How To Get Big, Voluminous Hair Part 1 | The Products

by Molly Gardner
how to get big hair

I adore big, huge “the higher the hair the closer to heaven” type volume.   Love it, need it, have to have it.  Over the years I’ve tried countless products, techniques, and tricks.

I actually have so many recommendations, that I decided to do two separate posts!  This is part 1 (drumroll) | The Products.  Part 2 will cover my styling tips.

This posts goes into my favorite products (after trying 100+) and some other advice.  I feel like some of these products and tips might surprise you, so let’s get into it!

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Here is the video if you prefer to watch vs read | 

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1 | HAIRCUT

I know this seems like an odd place to start, as it’s considered a “service” more than a product, but how your hair is cut makes a huge difference in how much volume you can get.

My stylist, Jonathan James, gives me internal layers. Essentially, after doing a traditional horizontal cut, he cuts vertically – up and down – into my hair.  The technique is called “point cutting” and it helps to take some of the weight off the ends.

When he’s doing it, it seems terrifying and like I’ll have no hair left. But the top section stays long and you can’t see any layers.  It’s incredible.

Related Post | How To Point Cut Your Bangs For Wispy Ends

Taking a lot of the weight of my hair off gives it crazy volume! It always makes me hair look fuller, which blows my mind.

Point cutting and internal layers, my friends. Trust. These are the buzz words to ask for at the salon.  Your stylist will know what point cut means.

point cutting for hair volume

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2 | SHAMPOO + CONDITIONER

I use a color safe shampoo that has no sulfates. These can feel somewhat heavier on your hair vs a shampoo with sulfates.  Sulfate-free shampoos are so much better for your hair overall though, especially for people who color their hair.

To counter the weight of the sulfate-free shampoo, on days I want really big hair I’ll use a volumizing conditioner.  I love Living Proof’s “Full” conditioner.

Lately, I’ve been using a silicone-free shampoo and conditioner from Colorproof.  Silicones are added to most styling products and shampoos and conditioners because they coat hair hair to give a smooth feeling and shiny appearance. 

I can’t believe how much lighter my hair feels after cleansing with the silicone-free products.  My hair feels weightless and I have noticeably more volume at the roots.  I do still use styling products with silicones and that gives me enough smooth and shine.

Shop | shampoo . conditionervolumizing conditioner

best shampoo conditioner for colored dyed hair volume

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3 | VOLUME PRODUCTS + QUANTITY

I try to use the smallest quantity of those products that I can.

The next time you style your hair, try cutting the amount of each styling product you use in half.  You’ll probably get more volume out of your style (and your products will last longer!).

Product summary: I use lifting mousse at the crown of my head only, hair primer all over, smoothing serum all over, and oil on my bottom inch only.  After my hair is dry, I will also use a little texture paste or spray.

1 – I like using volume foam at the crown, it gives my hair a nice lift there and helps hold teasing if I decide to backcomb that day.

2 – Primer helps my hair hold whatever style I choose, straight or curly. It also helps repel oil and dirt, so hair maintains volume longer. I use Living Proof Prime and it truly feels weightless on my hair.

3 – Next up, I use a smoothing serum. I used to use volumizing serum and honestly, I miss it, on days I want major volume for photos or an event I’ll still use it instead of smoothing serum.

My hair is 100% grey and white, so the texture is really wiry and frizzes easily. If you have smoother hair, go for the volumizing serum instead for big hair!

4 – On my ends, I apply just one drop of Agave Oil. It’s important that the majority of the oil is on the ends only so that the rest of your hair doesn’t get weighed down.

5 – After my hair is dry, I like to add texture paste or spray to give hair extra grip and volume. It helps hold style also. This is a product that you only need a tiny bit of to get the best results.

6 – If I am going to heat style my hair (blow dry, curl, or flat iron), then I will use this heat protect spray.  It protects up to 450 degrees and makes my hair feels smooth, but most importantly, it feels weightless.

Like I said in tip #3, the key is to use the smallest amount possible of each of these items.  I use a quarter of mousse and only half a pea size to a pea size amount of all else and I have long, thick hair.  

List of Products in Order |

The links above are my affiliate links.  I make a small commission when you use them, at no additional cost to you (I actually link the best deals I can find).  I really appreciate when you use them, it helps support future blog posts!

favorite-hair-products-for-big-volume-heat-protect-healthy-beauty-blog-top-picks.jpg

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4 | PRODUCT APPLICATION

With the exception of the volume foam, I apply all the products starting on the underside of my hair.  In case I have too much product on my hands, this helps make sure the bulk ends up on the underside of my hair and doesn’t weight down the top. 

With oil, I make sure the majority ends up on the bottom 1″ and then whatever is left on my hands I use to smooth over the top and front pieces.

how to get big hair product applicaton

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5 | HAIR EXTENSIONS

If you have been part of the blog for a while (Thank you! If you are new you can sign up for newsletters here) then you know that I have my own line of clip-in hair extensions, girlgetglamorousHAIR.

You can read all about them in this post.

Clip-in extensions are one of my favorite products for immediate length, but also: volume.

I usually wear a full set, so it gives me a huge volume boost. But even just 2-3 wefts of extensions that are the same length as my hair (14″ extensions) can give me a little extra volume.  I have loved clip-in extensions for years, they’ve been a volume secret even before I started my own line.

My gggHAIR extensions are all human hair and they are double drawn (thick at ends), so they look just like your own hair and blend perfectly, making your hair look naturally thick.

hair extensions how to get long hair fast

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