My hair has a split personality. When the weather is hot and humid, it can swell up to a beautiful size without my having to do much but step outside. However, when the weather turns cool and the humidity drops, it just gets kind of… limp. I could use clips, bobby pins and hair spray to help it defy gravity, but I don’t like using these on a daily basis. My hair is thick, but the actual strands are fine, and when there’s no humidity to lift them up, they lay flat at the root and twirl down, forming curls at the ends. So my hair can get very bottom heavy, resulting in flat locks.
There are ways, however, to give fine curly hair the illusion of volume. Here’s what I do when I want big hair:
Cut hair into layers
If you have medium-length hair or longer, be sure to have it cut into layers throughout, rather than just long layers. For example, if your hair hits mid-back, your first layer may start somewhere between your chin and collarbone, depending on your curl pattern. Be sure to have layers cut in the back of the hair as well. You don’t want lots of volume in the front and a flat back.
Go light on the styling products
Heavy-handed use of products will weigh down your hair, preventing you from getting the lift you’re looking for. Personally, I use a small amount of a very moisturizing leave-in, usually Shea Moisture Coconut & Hibiscus Curl Enhancing Smoothie, and maybe a touch of an alcohol-free gel like L’Oreal EverStyle Curl Defining Gel. Also, I never apply styling products to the root. If your hair is heavy at the root, the rest will invariably follow suite.
Diffuse upside down
When I have time, I love letting my hair air dry. The curls are more defined and I have less frizz than when I diffuse, but when I want volume, I have to put curl definition on the back burner. My favorite way of diffusing is to let my hair air dry about half-way, then use the diffuser on the low heat setting. The key is diffusing your hair upside down, since this dries the roots in the opposite direction of the way they grow. I dry in sections, gathering one at a time in the diffuser cup, bringing it up to the root and holding it there for a few seconds. If I’m diffusing completely wet hair, I use the high setting or else it takes forever to dry. Once dry, I always blast my hair with the cool setting to help seal the cuticle.
The photo above is actually second day hair. After sleeping with my hair in a pineapple, I flipped my hair upside down, shook the curls loose from the root, and used Ouidad’s Botanical Boost Refreshing Spray to spruce them up. Another trick I learned recently to create volume is to use a pick. Yep, an afro pick. It works great on fine hair because you can lift the root and separate the curls without causing a lot of frizz. Again, I find I get the most volume if I flip my hair upside down and lift from the root. A pick is also a great tool if you want to achieve the classic Diana Ross look.
If you have any tricks for achieving volume on fine curly hair, please let me know!