How to fake fuller hair
Blow me away
A few tweaks to your blow-dry technique can majorly boost your results. Start by flipping your head to either side as you rough-dry your hair with your hands. Then, once you begin styling with a round brush, pull each section out to the side, at a 90-degree angle, instead of flipping your hair over and straight down. This technique will add thickness and bounce throughout the hair, instead of just at the roots.
Change up your products
Reach for a volumizing mousse instead of a spray formula to fatten up strands. Here's why: While you usually only target thickening sprays at the roots, you can run mousse throughout your hair so it coats and thickens each strand for all-over volume that won't fall flat by lunchtime. Work a quarter-size dollop into damp hair before styling it. Living Proof Full Thickening Mousse ($26) will do the trick.
Wave limp strands good-bye — literally. Incorporating a few soft, shiny ripples throughout your hair is pretty and volumizing (because straight hair will always look thinner). To get the look, wrap big sections of hair around a large-barrel curling iron, like Conair Infiniti Tourmaline Ceramic Curling Iron ($19.99). Tousle curls with your fingers for a soft finish.
You'll find the quick fix for limp hair in a couple of old-school velcro rollers. Simply blow dry the face-framing pieces and top section of your hair, wrapping chunks around one or two large velcro rollers before you go about your morning routine. Shake it out right as you head out the door, mist with a flexible hold hairspray, like Oribe Superfine Hairspray ($29), and you’re ready to roll.
High and dry
Dry shampoos are a morning savior for more than one reason. These gritty, waterless formulas absorb oil so you can skip shampooing in the shower, but they also rough up the cuticle a bit to make hair appear fuller. Spritz one on at the roots, then comb it through to your ends for a little extra body in a pinch. We love Oscar Blandi Dry Shampoo Spray ($23).
Color me impressed
If you're thinking of changing up your look, here's another reason to take the plunge: Lightening your hair color or adding a few sun-kissed streaks pushes the hair shaft open, increasing overall thickness. Even just a few highlights can give hair an added boost.
Volumize in your sleep
It really is that easy. Before you hit the sack, pull all of your hair into the highest ponytail you can manage, then secure it with a soft elastic hair tie like Goody Ouchless Hair Elastics ($4.79). The high ponytail, when left in overnight, will keep your volume at the roots and prevent it from falling flat as you sleep. The only thing you need to do in the a.m. is shake it out with your fingers. Perfect hair and an extra few minutes in the morning? We'll take it!
Doing what comes naturally
Who knew going au natural could be so glamorous? For volume without the hassle, nix the hair dryer completely. Allowing hair to dry to its natural texture translates to a fuller, thicker look than hair that's sleek and straight. For effortless bounce, wash with a volumizing shampoo and use a lightweight conditioner, working the product into only the ends — product build-up can weigh hair down. Try John Frieda Luxurious Volume Thickening Shampoo ($5.99) and Pantene Pro-V Aqua Light Weightless Nourishment Conditioner ($5.99) which adds moisture without extra weight. Blot dry with a towel to soak up excess water, and voila, instant volume! If you're wary of going completely product-free, work a dollop of styling cream into hair for definition and shine. We like Dove Style+Care Frizz-Free Shine Cream-Serum ($4.89).
The right brush can transform hair from blah to va-va-voom, injecting volume by lifting it at the roots. Ditch your paddle brush, which is meant to be used for sleek, straight blowouts, and pick up a round brush instead. Use a small-to-medium barrel for shorter hair and a large one for medium-to-long hair. We love Goody Style Volumizing Brush ($6.99) for shorter styles and Conair Double Ceramic Large Porcupine Round Brush ($9.99) for longer ones.
Wearing hair parted to the same side every day trains strands to stay flat. Comb hair toward the opposite side for a quick, no-fuss way to add instant volume at your roots. Tame unruly pieces by spritzing a bit of hairspray onto hands and smoothing over strands.