How To Fight Flat Hair Roots And Get More Lift + Volume

   These days I like to think of my hair as my mane. It has tons of volume, movement, and is so very me. But it wasn't always this way, especially with the volume. I used to have hair that lay completely flat on my head and I thought that my hair would never ever be lifted at the roots. If you think so too, this story is for you. It took a few tweaks to my routine to get lift and volume on the top of my head.
   A friend was complaining about her flat hair roots, and so I showed her a photo of how mine looked for years. There you go: 

That was the situation for most of my adult life. Till I realised that root lift is something that you can get if you want to.

My roots now:

   It took a couple of tweaks in my hair care routine to get this change.

On the aesthetics of flat vs volume on scalp:

   No volume at the root often comes together with straight, smooth hair and can look very beautiful. The advantage of volume at the roots it that it makes the hair look healthier, and is flattering for most face shapes because it lengthens it. In spite of that, hair that is lifted at the roots is a learned taste and a matter of personal preference. In India root volume wasn't important, but the hair was supposed to be sleek and smooth (like this or this hair product ad, compare to an European ad, incidentally it has Leighton Meester in it, ahhh). East Asian hair can look amazing when it's straight, heavy and, yes, flat.

 How to get more root volume

   Here is what you can do to get more lift at the roots. Of course mileage will vary, and the right haircut is probably the most important of all the tips.

Sleep with your hair on top of your head

   I do my hair in a ballerina bun right on top of my head to sleep and when I hang around the house. Alternatively I just grab it in a loose messy pile and secure with a huge clip. It might feel weird at first but the hair roots get used to it fast, and you get instant volume! At first the volume hold only for a few hours, but gradually as you implement the other changes it will last for the whole day.

The right cut

  I used to have longer hair that cut straight at the ends. It gave me triangle-head, flat on top and voluminous at the bottom. Then my hair dresser gave me lovely layers which make the hair much lighter, it doesn't hang so heavily any more and is "lighter" at the roots. Even though a lot of hair gets cut away every time, it actually looks fuller because of the layers and the movement.
   You need to get a hairdresser that understands your hair type and knows how to work with it, because thick heavy hair will need a different cut than thin silky hair. You also need to explain to them that you want more volume on top, and understand that not all cuts can give you that.

Blow drying your hair for root volume

   If you blow-dry, do it while hanging your head upside down and using a diffuser attachment (you can buy this separately and attach to the dryer you already own). You could also pull the hair up on a round brush.

Clip drying for root lift 

   If air drying, use small clips to lift your hair at the roots. Here are a couple of good examples. I'm usually lazy and use three bigger duckbill clips. I haven't tried them myself, but HiClips also look promising. You can also try wearing your hair to dry in a twisted ballerina bun while waiting for it to dry.

Switch up your part

   Keep your hair on its toes and don't always wear the same part. If you wear a right part, try drying (and even styling) your hair with the left part, and then flip it to the right part at the end. Sleep with a different part.

Fighting hat hair

   Before putting on your cap or hat, flip your hair to one side (if you already wear your hair flipped or parted to one side, flip it to the other side). Put on the cap. When you remove it, flip your hair back to how you normally wear it. Your hair won't be flat at the roots!

Cleanse your hair and scalp

   Silicons often weigh the hair down, so try switching to a silicon-free hair regimen. Once in a while clarify your hair to get rid of product buildup. A scalp scrub with clean the scalp from old skin flakes.

Condition before washing

    Use richer hair conditioners, masques or oils before shampooing, leave on for at least 30 mins under a shower cap. Shampoo only the scalp. After this your hair should be conditioned but not weighed down. If your hair is really dry and still needs moisture or emollients after shampooing, use a very light conditioner (leave-ins are really light, or you can dilute a regular one with water) and apply from ears down.

Deal with your oily scalp

    Here is my post on dealing with an oily scalp. Switch to a gentler shampoo that won't aggravate the oiliness. Use simple scalp treatments. Don't wash the hair with hot water. And always rinse of the hair really well.

Go easy on the brushing

   Brushing can pull the hair flat and spoil it's structure. For curly and wavy hair often a bit of detangling with the fingers is all it takes, you can also use a wide-toothed comb. I rarely brush at all, and if I do it's usually before washing, when I want to give my scalp a nice massage and spread the oils from roots to end. My hair doesn't tangle, though it used to tangle a lot before I started taking care of it.


   Henna gave me more volume that I have ever had. I love the Henna from Khadi, it colours quite well and is easier to apply than any other I have used. If you don't want to change your hair colour, you can get a shade that is close to your own, or try the colourless Cassia. Conditioners that contain Henna also add volume, although the effect is not so dramatic.

Lifting products

   When shopping for products that promise lift and volume always pick the ones without alcohol. Dry shampoo is a life saver if your scalp is getting really greasy. I love the one from Klorane. Scalp treatments can also make the scalp a bit fresher. The Taft voluminising Powder gives a lot of volume, however give the hair a weird texture (when you touch it) and is hard to wash out.
   My personal favourite is the DIY flaxseed gel.

  I hope these tips are useful for you and help you get your desired level of root lift. If you have any tips to add, do share in the comments! What makes your roots lifted, and what gives you a flat head?
  PS I you haven't entered the Avocado bra give-away, go and do it now! I you have, remember that you can tweet about it each day to get more entries.

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