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I learned to embrace big hair in my teenage years, and decided after years of trying to tame it, that my hair looked better if I just worked with it instead of against it. And so I also learned to love big hair. Even when sleek hair styles are trending, I have big hair, and ultimately, it just looks better that way. But I don’t wake up with great big voluminous hair that’s all perfectly in place, I still have to work at it to get it to look the way I want it to. And just like makeup, skincare, and even personal style, there are tricks to enhance our assets and the key is to keep trying until we get it right.
Here are 14 different ways I get BIG MEGA VOLUME in my hair and tips and tricks so you can too!
1. Don’t get weighed down
I really don’t use too many products on my hair because they tend to weigh it down. If your hair is limp, lay off the products and find a really great shampoo and conditioner and leave it at that. You can start by looking for volumizing shampoos (I really like Dove shampoos and conditioners for affordable beauty) but I have a habit of mixing my shampoos and conditioners to give my hair a boost. Also try keeping the conditioner away from your roots, and only applying it to the middle and ends.
2. Flip it …
After washing my hair, I flip it a few times (once in the shower and then a few times when I’m out) and then ultimately towel dry it haphazardly and wrap it up for 10 minutes or so to dry out a little bit on its own. The flipping separates and texturizes at the same time, while lifting my roots up a bit and ridding excess water.
See more at Summer Hair Care Tips and Tricks.
3. … and Clip it
I try to avoid the hair dryer as much as possible, so when I air-dry, I clip up the front of my hair and roots with a jaw clip into really big REALLY HIGH pouf. I may alternate and re-do this pouf 4-7 times while my hair is air drying so I don’t get any kinks.
4. Try some mousse
If you need a little uplifting help, Cosmo suggests massaging a dollop of mousse into your scalp when it’s still damp and let air dry or blow dry after. Try L’Oreal Vive Pro Glossy Volume Mousse ($26.14), Aquage Uplifting Foam ($30.95), or Frederic Fekkai MORE All-Day Density Styling Whip ($17.50).
5. Invest in quality tools
If I choose to blow-dry instead of air dry, first I begin with a great hair dryer like the T3 Featherweight Professional Hair Dryer ($182.00) because honestly, good tools make a HUGE difference! If it’s a bit pricey for you, add it to your holiday wishlist, you will not regret it!
6. Blow-drying tips
When I do blow-dry my hair, I’m not really precise about it, but I do have techniques that lift my roots up! First, I NEVER brush out my hair when it’s wet! I often keep the front clipped up high in my big pouf, like I do when I air dry, and blow out the bottom first. I do not use a brush generally until the end. I just blow it all around until it’s nearly dry. When the lower half is almost dry, I take out the clip and usually flip my head upside down, keeping the hair dryer close-ish to my roots and blow it dry upside down. This adds even more volume.
7. Lift and dry
I flip my head back up and will often hold up the front section really high with one hand, while blow drying the roots, holding the dryer up towards my hands and the ceiling. Cosmo also suggests this but I’ve been doing it since I was about 13 years old and swear by it!
8. Flip it again!
I then flip my hair from side to side, blow drying at the roots, without creating a part or even brushing it yet. This technique will give you great big ’90s hair. Also alternating your part from side to side usually lifts it just because you’re forcing your hair to do the opposite of what it’s used to.
9. And cool it down
Either use your cool setting on your blow dryer to cool it down or let it cool for about 10 minutes before brushing it. Even after a blow-dry, I often use a larger jaw clip to keep it up and lifted while cooling while I finish putting my makeup on.
10. Try hot rollers
Hot rollers are a great way to add volume as well. After blow-drying is when I get the best results, and they tend to smooth out the flyaways as well. I generally use the larger rollers at my roots and always curl up and back for the most volume. You can see my Hot Rollers Tutorial here for extra tips.
11. Use a large curling iron
12. Or create soft beachy waves
If you’re going to wave your hair with an iron, to get extra volume, wrap all your hair around the wand up and back as shown here: Soft Beachy Waves Hair Tutorial with a Hot Tools Tapered Ceramic Curling Iron
13. Dry shampoo gives volume, too
For finishing touches … Dry shampoo can be your best friend! I prefer the powders to the sprays for a nice lift at the roots. My favorite Dry Shampoo is Keratin Complex Volumizing Dry Shampoo Lift Powder ($18.50). This stuff is great for adding volume to your roots on day dirty hair, or even right after a blow-dry and style. I’ve even found that after washing my hair on days I’ve used it prior, my hair has more volume than on a day I didn’t use it.
14. And finish it off with a little hair spray
Not too much, not too little, my favorite brand is Biggie Maxxed out by Bed Head ($11.10). For best results, hold it about 8-10 inches away from your head and even spray it when your head is upside down. Don’t touch it if you don’t have to, but if you must, wait until it dries.
Welcome to big, voluminous hair!
If at least one of these 14 tips can give your hair a little more volume and put a smile on your face, I’m a happy camper!