We’ve all had those terrible mornings—you sleep through your alarm, your cat won’t stop meowing, and your hair looks flat and sad. On days like that, it’s important to have a backup plan, at least when it comes to the bad hair day. We spoke to celebrity stylist Dean Banowetz, who’s worked on films like Thor: The Dark World and The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, to find out how to get fuller hair—and keep it that way. Here’s how to boost your hair’s volume…
…At the start of the day
After you get out the shower, the first step is to use a wet product; Dean recommends Aquage Uplifting Foam ($21.50, Drugstore.com). Then turn your head upside down to out blow your roots. “I have seven sisters, so I always tell them: How much body you want depends on how many steps you have,” Dean said. “If you just want a little bit of tousled volume for you natural texture, that’s a great way to do it.”
Want to take your volume to the next level? Dean recommends using a comb to tease hair neat the roots. “When you’re backcombing, the key is really just to push the hair down and pack it to the scalp, so you have that body and it actually pushes the hair up,” he said.
…And still have smooth hair
“Step one: I use the uplifting foam on the roots. Then I backcomb. Then, right where the backcombing stops, that’s when I’ll use my 1 ¼” InStyler and, I’ll smooth it all out.” The InStyler ($98, Ulta) is a nifty tool that straightens your hair while a brush rotates and smoothes it out.
But just because your hair looks fab in the morning doesn’t mean it’s going to last. There’s a trick for that too. If your hair is getting flat midday, “All you have to do is take a pen or pencil and push it into the roots and lift,” Dean told us.
…Without Looking ’80s
Dean knows ’80s hair—at a recent taping of Dancing With The Stars, the stylist was asked to whip up styles for an ’80s night, and got very, very excited about it. Although he loved the big hair trend, he still gives good tips to keep your style looking full and contemporary.
The trick to getting current-day volume is knowing how to tease your hair: Always add lots of body on top, near the crown, and less so as you move down to the neck. “The more backcombing you put towards the ends of the hair, the more frizzy and messy it looks,” Dean said. “So I always like to keep it concentrated at the root area and just do some light separation, maybe with a naturally-bristled brush, towards the ends.”
…Underneath Your Bangs
If you have really long bangs and you want to give them some lift, Dean says to go back to the teasing (did you ever realize what an impact that technique could have?!). But you have to be aware of frizz. “If your bangs are to the bridge of your nose, you can actually go in under and do backcombing by the roots,” to get a full, natural-looking style. “Then you can just give it a little blast with long-lasting hairspray,” Dean advised. Voila—instant lift.
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