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How to Add Volume to Curly Hair Roots: 20 Techniques

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Learn how to add volume to curly hair roots.

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Some people love having curls, others hate it. I often find those with a love-hate relationship with their hair are those with curls that fall flat at the roots. It makes for a bad hair day and is a curlie’s worst nightmare. But there are ways to solve the problem and add volume to your curly hair roots.

  1. Get A Haircut  
  2. Add Layers
  3. Treat Your Curl Type
  4. Style Wet Hair
  5. Preserve Your Hair While Sleeping 
  6. Don’t Overuse Product  
  7. Style Your Hair with a Denman Brush  
  8. Air Dry Your Hair  
  9. Try Root Clipping  
  10. Use the Correct Products for Curly Hair  
  11. Pick Out Your Curls  
  12. Fluff Your Roots  
  13. Wear It in a Pineapple  
  14. Avoid Excess Products at the Roots  
  15. Clarify Your Hair  
  16. Use Mousse  
  17. Use A Diffuser  
  18. Dry Shampoo Your Hair  
  19. Add Hairspray to Your Roots  
  20. Section Your Curls

1. Get A Haircut  

This may seem counterintuitive, but as your hair gets longer, it will start to lay flatter because of the natural added weight pulling it down. You don’t need to cut your hair short or lose a lot of length; just a few inches off might be enough to lighten your hair and create a natural lift.  

Remember that a haircut will not solve your flat roots if you have other issues like product build-up (discussed later), incorrect styling products and techniques, or your curly hair type is more wavy. These factors must be addressed first, especially if you want to keep your long hair. 

2.  Add Layers 

Adding layers can also help add volume and lift your hair. Keep the layers minimal because too many can cause it to appear shapeless and stringy. If your hair is finer, a single-length cut has the advantage of making your hair appear thicker.  

Layers in long hair may not necessarily add volume to your roots, but they can be effective for shorter hair. Discuss your concerns about length or finding the right shape for your hair type with a curly hair stylist. They can advise you professionally based on your wants and what’s best for your curls.  

3.  Treat Your Curl Type 

Your curls may not lack pattern or volume at the top; instead, your curl type could naturally be that way. That means the texture of your hair creates a pattern where your hair is usually flat on the top, and the curls only start from the middle of your head towards your nape. 

This requires you to find products and techniques that work for your hair type and put in a little extra effort in styling to create more curls around your roots. You can learn more here.

4.  Style Wet Hair  

Styling your curly hair when wet is one of the best ways to add volume to the roots. Shaping and manipulating your hair into your desired style is much easier when wet. But as it dries, it stays in the shape you created while wet, which is super helpful for the top of your head.  

You can use braids, the pineapple method, curling rods, and various other techniques to create curl definition and bounce to your hair while wet. When you remove these styles, your hair is likely to stay that way, and adding some hair spray or mousse will make it long-lasting and prevent falling. 

5. Preserve Your Hair While Sleeping 

Curls often get messy, lose definition, or go completely flat at night. Ensuring that you take the steps to preserve your curls while you sleep is essential. Using the correct techniques to refresh them in the morning can help bring back bounce. 

6. Don’t Overuse Products  

Products are essential for curly hair, but too much product can lead to product buildup (if that happens you’ll need a clarifying shampoo), which can weigh down your hair and make it appear greasy and flat. Opt for lightweight options. Apply your preferred styling product to your roots, and then use a diffuser to dry your hair. This will help to add volume to your curly hair roots.  

Tip: When using gel, don’t rake it in; instead, use a little bit to scrunch it in, as this will help you achieve maximum volume and minimize stringy hair.

7.  Style Your Hair with a Denman Brush  

Adding a Denman brush to your routine is an easy way to help add volume and definition to your hair. Denman brushes are designed for curly hair and help with various aspects, including providing a better curl pattern and volume. Check out this extensive guide on Denman brushes for more information.  

8.  Air Dry Your Hair  

One of the best ways to achieve volume to curly hair roots is to air dry your hair simply. Using a diffuser attachment or other hair-drying methods is effective, but they can often change your hair’s natural pattern and flow.  

Watch the tutorial below that explains the air-drying technique.

YouTube video
Video credit: Manes by Mell

9. Try Root Clipping  

Another way to add volume to your roots is by using clips. This will give the appearance of fuller, thicker, big hair, especially when you want to create root volume. You can use alligator styling clips or duckbill clips for this process. Root clipping is a simple and easy technique to get voluminous hair. All you need are some clips and a good hairspray.   

This YouTube video will help to show you how to use clipping to lift your roots and style your hair.  

YouTube video
Video credit: By IrenesBeautyTimes

10.  Use the Correct Products for Curly Hair  

When you’re adding products to your hair, be strategic about it. Choose hair products that will add volume and lift at the roots. Read the product labels to see if they’re meant to add volume.  

You can try a root booster spray, which helps lift your hair and provide bounce.  

Here are a few product suggestions:

Tigi Bed Head Candy Fixations Sugar Root Powder

This hair-styling putty can create looks with a firm yet flexible hold and natural finish. It is perfect for styling short to medium hair and builds texture, body, and definition. It can allow you to manipulate your hair into any style you desire while providing a long-lasting stronghold.  

Bumble and bumble Surf Spray

Did you know that salt spray expands the hair fiber and plumps it? It creates an appearance of thickness and more volume. This product adds texture to the hair, creating a natural, tossed, wavy/curly look.   

Innersense Inner Peace Whipped Creme Texturizer

This product will help you to create separation and textures. It will create a hold like a pomade but with a lighter feel.  

Ouidad Going Up Volumizing Texture Spray 

This spray gel is blended with a polymer to ensure your hair isn’t sticky or stiff, giving volume and definition to fine hair. It can also be used as a curl refresher.   

Living Proof Full Root Lifting Spray

This is a heat-activated spray and is a combination of three polymers that provide heat protection and lift to the roots without feeling sticky or tacky. Your hair will have a soft and natural lift from the root.  

Jessicurl Celebration Spray

This spray is made specifically for fine hair. This curl-enhancing formula combines other ingredients, such as flaxseed extract and glycerin, to give fine hair more volume and body.  

Paul Mitchell Extra-Body Boost Volumizing Spray, Lifts + Volumizes

This vegan volumizing spray can boost fine hair volume at the roots. Use it on the roots by holding your hair up when wet or damp and spraying it close to the scalp. Proceed to dry as usual.  

11. Pick it Out

The best way to achieve volume for your curly hair roots and create height is with a good old-fashioned pick. This time-honored method will give you the extra oomph you desire without any fuss.

Use it by lifting a curl section with your hand and picking the under layers of your hair, keeping it close to the scalp. This technique is particularly helpful for adding volume to flat hair. Try not to touch the top layers of your curls to keep them looking smooth.

12. Fluff It

This technique is super simple. Do this by using your fingers to lift and separate the hair at the roots. You can also use a wide-toothed comb to help with this. These techniques will help boost your hair’s volume at the roots without damaging your delicate curls.  

13. Wear It In A Pineapple

Wearing your hair in a pineapple style can help maintain volume. To do this, flip your head upside down and gather your hair on top of your head with your hand and secure it with a scrunchie or TELETIES hair tie (love these!). This will help keep your roots from getting squished down during the night or when lazing around the house.  

This YouTube video will help show you precisely how to achieve the pineapple style.  

YouTube video
Video credit: Rocio Isabel

14. Avoid Excess Products at the Roots   

When product builds up on your hair, it can make your scalp look oily and cause your curls to appear heavy and flat, especially at the top.  

When applying product to your hair, use only a minimal amount at the roots, especially if you have thin hair. This will help to prevent product build-up, which causes your hair to look and feel weighed down. Start mid-length and end and work the product through your hair without adding more when you get to the top.  

15.  Clarify Your Hair  

As mentioned in the previous point, build-up weighs your hair down. That’s why clarifying is an essential step in any hair care routine. Clarifying removes all the dirt, oil, debris, and product build-up from your hair. It is the same as exfoliating your skin to remove dead skin cells.  

16. Use Mousse

Mousse is a product that many people forget about or take for granted. It’s a great way to add volume to curly hair, especially at the roots of your hair. Mousse helps your hair hold shape and can be an excellent option to achieve big, bouncy, defined curls.  

Apply your mousse to damp hair and then style it as usual. You can also use a diffuser to help add volume and definition to your curls. Try hair foam if you find a mousse too heavy for your hair. They are a lighter consistency.

17. Use a Diffuser

If you want to achieve bouncy, voluminous curls, diffusing your hair is a great option. They help dry your hair gently and add volume and definition to your ringlets. If you have fine, curly hair, use a diffuser on a low heat setting and gradually increase the heat as needed.  

18. Dry Shampoo Your Hair

Dry shampoo is a great way to add instant volume to your hair, especially if it’s starting to feel flat. It can also help to absorb excess oil and give your hair a fresh scent. This is also excellent if you have product build-up causing flattened roots.  

19.  Add Hairspray to Your Roots  

Hairspray can help to add volume and hold to your roots. Once you style your hair, use hairspray to keep your hair in place. This will help prevent your roots from falling flat. You can also use a root lifter or mousse for extra volume before applying hairspray.  

20.    Section Your Curls  

Sectioning your hair is a fantastic technique to add volume to your curly roots. It will help you to target specific areas and add bounce where you need it most. Dividing your curls into smaller pieces will dry quicker and appear more voluminous because it’s not weighed down.  


I’m just a girl who transformed her severely damaged hair into healthy hair. I adore the simplicity of a simple hair care routine, the richness of diverse textures, and the joy of sharing my journey from the comfort of my space.

My mission? To empower others with the tools to restore, and maintain healthy hair, and celebrate the hair they were born with!

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