These Are the Exact Products I Use to Give My Straight AF Hair a Ton of Volume
Three steps are all it takes.
As someone with pin-straight hair, I've always wanted a bouncy, shiny, voluminous, and full-bodied mane of hair. Unfortunately for me though, I was born with a slippery-sleek mop of fine hair. Yes, the grass is always greener on the other side, and while I do appreciate that my hair tends to look okay without much effort, I knew it could have so much more volume if only I knew what to do.
"One of the main reasons straight hair may lack volume is because the cuticle is lying straight down," explains Philadelphia-based hairstylist, Marisa Martino. "Most people with flat hair have their genetics to blame, but there are also things like grease, misuse of products, and poor styling that can contribute to lack of volume." She suggests looking out for three keywords when hunting for hair products: mousse, volume, and texture.
I'm ruthless when I test hair products: I won't abide by stickiness or heaviness and I can't be bothered to spend more than 10 minutes on my hair. If the product is slightly inconvenient to use (if the packaging is fiddly, the scent isn't great, or if I need to experiment with how to use it best), it's an automatic no for me. I consider myself to be an unreasonably demanding consumer, but I've finally found a fool-proof way to get hair volume that stays all day, and I'm here to share it with you.
Step one: Build your base in the shower.
"When you think of beautiful, voluminous hair, know that it all starts in the shower," Martino tells HelloGiggles. "I recommend using a clarifying shampoo once a week to get rid of product build-up and other impurities that could be weighing hair down. You should also avoid putting conditioner on your roots as this will weigh your hair down."
I find my hair needs extra hydration in winter when the air is drier, especially since I wash my hair every day to keep my scalp acne at bay. However, most clarifying and volumizing shampoos often dry my hair out, and conditioners often leave my hair heavy. My trick is to use my tried-and-true volumizing shampoo (I love the Davines VOLU Shampoo) and wrap up by putting a drop of a hydrating oil on my ends, as they tend to be the driest bits of my hair.
Step two: Get lift with mousse.
"Everyone should have a mousse in their life—it will become your new best friend when creating volume," Martino says. "Lots of mousses are activated by heat, and blow-drying hair upside down will give maximum volume."
I use the Davines Liquid Spell Reinforcing Bodifying Fluid—it gives respectable "daily" volume and body, as opposed to sky-high drama. The scent is lightweight and pleasantly sweet: it makes me think of star jasmine and peppermint. Unlike other volumizing mousses that dispense as very dense foams, Liquid Spell's formula is looser by comparison and I love how it gives my parched winter strands the lightweight quenching it needs. It's the very first mousse that gives my hair a glossy and smooth lift without the crunchiness. I work three-four pumps around my crown and rough-dry my hair upside down to create more volume.
Step three: Finish up with texturizing spray for body.
In the mornings, I'll start by spritzing texturizing spray throughout my hair. "Texturizing and root sprays have a slight powdery feel to them which helps absorb natural oils," Martino explains, adding that she strongly recommends the UNITE TEXTURIZA Spray as it gives touchable volume and body without feeling unpleasantly gritty. "They also give a slight grit to the hair, leaving a ton of volume and shape."
I use the Davines This Is A Texturizing Spray to give my hair body and grit after I've finished heat-styling my hair. It can be very sticky and it's easy to over-apply product on my fine hair, so I use a very light hand while applying it. If I want extra height, I'll dust a single pump of volumizing root powder at my temples and crown to give my hair extra oomph.
The texture helps give a bit of body and height after the powder is worked in, and applying it to my crown and temples where my hair struggles to stay lifted helps give the illusion of extra body. To avoid tangling, I tap the root powder in vs massaging it in as other people do—it works wonders.
Before figuring out a volumizing routine that works, I had never put much stock into volumizing shampoos and had always cringed at the thought of mousse. Now, when I wake up in the mornings my first thoughts aren't lamenting over my boring, flat hair. Instead, I get excited—should I curl my hair? Should I leave it straight? Maybe I should put a bend in it? Most of the time, I choose to leave it as it is since the voluminous base I have makes me feel like an absolute baddie.