Unless you’re blessed with naturally thick hair, adding volume to your mane can be a taxing, fruitless struggle. The truth is, some hair just needs extra TLC to stand out—or stand up at all.
What if I told you that you can get the volume you seek without going so far as to add extensions or pay for Rogaine treatments? All in favor say, “Aye.”
Then let’s get started.
1. Switch to a Different Hair Product
Before you take drastic measures to add some bounce, evaluate your hair care routine. It’s possible that your hair is being weighed down by the shampoo or styling products you use. If this is the case, opt for a product that markets itself as a great volumizer.
What Makes for an Effective Volumizer?
Regardless of the product—shampoo, mousse, hairspray, you name it—volumizing products should:
- Tame frizziness. Quite possibly, the only part of your hair that does stand up is the frizz. A good product will suppress that without drowning out the rest of your hair.
- Hold up your hair without being sticky or goopy. Some products only add volume by making your hair stick together, and others are too oily, which in the end only makes your hair droop even more. Neither option helps, so find a product that feels light in your hands. A light product will pump up your hairstyle without providing extra weight.
- Make your hairstyle last for hours. Don’t just use hairspray or mousse that makes your hair sticky. Use one that will hold your hair up and support it all day long. These products treat hair closer to the roots, rather than the ends.
- Dry out your hair—but not too much. Volumizers work because they dry out your hair just enough to take out oils that weigh it down. Many of them contain the ingredient paraffin for this. But paraffin can damage your hair, so when you can, opt for salon products that add bounce without harming your locks.
Once you find a product, experiment with it. Try only washing your hair a few days a week instead of every day. Sometimes your hair won’t hold up because it’s too clean and dry. So wash it enough to get rid of weighty oils, but keep it at a healthy balance.
2. Blow-Dry It Differently
If you feel confident in your hair products but still aren’t seeing that “oomph” you’d like, blow-dry it a different way. It’s possible your hair lays flat because you’re blow-drying it as it lays flat. Experiment a bit and flip your head upside-down while you dry it. Toss around your hair or hold it up with your hands so you can dry at the roots, not the ends.
Sometimes it’s difficult to add volume to your hair if it’s already dry. So as you dry it, take a round brush and roll your hair a bit so it curls more. Spray it with mousse while it’s wet to help maintain its shape longer. The blow-drying process is actually a crucial step for establishing the volume you want for the day.
3. Tease It
After you’ve dried your hair, try a couple styling techniques to give the impression that your hair is thick. To tease your hair, take small sections of it that lie underneath the outer layers, and use a comb to scrunch them back toward your scalp. Spray it with hairspray to hold it in place, and then lay the smooth outer layers over the teased parts.
Teasing your hair will provide the extra life your hair needs without showing the tangled mess of teased hair underneath smooth outer locks. But do be warned that teasing your hair too often can damage it, so don’t overdo it.
4. Curl It
Teasing your hair can be a pain, so if you want an easier option, take a curling iron to it. Try flipping in just the ends of your hair so that it flounces away from your face. You can also curl ringlets all over your hair and add volume that way. An iron with a thinner barrel will curl your hair into smaller ringlets, which will have even more volume. But if you just want a little bit of curl, opt for a wider barrel.
Curled hair can be an optical illusion and turn flat, straight locks into a vibrant, curly mane. You can shape your hair however you want so that it has a little jive.
5. Get a Haircut
Sometimes hair just lays flat because of its cut. Maybe it droops because it needs layers or is simply too long. It’s even possible that your hair is too thick, and thinning it out would give it the shape you really prefer.
If that’s the case, take matters into your own hands. Get a cut that will give it the freedom to fluff up.
Before you cut it, though, ask your hairstylist for a professional opinion. Find out which cuts lend themselves to more volume and whether you should consider features like bangs and layers. Your stylist has had the training to know which cuts would look flattering with your head and hair type. Schools such as the Canadian Beauty College train their stylists to provide this advice and use different techniques to add volume to your hair. Whether stylists attend cosmetology schools in Toronto, Tempe, or anywhere in between, they know how to cut your hair in a flattering way and keep you happy.
Once you get a haircut, play around with it. Try on different hairstyles and reevaluate your part to see which ways give it the most volume.
Even if your hair doesn’t have natural volume, you can find a way to give it life and perk it up, so don’t be discouraged if you see it drooping. One of these methods will spruce it up. Using them will help you feel more confident in your mane and, ultimately, more confident in yourself.