When you want to put a little more “oomph” in your 'do, it all begins in the shower when you wash your hair. What you use to prep your hair will make all of the difference when it comes to your end result. So, start by choosing an appropriate volumizing or thickening shampoo and conditioner. These typically are very light and will give your hair the moisture it needs without weighing it down. No matter your budget, these shampoos and conditioners can be found either at your local drugstore or your favorite salon.
Once your hair is clean, the next step is to add a styling agent. Products like mousse, volumizing gels or creams, and thickening creams will help to prep your hair for the styling that is yet to come. When applying these products, it is best to mainly apply them to the roots of the hair, as this is where your volume will come from.
Avoid adding products to the ends of the hair as this my inadvertently weigh the hair down. If you need to detangle your hair, be sure to comb (not brush) from the bottom of the hair, working your way up to the roots. Avoid pulling or tugging on the hair.
After applying your product(s), you will need to dry your hair.
Adding Volume with a Hair Dryer
If you have limp, curly hair, use a diffuser attached to a blow dryer to define your curls and use your fingers to lift the hair at the roots. Remember to be gentle with your curls - you want to create volume, not frizz! A root lifting spray can be used to finish your style just before it is completely dry.
If you have straight hair or want to create a smoother style, use a blow dryer (on a low setting) to first help remove some of the moisture. Try flipping your head over for a few minutes, this really helps to lift the roots, giving your hair volume!
Next, you'll want to section your hair and begin to blow it dry using a round brush. With a directional nozzle on your hair dryer, start with the bottom sections of your hair and work your way up to the top sections of hair. Be sure to create lift and tension at the roots while drying. Before you move on to the next section, use your fingers to gently lift the roots away from the scalp and aim the dryer directly onto them with a cool shot of air.
Continue to do this until you have finished your hair.
Depending on your hair length, and the style you'd like to achieve, flip the brush in or out at the ends of the hair. Create curls by holding the brush around your hair and focusing the heat on the hair around the brush.
Adding Volume with a Flat Iron
Volume can also be achieved when you use your flat iron to style your hair. Many top stylists love to use this method, as it saves time, and can also help hold the hairstyle longer.
To do this, use a flat iron no larger than 1 1/2" width. Taking your hair into one-inch sections, clamp the flat iron over your hair and turn your wrist away from you. Use your opposite hand to flip the hair over the iron, if needed, and rotate the flat iron one full turn. Pull the flat iron straight down to create a curl. Continue to do this until you have created the amount of curls you desire.
When you are done with this, flip your head over and lightly shake your head to allow the curls to separate, using your fingers to also give more separation of the curls. Flip your head back and you should have fabulous body in your hair! At this time, a root lifting spray may be used to give more lift to the roots.
Adding Volume with Hot Rollers
Hot rollers are also another fabulous way to create volume. For a quick volumizing styling trick, start with hair that is completely dry. Roll hair around large rollers beginning with the hair that grows just above the ears. Work your way up the hair until all of the top sections of hair are in rollers. Once the rollers are cool, gently remove rollers, allowing the curls to fall loosely. Flip your head over, and gently brush out the hair. Flip back up and smooth the hair. At this time you can continue to style your hair as usual.
Other Volume Tips
Many other tricks can help create volume (a layered haircut, lowlights in just the top layers of the hair, semi-permanent hair color, or just a simple switch of you natural part) and really make a difference in the appearance of your hair. Some of these tricks may even take some time and practice at first, so be sure you've logged a few practice runs before you attempt to them for an important night or event.