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There are two words guaranteed to get every woman talking, no matter her age, profession, or beauty routine: Volume. Hair. Most of us know both ends of the hair spectrum well, weathering the days when strands just lie limply and celebrating the moments they choose to behave.
It’s recently dawned on us that bouncy, beautiful hair doesn’t have to be a crapshoot. By learning new techniques and putting hair products to their best use, it’s possible to guarantee a good hair day. Shocking, right?
If you’re searching for an easier, more effective way to infuse your fine or flat mane with height, rest assured that hope is out there. To get a professional’s take on the steps you might be skipping at home, we enlisted Pure Artist Jamie Wiley. The stylist’s quick and easy hair care tips will leave you with bountiful, beautiful strands.
Plus, she’s confident that volume isn’t as complicated as it seems.
“Creating volume can be easy if you have the right products and tools,” Wiley says.
Why even bother going to a blowout bar when you can achieve volume like this at home? Be the envy of all your friends without any extra effort.
Although it’s easy to get caught up in the teasing and styling aspects of updos, every hair professional is clear on one point. The best styles start with shampoo and conditioner (and a hair mask, if you’re aiming for an extra-opulent treatment).
We’ve heard many a girlfriend proclaim that all shampoos are made the same. No matter the purpose on the label (“volume,” “moisture,” etc.), companies just charge extra for the same formula. That, friends, could not be less true. According to Wiley, volume-boosting shampoo and conditioner is a must for fine-haired ladies so that they don’t get weighed down by heavy formulas.
“A volume-boosting shampoo or conditioner is specifically formulated to give hair the most amount of cleanse, lift, and movement,” she says. “Other cleansing systems, like those designed for damage or moisture, will have a higher molecular weight to give the most amount of protein or moisture back into the hair.”
Our pick from the L'Oréal portfolio of brands is Pureology’s new Clean Volume system. Formulated with aloe water and soy protein, the Clean Volume shampoo and conditioner help hair feel more moisturized and stronger—without all that extra weight. As an added bonus, the formula even helps absorb excess oil at your roots.
In recent years, it seems as if every beauty article ends with a nagging lecture about the dangers of heat styling hair too frequently. We may know the rules, but that doesn’t mean we follow them. If you’re anything like us, the blowout is a daily (or every other day) way to look professional and polished. Why have beautiful hair if you can’t show it off, right? Luckily, a blowout doesn’t have to be damaging. If you’re using a heat protectant correctly and understand the best way to make your blow-drying time count, there’s no reason to feel guilty.
Prep your strands with a volumizing spray at the roots, finger-combing volume-boosting mousse through the mid-lengths and ends. We’re big fans of Pureology’s Instant Levitation Mist, which doubles as a heat protectant, and Weightless Mousse, which leaves hair looking softer and shinier.
Wiley’s best trick for a truly stare-inducing, voluminous blowout is simple: Make your strands stand on end.
“Using your blow dryer, dry the root in all directions,” she explains. “Switch between north, south, east, and west until the base is dry. This will confuse the root and make it stand at attention.”
To finish your bouncy style, use a round brush to create gently curved ends.
The higher the hair, the closer to God—at least, it should be if you’re doing it right. Wiley’s a big fan of the strategic backcomb as a trick make your hair look more voluminous when it’s tied back. Whether you’re pulling your mane into a casual ponytail or aiming for a full-fledged ballerina bun, this trick is bound to be helpful.
Wiley’s go-to teasing strategy skips over years of advice about backcombing a single section at a time. Instead, she advocates doing the thing in a big way. Pull in all the hair right away, amping up volume without sacrificing your time.
Once you’ve created the perfect ponytail, follow Wiley’s tried-and-true instructions. She recommends using a Denman brand brush for this look—a product that’s been widely hailed as a miracle worker among curly and straight-haired ladies.
“While holding the end of the pony, backcomb the underneath portion of the pony—doing this will expand the shape of the pony,” she says. “From there, you can wrap the pony into a bun or create an updo.”
With a few pins and a little hairspray, you’ll have a wedding-worthy updo.
If you’ve incorporated a volume-boosting hair care system into your life and haven’t seen any results, it’s time accept that your length may be weighing you down. Medium and thick hairs have three sections: a medulla (the center of the strand), a cortex, and a cuticle. Fine hair, however, lacks the medulla. As a result, it’s easily damaged and clings to the scalp.
As we always say: If you can’t beat them, trick them with a stylish haircut. Wiley agrees, citing the one-length bob as the simplest way to fake voluminous, luxurious locks.
“[The bob] creates width and volume and directs the eye from left to right, giving you the illusion that the client has thicker, fuller hair,” Wiley says. “Another favorite of mine is the medium length cut with choppy ends—making sure that the layers are cut blunt will add fullness and movement into the style.”
Once you’ve officially cut your new style, it’s time to rinse and repeat with these steps. By adding a few volume-boosting tricks to your hair repertoire, you’ll be surprised at how easy it becomes to amp up your look.
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