and definition. I might sound incredibly vain, but without combining the use of it with the Redken Moulding Paste it would just revert back to its lifeless, textureless state, limply hanging over my head. It is a rather tedious routine, and I would love to just be able to step out of the shower for once and not worry about what my hair will look like once it has dried off.
Another thing is that because my hair is so fine, it grows incredibly quickly. While I am ok styling my hair for maybe up to 5 weeks after my hair cut, any more than that and it gets incredibly difficult using the Redken Moulding paste, especially with the quiffed hairstyle I am going for.
Basically I am after recommendations for the best thickifying shampoo, and any more suggestions on styling products for ultra-fine hair (short to mediums styles) would be much appreciated.