Flat and floppy or tall and bouncy? A lot of men prefer the latter but just don’t have the right technique to pull it off without using a tonne of product. You’re about to learn some great ways to add volume to men’s hair naturally.
Don’t get me wrong – product will make it easier. Even if it isn’t crucial to building the volume, it’ll definitely help you keep that volume in place once you’ve built it.
But does that mean you need some product to build that volume in the first place? Nope. You can build great volume with the right tools and the right know-how.
So, without further ado, let’s get to it.
7 Ways To Add Volume To Men’s Hair Naturally
Most of the tips you’ll learn in this post are the not-so-obvious ones. Even the more obvious ones are going to be broken down in ways you wouldn’t have thought of before.
1. Keep The Right Length
Hair that’s too short is very tough to build volume with. There’s simply not enough length to get any real height or lift with.
As an extreme example to illustrate the point, try building volume with a buzz cut or crew cut – it isn’t going to happen.
However, when hair gets too long, it gets pretty tough to build height and volume with as well. This is because long hair is heavier and heavy hair tends to weigh itself down.
This reduces its ability to stay upright and tall and makes it more likely to fall back down into a less than desirable flat and floppy state.
It’s especially tough to build volume into long hair naturally because you won’t have the grit and strength of styling products to keep it in place once you’ve built the volume.
So, it’s all about finding that sweet spot where the hair isn’t too short or too long. It’s at the right length to build volume with and to keep that volume in place.
This sweet spot varies from one man to another. A lot of it depends on the thickness and texture of your hair.
Men with thinner or finer hair will find that their sweet spot is shorter because fine hair is less likely to stay up when it’s long.
On average, however, most men will find that their sweet spot is between 4 and 5 inches long.
2. Switch Up The Part
The “part” or “parting” is the line where your hair naturally likes to fall. Most men will have at least one parting; it could be on either side, in the middle, or just off-center.
As hair likes to naturally fall to one side of this natural parting, men often get used to styling it in that direction.
The trouble with this is that the hair becomes pretty flat around the parting with repeated styling in this natural direction. Overall, styling in this same direction will lead the hair to lie flatter and flatter.
A great and simple way to reverse this process every now and again is to simply change up your parting.
Try forming a parting on the other side of your head and style in the opposite direction. If you usually use a center parting, go for one of the sides instead.
This builds immediate volume and height, but if you’re worried about it looking lopsided or awkward, try styling it into damp hair.
Doing this for a while every couple of months or so will give your natural parting a break and it’ll be less flat when you get back to it.
It’s a great way to build volume and the best part of it is that it’s completely natural. No product – just technique.
3. Use A Hair Tie Overnight
Many men like to shower before they sleep. This presents the opportunity to allow the hair to dry with volume overnight.
The way to do this is to towel-dry the hair and use something to lift it at the roots and keep it like that.
If you’ve got longer hair, you can use a hair tie to gently pull the hair back and tie it into a loose top knot. Not so tight that the hair is pulled back flat.
Keep it relaxed and loose. What it’ll do is keep the hair up, lifting it at the roots and allowing it to dry this way overnight. When you wake up you should notice that the hair has more volume and looks bouncier with gentle waves.
If your hair is too short to pull off a top knot, you can achieve a similar effect with a stretchy elastic headband. Again, don’t pull the hair back too flat, or you’ll wake up with more of a slick-back.
Keep things relaxed.
4. Use The Right Shampoo
There are certain shampoos that prioritize building body and volume. The ingredients are generally lighter and less likely to weigh down the hair.
Although there are plenty of them on the market, Moroccanoil Extra Volume Shampoo (Amazon Link) does focus on adding fullness and plumping up the hair while keeping it light.
Click the image below to check it out on Amazon if you’re interested.
It contains linden bud extract to plump up the cuticle, plus argan oil to hydrate, add shine and make it super-manageable. Plus, the shampoo has that much-loved MoroccanOil scent that makes it so much fun to use.
No matter what you use, just remember that building volume starts with the haircut and what you use to wash it. If you don’t get these foundations correct, it’ll be difficult no matter how good your blow-drying technique is.
5. Avoid Conditioner
Here’s one some of you may find surprising.
Conditioner is often seen as a logical addition to any serious grooming aficionado’s hair routine. It makes sense to slap some on after you’ve shampooed and you’ll most likely notice how soft it feels afterward.
The problem is that for a man looking to build volume naturally, the ingredients often used in hair conditioners aren’t going to make it easy.
They’re usually (although not always) heavier than those used in shampoo. In general, if building volume is your aim, avoid using a conditioner if possible. Just stick to a solid volume-building shampoo and you should be just fine.
If you do insist on using a conditioner, try using it before the shampoo instead of after.
Although this may sound strange, using the shampoo afterward should wash away some of the heavy ingredients of the conditioner while still giving you some of the softening benefits.
Alternatively, try just conditioning the tips of your hair instead of the entire strand. This may be a good compromise but is unlikely to be as good as avoiding conditioner altogether.
Try it out for yourself. See whether your hair looks flatter or floppier once you’ve used a conditioner, despite being irresistibly soft. Chances are you’ll find this holds true for your hair as well.
Remember, this is only a problem if you’re looking to add fullness and volume. If your priority is actually softening or nourishing, the conditioner may end up being your best friend.
6. Perfect Blow-Drying Technique
You probably already know just how effective blow-drying can be for building volume and building it quickly.
But having the right technique can make the difference between average results and extraordinary results.
Once you’ve washed and towel-dried your hair, you can use the heat from the blow-dryer to set it in place the way you want it.
Before we start it’s important to note that excessive heat can be damaging to the hair, so using a medium-heat setting as a maximum is a good way to go. In addition, using a heat-protectant spray is a great habit to get into.
Hold the blow-dryer around 12 inches away from the hair as well – this should minimize the force with which the air hits it.
The way you build volume using a blow-dryer is by directing the air right down to the roots of the hair because this is where you want to add support. Doing this will keep the hair in place for longer.
Volume comes from the scalp and the roots. Lift the hair using your fingers or a brush and blow-dryer the roots to lock it in place. Repeat this process wherever you want to build volume.
A common mistake is simply blow-drying the tips of the hair and ignoring the roots.
Another trick is to blow-dry in the opposite direction to the way you eventually want the hair to lay.
For example, if you eventually want it to go to the right, blow-dry to the left first. In addition, blow-dry forward and backward as well.
While you’re doing this, you’ll want to be combing or brushing in the same direction you’re blow-drying as well.
You could use your fingers if you want a more textured or tousled look. If you want something neater and a little more defined, go for a brush like a vent brush, for instance.
Before blow-drying in your desired and final direction, one last tip would be to tilt your head down all the way forward and blow dry upward from front-to-back.
This is the equivalent of blow-drying “upside-down”, although you won’t literally be upside down; this wouldn’t be safe.
But this little trick really does build a lot of volume and is a neat last step before finally blow-drying in your final direction.
As you can see, the key to adding fullness naturally using a blow-dryer is by “attacking” it from different directions before finally blow-drying it the way you want it.
You can lock the final shape in place by setting the blow-dryer to a cold setting and giving it one last attempt.
OK – this may not sound strictly “natural”, as technically, pre-styler is still a product.
But I wanted to include it here because when used correctly, it can be very difficult to tell whether you’ve got any pre-styler in at all.
It simply makes your hair more manageable and responsive.
They do different things. Some pre-stylers reduce frizz and smoothen, while others add fullness, thickness, and volume.
If you’re looking to build volume, especially in finer or thinner hair, go for a thickening pre-styling tonic or something similar.
This will make it much easier to build volume using the other tips and tricks in this list.
Apply the pre-styler after you’ve washed and towel-dried your hair. Then, you can comb or brush it through before blow-drying.
As you can see, you don’t need a bunch of products to add volume. It can be done naturally if you’ve got the skills and the tools to pull it off.
Although it isn’t complicated, you’ll definitely get better at it over time.
Try the tips out and see which ones work best for your specific hair and which ones appeal to you most. Integrate these ones into your routine and use it whenever you want to add height, body, or fullness.