Could you do with a little lift? Here are 10 elevating options, including a couple of secret techniques to get this season's sexy volume. So go and lift yourself higher!
Get highlights or lowlights:
Aside from the fact that hair usually has more body when it's colored, sometimes "lift," or hair volume, is more of an impression, and that's where what's known as dimensional hair color comes in. When hair is monochromatic, it appears flatter. When you add color dimensions to hair, says Louis Viél, color director at Miano Viél, it gives the perception of lift. As with an optical illusion, your eyes perceive movement, even where it might not exist.
Use root volumizers:
These are products designed to lift hair at the scalp. They come in gel, mousse and spray versions, and you place the product directly at the roots of towel-dried hair, lifting hair with your fingers as you apply. Miano's favorite is BigWigg, which comes out almost like spray-starch foam. And he likes the fact that you can spray it on, which he says makes it easier to move around on your head.
Hot/cold blow-dry your hair at the roots:
Blow-drying will give you a good lift if used with a fairly large, round brush. The trick is to situate the brush as close to your scalp as you can, essentially pulling the hair straight up from the base of your head, and using bursts of heat from the blow-dryer, aimed at the brush, followed by cool air which "sets" the style
Set with Velcro rollers:
A few strategically placed Velcro rollers will give your hair terrific volume. After hair is washed and blow-dried, curve one-inch sections of the hair you want lifted around the roller (small rollers for a slight lift and large for a higher lift). Three or four rollers should do the trick. Leave rollers in for about five minutes, remove and arrange newly lifted hair with your fingers. It's recommended you don't brush at this point, as brushing could "deflate" the set
Use a curling iron... the right way:
Because of the intense heat generated, a curling iron will give an instant lift. Starting at the crown of the head, take hold of one-inch sections of hair and lift vertically, wrapping hair around the iron, as close to your scalp as you can. Then spray with a holding product such as Alterna Caviar Working Hairspray for a firm but still flexible hold.
Try some rats!
Popular in theatre and TV, Hair Rats are forms that actually stay in your hair, providing lift. They come in two shapes, donut or cylindrical, and are made of foam or nylon mesh so they're soft and malleable. Rats are attached to the underside of hair with hairpins, after which hair is brushed up and over to obscure them. Okay, so it's like hiding an Easter egg in your hair — but it works!
Get a haircut with shorter layers:
If your hair has a little wave or some curl, layers offer a ready-made lift. Nikki Flaming of the Beehive Salon likes layers just at the crown of the head. If they're cut very short, you'll get a punkish-pixie look; if they're cut in longer layers, you'll get more of a graduated, subtle lift.
Try Do Dads:
Damien Miano, owner of Miano Viel Salon raved about these miniature hairpieces called Do Dads, which are, in fact, simple hair combs with hair extensions attached. You choose the color to match your own, or a contrasting color if you're feeling funky. To get the lift, you fasten it on just as you would a traditional hair comb by combing it in against the grain of your hair.
Go for carefully concealed pin curls:
Vu Nguyen, stylist at Frederic Fekkai Salon and Spa, always keeps a few basic hairpins handy, which he recommends using to create lift on curly or coarse tresses with four or five tiny pin-curls buried under the top layers of hair, which are secured with pins. He then flips over the top sections of hair, concealing the pin curls, resulting in a lift.
Rubber band it:
Nguyen came up with this idea when he ran out of hair pins, and it's become one of his trademarks ever since. He makes miniature bushels of hair by tying off small segments and securing with rubber bands, then flipping top sections of hair over the bushels.