In this article I’m going to walk you through the process of how to create volume and shine in your hair.
I can tell you there’s going to be some stuff I’m going to share that I guarantee you have not thought about.
Table of Contents
The first thing you want to think about is oil. I’m not talking about putting oil in your hair for shine. We’ll talk about that later.
I’m talking about the amount of oil that your scalp naturally produces.
If your scalp has a large oil production, it can change the way you approach your hair.
First of all, we need to figure out is your scalp producing a lot of oil or do you feel like it’s producing a lot of oil because whatever shampoo and/or conditioner or products you’ve been using up to this point have been building up on your hair and that makes it feel like there’s a lot of oil.
If you’ve noticed your entire life that you feel like you naturally have oily skin or you naturally have a lot of oil in your hair and you feel like you need to shampoo your hair often because of that, then more than likely you have a high oil production.
But if you feel like you’ve noticed that maybe somewhat more recently or you’ve noticed that you feel that oily texture to your hair when you started using a new product or new shampoos, that then could be a silicone in the product that’s building up on your hair to create shine, but realistically creating much more of a problem because it’s taking away some of that volume.
If we’re talking about getting volume and shine at the same time then we want to know which is causing that oil.
If you’re using a product that’s causing that buildup in your hair, then first things first you want to stop using that product. Then you’re going to want to use a clarifying shampoo for a little while to strip off any of that excess buildup.
What I find in the salon is that when there’s a product build up on hair and then i go to use a volumizing aid like a gel or a mousse they tend to react very gummy, and you end up with hair that’s really heavy and gummy and just feels really waxy and you can’t really get the volume out of it.
Then it makes you feel like you can’t get volume in your hair or that that product isn’t working, when in reality it’s the build up and the way that build up is reacting to the product that’s what’s causing the problem.
If you’re noticing that it’s not natural oil production, it is a build up, we need to get rid of that, so that we have a clean foundation for you to work with.
Since we’re talking about basically what we’re doing during the shower, let’s jump into the second step, which is hitting your hair with cold water.
Hitting your hair with cold water at the very end is great to seal down the cuticle and therefore creates a smoother hair shaft and more shine.
As terrible as that cold water is going to feel, trust me, it is going to do something good for your hair.
Step three is after moving out of the shower. These next few processes are very important, I would say crucial to creating volume in your hair.
Process number one is towel blot your hair to get most of the moisture out. You don’t want it totally dry, but you also don’t want your hair dripping wet.
If your hair is too wet when you go to apply a foundational product, which I will talk about in a second and it’s very important, it’s going to have a tendency to dilute that product down and render it a little bit less effective.
But if it’s too dry, you’re not going to get the distribution that you want, because it’s going to apply differently to the dry parts of your hair than it will to the more damp parts of your hair. Or it’ll all end up in one place on your head and not actually emulsify through the entire hair strand.
Having your hair towel blotted dry, towards just basically evenly damp, is actually a pretty big deal.
Once you’ve got it dry, you’re going to move into using what I believe to be extremely important, which is some sort of volumizing aid.
Big hair is just big hair. It doesn’t necessarily do anything for you. It’s just hair, whereas volume and shape actually accentuates things about you that you want to accentuate. Or conversely, takes the eye away from things that you may not want to accentuate.
Having some sort of product in there to create the foundation to actually get shape is extremely important.
I know your next question is going to be what product do i use?
It’s a great question.
Honestly there are tons of products out there to create volume. There are tons of great products. I don’t know all of them. If you’ve got one that you’re using right now that’s working, stick with it.
The key is you get a volumizing product in there, you’re going to run into gels for volume, mousses for volume, or styling creams for volume.
Typically speaking, gels or creams are going to have ability to give your hair more volume in general, but also they’ll have a tendency to have more of a texture that they add to your hair.
Mousses on the other hand have a tendency to be lighter and airier and fluffier with their texture, but they don’t typically give you quite as much control. Understand that you’re probably not going to get quite the amount of volume out of them.
Start with your product. You’ve got your hair towel dried, it’s damp, you’re going to work that product from roots to ends. You want it at the root for lift, but you want it at the mid shaft and the ends to create actual bend, which is what’s going to give you true volume and shape.
Once you’ve got the product in there, I would even comb it through your hair just to be sure that you’ve got it equally distributed and then you’re going to move into the actual drying process.
The drying process is going to start with you touching your head upside down and blow drying your hair like that.
If you can’t blow dry it like that, then you’re going to try to make sure that however you can stand to be comfortable, you’re going to stand in that way, but blow dry your hair up and away from the way that the roots are going to fall once it’s styled to start encouraging some root lift.
Now you’ve got product in your hair, you’ve got the bend in your hair, that bend is going to help you to create volume.
In our next step, we’re going to talk about something that I guarantee you have not thought about yet. It’s extremely important, It is the foundation for all of this and it’s going to help us get the volume in your hair so that we can move on to being able to get more shine in your hair without it weighing your hair down and making you feel like your hair is flat.
This step is very specific to short hairstyles, but it is absolutely the game changer when it comes to creating true volume and shaping your hair. If we want to have volume and shine, we have to have the foundation of volume before we try to add shine.
Speaking of foundations, the most important thing that you can have is a solid foundation for the cut.
There’s a couple things that happen in a cut that absolutely destroy your ability to get appropriate volume.
One of those things is cutting the top layers too short.
When you cut the layers on the top too short, what else is happening is that the sides are becoming too long. What that means is that the layers on top are too short for how long the sides are.
When you pull the side layering out and then you take the top layers and you pull those out, if those top layers don’t reach about the same length as the sides, essentially they’re too short. That’s when we’re going to have this issue of the sides looking extra full and therefore making the top feel like it’s laying flatter.
That is one of the biggest underlying issues I see with actual short shapes and creating true volume.
Can you actually have it a little bit longer on the sides and the top? Yes, there is a little bit of variance in there, but with that said, try to keep the top roughly as long or in the length range that the sides are, and you won’t have as much of that problem.
Now we can move on to adding the shine into the hair.
We have the foundation. Now let’s add shine. You won’t have to worry about it laying your hair flat so much. Don’t worry I have a couple little tricks up my sleeve that I can also guarantee you probably haven’t heard that will actually help you be able to apply the products that will give you shine and not weigh your hair down in the process.
These are gold tips that I’m about to give you.
First of all, waxes and pomades are the things that are going to give your hair shine. If you’re trying to determine which one of these do you use so that you can create shine, you want to know that the more watery it is, the more oily the product looks, the more it’s going to add shine.
But also potentially weigh your hair down. It’s going to be a little bit heavier, it’ll feel very slick in the hair, it gives zero control to the hair, meaning there is no ability for it to hold your hair like a moldable hairspray or anything like that. It’s just going to add shine, but also potentially add slick oil which could then weigh your hair down.
The less oil based, the more it’s going to give your hair control. It could potentially give it volume, but it’ll typically give it a little bit less shine, because you’re getting more control.
This isn’t every product, but this is a great umbrella to determine when you’re looking at products roughly how they’re going to work.
Here’s the thing.
There is a shining agent that you could use. It’s called a spray shine. We used to use it in salon all the time. It was fantastic in adding shine with very little actual feel or texture to the hair. It did a pretty decent job of not weighing the hair down.
The only problem was we had wood floors. It turned that floor into an ice skating rink. So we stopped using it.
But at home, if you’re aware that that could be a concern and you just make sure that you mitigate that concern any way that you can, it actually does work pretty well for adding shine.
There’s a lot of them out there. I don’t have one particular that I like. And if I’m completely honest, I don’t think there’s one that works a whole lot better than the other ones.
So just think spray shine and it is a solid option.
Little Known Tip
Here’s the tip that no one talks about but is a really big deal.
More often than not, the reason that I find people are not liking wax or pomades or oil-based agents, because they feel like they’re too heavy on their hair, it actually has less to do with the product and more to do with the way they apply it.
What I see people do is they’ll put the product in their hands, they work it through their hands and they start to work it in their hair and the first place they go is right into the front because that’s natural.
What you’re doing is you’re applying 90% of the product that’s in your hand into 10% of your hair, your bangs. Then you get greasy bangs, which looks ‘awesome’ and you never want to use that product ever again.
Here’s what you do instead.
Work that product through your hands and then start in the crown or in the nape in the back of your head and work it forward. That way you’re applying ninety percent of the product to ninety percent of your hair and by the time you come around to the last ten percent of your hair, you’re only using the last ten percent of the product.
There you go, problem solved!
There’s more though!
This makes a huge difference. When you’re applying it, you want to pay attention to how your hands are actually shaped. What I see is people will put that product in their hands and then they go straight flat palmed into their head and they start working it through their hair.
What that does is that applies the product to not just the mid shaft to the ends but also the roots. You don’t need or want these style of products at the roots. You want a mid-shaft to ends.
How do you ensure that you only apply it to the mid shaft to the ends?
You bend your fingers. You literally bend your fingers like a claw, put it against your head and you work your product through your hair. When you do that, it keeps your palms off of your scalp and the hair that’s working over those palms or touching those palms is usually the mid-shaft to the ends.
Samantha is a hairstylist with over 12 years of color and stylist experience. She enjoys using her knowledge to create what her clients really want when they sit down in her chair. Her passion is creating unique looks that her clients feel great in.