How to Add Volume to Short Hair: from Prep Time to Products

Short hair can be chic and stylish, but sometimes it can lack the volume and body that longer hair has. 

If you find yourself longing for more volume in your short hair, don't worry! There are plenty of techniques and tips that can help you achieve that desired fullness. 

In this article, we'll explore everything you need to know about how to add volume to short hair.

The need-to-know when it comes to volume

Before we dive into the techniques, let's talk about what hair volume actually means. Hair volume refers to the overall body and fullness of your hair. 

When we talk about hair volume, we are essentially referring to the amount of space that your hair occupies. It is determined by various factors, including lift at your roots and the density and thickness of your hair strands. In simple terms, the more hair you have, the more volume you can create.

hair density chart

Adding volume to short hair not only can enhance its visual appeal but can also help in creating versatile and dynamic hairstyles. Therefore, understanding how to add volume is essential for anyone rocking a shorter hairstyle.

How to give short hair more volume: our step-by-step guide


Now that you understand the factors influencing hair volume, let's explore how to prepare your short hair for maximum fullness.

1. Choosing the Right Haircut

the ends of blonde hair being trimmed
The first step in creating voluminous short hair is choosing the right haircut. Shorter layers, choppy ends, and textured cuts can all help create the illusion of more volume.

Consult with your hairstylist to find a cut that suits your face shape and hair type while maximizing volume potential.
2. Washing and Conditioning

color wow travel size shampoo and conditioner
When washing your hair, you might think you should opt for a volumizing shampoo. Our take? Don’t do it!! In order for these shampoos to deliver on their voluminous promises, they must leave ingredients behind on your hair and scalp that do not rinse out easilyOver time, this leads to buildup that leaves your hair heavy and weighed down (the opposite of big and bouncy). More importantly, buildup on your scalp can block follicles and impede hair growth.

Our advice? Leave the volumizing to your stylers and opt for a 100% clean, residue-free formula like Color Security Shampoo. Every ingredient rinses completely off, leaving nothing behind to weigh hair down or block follicles.

Pair it with our Color Security Conditioner for fine-to-normal hair for lightweight hydration that won’t weigh hair down or leave it greasy.

Techniques and Products

Now that your hair is prepped for volume, let's explore some effective techniques to add fullness to your short hair:

1. Blow Drying for Volume

color wow carb cocktail
One of the most popular techniques for adding volume to short hair is blow drying. For an instant blow dry boost, we recommend prepping your damp hair with Dream Cocktail Carb-Infused.

It’s weightless, it plumps and fattens your strands for an instantly thicker, fuller finish in just ONE blow dry! Not to mention it doubles as a heat protectant

Pro Tip: Use a round brush or Denman brush to lift your roots while blow-drying your hair. This helps create volume at the roots and gives your hair body and bounce.

2. Using Hair Rollers

Hair rollers are another fantastic tool for adding volume to short hair. Here’s how:

  • First, prep your damp hair with volumizing stylers. For some bouncy lift at your crown, spritz on Raise the Root Thicken + Lift Spray under the roots section-by-section. For all-over big, luxe, volume, try Xtra Large Bombshell Volumizer (made without alcohol, salt or crispy resins!).

  • Use generously on each section. Both products can be used on wet or dry hair. Pro Tip: Use both together for seriously sexy oomph!
woman with red hair in rollers holding up a black bag with white lettering
  • Next, working in small sections, blow dry your hair using a round brush. Then, wrap each section of hair around a roller. Let your hair set until completely cool before unrolling big, bouncy volume. Check out the Color Wow Big Hair Bundle, featuring a free set of rollers and our best-selling volume products - a real must-have in your journey towards voluminous short hair!

3. Teasing and Backcombing

If you're looking for an instant volume boost, teasing and backcombing are your go-to techniques. Take small sections of hair at your crown area and, using a fine-toothed comb or teasing brush, gently backcomb the hair towards your scalp.

This technique helps create volume and lift at the roots, giving your short hair a fuller appearance. Remember to lightly smooth the top layer of hair over the teased section to keep it looking polished.

color wow style on steroids sprayIf you’re wary of backcombing, try celeb stylist Chris Appleton’s fave volumizer that he calls “backcombing in a can” – Style on Steroids. This unique moisturizing texture spray adds instant sexy texture and guts to your hair without feeling sticky, stiff or chalky. Adding volume to short hair is easier than you might think. By understanding the factors that affect hair volume and utilizing the right techniques, you can achieve bouncy and voluminous locks.

So, go ahead and try out these tips and tricks to give your short hair some sexy volume!


Read more about adding bounce and volume to flat, lifeless locks on the Color Wow Blog:

  • How to get volume in hair overnight
  • How to blow dry fine hair for volume
  • How to style short hair
  • Shop This Blog Post