1. Claw Clip and Dry Shampoo Combo
One of the easiest ways to volumize flat hair is with a claw clip, some dry shampoo, and a dream. Simply lift a small section at the root and clip it up, then spray in the product to hold it in place once the clip is removed.
“This hack is perfect to achieve volume on day two hair when your blowout is getting flat,” says Bailee Bryant, a professional hairstylist at the Columbus Proper Hair Salon. “The purpose of the dry shampoo is to help add grit and soak up any oils, and the purpose of the claw clip is to set the hair while it’s in a lifted position.”
Veteran hairstylist and hOURS Haircare founder MariLynne Cosmillo cosigns this hair hack for boosting volume. “A claw clip, dry shampoo, and the blow dryer will reset the volume at your roots,” she says. Cosmillo loves the hOURS On-Time Dry Shampoo ($29) because of its oil and odor-absorbing clay. “Avoid getting stuck with white residue by using this invisible option that will blend flawlessly,” she says.
2. Pick the Right Size Roller
Rollers are a common method for elevating your strands, however, our experts agree: In this case, size matters. “Selecting the right size roller is very important when wanting to maximize your volume,” Bryant notes. “Bigger is not always better.”
According to Cosmillo, the bigger the brush, the straighter the hair. “This applies to rollers and irons as well,” she says. To add volume to your strands, she recommends using a medium-sized roller and wrapping the hair all the way to the scalp. “Larger rollers leave too much room at the root,” she says.
3. Add Volume to the Back
If the back half of your head lacks in height, that is where you should focus your energy. Bryant suggests sectioning off that area and targeting your volumizing efforts there.
“Creating lift with a simple object, such as a ponytail, is a great way to achieve volume,” she says. She also suggests using a soft scrunchie to tie the hair. Our team loves the Slip Small Slipsilk Scrunchies ($39 for six). “This will help you hold the section of hair while you use the hair dryer and comb. Keep it loose to avoid accidental crimps.”
From there, “Adding hairspray will help hold the hair on the desired area, and the cold air from your blow dryer helps close the cuticle so everything stays in place.” Pro tip? Apply hairspray directly to a comb and brush it through your hair, which will ensure the product is evenly distributed so that you have less risk of clumping. Cosmillo stresses that this technique requires the right hair spray selection. “Choose a light hold or flexible hold, so you don’t create dents in the hair. The Unite Hair Texturiza Spray ($35) provides a workable hold without creating sticky or crunchy pieces.
4. Overdirect Your Hair
“Overdirecting” is a stylist-beloved technique that pushes your hair in the opposite direction of where it would naturally lie. “When you take it back to its natural form/part, it creates a lifted result,” says stylist Matt Newman.
“Similar to the above hack, using hair spray helps to set the hair,” explains Becca Nilsson, director of artist education for Blo Blow Dry Bar, “When you add it to the hairline and brush the hair back, it can create great volume around your face. Adding the cool air from the blow dryer will help set it into place.” The Shark SpeedStyle ($200) has an easy-to-use cool shot button on the barrel for simple styling.
However, this technique may not be for everyone. Cosmillo gives her thumbs up if your hairline naturally falls forward or downward because the process will help redirect the roots. “However, if your hairline naturally lays back—for example, if you have a widow’s peak—this method will further flatten your roots,” she cautions.
5. Blow Dry Roots From All Directions
As you’ve likely realized by now, volume starts at the root—and generally speaking, air or towel-dried hair won’t give you quite the lift you’re looking for. “The root is the healthiest portion of the hair strand, and therefore, holds the most moisture,” says Cosmillo.” If you still have moisture in your hair after styling, it’s going to drop and frizz quickly.”
To speed up the process, use a round brush like the Olivia Garden NanoThermic Ceramic + Ion Round Thermal Hair Brush ($27) for a DIY blowout. To detect excess moisture in the hair, she suggests switching your dryer setting to no heat and applying it to your hair. If the cold sticks to any spot, that’s because it is still damp.
Beyond keeping your roots dry, blow drying in different directions creates even more lift. This technique is often employed by the pros during a professional blowout. “Lift a section straight out and blow dry the root area on all four sides for complete volume control,” Cosmillo says, “This pushes the root to come outward—not up, down, or to lay on its side.”
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