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Pump Up Your Hair Volume

Want to add lift to your tresses? We asked for hair-raising tips and product picks from three experts.

By Ayren Jackson-Cannady

Reviewed by Karyn Grossman, MD

WebMD Magazine - Feature

Some people are born with thick, full hair -- others, not so much.  We asked dermatologists and hair stylists to share their favorite products and techniques for increasing hair volume.

Tricks for Increasing Hair Volume

When in doubt, leave your hair loose.

"Avoid placing excessive tension on the hair from styles such as tight ponytails or braids," says Andrew Alexis, MD, MPH. "This can lead to thinning hair on the front edges of the hairline called traction alopecia."

Be picky with your conditioner.

"Use conditioners made for fine hair, which are typically lighter and will not weigh down hair," says Joshua Zeichner, MD. "Stay away from 'intensive conditioners,' which may be too heavy if your hair is fine."

Don't over-process your hair.

"Heat-damaged hair is even more susceptible to breakage when topped with dyes, perms, or relaxers," says Jeanine Downie, MD. She suggests you perm, relax, or dye, but never all three all at once.

Top Product Picks of Paul Cucinello

Cucinello is the creative director of Chris Chase Salon in New York.

TRESemmé Fresh Start Volumizing Dry Shampoo ($4.99) "Dry shampoo is a great styling product because it absorbs excess oils that can weigh hair down. It also adds dry texture to clean hair, which pumps up volume."

L'Oréal Excellence Creme Permanent Hair Color ($8.99) "Permanent hair color packs a lot of pigment into the cuticle of your hair, which decreases translucency and increases the diameter of the hair shaft, creating a
much fuller, shinier effect."

Shu Uemura Ample Angora Volumizing Light Foam ($38) "I think even women with curly hair love volume; they just don't want frizz! Try
using a mousse like this. It's great because it smooths out unruly hair and makes it really full without any stickiness."

Oribe Shampoo and Conditioner for Magnificent Volume ($36-$39) "Some volumizing shampoos, like this one, have a higher pH level, which opens the cuticle of the hair a little and keeps hair from looking too flat. If you want maximum lift, keep conditioner mainly on your ends and away from your scalp because the conditioner will weigh hair down."

Top Product Picks of Hilary Young

Young is the owner of Cheveux Studio for Hair in Corte Madera, Calif.

Enjoy Professional Hair Spray ($18.64) "It's easy to get lift with hair spray, a blow dryer, and the right technique. Flip your head so your damp strands are pointing toward the ground and dry with a dryer set to medium. Flip your head back up and 'over-direct' strands by brushing them upward, against your scalp in the opposite direction you would like hair to fall. With hair still over-directed, wait 15 seconds for it to cool in that direction. Style as usual and spray with a light mist of this strong-hold, fast-drying hairspray."

Brush Up on Beauty

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