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Add Volume To Your Hairstyle


Kathy Adams Salon Buford, Georgia Stylist: Nicki Hodges Makeup: Melinda Sanford

The secret to adding volume to any hairstyle is to build up the roots.

When the roots of the hairstyle are strong, they will support the rest of the tresses allowing for luscious big hair. If the roots are soft or weak, the hair will not support volume.

Adding volume to your hairstyle requires the following steps:

1. Understand your hair type, texture and current condition. There are many variables that can cause hair to be flat without lush volume. Each hair type has special needs and requires different products.

2. Use shampoo products designs to "blow up" the hair cuticle and give it volume. If hair is limp and lank, avoid pre-treatments that will cause hair to flatten. If you must use moisturizing shampoo treatments, isolate product use only to the most dry and damaged sections.

When your budget allows, purchase shampoo products designed to blow open the hair cuticle and build in volume during the cleansing cycle.

Note: To test different volume products check out the PhytoVolume System from Phyto.

3. Find a hairstylist that can help you get the very best haircut and hairstyle for your specific hair type, texture and condition. Volume can be added to hair whether it is thin and fine, naturally curly, wavy, coarse or even thick. Naturally curly and wavy hair is often a candidate for added volume throughout the top and crown.

Your hairdresser also might encourage you to add hair color, highlights or chemical texturizing treatments to encourage the cuticle to swell and provide additional volume. Only agree to taking these steps if you understand all the advantages and disadvantages to adding chemicals to your strands.

4. Always use lukewarm water when washing hair and never apply more than one shampoo application. Remember that less is more when it comes to adding shampoo. If hair is damaged in any way, use a very small amount of rinse-out conditioning products applied only to the appropriate areas of the hair that may need conditioning.

Avoid applying any conditioners above the ears since conditioners will soften the roots and make adding volume problematical.

Above & Beyond Salon & Spa Vermilion, Ohio Stylist: Tammy Hylton

5. Finish shampoo session with cool to cold water rinse. Doing a cool/cold water finish helps to close the cuticles adding natural shine and fullness.

6. Towel blot hair.

Make sure hair is damp but not dripping wet before applying volume enhancing products.

Hair that is too wet will neutralize the benefits of volume enhancing formulas and cause them to drip off the strands rather than to penetrate them.

7. Select volume enhancing products wisely.

Contrary to popular opinion, gels may weigh down fine or thin stranded roots.

If your hair tends to be very soft, consider using a volume enhancing mousse or spray or cream which is lighter than gel. If you must use gel, use one that is very light or mix it with mousse or cream for a lighter hold.

8. Dry hair with best volume producing option.

There are many ways to dry volume into the hairstyle. The method selected depends on the type, texture and condition of your current hair. It also depends on how much time you have to style your hair and whether you wish to use hot tools to refine the finished texture.

Consider the following volumizing hair drying methods:

For Naturally Straight Strands That Are Fine/Thin Or For Volume At Roots

Above & Beyond Salon & Spa Vermilion, Ohio Stylist: Debbie Woodmancy Makeup: Asia Woodmancy

A. Separate hair into 1-2" sections. Working with one section at a time lift strand straight up in the air with fingers and use blow dryer with concentrator attachment to direct air flow from the ends to the roots.

This process will blow in volume to the very root. When section is dry, roll into a big barrel loop and pin into place with smooth hair clips to avoid wrinkles. Repeat throughout the hair.

B. Separate hair into 2" sections. Use a round boar's bristle brush. Roll strands around brush and direct air flow from blow dryer with concentrator underneath the strands to ruffle the cuticle adding fullness.

C. Blow dry hair under a soft bonnet or hood style dryer after rolling hair on self adhesive large rollers to create uniform volume from the roots to the ends.

For Naturally Curly or Wavy Strands That Are Fine/Thin Or For Adding Volume At Roots

D. Separate hair into 1-2" sections. Working with one section of hair at a time, nestle the selected strand into the basin of a long finger diffuser.

Direct air flow from the diffuser up the hair shaft from the ends up towards the roots. This drying process will help define natural texture while adding volume to the root area.

Advantages & Disadvantages Of Blow Drying Hair With Head Bent Over

While blow drying hair while bent over at the waist may add volume to the roots, this process can cause some hair types to become tangled which can lead to breakage and damage when the hair is brushed back the right direction.

Hair that is long, naturally curly or wavy does not derive as much benefit from blow drying bent over at the waist as hair that is short to medium and naturally straight.

Above & Beyond Salon & Spa Vermilion, Ohio Stylist: Rachel Kurth

9. Select volume enhancing products wisely.

Contrary to popular opinion, gels may weigh down fine or thin stranded roots. If your hair tends to be very soft, consider using a volume enhancing mousse or spray or cream which is lighter than gel. If you must use gel, use one that is very light or mix it with mousse or cream for a lighter hold.

10. Use hairsprays, finishing & shine products sparingly.

Styling products can cause build-up on strands causing them to compress and fall flat. If you must use hairsprays or other finishing products, use the lightest products possible.

If you select shine products, use the spray versions rather than the drops or gels. Spritz a tiny bit of shine spray into your hands and massage together.

Swipe hands lightly across the top of your hairstyle avoiding the area above the ears near the roots (to avoid weighing down those roots).

If you use lots of finishing products on a regular basis, schedule use of clarifying shampoo sessions to remove ongoing build-up.

11. Use hair extensions for added volume.

Hair extensions have come a long way in the past few years. High quality human hair extensions can last up to three months and offer lots of new volume. Clip-in extensions offer instant volumizing features.

Ken Paves worked in conjunction with Jessica Simpson to create a fabulous line of clip-in synthetic and human hair extensions that come in a wide range of colors and are very affordable. These HairDo clip-in extensions can instantly add lots of lush volume to many different types of hairstyles. They offer a great option to transform your strands into a thicker, fuller version.


Adding volume to your hairstyle first requires that you have a clear understanding of your hair's type, texture and condition. The next more important step is to work with your stylist to get a great haircut and hairstyle to encourage the natural formation of texture.

Once you understand your hair and have the very best cut and style, follow the steps listed below for adding great volume to your hairstyle.

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