1. Use an egg-size amount of mousse.
Mousse gets a bad rap because of its crunchy ’90s past, but mousse is key for adding volume to otherwise limp hair. Start off with an egg-size dollop in your hand (hair stylist Mark Townsend says this is a good amount if you have fine hair), and then work it evenly through damp hair, roots to ends, before blow drying.
2. Use your fingers first instead of a comb or brush when blow drying your hair.
To get the majority of water out of your strands, use your fingers like a comb and lightly rake your hair up and away from your head as you blow it dry (concentrating the nozzle at the root, directing the air flow toward the ends to help smooth the cuticle down; otherwise you can create frizz). Pulling your hair away from your scalp with your fingers (rather than blow drying it flat against your head) creates a fuller result, because as you lift and heat your roots simultaneously, you build volume. Finally, go back through with a big round brush to finish styling it.
3. Switch your part for an instant root lift.
If you usually go with a middle part, try switching it to a side part. Or, if you typically part it to one side, try the opposite side. Your hair gets stuck in the routine of falling in the same place every day, so changing up your part will immediately give you some lift. If you don’t like how you look with your new part, wear your hair to the opposite side while you do your makeup, then spray it with hairspray before flipping it back to your normal part for some added oomph.
4. Condition your hair before you shampoo it to give it more texture.
Conditioner is great because it makes your strands nice and soft, but sometimes hair that is too soft and slick won’t hold any style. Washing your hair in the reverse order will create the perfect texture you’ll need for building volume in your hair. Try Tresemmé’s Beauty-Full Volume reverse shampoo and conditioner, which was designed with this exact concept in mind.
5. Hide a clip in your ponytail to fake that My Little Pony look.
Split your pony in half, stick a small clip inside, and hide it with the top section for a more voluminous finish.
6. Tease your hair in small sections and spray it with hairspray.
Teasing is the ultimate trick for creating volume at your roots. While holding a small section of your hair up and away from your head, gently backcomb toward your head. Then, hairspray each section at the roots to ensure the tease won’t fall out. Continue doing this in small sections to create the height and shape you want, and then lightly smooth over the top layer of hair to hide the teasing underneath.
7. Split your ponytail in half with your hair tie when securing it.
Secure your ponytail as normal, but instead of wrapping the hair tie around your entire pony on the last wrap, pull only the bottom half of your ponytail through. This will push the bottom half of your hair down and lift the top section up slightly to create the illusion of a fuller ponytail.
8. Twist your hair in small sections and pin it up while you sleep.
This will create that bounce and volume at the ends of your hair. If you need to speed up the process and don’t have time to sleep with it up, blast your twisted hair with a blow dryer and let it cool before taking it down.
9. Use dry shampoo even when your hair is clean.
Dry shampoo is obviously great for reviving oily hair, but Townsend says it also works wonders as a texturizing spray — even on super-fine hair. When your hair is squeaky clean and lifeless, dry shampoo will create that two-day texture and grip, which is necessary for when you’re trying to build volume. The trick is to spray it all over your hair before and after styling; just make sure to hold the bottle far enough away so you don’t accidentally overdo it and create that dusty white look.
10. Use your sunglasses as a headband while your hair is air drying to make sure your hair dries lifted.
If you don’t naturally have volume and you let your hair air dry, it’ll lay flat against your head (go figure). Instead, create volume from the start while it’s drying so it’ll stay like that. Hairstylist Riawna Capri suggests pulling the front section back while it’s still damp with glasses or sunglasses (a headband is too tight), and then pushing them forward to loosen it up a bit. Keep it like this until it dries, and then remove the glasses for tons of volume.
11. After styling your hair, flip your head upside down and blow dry it once more.
Allow your hair to cool before flipping it back over and finger comb it into place. Boom: you just gave yourself a boost of bounce.
12. Secure the bottom half of your hair up in a regular tight ponytail before adding the top section to it.
Pulling your hair up into a ponytail all at once makes it difficult to maintain the shape and height you want. To make sure the bottom stays tight and not droopy, while the top section stays teased and voluminous, secure the bottom half first. Then, tease the top section of hair, shape it how you want, and carefully add it to your bottom pony. Pro tip: Wrap a bungee (a hair tie with hooks on the ends like these from RickyCare), around your ponytail base so you don’t lose volume in your tail.
13. If you don’t have a hair bungee, use a regular hair tie and two bobby pins to make your own.
Hold your ponytail in place with one hand and use your other hand to stick one of the bobby pins into the base of your pony. Then, wrap the hair tie around until it feels secure, sliding the second bobby pin in to finish.
14. Fill in your part or areas where your hair is thinner with a matching eye shadow colour.
Create the illusion of having a fuller head of hair with a little tinted powder and a small blending brush.
15. "Pancake" your braid to make it look bigger.
If you have thin or fine hair, your braid can tend to look very puny instead of voluminous. To fix that, gently pull and tug at your braid (this is called pancaking) once it’s secured to create the illusion that you have much more hair than you do.
16. If you don’t have time to blow out your hair, let it air dry and then use a dry volume spray instead.
Once your hair is dry, spray your hair all over with a dry volume spray, like this one from Living Proof, to instantly create that big, sexy look.
17. Hide clip-in extensions inside your ponytail to make it thicker.
Make a small ponytail on the crown of your head and secure it. Then, clip one or two-clip wefts of extensions all the way around the tiny ponytail. Once you’ve added however many extensions you want, pull all of your hair back together to hide the clips. Secure your hair in a ponytail as normal.
Originally appeared on Cosmopolitan.com