Join me on the quest for ever bigger curly hair! These volume tips for curly hair will show you how to increase your hair’s fullness and size.
I will always choose volume over definition.
In the rush to create definition sometimes we neglect the potential for root volume. I love making my hair as big as possible on the day I wash it and on the days in between as well.
There are lots of techniques for adding volume to curly hair, some are for wet hair, some are best on dry hair.
Let’s have a look at the products and techniques that will help us achieve big curly hair, even on longer hair lengths.
Volume tips for when your hair is wet
Keep your hair forwards
Try washing and styling your hair with it forwards.
Washing your hair forwards will encourage your hair to sit away from your scalp right from the beginning.
This means washing it over the sink or with a shower head over the side of the bath. I actually like to wash my hair this way anyway, I find that I’m able to give the underneath of my hair a better wash like this. The underneath is the area that gets the most greasy so I like to make sure I start by cleansing this area thoroughly.
Washing your hair with it forwards means that your hair is sitting in the right position to begin applying styling products
How to apply products
Apply products with your hair forwards and then move it from side to side as well.
This achieves 2 things – first, you are more likely to fully coat your hair with products this way as you are revealing the underneath of your hair as you move it around. Second, you are helping to encourage volume by moving your hair away from your scalp and giving the roots lift.
It can be easy to miss your roots altogether when applying products, I know it sounds obvious, but it’s really easy to do! Make sure the roots have an even covering of product as well as the ends.
Always use the lightest product you can get away with, not the heaviest!
The next of our volume tips for curly hair is to do with the products themselves.
We all know that curly hair is meant to be dry so it’s really tempting to use moisturising prods when you are styling, but these can actually weigh hair down. Our main objective here is volume.
Every time we use a product that is too heavy we are just going to lose volume.
I’m going to recommend that rather than using heavy products to keep your hair moisturised, it’s better to start with a lighter product and add more if you need to. Always use the lightest product that you can get away with, not the heaviest.
I have a whole post on this – my favourite curly hair styling tip.
The tip is to water down a cream-based product with some filtered water which will make it lighter. You can then spray this product over your hair rather than applying it as a cream.
This is doubly beneficial because it means that we are applying the product evenly, and will also ensure your hair isn’t weighed down. It’s a great alternative to the usual way of applying cream styling products and works well for leave-in conditioners, too.
In addition to this, don’t feel that you have to layer product on top of product to achieve your desired style.
Too many products can weigh your hair down, making it greasy, less able to hold curls and lacking the volume that we are trying to achieve. Try cutting down on the number of styling products that you use and see if it makes a difference.
This is one of the classic Curly Girl Method volume tips for curly hair.
It involves lifting the roots away from your scalp with the use of metal clips.
Pop the clips in close to the roots while your hair is still wet. Wait until your hair is mostly dry and then remove them.
Experiment with the placement of the clips, some people like to clip their roots all over their head, others will focus on the front section. This is a really popular way of encouraging your hair to lift and will create root volume.
These clips are perfect for this
Try using a mousse
There are lots of curly hair products to increase volume. In addition to the cream/spray that I have already mentioned, a mousse can be a great way of increasing volume.
It’s very common to use a gel when styling. Gels work exceptionally well for increased definition but if it’s volume that you’re after, then a mousse might be a better choice.
Mousses are designed to add volume and a curly hair mousse will usually aim to give both definition and volume.
A mousse will be particularly effective at enhancing volume when used at the roots. Sometimes I’ll just use a mousse at the root and then use a gel or cream on the mid-lengths and ends of my hair, but you can of course apply it all over.
As the mousse dries it will help lift the roots up and away from your scalp. Work the mousse into your wet hair with your fingers and then diffuse your hair.
This is my favourite mousse
Next, we are going to move on to diffusing. There are lots of different volume tips for curly hair that you can use when diffusing.
The main method that I’m going to talk about is simply to move your hair around as you diffuse.
Instead of hover diffusing, which can be good for definition, I’m going to recommend that you scrunch your hair with the diffuser as you dry.
Place your hair into the diffuser bowl and lift your hair up towards your scalp. Every few minutes move your head around gently. Carefully flip your hair to the other side or forwards and begin diffusing a new section.
You are creating lift at the roots as your hair is drying.
If you diffuse your hair with it sitting in one direction, or sitting in its natural parting, you won’t get much lift. You might achieve definition but it’s likely that the roots will be quite flat. The more you move your hair around (gently, so you don’t disturb the curl clumps too much) the more volume you will create.
Volume tips for when your hair is dry
Now we’re going to move on to increasing your hair’s volume once it’s dry. This might be on wash day or it can be on day 2 or 3 if you feel like your hair is going a little flat.
At this point, there are still ways that you can increase volume for bigger hair.
One method of refreshing your hair to increase volume is to use a spray.
You can just use water or make up a spray with one of your favourite products as we discussed earlier.
You can of course buy specific refresh sprays or a leave-in conditioning spray can work really well for this, too.
Spray your dry hair at the roots and then gently scrunch. You can diffuse again at this point as well. This method helps to set your roots in a lifted position, increasing volume to get you the bigger hair that you really want.
Root fluffing and the best tool to use
The next of our volume tips for curly hair is to fluff your hair up at the roots.
You can do this on wash day once your hair is dry but you can also use it on the days in between as well. You may lose a little definition by doing this but we’re not as concerned with definition as we are with volume so this is definitely a volume tip!
Move your hair around at the roots with your fingers – this ensures that your hair is separated and not sitting flat to your scalp.
Another way to do this is with a tool. A pick is fantastic for this. Put the pick into your roots and then gently lift your hair away from the scalp.
There is a second technique that you can use to add volume with a pick. This time we are moving away from the roots and focussing on the mid-lengths and ends of our hair. This works really well for those with longer hair that struggle to achieve volume.
Using the pick, gently (I don’t like the word backcomb) ‘move’ your hair in an upwards direction. Hold the length of your hair, put the pick in near the bottom and gently move the pick up – this will naturally take some of the hair with it, and then slide the pick out. You’ll notice that your curl clumps will look bigger and fuller.
This tip can make a really big difference!
Just to re-iterate, this should be done gently and it shouldn’t be difficult to undo. This is where it differs from backcombing which is a nightmare to get out!
This is the pick that I’m using here (just in grey)
Controversial root fluffing
There is another method that I like to use on wash day – and this is a little bit controversial.
I like to fluff my hair first with my fingers once I have finished styling and then I’ll reach for my hairdryer again.
I’ll change the diffuser attachment for a regular nozzle attachment.
I flip my hair over, keeping the hairdryer switched off and put the nozzle in at the roots. Then switch the dryer on to a low heat and low-speed setting and gently move it around the roots.
This fluffs my hair up and creates great volume! I love to do this and I’m prepared to lose some definition in order to achieve bigger hair!
The heat helps to reset the root volume and you can combine this with one of the sprays that we mentioned earlier, too.
A really simple tip to increase volume on the days between washes is to move your parting around.
This can make a big difference, particularly if you have worn your hair in the same parting for a couple of days.
This is a really simple solution but one that is easy to overlook. Styling your hair in one parting and then moving it a couple of days later can make a huge difference to your volume levels. It can even make it look like you have washed your hair again – it will look fresher and maybe even increase definition too – that amazing curl that has been tucked underneath is now on the top of your hair.
I almost always do a parting flip on day 2 or 3.
Pineapple for volume?
The last tip that I’m going to give for volume is actually not a volume tip – it’s an overnight curly hair tip!
It’s the familiar old pineapple!
Pineapples will help keep curl definition overnight and reduce frizz from friction.
You tie your hair up into a loose ponytail on the top of your head with a silk or satin scrunchie. In addition to maintaining definition and reducing frizz, putting your hair up on the top of your head overnight also increases volume.
Your roots have been stuck in an upright position for hours and when you remove the scrunchie in the morning, you will notice that the volume has increased, too.
(Pineapples can give you that achy roots feeling – the same one you get if you have worn your hair in a tight bun and then you take it down, but it will be worth it for the volume!)
I really hope these volume tips for curly hair have been helpful.
We have looked at tips for creating volume on wet hair on wash days and also for creating volume on the days in between washes when you feel that your hair is starting to flatten down a bit. There are lots of ways that you can zhuzh it back up and get that big curly hair that we are looking for. Thanks for reading, enjoy your big curly hair!
Speak to you soon,
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