There’s nothing more disappointing than going through the hassle of washing and drying your hair only to find it feels flat and listless, with no noticeable bounce, volume or shine. What makes it worse is that there’s so much contradictory information out there about how to add volume to your hair – should you be drying your hair in sections or at the roots? Can adding layers improve the situation? Or should you be leaving your hair to dry overnight? That’s why today I’m going to take a deep dive into all things volume, providing my top tips and advice for inserting a bit of life back into your do.
How to blow dry hair for volume?
I’ve just mentioned how confusing it can be if you’re trying to decipher the best way to add volume to your hair. How you dry your hair can make a huge difference but unfortunately, the information out there can be quite contradictory – some websites tell you to avoid heat, others recommend blasting your dryer at full capacity. Other sources will suggest using an applicator such as nozzle whilst some will say to avoid these like the plague. So, what’s the answer?
Well, the reason you’ll find so much inconsistent information is that it largely depends on your own hair type. Not exactly helpful, I know, which is why here I’ve made a point of trying to accumulate tips that can cover a wide range of styles and types. Let’s take a look below!
Drying your hair starts in the shower – This might seem a bit confusing but bear with me here. When it comes to how you want your hair to dry, whether it be creating more volume, adding more curls or achieving a smoother style, the products you use in the shower can play a big role. That’s why here at Jan de Vries we recommend opting for a shampoo and conditioner that’s going to help to add some volume back into your hair – Jason’s Volumising Shampoo and Conditioner is a good place to start!
Give your hair a chance to air dry for a little while – If you’re planning on blow drying your hair, the chances are you’ll pick up your dryer just after you’ve got out of the shower. According to many hair experts though, this could be counterproductive and ideally you should be allowing your hair to dry naturally until it’s at least 60% done. However, if this is too time consuming, you could try gently blotting your hair to get rid of any excess moisture – please be aware though that towel drying your hair can encourage frizz which is why I often suggest swapping your towel for an old t-shirt!
Start at the roots and then section - Once your hair is halfway dry then you can actually whip out your hair dryer. When drying their hair, most people tend to concentrate on the back of their hair but actually you should start by giving some attention to your roots. That’s why I’d recommend using the lowest heat setting on your dryer as too much heat could lead to some nasty breakages and encourage split ends.
My top tip: Focus on your roots – you may even have to flip your hair over your head to get the ones at the back. Once you’ve done this, you could try dividing your hair into sections and, using a round brush, begin drying your hair from root to tip. Please check out the video below if you need any more guidance or hints for extra volume!
Cool things down at the end – When your hair is nearly completely dry all over I’d recommend using the cool setting on your dryer. This can actually help your hair to hold its shape and, if your dryer comes with an application such as a nozzle, now is the time to use it if you haven’t so far!
My final tip: don’t be afraid of using product! – So far, I’ve given you a very rough and general guide to how to dry your hair to create more volume. However, as you’ve probably noticed, I’ve not really mentioned product very much. How much product you want to use during this process may vary but there a few basics that you need to take into consideration. Firstly, and I cannot overstate this enough, if you are using a blow dryer you need to invest in an oil or serum to protect your hair. I usually recommend John Masters’ 100% Pure Argan Oil which can also double up as a finishing serum to help tame any flyaway strands or hints of frizz.
Secondly, if you’re seeking extra volume it might be a good idea to consider using mousse. Unfortunately, a lot of mousses can be very drying for your hair and normally contain a variety of harsh chemicals, such as alcohol or SLS. That’s why, especially if your hair is very fine or prone to dryness, I’d suggest Naturtint’s Styling Mousse which actively works to combat frizz but prefers to utilise nourishing ingredients such as pro-vitamin B5 or lemon fruit water.
Do layers add volume to hair?
When it comes to adding a bit of volume to flat hair, a change in style is probably the first thing you would consider. I’ve spoken to a lot of customers that have opted to cut their hair to a much shorter length as they believe that this won’t weigh down their hair as much. However, if you’re unwilling to part with so many inches of hair, another popular alternative is to consider adding layers.
Layers are believed to add more volume to the appearance of your hair; however, layering can be tricky to get right. If you overdo it or your layers sit too close to the ends of your hair, it can easily create the opposite impression of what you’re aiming for. Soft layers can work well for a lot of people but before you consider any new style, it’s extremely important that you speak to your stylist to discuss your options further.
How to get volume in hair overnight
Getting some extra volume into your hair during the day is all very well and good but come bedtime, most of us have to face the reality that the following morning our do will be gone and replaced with messy waves or even frizz! However, it doesn’t have to be this way as there are a few simple tricks you can utilise to preserve your hair’s new volume overnight!
1 - Use argan oil: I’ve already mentioned the benefits of argan oil when it comes to combatting frizz and setting your style so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that it’s also incredibly useful for fighting ‘bed hair.’ Applying a little bit of argan oil to your hair before going to bed can help to protect your locks from friction and reduce breakages.
2 - Braid your hair: Braiding your hair overnight is a tried and tested method of not only preserving volume, but also encouraging curls too! If you’re planning on washing your hair before bedtime, wait until it’s halfway dry and then divide it into sections. Pleat your hair into many small braids and then go to bed as normal – hopefully by the next morning you should awake with beautiful, voluminous curls.
3 - Plop your hair: You might be wondering what on earth plopping is but it’s actually becoming extremely popular in beauty circles. The method doesn’t involve anything fancy – just your damp hair and a towel. All you need to do is lay a t-shirt out on your bed, with the sleeves facing towards you. Then, simply ‘plop’ your hair on to the towel and pull the t-shirt towards the back of your head, knotting the sleeves at the front of your head as demonstrated in the video below!
4 - Wear it in a bun: Sleeping with your hair down can give it more opportunity to become tangled and to rub against your pillow, creating the friction that gives birth to frizz. If you’re trying to preserve or add volume to your hair overnight, you could try putting your hair up in a bun or ‘hair donut.’ Simply tie your hair up into a ponytail and, using a hair donut or sock, pull your ponytail through the hole. Once you’ve done this, divide your hair into two or three sections and wrap your hair around the donut.
Hopefully this article has provided you with plenty of general knowledge about how to dry and create more voluminous hair however, if you have very fine or thin hair, I would definitely suggest taking a look at my colleague Liz’s blog, ‘How do you add volume to thin hair?’ for more specialised advice!