8 Steps to Fuller, Sexier Hair
1. Apply Conditioner Wisely
If you find that your hair begins to droop five minutes after blow-drying, overuse of conditioner is the most likely culprit. Apply only a nickel-size blob starting at the ends (where hair requires the most moisture) and moving up toward the roots, says Mark DeVincenzo, creative director for Frédéric Fekkai Fifth Avenue in New York City. Rinse out after a minute. Try Aussie Aussome Volume Conditioner ($4; at drugstores), with wild cherry bark, a natural hydrator that has a subtle, clean scent.
2. Pre-dry Before Using Styling Aids
Wrap your hair in a towel turban for a few minutes before applying any products to it. "Hair that's soaking wet will dilute your styler, and when you're volumizing, you need full potency to get real lift," says DeVincenzo. For maximum oomph, apply the largest amount of volumizer to your roots and the least to your tips.
3. Try "Cocktailing" Your Products
Sometimes it takes more than one potion to give you the body you're after. But rather than layering one over the other, which can weigh strands down, mix your bodifying blend in your hands before smoothing onto hair. This way you're apt to use less product overall (just the amount that fits in your palm). One combo we love: a golf ball–size squirt of thickening mousse, like Alberto V05 Weightless Volumizing Mousse ($4; at drugstores), plus two or three spritzes of a volumizing spray, like L'Oréal Professionnel Texture Expert Densité ($21; lorealprofessionnel.com for salons).
4. Blow-dry Better
"For lasting lift, dry your hair in sections using a large round brush-or your hands-to gently pull your roots upward as you work," says Erin Anderson, owner of Woodley & Bunny Salon in New York City. Also alternate between the hot and cold settings on your dryer; use the hot first to remove all traces of moisture from each section, then the cold to set body and bounce.
5. Add Layers
Hair that's all one length is heavy and falls flat, while a subtly layered cut that hits between your chin and shoulders can build body, says Kevin Mancuso, creative director of Nexxus Salon Hair Care.
6. Consider Color
The slight cuticle damage you get from tinting your tresses can make hair appear thicker, says Anderson. If you don't dye your hair, fake the strand-plumping effect by applying dry shampoo to your roots. The powder absorbs volume-sapping scalp oil and coats hair to make it feel denser. We like René Furterer Naturia Dry Shampoo ($24; sephora.com), which contains softening botanicals.
7. Give Piece(s) a Chance
Extensions that blend in with your natural length can be added to the sides of your hair to create fullness. Try Hairdo by Ken Paves 10 Piece Human Hair Clip-In Extensions ($295; hairuwear.com), which come in an array of colors.
8. Keep Your Hands Off!
"The less you mess with your mane, the longer your style will last," says DeVincenzo. Before you leave the house, use a quick spritz of a flexible spray, like Aveda Witch Hazel Hairspray ($12; aveda.com), and give hair a slight finger fluffing at the roots. To revive your do later in the day, flip your hair upside down and either lightly massage your scalp or heat it with a blowdryer to reactivate your volumizing products.