Hair

Pump up the volume

imaxtree.com Author: Elle Canada Credits: imaxtree.com

Hair

Pump up the volume

I spent most of the '80s in a highly flammable state thanks to the amount of hairspray required to create my gravity-defying "wall of bang" coiffure. My girlfriends were no better—they teased their hair into oblivion and worshipped daily at the hair gel altar.

My point? Bigger is not always better! Luckily, this season's trend—fuller, volume-boosted hair—is worlds apart from the original.

Yes, the look is about big hair, but it's more natural and softer, which is universally youthful. Think Sarah Jessica Parker, Brooke Shields, Blythe Danner—not Alexis Carrington.

If you've got flat or fine hair that's hugging your head by lunchtime, there are things you can do to mimic body-beautiful hair (and they don't involve hiring a portable wind machine).

Choose your products wisely. Colin Ford, director of education and events for L'Oréal Professionnel, says if you want your style to last all day, start with the right base: a shampoo that cleanses without stripping moisture from your hair and a conditioner that hydrates without leaving hair limp.

Women with fine hair worry a conditioner will weigh it down, but don't skip this important step. "Often hair is completely overworked from blow-dryers and other heat styling tools," Ford says. "Without hydration, it ends up dry and looks flat."

Blow-dry your hair upside down, concentrating most of your efforts on the roots. If you're not deft with a round brush, just use your fingers to pull hair up and away from the scalp while drying it.

Application is key. Mist spray gels and hairspray at least 12 inches away from your hair for even application. Using mousse? When blow-drying, rub it between your palms and scrunch it into your roots when hair is almost dry.

Avoid extra-long styles if your hair is fine; they're too weighty. Cut medium to long layers into your hair to help create a flattering shape.

Here are some body-boosting products to try.

  • Looking for a strong hold? Try Tresemmé 24 Hour Body Sculpting Spray Gel ($6), which lasts all day, even when it's humid or damp.
  • John Frieda Luxurious Volume Full Clarity Purifying Shampoo ($11) removes buildup and residue that could weigh hair down.
  • L'Oréal Paris Professionnel Série Expert Volume Expand Mineral SI Masque ($26) uses minerals to coat hair's surface, making it appear thicker and shinier.
  • Bouncy, shiny hair starts with a healthy foundation. Try Philip Kingsley Scalp Mask ($27 US) to soothe and stimulate. 
  • Before shampooing, give hair a boost of hydration with keratin-rich Joico Re:Nu Age Defy Fullness & Body Pre-Shampoo Treatment ($28).
  • Nexxus Sublime Volume Luscious Volumizing Conditioner ($15) uses easy rinse vitamin B5 and ginseng to detangle and condition.
  • Pantene Pro-V Full & Thick Extra Fullness Mousse ($6) pumps up thinner hair when applied to the roots before blow-drying.
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    Hair

    Pump up the volume