When it comes to hair, the Holy Grail for many women is body, and the more, the better. While there are plenty of products on the market that promise unending volume, too often they are actually counterproductive and weigh the hair down. If you fret that your hair suffers from a body deficiency, don’t despair. There are many ways to add body to hair without weighing it down. Here are nine body-building hair tips:
Get a great cut. Even fine hair that generally is as flat as a pancake can benefit from the right cut. A talented stylist can analyze your hair based on its type, texture it, condition it and then shape it to take advantage of every ounce of its natural body and lift. So make your first stop in your quest for body your local hair salon.
Don’t overlook regular trims. Frequent trims will help you get the most mileage out of your cut and keep your hair looking its bouncy best.
Consider a perm. One way to add body to hair without adding weight is to give it more texture, and one way to add texture is with a good perm. If memories of childhood perms that made you look like Little Orphan Annie have given you a bad case of permanent-phobia, now is the time to get over it. Today’s perms are more natural and easier on your hair than ever before, while adding plenty of volume and bounce. And best of all, a permanent will usually last at least two months and often much longer. Consult with your stylist before you get a permanent to determine the best type for you. Ask her to use large rods to achieve the maximum body and volume, rather than tight curls.
Color your hair. Another option for adding the illusion of body to hair without weighing it down is to color it. For best results, choose all-over permanent color (with or without highlights) rather than highlights alone. As with a permanent, consult with your stylist about the best color product to use on your type of hair.
Don’t over-treat your hair. Don’t over-treat your hair with chemicals in your quest for body. Even with today’s less damaging products, too many chemicals can be bad for your hair, drying it out and reducing its vitality. If you color your hair, don’t get a permanent as well, and vice versa.
Blow-dry the right way. The right blow-drying techniques, as follows, can make all the difference in your hair’s volume. First, dry your hair in sections. As you dry, lift the hair with a vent brush, wide-toothed comb, with a hair pick or with your fingers, and begin drying at the roots. Once the hair around the roots is dry, blow-dry the rest of the section. Continue this process until all of your hair is dry. Second, if you use a body-building product when you blow-dry, apply it most liberally at the roots, with lesser amounts on the hair shaft and very little, if any, at the ends. Third, start with a minimal amount of product to avoid weighing your hair down, then gradually add more a bit at a time, as needed. Fourth, use a light-weight product, such as a mousse, to get the maximum benefit with the least drag.
Style with rollers. One of the easiest ways to give hair volume without weighing it down is with rollers. For more body, use larger rollers, especially on top. If you use a styling product along with the rollers, keep it to a minimum. Whether you use unheated or heated rollers, be sure that your hair is completely dry before you take them out. Comb your hair out gently with a wide-toothed comb to maintain the maximum volume.
Use a large-barreled curling iron. If you use a curling iron to style your hair, use one with a large barrel to maximize volume.
Eliminate build-up. Product buildup on hair is the enemy of body. Therefore, use a clarifying shampoo at least once a week to wash away excess product on your hair.
Victoria Wurdinger, www.hairboutique.com, “The Ten Best-Kept Secrets of Women Who Have Never Had Bad Hair Days.”
Angelina Berghela, www.ehow.com, “How to Add Body to Hair” [eHow.com].
Maryellen 1001, www.ehow.com, “How to Add Volume and Body to Hair” [eHow.com].
Julyne Derrick, beauty.about.com, “Perms: Is a Perm for You? How to Get the Perfect Perm.”