The Hair Channel

Expert tips for statement volume

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The word “backcombing” conjures up images of ragged and poofy 80s rock star hair. 

But, used in moderation, it’s also one of the best ways of creating volume that radiates drama and impact.

Here, some of Stylist’s favourite hairdressers talk through their easy methods for styling statement volume, starting with a tutorial on the classic backcomb crown lift – as perfected by Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s

The classic backcomb crown lift

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“I always recommend only backcombing around the crown of your scalp to achieve statement volume that doesn’t look out of place,” says Ross Charles, owner of Ross Charles Hairdressing.

“Begin with the under sections of your hair, holding each section away from your scalp and brushing downwards towards your head.

“Once you have created a cushion of hair move on to the next section. As you come to the top of your crown, brush over the top to smooth any frizziness or flyaways.

“Remember, backcombing always works best on day two or three hair that isn’t too clean and smooth.”

The space buns tip

“To create statement volume, after you have washed your hair, gather it into a topknot and secure with a scrunchy,” says Neil Barton, owner of Neil Barton Hairdressing. “Or you can do a few Princess Leia-inspired space buns before going to sleep.

“Sleeping with wet hair in buns lifts strands from the scalp, and will make your hair appear more volumised when you take it out in the morning.”

The parting tip

“To get dramatic volume, when hair is wet, flip your parting to the opposite side,” says Karen Thomson, owner of KAM Hair and Body Spa.

“A deep parting will create instant volume and is super-easy to do. Simply use a comb to draw a line from the eyebrow to the centre of the crown.

“After you’ve changed your parting, blow-dry your hair using a round brush around the roots of your hair. This will keep the roots lifted.”

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The layered cut tip

“For those wanting to create instant statement volume, I always recommend getting a layered cut,” says Michelle Paterson, hair manager at Pouts & Pinups

“Layers work well on any hair length and are great for adding volume that doesn’t need daily maintenance.”

The pin curl trick

“After you have towel-dried your hair, roll the hair on a round brush towards the head, heating it as you roll,” says hair stylist Patrick Wilson

“Leave to cool, and unwrap the hair. As you do, back brush gently at the root and wrap into a barrel curl and pin. Start with the fringe area; this is the most important bit. Move on to the back and sides of the head. Dry the hair, still with a round brush, keeping the ends tucked under and lifting the hair upwards to get that gravity-defying volume.

“Wrap and pin each section as you go. Around the crown area, pull each section up vertically and blast the root upwards for added lift. Again, pin curl this section.

“It’s now really important to let the whole head cool down before dressing out. Leave it for five to ten minutes. After that, take the pins out and then gently tease the hair with a fine brush for added stability and hold at the roots.” 

Images: iStock and Rex Features