There are two words guaranteed to get every woman talking, no matter her age, profession, or beauty routine: hair volume. Most of us know both ends of the hair spectrum well, weathering the days when strands just lie limply and celebrating the moments they choose to behave.
It’s recently dawned on us that bouncy, beautiful hair doesn’t have to be a crapshoot. By learning new techniques and putting hair products to their best use, it’s possible to guarantee a good hair day on dark brown hair or bright blonde. Shocking, right?
If you’re searching for a more straightforward, effective way to infuse your fine or flat mane with height, rest assured that hope is out there. To get a professional’s take on the steps you might be skipping at home, we enlisted stylist Jamie Wiley. The Pureology brand ambassador’s quick and easy hair care tips will leave you with bountiful, beautiful strands.
Plus, she’s confident that volume isn’t as complicated as it seems.
“Creating volume can be easy if you have the right products and tools,” Wiley says.
Why even bother going to a blowout bar when you can achieve volume like this at home? Be the envy of all your friends without any extra effort.
Start with the right shampoo and conditioner.
Although it’s easy to get caught up in the teasing and styling aspects of updos, every hair professional is clear on one point. The best styles start with shampoo and conditioner (and a hair mask, if you’re aiming for an extra-opulent treatment).
We’ve heard many a girlfriend proclaim that all shampoos are made the same. No matter the purpose on the label (“volume,” “moisture,” etc.), companies just charge extra for the same formula. That could not be less true. According to Wiley, volume-boosting shampoo and conditioner are a must for fine-haired ladies so that they don’t get weighed down by heavy formulas.
A volume-boosting shampoo or conditioner is specifically formulated to give hair the most amount of cleansing, lift, and movement...Other cleansing systems, like those designed for damage or moisture, will have a higher molecular weight to give the most amount of protein or moisture back into the hair.
Our pick from the L'Oréal portfolio of brands is Pureology’s new Clean Volume system. Formulated with aloe water and soy protein, the Clean Volume shampoo and conditioner help hair feel more moisturized and stronger—without all that extra weight. As an added bonus, the formula even helps absorb excess oil at your roots.
Make your blowouts count.
In recent years, it seems as if every beauty article ends with a nagging lecture about the dangers of heat styling hair too frequently. We may know the rules, but that doesn’t mean we follow them. If you’re anything like us, the blowout is a daily (or every other day) way to look professional and polished. Why have beautiful hair if you can’t show it off, right? Luckily, a blowout doesn’t have to be damaging. If you’re using a heat protectant correctly and understand the best way to make your blow-drying time count, there’s no reason to feel guilty.
Prep your strands with a volumizing spray at the roots, finger-combing volume-boosting mousse through the mid-lengths and ends. We’re big fans of Pureology’s Instant Levitation Mist, which doubles as a heat protectant, and Weightless Mousse, which leaves hair looking softer and shinier.
Wiley’s best trick for a truly stare-inducing, voluminous blowout is simple: Make your strands stand on end.
“Using your blow dryer, dry the root in all directions,” she explains. “Switch between north, south, east, and west until the base is dry. This will confuse the root and make it stand at attention.”
To finish your bouncy style, use a round brush to create gently curved ends.
Tease your updos until they triple in size.
The higher the hair, the closer to God—at least, it should be if you’re doing it right. Wiley’s a big fan of the strategic backcomb as a trick make your hair look more voluminous when it’s tied back. Whether you’re pulling your mane into a casual ponytail or aiming for a full-fledged ballerina bun, this trick is bound to be helpful.
Wiley’s go-to teasing strategy skips over years of advice about backcombing a single section at a time. Instead, she advocates doing the thing in a big way. Pull in all the hair right away, amping up the volume without sacrificing your time.
Once you’ve created the perfect ponytail, follow Wiley’s tried-and-true instructions. She recommends using a Denman brand brush for this look—a product that’s been widely hailed as a miracle worker among curly and straight-haired ladies.
“While holding the end of the pony, backcomb the underneath portion of the pony—doing this will expand the shape of the pony,” she says. “From there, you can wrap the pony into a bun or create an updo.”
If you’ve incorporated a volume-boosting hair care system into your life and haven’t seen any results, it’s time accept that your length may be weighing you down. Medium and thick hairs have three sections: a medulla (the center of the strand), a cortex, and a cuticle. Fine hair, however, lacks the medulla. As a result, it’s easily damaged and clings to the scalp.
As we always say: If you can’t beat them, trick them with a stylish haircut. Wiley agrees, citing the one-length bob as the simplest way to fake voluminous, luxurious locks.
“[The bob] creates width and volume and directs the eye from left to right, giving you the illusion that the client has thicker, fuller hair,” Wiley says. “Another favorite of mine is the medium length cut with choppy ends—making sure that the layers are cut blunt will add fullness and movement into the style.”
Once you’ve officially cut your new style, it’s time to rinse and repeat with these steps. By adding a few volume-boosting tricks to your hair repertoire, you’ll be surprised at how easy it becomes to amp up your look.
Products You Need For More Hair Volume
Matrix Style Link Volume Builder Volume Mousse
You may think of mousse as a styler that passed its prime back in the ‘80s, but that’s where you’re wrong. Today’s mousses have none of the stickiness but all of the volume-boosting power. Consider Matrix’s Style Link Volume Builder Volume Mousse your link to lightweight volume and body. This airy mousse texture delivers touchable volume with no crunch or tack.
Matrix Style Link Volume Builder Volume Mousse, $18.00 MSRP
Pureology Clean Volume Instant Levitation Mist
Ladies with color-treated hair need love, too! Get volume with the help of Pureology’s Clean Volume Instant Levitation Mist, which energizes and adds root lift to hair. The 100 percent vegan formula (no ingredient of animal origin) helps protect against heat damage and provides instant root life and all-over fullness. You’ll also reap the benefits of the brand’s exclusive AntiFadeComplex.
L'Oréal Professionnel Serie Expert Volumetry Shampoo
Make like an astronaut with L'Oréal Professionnel’s anti-gravity effect volume shampoo. The cleansing product is formulated with a combination of purifying salicylic avid and HydraLight for a volume effect. Hair looks volumized, feeling cleansed and lightly moisturized.
Models on Instagram seems to always have earthy, natural-looking waves that bounce in the breeze. Unfortunately, most of us are not models on Instagram. Mizani’s Lived-In Styling Texturizing Finishing Spray is the finishing touch for beachy, windblown effects. On curl types II-IV, instantly add natural-looking hold for a flexible soft-matte finish that lasts.
Mousse is one of those classic styling formulas that’s guaranteed to do the trick every time. Redken’s Guts 10 Volumizing Spray Mousse boosts hair with flexible fullness and bold, gutsy style. The must-have mousse can be applied directly at the roots for added volume and texture.
Dealing with dullness and flat hair? Leave this one to Kérastase. You already know how much we love the brand’s Elixir Ultime L’Huile Originale, but L'Huile Légère is also a favorite. The myrrh and amla extract-infused formula works on work to nourish and bodify fine to normal hair seeking shine. As an added bonus, the bi-phase oil mist will leave your mane with an alluring fragrant halo.
If no volume spray is strong enough to give your fine hair a lasting boost, turn to a hair mask for extra help. Shu Uemura Art Of Hair’s Muroto Volume Hair Mask is formulated with Himalayan crystal minerals to provide lightweight conditioning and give volume to the hair. Formulated without parabens or silicones, the mask helps hair feel fuller, light, and airy with a weightless touch.
Whether your mane is curly or straight, there's a hair brush that's right for everyone. These are some of the best ones on the market right now.
Can your hair look as good as your Pinterest board? Short answer: YES. Long answer: STILL YES… but you need a professional salon and the right products to get you there. Find the best match for your style, hair goals, and price range now. Find a hair salon near you to get your dream hair now.