“I have thick, 2c/3a curly hair, and am of Mediterranean origins. I struggle with with getting the top of my head to curl, as it is pin-straight until about three inches down. From then, on it’s super curly. It is very unflattering, and causes me to be hesitant to wear my hair natural. I have tried layers, diffusing (even the upside down version) and countless products. I am at a loss as of what to do, as I do not want to constantly have to wear my hair up. If anyone has dealt with this problem in the past, or knows of a solution, please let me know.”CurlTalk user nbarani

I know so many curly girls — including friends and family — who suffer with the same curly hair problem!

Having gorgeous curls at the mid-length and ends of your hair is all well and good, but when the roots are flat, you have no volume or bounce, and often, not even the desire to embrace your curls with confidence.

This is an issue that mainly affects curlies with looser, wavy textures. As type 2 and 3 hair grows longer, the weight of the hair can elongate curls, which can result in flatter roots. The good news is, there are some techniques that you can try to combat this!

1. Clipping

Clipping is a technique that I first came across while reading “The Curly Girl Handbook.” It’s a great hack for creating volume up top without heat or harsh tools. Simply gather some Duck clips and grab curls from the roots and clip them upwards. This allows you to create the volume you want, and then hold it in place with the clip while wet and covered with product. Once your hair is dry, remove the clips, and you will find your hair stays in the position you desired — and you’ll no longer have flat roots! You can see the Rainbow Clipping Method in action here.

2. Apply All the Way to the Root

If you have tried all of the above options, and still no luck, London-based curly hair specialist Joleigh Wynter (@Curl.Talk), — trained by the Lorraine Massey — has some tips.

“It is about getting hydration into that section, really get the hair soaking wet. People tend to put products from mid-way down and are afraid to get near to the scalp,” she says. “I like to tip my head upside to apply products and take them quite close to my scalp — this will wake the curl at the root.”

3. Root Lifting

Using products that have been formulated for the purpose of lifting the roots is a good place to start! There are some great root-lifting products that are curly hair friendly, like the Gelebration Spray from Jessicurl.

4. Pick It Out

Styling combs like the afro pick are amazing at creating volume that isn’t naturally there! All hair types can use this method of combing the roots from the inside of the hair upwards and outwards to add more shape to the hair. This technique is best done while the hair is wet. You can find a full tutorial for how to pick your hair for big curly hair here.

5. No Heavy Products

Heavy hair products will naturally weigh your curls down, and this can lead to dull roots. Less product will allow flexibility in the hair. I recommend trying out lighter leave-in conditioners, or switching to a product that is water-based instead of heavier products like a hair butter.

Have you found a solution that works for you when it comes to flat roots? Share in the comments section below.

And for more tips, check out this article: 6 Tricks to Try When Your Wavy Hair is Flat.

This article was originally published in 2020 and has been updated for grammar and clarity.