If You Have Flat Hair, Read This To Get Some Extra Volume

Don't let gravity get you down.

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How to Add Volume to Hair
Photo: Silas Hao/Unsplash

Listen, we all want to achieve bouncy, voluminous hair — and for some of it's easier than others. But if you have fine or thin hair, often times, gravity can pull you down, leaving you feeling a little, well, flat.

And most of the time, the natural volume of your hair is unfortunately out of your control. Genetics play a huge role in your hair, according to New York City-based stylist Genevieve Collerton from Cutler Salon.

"The way our hair grows out of the follicle affects everything," Collerton tells us. "From the texture to density and the volume, our genetics [affect our] hair."

But don't fret, because getting your dream hair is not totally unobtainable. There are eons of styling tricks and products to help you achieve that volume. In fact, you can boost the body of your hair in five quick minutes or work toward lasting volume by simply changing up your routine.

To help you get started, we spoke with a few experts to find out exactly how you can add volume to your hair, without adding too much time to your getting-ready regimen.

Video: How to Curl Your Hair Without Using Heat

How to Add Volume Quickly

It all starts with your washing routine. Celebrity hairstylist Harry Josh tells us that you should ideally be using a volumizing shampoo and conditioner, but if you don't need the latter and volume is truly your goal, then you can skip it. Next, you need to quickly dry your roots with product. "If you don't apply a volumizer or dry your roots from wet to dry, you'll never get the lift back in," says Josh. "The only way to manipulate the roots is while it's wet," he notes.

As far as products, he suggests a mousse, a root lifter, or "any kind of thing that's going to starch up the hair." And even though it sounds like it's not ideal for the hydration of your hair, Josh says if you really want the lifting effect, you need to look for a root lifter with a high alcohol content. "You want things that contain zero moisture that promote stiffness and hardness. That's what makes it pliable and what keeps the volume going all day long," he says. We like Living Proof Full Root Lift ($27; sephora.com).

After you've applied the product (and you can apply it in soaking wet hair), Josh says to dry the roots with the nozzle of the hair-dryer pointed up.

How to Add Volume While Styling

So you have a little more time on your hands? Josh says to boost the volume by adding mousse to the lengths of your hair. "Mousses, when you blow dry it or rough dry it, it makes your strands huge, so it looks meatier and allows for more pliability," he notes. Try Bumble and bumble's Thickening Full Form Soft Mousse ($32; sephora.com).

After you've applied the mousse, blow-dry as normal (don't forget the root lifter), because according to Collerton mousse is heat activated. Collerton also suggests adding extra texture by spraying your roots with a sea salt spray — her favorite is the Eleven Sea Salt Texture Spray ($31; amazon.com).

Next, pop in some hot rollers or a velcro roller set on the "mohawk section" of the head to get the lift at the root. Josh says you can put the diffuser attachment on your dryer and then blast the rollers with heat to create the volume and then blast it with cold hair to set it. "It's like a cookie when you take it out of the oven. It needs to harden. So hair roots are the same thing," he says.

Collerton says to follow your blow out or roller session with some texturizing spray, like the Ouai Texturizing Hair Spray ($26; sephora.com), to add a touch more volume and keep your work in place.

In addition to the above, you can utilize hair extensions for body instead of length. The first step is to make sure the extensions you are using are completely color-matched to your natural hair color, ensuring that they blend in and look as natural as possible. Then, Josh says to clip them in on angles a few inches away from your hair line, as opposed to straight across. You'll also want to tease the hair before clipping them in so they don't fall out and the clips are hidden.

How to Get Lasting Volume

For a more permanent fix, you can consider trying hair supplements. Josh is a fan of Nutrafol ($88; amazon.com), a plant-based daily hair supplement that helps with regrowth because he says its important to nourish your hair from the inside-out. Just be sure to ask your doctor or hairstylist before trying.

For an even simpler fix, Collerton says a fresh haircut can do wonders and create a natural volume by adding "gentle layers around the face." She adds that frequent haircuts can actually improve your hair's natural texture and volume over time because trims lead to more fullness and body, which will also make styling easier.

And of course, this should go without saying, but watch how often you're coloring your hair and check the products you're using to make sure they're healthy and safe for your tresses in order to keep it looking healthy and lustrous.

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