Big bends, swelled strands and tousled texture may sound good, but getting the volume you want can be hard to achieve at home. We asked celebrity hairstylist Ken O’Rourke to break down the different types of volume – and, crucially, the easiest ways to get each look.
SWELL FLAT STRANDS
If you want straight hair to look and feel thicker without bending the lengths, you need to understand your hair type, and prep it properly. ‘Fine’ hair refers to the actual thickness of each strand, while ‘thin’ is about how many strands you have. Both types can make adding volume challenging, though there are now products that can help with both. “Volumising products have a reputation for being sticky and heavy,” says O’Rourke. “But as brands reformulate with better science, we’re seeing more sprays and mousses that can plump up fine, straight lengths, while keeping hair soft and touchable.” Note that it’s not just which products you use, but how you use them for the full locks you’ve been lusting after. Here’s some advice from Ken:
Start on a wet canvas Wash your hair with Charles Worthington Volume and Bounce Weightless Shampoo, £6.99, and follow with their Bounce Plumping Conditioner, £6.99. When wet, hair is much more pliable and easier to style as applying heat causes the hair to swell and conform to the brush, which is a surefire way of gaining volume. When heat is applied to dry hair (like with a curling iron or flatiron), the hair cuticle compresses, and the hair can lose volume.
Activate the product with heat Split your hair from your crown to ear. Then taking that section, roll around a large round brush and blast dry. While that section is still warm, roll the hair from the roots around two fingers and pin to your head, leaving it to cool. Take another section and repeat until the whole of the head has been pinned. Once hair has set, pull out the pins.
Gently smooth hair Lightly brush the curls out with a large paddle brush, then use a comb to create a middle-parting. Push the hair forward and let it fall into the face to frame.
Hold on For maximum volume and hold, tip your head to the left and spray a small amount of the Volume & Bounce Perfect Finish Hairspray, £6.99, through the underneath sections. Repeat on the right side. Layer up for bigger hair.
BOOST BODY WITH BENDS
This wavy style is your fast track to a voluminous blowout with minimal effort. It comes down to one very important detail: the direction of the wave. “Wind away from your cheekbones to open up your face,” says O’Rourke, who creates this hairstyle on Amy Adams and Rachel Weisz. “The body in this style is a confident red-carpet look – but it’s not too polished because the texturising spray adds to the body and makes it look a bit more lived in.”
Give hair guts Work a handful of Charles Worthington Volume and Bounce Body Booster Mousse, £6.99, through your roots and blow-dry your hair upside down with a boar-bristle brush. If you are re-activating day old product, section the hair and mist in the Volume and Bounce Big Blow Dry Spray, £6.99. This will also act as a heat protector while creating hold and speeding up the drying process by 40%.
Smooth cuticles for shine If you have straight hair, use a paddle brush and point the nozzle of the hairdryer downwards smooth out the hair. If you have curly hair, it’s better to smooth it out first and then put the curl back into it for more polished waves with body.
Get curling Once dry, take a two-inch sections of hair. Clip the ends into a large-barrelled curling iron like the Cloud Nine The Curling Wand, £109, and roll it up three to four inches. If you want it to last longer, go for a smaller iron. Release your hair and keeping it still in a roll, pin to the head and leave to cool. For a more modern look, leave the ends straight. Repeat the process around your head – there should be around 30 sections on medium-thick hair.
Unpin and polishOnce the hair has set, unpin the hair and comb it out with a wide-toothed comb. Try tilting your head to the side, pulling the comb outwards for more width. Part your hair in the middle with a large toothed-comb and softly style the hair around the face to check the level of volume. Rub your hands on the ends of the hair to loosen the strands.
Volumise to finish Spritz the Volume and Bounce Perfect Finish Hairspray, £6.99, at crown to hold the look. Spray underneath the sections to create more volume.
TEXTURISE AND MAXIMISE
Breezy waves with loads of texture adds body to a laid-back style and is one of summer’s most-sought after looks. This style is the equivalent to no-makeup-makeup, so the key is minimal styling to add to the air of nonchalance, while focusing on creating width at the front to frame the face. “This is a great style for those with slim faces,” says O’Rourke. Here, O’Rourke tells you what you need to know about nailing the look in no time:
Divide on the side Create a diagonal side parting using a comb like the BaByliss Diamond Detangle Comb, £3.99. Take a section from the parting to your ear, divide this section horizontally and then pin one half of it back.
Create heated volume On the section you’re just made, take a wand like the Cloud Nine The Curling Wand, £109. Place it under your hair and wrap it around, then pin this section to your head. Repeat on the opposite side.
Energise your look Put more bend in the front by taking medium sections of hair and wrapping it around once or twice, focusing on keeping the movement in the mid-length of the hair and pin. You only need to curl three or four sections framing your face.
Create width Take the curls out at the front and pull your hair forward. Take a comb like the BaByliss Diamond Detangle Comb, £3.99, and brush the hair out towards the sides.
Create volume at the lengths and ends For more body, tip your head upside down and lift up sections with your hands. Spray the Charles Worthington Volume & Bounce Texturising Spray, £6.99, in and under the hair on both the left and right sides. For more volume, mist through more layers of product.
Finish with definition and texture Use your fingers to scrunch hair, teasing and pulling apart the strands to create the final texture. Concentrate on the front sections so you are building body outwards.
THE BIG AND EASY BUN
When you want a big hairstyle without putting in much work, a messy bun always saves the day. However, there is an art to creating a topknot that’s got a cool-girl effortless look; it’s a delicate balance between trying too hard and not trying at all. “For some hair types like medium curly or afro this breezy bun is genuinely easy to achieve, particularly on one or day old hair,” says O’Rourke. “The more mussed or twisted out the hair the better.”
Apply a body-boosting mousse On a one or two-day-old style, mist with water to reactivate the styling product already in the hair. When hair is semi-damp, take three handfuls of the Charles Worthington Volume and Bounce Body Booster Mousse, £6.99, and massage gently into the roots for lift.
Activate the product with heat Split your hair from your crown to ear, then taking that section spritz with Volume and Bounce Big Blow Dry Spray, £6.99, roll around a large round brush, and blast dry. Gently drop each section and leave to cool- then repeat over the whole head.
Create a show pony Take sections of the hair from ear to ear all over and pull it up with a brush into a ponytail on top of your head. Spritz through Volume and Bounce Texturising Spray, £6.99, and leave to dry.
Texturise your lengths Use a comb to backcomb the ponytail in three sections. Smooth out and wrap loosely around your fingers and pin in at the back to create a messy chignon style.
Model Ellen Burton at Profile Model Management
Concept, Director Benjamin Kaufmann
Beauty and Style Director Lisa Oxenham
Video Capture and Edit by Nick Tree
Makeup by Ruby Hammer at Angeli & Co using RubyHammer.com
Celebrity Stylist and Charles Worthington Ambassador Ken O’Rourke
Set Photographer and Retoucher Ivan Mihailov
Production Assistant Sarah Barnes
Look 1- Top by Zara and Jeans by Topshop
Look 4- Dress by Rat and Boa