Get Bigger, Better Hair
From the right cut to the best new products, we found plenty of quick ways to add natural body and bounce to your strands.
Wash with a volumizing shampoo most days and a clarifying shampoo once a week to remove product residue that can weigh down strands, advises Abby Schlenger, a stylist at the Marie Robinson salon, in New York City. Next, she adds, use a volumizing conditioner "from the midshaft of hair to the ends". Conditioner can leave behind oils, so applying it near your roots makes it harder to build body while styling.
Take it higher with a dryer
Here's how to do it, from Hannah Williams, of Blow salon in New York City:
Massage in product. Lift hair in sections, spritz a root-boosting spray near roots, then massage it in with fingertips. "This separates the strands and adds lift," Williams says.
Flip it. Set in sections. Separate a section of hair and dry it while using a round brush to gently pull it in the opposite direction you want it to fall. This sets the hair so when you finish and flop it back over, there's lift at the roots.
Spray so it stays. After drying, flip your head upside down and mist the underside with lightweight hair spray. "Spraying directly on top can leave the top layer stiff and cause hair to fall flat," Williams explains.
Fix a flat (style)
Even if you leave the house with volume, your hair can deflate later in the day. The quickest fix: dry shampoo.
Pick a travel-size version that fits in your purse. "These absorb oil—volume's arch nemesis—and some have proteins that cling to hair, making it look thicker," Schlenger explains.
Just lift several sections of hair on your crown and mist a spray-on dry shampoo right at the roots. Use your fingers to gently rake through your strands, flip your head upside down a few times, and—voilà—you have a re-volumized look!
Choose the right cut
"Regardless of your texture, more layers equal more volume," says Devin Toth, a stylist at Ted Gibson Salon. But once strands are long enough to reach down your back, no amount of layering can counteract the weight of all that hair. Check out these star styles that work.
Textured Pixie: Piecey cropped cuts like Halle Berry's, which is shorter on the sides and in the back, look more voluminous.
Angled Bob: This cut on January Jones gives the illusion of length in front but the shorter layers in back add height to your crown.
Long and Layered: Blended layers add body to the top and sides of Katie Holmes' shoulder-length cut.
Go for a new hue
If your hair is fine or thinning, consider using an at-home permanent dye to pump up your color—and your hair! The coloring process alters the surface of your strands slightly, making them seem fuller.
Stylist secret: back-combing
We're not teasing: Back-combing is a quick way to add major height to any 'do (with minimal effort). The technique, which stylists use to create those crazy-voluminous red carpet updos and bouncy shampoo-commercial styles (like Kate Beckinsale) sounds intimidating but is really easy to do.
How to back-comb
• Separate a 2-inch section of dry hair in the area where you want volume and hold it vertically.
• Insert a slim brush or fine-tooth comb into the back of the section about two inches above the scalp, and slowly, yet firmly, push the brush toward your scalp. Remove brush, insert again, and repeat once or twice more. Move the brush downward only (going up and down quickly—a.k.a. teasing—can damage hair).
• Repeat with a few more sections until you create a small, puffed-up area, then arrange non-back-combed strands over the section so the top looks smooth.