Pump up the volume: 8 steps for party-perfect hair

Your definitive guide to getting luscious, full-bodied locks and making sure your va-va-voom lasts all night long

There is nothing more frustrating than prepping your hair to perfection only for it to fall flat within the first hour of the party. But fret no more – maximising the volume of your tresses is easier than you might think.
We’ve combed through the top tips on how to cut, blow-dry and style your hair for the most full-bodied look possible, ready for the party season. Try these ideas and your hair will soon have all the oomph you could wish for.

The cut

The longer your hair, the weightier it is, so start by getting the basics right.

Find the perfect balance between length and lift by trying a cut that falls around your shoulders. This will give you the foundations you need for a style that stays.

And don’t think that shoulder-length hair equals boring hair: you can try a one-length bob, a graduated bob or a shorter cut with a sweeping fringe. Any style down to shoulder-length will work well, whereas longer styles emphasise the fly-away appearance of fine hair.

The blow-dry

If you want to do an at-home blow-dry that will seriously boost your tresses, just follow these steps:

1. Wash, condition and towel-dry your hair, then use a hair dryer to get roughly half the moisture out.
2. Apply Pantene Pro-V Perfect Volume Mousse RRP £2.93 and work it into the hair.
3. Start blow-drying using a medium-sized round brush – the smaller the brush, the more of a wave you’ll get. Blow-dry all the hair away from your head – you could try the old trick of holding your head upside down.
4. After drying each section, leave the brush in with your hair wrapped around it for 10 seconds to cool down. It’ll help to fix the volume for a longer-lasting effect.
5. Lastly, tip your head upside down and blast your hair with Pantene’s Pro-V Perfect Volume Lightweight Hairspray RRP £2.93, and tease your hair into style using your fingers.

The overnight trick

Recent innovations have made styling so easy you can do it in your sleep. First came sleep-in rollers and now we have the ‘night roller hairband’, available in beauty shops and online.

Before bed, wash and dry your hair, comb it through and put into your desired parting. Then divide hair into equal sections and wrap each section around the night roller band.

Remove in the morning and comb through with your fingers for voluminous curls.

The styling tip

For instant volume, the most powerful styling move is backcombing. But use it wisely: if you overdo it and backcomb the sides, the effect can look too ’80s for comfort. Instead, focus on adding volume on the top and crown for a subtler look. Try spritzing each section with hairspray, backcombing the underside gently with a wide-toothed comb, then smoothing the hair on top.

The cheat

Even top stylists take shortcuts: many add volume with clip-in hair extensions. They’re not just for making hair longer – they’re great for making it look thicker too. Just ensure that you buy good-quality ones made from real hair. To put them in, prep the section of your hair with a little hairspray and light backcombing, then clip the extension into place.

The speedy styler

In a rush? After blow-drying your hair, try twisting it into a loose ponytail at the crown. Then trap the ends of the ponytail back in the band to form a loop. Leave it for half an hour, then take it out. When your hair shakes out, it will have a large natural-looking wave and plenty of body.

The protection

It’s happened to the best of us: you leave your house with your carefully crafted ’do intact, but by the time you enter the party you’re left with a limp, lifeless-looking noodle.

So how can you hold on to your style? The trick is to protect it from moisture. Make sure it’s totally dry before you step outside and finish with a hair volumising product, such as Pantene’s Pro-V Perfect Volume Lightweight Hairspray RRP £2.93. Not only will this hold your style, but it will act as a barrier between your hair and the moist air.

The instant fix

If your style still falls flat after an hour, dry shampoo is there to bail you out. It’s not just for occasions when you haven’t had time to wash your hair – it also works brilliantly as an emergency styling product, and many a catwalk stylist relies on it as a backstage fashion-week fix.

Try it with Aussie Miracle Dry Shampoo RRP £2.29: just tip your head upside down to spray it directly on the roots, then give it a spray all over for extra volume and texture. Voilà! Your va-va-voom has returned.

What are your tips and tricks for fabulous volume? Comment below to let us know how you boost your roots.