Adding volume to curly hair, especially if you’re a type 3 or 4, can be some pretty risky stuff! After all, unless you’re doing something focused and that won’t add height to all of your hair, you could end up with a big poof ball (aka “triangle head”) in the end. On the other hand, the reverse can happen: your hair may be flat and not actually “curl” until a few inches away from the scalp.
The good news is that you can add gentle volume to your hair without looking like a triangle head by clipping those curls! Industry leaders like Devachan and Ouidad have been using this technique for years, and now it is about time you cash in! Don't worry, it's cheap!
Learn Your Hair Type
Probably one of the most helpful things you can do for yourself is to learn your hair type. Don’t rely on a stylist to necessarily know your hair type or how to help you work with it. If you don’t know your hair type, we've put together a hair type finder to help you figure it out.
Getting to Clipping
Once you’ve figured out your hair type, you can work at some styles that work with your hair type and face shape. For curlies, we have either too much volume or not enough, it seems. Some of the curlies on our CurlTalk forum have been successful with clipping their curls and tell us how much improvement they have seen in their hair from doing so. NocurlB4babies suggests layering at the top and spending a good bit of focused time diffusing at the crown. “That's made all the different in the volume at top and back for me,” she says.
With wet hair, section off around five or six sections of the hair along the hairline. The author of Healthy Curls has some great photos that show the transformation from start to finish. She suggests using duckbill clips, likely because they go back pretty far and hold onto curly hair pretty well. Diffuse the hair for a few minutes, paying special attention to the roots and crown area. Remove the clips, flip your head upside down and shake your hair without touching it. Once the hair dries, you should have a noticeable amount of volume at the roots.
Ancient Egyptians may have loved the shape, but a triangle head is NOT for curly hair!
Another option for dry hair is to section off bits of hair on top of your head and near your crown in a zig-zag style using mini claw clips. If you want, you could spritz and dampen just the part of your hair that you want to lift, then apply the clips. This would be a great option if you don’t have time to diffuse the hair at home (say, if you’re working that day). Pull this one together in a cute formation on top of your head during the day, and you’ll have a cascade of voluminous curls in time for an evening date!