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How to Give Your Hair Volume: 5 Tips for Fighting Flatness

BY Jana Russick

No matter what hairstyles and hair colors are trending, having voluminous locks never goes out of style. After all, who doesn’t want to look like a supermodel with fresh-from-the-salon tresses? Regardless of what hair type you’re born with, having bouncy, dynamic tresses is always a prime look — and it’s one you can achieve. 

While you can learn how to give your hair volume, the mystery of maintaining it still seems to be locked in a vault for those with flat, fine, or straight hair. Why is it that no matter how much hair spray we use, our locks always deflate by the end of the day? If you’re looking for tips on how to give your hair volume, you’ve come to the right place. Here are five simple tips to help you achieve height, fullness, and body that lasts.

How to Give Your Hair Volume: 3 Heatless Hacks

Sure, you can get extra volume by using a curling iron or blow-dryer with ultra-high temperatures. But those concerned about heat damage will want to find other options for how to give your hair volume. Here are some effective heatless methods for adding volume.

Roll It Up

How to give your hair volume: woman putting on rollers to her hair

Part of achieving that 1960s, higher-than-the-mountains hair look is using old-fashioned tools like rollers. Granted, you might look like your grandma with those giant curlers in your hair, but they can really do wonders for your tresses. Hot rollers can work in a pinch but if you want a truly heatless method, keep your regular rollers in overnight and follow these steps:

  • Purchase a set of rollers from the beauty store. For volume, choose the largest size your hair can handle.
  • Apply the curlers by rolling them inward from the ends of your hair to the roots. Do this after you’ve showered and your hair is 80% dry (a little damp hair will improve the volume).
  • Sleep with the rollers on to unveil more voluminous roots and body-filled locks in the morning. The end result should look less like curly hair and more like loose waves.

Backcomb for a Bump

Just like curlers, some old-school hair techniques are tried and true. That’s why we recommend gentle backcombing as a solution for how to give your hair volume. Even though this 80s-era go-to can create a lot of frizz and rattiness for some, it’s a very effective way to add a whole lot of volume at the roots. And for those with limp, fine, or flat hair, a little bit of frizz can actually add height.

Here’s how to backcomb your hair for added volume:

  • Wash hair or soak up any oils with dry shampoo, which can also add volume.
  • With a fine-toothed comb, create a center or side part. For increased volume, we’d suggest parting your hair on the opposite side than you usually do.
  • Start backcombing by holding two- to three-inch hair sections above your head and running the comb from the ends to roots about three times each.
  • Repeat this until each section of your hair has been backcombed to create a fuzzy bunch of hair at the roots.
  • Delicately comb the tops of each section to smooth out your hair. More powerful tools like round brushes can be used on the ends since most of the volume comes from the roots.
  • With a light hand, spritz your tresses with hairspray to lock in volume.

Pro Tip: Here’s how to choose the best brush for your hair. 

Consider Getting Extensions

Woman adding hair extensions on her hair

If you’ve been on the short hair train for a while, you might be a little curious about hair extensions. The same goes for those with flat or thin hair. Adding hairpieces is one of the best ways to get voluminous hair and length. 

You can purchase hairpieces made to bump up your hair and give you instant volume. These hairpieces can be clipped in at the crown of your head. Follow this tutorial for applying these hair extensions:

  • Turn your head upside down and with a pick or comb, separate one row of hair at the top of your head. Tie it up with a hairband.
  • Use the small combs on your extensions to clip them right up to the root, directly behind the separated layer of hair. If needed, use bobby pins to keep the extensions in place.
  • Once the extensions are secured, untie the separated row of hair and brush backward over the added extensions, making sure the hair fully covers the clips.

If you’re using individual hair extensions, reverse the way you apply them to your hair for added volume. To do this, clip in your extensions with your hair upside down rather than clipping them flat to your hairline. That way, when you flip your head back the extensions have a mega-voluminous effect on your hair.

Extensions have a controversial reputation within the hairstyling world because they are rumored to be bad for your hair. This may be true for permanent extensions since they’re applied to your scalp with glue or bonded to your hair strands. They can also pull on your roots and cause headaches — ouch! But since clip-in extensions and hair pieces are only worn for a short period of time and can be easily removed, using them on your hair is much less risky. 

How to Give Your Hair Volume With Heat and Volumizing Products

Gotta have heat to get the height you want? Not to worry. Even though hot tools can cause frizziness for some hair types, those with flat hair tend to dodge this issue. As long as you’re using hair care treatments like hair masks to offset damage, occasionally heating your hair isn’t a huge offense. Here are some tips on how to give your hair volume with the help of hairdryers, curling irons, and other volumizing products.

Blow-Dry at Home

Wish you could get a weekly blowout from a professional? Don’t we all?! While waiting for the day we can afford a personal hairstylist, we can treat ourselves to a top-notch at-home blow-dry treatment by following these steps:

  • After showering, towel-dry your wet hair and apply a volumizing mousse.
  • Grab your blow-dryer and apply heat to your entire head. Use your fingers to lightly mess up the roots and create volume.
  • Turn your head upside down and continue blow-drying to add extra lift to the crown.
  • Once your hair is a little over half dry, divide it into sections and start drying from underneath the head.
  • Hold your hair above your head and direct air up the strands.
  • Attach a diffuser to the head of your dryer to finish. Brush in the direction you want the hair to lay. Finally, finish off with one blast of cool hair to loosen the texture.

Pro Tip: Try applying a hair serum to wet hair before blow-drying.

Try a Curler for Volume

How to give your hair volume: hair stylist curling a client's hair

Curling your hair won’t just add volume to your roots — it’ll also give you volume throughout your locks. But that’s only if you use the right type of iron and haircare products to achieve maximum volume potential. Here are some pointers on how to give your hair volume:

  • Apply a texturizing spray before curling. Lift up the individual pieces and spray from underneath. This creates lift and makes it easier for the iron to grip the hair.
  • Use an inch-and-a-half barrel curling iron. Larger curls mean more volume.
  • Take small sections of your hair and place the iron right under the roots of this section without clamping. Leave for about a minute to add volume at the crown of your head.
  • Divide hair into top and bottom sections while curling. This allows you to stack curls on top of each other and create more height.

The Power of Volume

Volume is such an enviable hair trait. But now you’ve got plenty of heat and heatless tricks for achieving more voluminous locks. With the help of rollers, backcombing, extensions, blow-dryers, curling irons, and volumizing hair products, you can finally give your hair volume that lasts.

Here’s another volumizing trick: get a custom shampoo and conditioner. That way you can create a hair washing routine that’s made just for your hair type, structure, moisture level, and beauty goals like achieving more volume. Take our hair quiz to design your custom formula now.