Confession time. I’ve worked in the hair industry for 20+ years, but I’m still no expert when it comes to blow-drying my own hair, which why my search for the best hair tools for volume has become an obsession. My fine, (beautifully coloured, thanks to our co-founder @moniquemcmahoncolour), poker-straight hair needs its own universe of hair tools to turn it from fluffy bedhead hair to manager-of-a-hair-company-worthy, voluminous locks.
Over the years, I’ve tried and tested all manner of hair products, hairbrushes, hair styling tools, volume-delivering mousses and hair dryers in my attempts to master that elusive bouncy finish.
If this situation sounds familiar, keep reading because I’ve whittled down what actually delivers that beauty-editor-level glossy volume to my all-time top five must-have tricks and tools if you’re a volume-loving, blow-drying novice like me.
An excellent hairdresser
Your hair’s BF. A great hairdresser (and colourist) will make sure your hair is in the best possible condition. A great cut will make up for any less-than-expert styling and care your hair receives once you leave the salon! My hairdresser Monique McMahon, knows that I’m a low-maintenance girl, and looks after my hair accordingly - so I can pretty much wash and go with the bare minimum of styling or tool-work needed. Mon is my ultimate hair styling tool!
Regular cuts will keep split ends at bay to keep your hair in top condition and looking polished. Your hairdresser also knows what your hair needs from month to month and can recommend which hair products and hair styling tools will be best for your particular needs. Remember to ask their advice on the best products and hair styling tools for your hair types while you’re in the chair.
Let’s get into the at-home hair tools that I can’t live without.
A Volumizing Treatment
If you’re serious about finding the ultimate hair volumizer tool, this is where you should start. Not technically a tool in the traditional sense, Christophe Robin’s Cleansing Volumizing Treatment with rassoul clay is my favourite way to build volume and density into my hair before even picking up the styling wand.
Used by the Berbers as a revered beauty treatment for centuries, volcanic rassoul clay is rich in minerals like magnesium and silica which condition your scalp and works like a blotting paper to absorb any dirt or oil.
Christophe’s heavenly-scented formula also harnesses the natural volumizing powers of rose extract so your hair doesn’t fall flat like a French souffle.
How to use it:
Mix a tiny amount of clay paste with water to create a creamy, cloudy foam and massage gently into your scalp and roots for 2 mins before rinsing with copious amounts of water.
Squeeze any excess water out of your hair and move to Trick 3 below!
The French towel dry technique
As I mentioned, I’m no pro when it comes to blow drying my hair but I do have a few tricks of the trade up my sleeve after many years of living and breathing hair!
Some of the most valuable tips for creating volume were from Christophe Robin several years ago - and they begin before you even get into the shower.
- “Always detangle your hair first with a good brush, when it’s dry.” This is BEFORE you jump in the shower. “Brushing the hair helps distribute natural oils, which in return protect the hair fibre, strengthen, smooth and boost shine.” It also stimulates and lifts away dirt from the scalp, which in turn, acts as an incredible hair tool for creating natural volume. I use a boar bristle dressing brush like the Ibiza OC6 as boar bristle has a similar structure to our own hair and contains the same keratin compound (ie. less damaging) I love that Ibiza uses sustainable methods to harvest its cork and only uses humanely sourced boar bristle too.
- Use a shower brush designed for wet hair to comb through your masks as wet hair is extremely fragile and prone to breakage. Our resident hair expert @moniquemcmahoncolour reaches for Ibiza’s Contour Vent brush or Airwave for the gentlest of detangling tools.
And my favourite of all his tips - the incredible, Moroccan-inspired hair drying technique! Check out the clip below. By rolling your towel, tipping your head upside down and ‘flicking’ your hair with the towel, you can create a gentle but wholly effective level of volume before you even begin styling with your hot tools. Brilliant.
Who would have thought your bath towel was the best natural hair volumizer tool ever 😂😂
An alcohol-free volumizing mist
A beautifully scented volumizing mist is the under-appreciated stalwart of any hair tool kit. Lightweight options like Christophe Robin’s Instant Volume Mist or Larry King’s Volumizing Hair Mist preps fine hair from the roots, helping it appear lifted, feel thicker and more full of body. I love that both these mists also work like a hair fragrance, and that’s impossible to use too much.
My preference is hair mists that are alcohol-free as they are less drying and don’t leave my hair looking stringy by the end of the day.
How to use them:
- Mist damp hair with a light veil to roots and lengths before air drying or styling.
- Use in-between washes to reset and revive your volume.
A boar bristle blow-dry brush
Ibiza’s B4 boar bristle brush is my favourite blow-drying tool, and here’s why.
- The B4 is the perfect size for medium-length hair like mine and is designed to give you volume at the crown of the head.
- The blonde bristles are softer and more forgiving but give the necessary grip you need to get that perfect bend.
- Its cork handle feels great in my hand, is easy to grip and really lightweight which helps blow-dry novices (hello, that’s me) manoeuvre the brush more easily.
- Those blonde bristles give fine, coloured hair that little bit of extra shine
- There’s a whole series of B brushes in an array of sizes to use for different sections if you’re already a blow-dry pro.
If you’re looking for that bouncy, voluminous, shiny butterfly finish, this hairdresser-approved brush, this easy-to-handle blow-dry tool is perfect.
An hononary mention to the humble hair mousse!
And not your standard hair mousse either - this is the mousse of all mousses, Larry King's My Nanna's Mousse. This silky, airy foam a novice's dream - the ultimate hair tool for volume. Loaded with amino acids from natural apple extracts, this award-winning blow-drying product plumps and thickens hair to helps it look fuller without any 'crunch' factor. Apply it to your roots, or just in the area where you want extra lift, and blow dry in. It's a miracle worker.
Shop Karina’s approved hair tools and volume-giving styling products for fine hair here: