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The Poofinator has arrived. Grab your lift comb, raise it in the air and repeat this mantra: Hairspray is my friend; it’s OK to spray. Hairspray is my friend; it’s OK to spray.

Fine, straight hair is absolutely beautiful—if you have a lot of it. Fine, straight hair can be a cosmetological nightmare if there is not enough of it to hold even a part. There is nothing worse than flat hair sticking to your scalp, making you look like an onion head. There are measures you can take to avoid cementing your hair into an Elvis pompadour.

1. Get a hairstylist who has your hair type. Now, doesn’t this make perfect sense? Call around and make appointments for consultations. Specify that you want to meet with someone who naturally has fine, lifeless, dead hair and can work miracles. Consultations are free, and you’ll get a “feel” for the right shop and hairdresser for you.

2. When you select a hairdresser, make an appointment to get your hair done. Tell him or her what your lifestyle is like (are you outside or in most of the day, etc.) and what your needs are. DO NOT, under any circumstances, attempt to tell the stylist how you want your hair to look. Lives have been lost over such verbal misunderstandings. BRING A PICTURE. Draw one if you have to. Hairdressers are visual people, artists if you will, and they need to SEE what you want so they can tell you if they can do it for you.

3. Use the same products that the hairdresser uses. Contrary to news reports in the past, they are NOT the same as the $1.98 jumbo bottle of Lye & Ply at the drug store. It’s better because stuff has been added to it like botanicals, herbs, vitamins, or whatever the angle is. If you are short on pocket change, tell the hairdresser so he or she can suggest something cheaper. Usually, hair shops carry more than one line of products that vary in price. Whatever you get, make sure to get GOOD HAIRSPRAY.

4. There are many hairsprays available that will not gook up your hair or plaster it into a helmet. There are styling sprays you can use as you brush your hair into place; usually the more you use, the better it looks. Finishing sprays are used to hold hair in place without making it as stiff as a surfboard. When the wind blows, finger combing will usually get your tresses back in place. You will not be able to do this if you use Stucco Spray Extra Firm.

5. Try this ladies: spray your hair lightly (with the good stuff) before using the curling iron. After you release each lock of hair from the iron, roll it up in a Velcro roller while it’s still warm. Velcro rollers are very kind to your hair and will give you lots of poof. When cool, take the rollers out. The less you mess with your hair at this point, the more body it will retain. You can use a lift or a wide-toothed comb to tease each strand gently. Spray with styling spray. Carefully comb your hair into place using the lift comb and your fingers. Spray with finishing spray. Don’t touch it again.

6. For even more body, consider coloring your hair or getting a permanent. Some hairdressers will not do both to you because of the danger of frying your delicate locks. Stylists who would do both may be taking a risk with their reputation and your hair. Be loyal, but be careful. Coloring adds volume to the hair shaft and makes you look like you have more hair. There are many different coloring procedures and products that can be used to volumize your hair and add body. A light permanent done all over or partially will add even more poof.

So you see, it’s not impossible to pretend you have hair, lots of hair. OK, that’s a stretch, but your hair will look better nonetheless. It’s important to be gentle to your hair if it is thin and fine because it is so easily damaged. For example, barrettes either slide out of the hair or, if they are strong enough to stay in, will break the shaft off and give you a cowlick. And you can just forget about keeping one of those decorative combs in place behind your ear. You’ll be enjoying dinner in some fancy restaurant, and when you throw your head back and laugh, that sucker will land in your soup.

Some people were born with gorgeous hair. Others will have to use hairspray and a lift comb for the rest of their lives.