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. 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.
Expert Tips For More Hair Volume
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 people 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,” she says. “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.”
Looking to invest in a new shampoo and conditioner system? From January 6 to 31, Hair.com is hosting a private liter sale, where logged-in, registered users can snag some of their beloved shampoo and conditioner liters for up to 25 percent off.
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, a 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 and finger-comb 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.
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, 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.”
With a few pins and a little hairspray, you’ll have a wedding-worthy updo.
Get a haircut that amps up the drama.
If you’ve incorporated a volume-boosting hair care system into your life and haven’t seen any results, it’s time to 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 Total Results High Amplify Shampoo
If there’s one product every volume-seeker needs, it’s volumizing shampoo. After all, shampoo is the foundation of your hair care routine, right? If you’re looking for a formula to add to your arsenal, we recommend Matrix Total Results High Amplify Shampoo. This lightweight, silicone-free formula cleanses to help boost the structure of fine, limp hair. For best results, follow the shampoo with the Total Results High Amplify Conditioner.
Matrix Total Results High Amplify Shampoo, $12.50 MSRP
Pureology Clean Volume Shampoo
Ladies with color-treated hair need love, too! Formulated with the brand’s exclusive AntiFade Complex, Pureology’s Clean Volume Shampoo protects color-treated hair while providing hair with light, airy fullness and flexible movement.
Pureology Clean Volume Shampoo, $29.50 MSRP
Pureology Clean Volume Conditioner
For best results, follow your Clean Volume Shampoo with the matching Clean Volume Conditioner.
Pureology Clean Volume Conditioner, $31.50 MSRP
Biolage VolumeBloom Shampoo
For those with fine, limp strands, the Biolage VolumeBloom Shampoo will be your new go-to product. Biolage VolumeBloom Shampoo plumps fine, limp hair with lightweight volume and shine.
Biolage Volume Bloom Shampoo, $18.00 MSRP
Ready to try Biolage VolumeBloom Shampoo? Don’t forget to pair it with the matching Volumebloom Conditioner to achieve the best possible results.
Biolage VolumeBloom Conditioner, $19.00 MSRP
Redken Dry Shampoo Powder 02
When you want long-lasting volume, your typical dry shampoo formulas just won’t do the job. Instead, opt for a dry shampoo powder like Redken Dry Shampoo Powder 02. This formula absorbs oil and impurities to extend and refresh styles and provides light, clean volume throughout hair.
Redken Dry Shampoo Powder 02, $20.00 MSRP
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
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.
Pureology Clean Volume Instant Levitation Mist, $29.00 MSRP
Redken Thickening Lotion 06
While nothing can actually make your hair thicker, a thickening product like Redken’s Thickening Lotion 06 can help you fake thicker strands for the day. This formula is enriched with proteins that reconstruct and strengthen hair while giving more substance and thickness to each strand.
Redken Thickening Lotion 06, $26.00 MSRP
Mizani Lived-In Styling Texturizing Finishing Spray
Models on Instagram seem 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 two through four, instantly add natural-looking hold for a flexible soft-matte finish that lasts.
Mizani Lived-In Styling Texturizing Finishing Spray, $20.00 MSRP
Redken Guts 10 Volumizing Spray Mousse
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.
Redken Guts 10 Volumizing Spray Mousse, $19.50 MSRP
Kérastase Elixir Ultime L'Huile Légère
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.
Kérastase Elixir Ultime L'Huile Légère, $50.00 MSRP
Shu Uemura Art Of Hair Muroto Volume Hair Mask
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.
Shu Uemura Art Of Hair Muroto Volume Hair Mask, $68.00 MSRP
For personalized advice about adding more volume to your hair, use our salon locator to book an appointment with a stylist near you.