Volume part 1: The Haircut

Posted in News on March 10th, 2011 by Reagan

Tags: , ,

I’ve decided to do a series focusing on how to get the best volume for your hair, because to me volume is the most important factor in achieving a good hair day. Doesn’t that sound so weird and funny? But anyone who knows me, knows that I’m constantly fluffing up my hair throughout the day, making sure it stays nice and huge. What is your passion? My passion is huge hair. Apparently many of you have a passion with huge hair too, because volume is probably my second most common email topic, next to frizz.

So, the very first step to creating wonderful voluminous hugeness, is having the right hair cut. The problem here, is I can’t just say “Go get your hair cut like ___” and have the problem solved. There are just too many hair types and textures and head/face shapes for that. That is why it is so important to find the right stylist (eh hem, me maybe?) who will be able to talk to you and find out with you what will work for your styling routine, texture and hair type.

Hair types= Thin, Fine, Medium, Course, Thick.

Hair Textures= Curly, Wavy, Straight.

Decide what your hair type/texture is, and that will help you find the best cut(s). **I say cuts because who is going to keep their hair one way for the rest of their life?**

My type and texture is wavy and fine with medium thickness. That really leaves me with a lot of room for different hair cuts and I have found that I can do many lengths and still have volume. What works the best for me though, has been to have a blunt bob (chin length to shoulder length) with no layers, or to have it long with lots of layers and framing around the face. When my hair is long, I absolutely have to have framing around the face. I have worn my hair short for the last year, and I have realized that I needed a regular trim much more often with my long hair to prevent it from losing it’s shape, than I do with my short hair. If I had something short and layered, I would probably have to get it cut more frequently than I do with my blunt cut. But again, it would be a completely different story if I didn’t have wave in my hair.

Aside from getting regular haircuts to maintain the shape, the technique being used is very important. If you have heavy or weighed down hair, it’s likely that a razor cut, point cutting or thinning for texture will help lighten it up. You wouldn’t believe how much your hair can spring up with the right cut!

This post will get way too long if I explain each and every hair type, so let’s continue it in the comment section! Tell me what cuts have worked best for you to maximize volume. Do you have questions about your hair type and what would work best for you? I’ll do my best to answer them so check back!

Sorry for the structural chaos of this post. I can’t help myself because volume is my passion.

Next Volume post will be about how to shampoo/condition for the best results!

Come back and you could have hair like this!

Ok, maybe more like this…

Because it always comes back to Zooey, right?

29 Responses to “Volume part 1: The Haircut”

  1. Melissa D Says:


    I have the worst type, fine, thin and bone straight. I need a great cut!!! Hit me!

  2. Maureen Says:

    I’m pretty sure I have fine hair and wavy with some random curls in it type of texture. It’s a lot easier for me to achieve better volume when I leave my hair curly/wavy with a few products in it. My issue is when i straighten it, it’s so hit or miss if I have good volume. My hair is about 6 inches past my shoulder and I need your help if I should cut it or not!

  3. Kat Says:

    Hey Reagan!
    I also feel my hair is the worst. Thin hairs (but lots and lots of them so if I want to do my own blowout or curl it all it takes me forever), fine, blah wavy, and doesn’t hold a curl, a backcomb, nothing, unless its 6 days dirty with some dry shampoo. Even though my hair is thin, I think the density makes it look gross and weighed down and like the stereotypical “mom hair” with a blunt cut, but I’m completely clueless when it comes to anything more high maintenance! Please help.

  4. Stacie Says:

    Wow, that Zooey picture is inspiring! What if my hair could look like that…eeee!! I’d say my hair type is fine but with lots of hair & texture is wavy. What should I do? Thanks for your help Reagan! This is fun!!

  5. AJ Says:

    You have created a monster in me, a wonderful monster. I have been obsessed with your blog after finding it through a friend one month ago. I tell everyone about it, I mean EVERYONE. Also, dry shampoo is life changing. You have helped me get ready in the mornings and I aspire to have good hair. Lord knows this new frumpy mom needs some action on top bc what is happening below is certainly not cool.
    On to the hair! I have lots of fine fine fine hair. It is just below my shoulders and I always try to get a blunt cut on the end to make it thicker. I have a round face which is a little more round then usually. ;) I have frizzy weird thin hair if I air dry it after a brush through. If I don’t brush it and put a product in it has a very nasty loose wave, you know the one I am talking about. I have colored my hair for years and will probably never stop. I need a little something to spice the drab color up.
    Thank you for your good deed today. My oily locks will be waiting your freaking awesome response.

  6. Julie Says:

    oh…like Melissa, I have the worst combination of fine, thin and super straight hair. It won’t hold a curl for anything. Volume is always an issue for me! Bring on the advice!!!

  7. Kiera Says:

    I am right there with Melissa D and Julie and I dont want short hair.

  8. Rae Says:

    Can we please discuss during my next cut? I think I mentioned to you at the concert that my hair used to get huge(ish), and ever since I cut it short and started using better shampoo and conditioner it doesn’t have nearly the curl or volume. :(

  9. Reagan Says:

    Melissa and other fine/straight/thin girls,
    you all have the trickiest textures and types of hair for volume. You have to do more than just the cut to be able to have volume. But we’re just talking about haircuts today, so my advice there is to make sure you get a trim regularly, whether you’re keeping it short or long. The dead ends will pull at the roots so keep them cleaned up every 8 weeks!

    I recommend framing around the face, and minor layers. Too many layers will make your length look thin and like youre overdue for a haircut. And no layers will not allow much volume. I would suggest keeping your layers just one or two inches above the actual length of your hair. The framing can start anywhere you like. Cheek bone, jaw bone..anywhere.

  10. Sadie Says:

    My hair is straight, thin and fine. =( I have shoulder length hair that is cut straight at the ends, but a few layers in the back. My stylist is great. (I’m in AZ) I’m good on the cut. Unless there’s a mgic cut that will make millions of thick hairs grow beautifully from my head!… Doubt it. What products should I use? Steer clear of? I have to wash my hair EVERY DAY because it’s soooooooo thin and oily that it looks absolutely disgusting if I don’t. That IS NOT an exaggeration. I have very honest friends. Dry shampoo? HELP ME REAGAN! ;) Thanks so much. I’m THRILLED THRILLED THRILLED about you VOLUME posts!!!!

  11. Jessica Says:

    I have the opposite problem- too much volume! It’s thick and wavy. I can get it straight, but it’s “poofy” straight. I spend forever and try to find products that’ll make it super straight and piecy. My mom (who has fine hair) and friends with thin hair make fun of me because they work to make their hair have volume, and I do the opposite.

  12. Rebecca Says:

    I have curly hair, coarse texture, but not very much. I used to have a ton but I am losing gobs from just having a baby, plus I think I just have less hair than I did as a teenager. Weird. I am always trying to get my hair bigger at the roots, what should the cut be? Long layers, cause that’s what I have been thinking.

  13. Tala Says:

    Hey Reagan,

    I have super thick hair. Like as a child, every hairdresser was shocked about my hair thickness! And it’s wavy. I have been getting just plain straight haircuts my entire life! Cutting my hair short is a huge no-no as it poofs like crazy! I desperately need a new haircut. And it totally wouldn’t hurt to look like Zooey! Another thing, how would one know if they would look good with bangs? I’m thinking about going for a radical radical change.


  14. Jessica N. Says:

    Hi Raegan! I have wavy hair that is coarse in texture but medium in density. My hair is very strong and holds a style very well, whether it is in it’s natural wavy state or heat styled.

    I usually get a cut with long layers which gives me volume but it gives me volume starting at my cheeks and below. What type of cut would help the volume start from the top and at the crown, versus my jawline (which makes my round face appear rounder)?

    Thank you in advance!

  15. Cait Says:

    I have fine hair that’s also pretty thick (or dense?) and it’s wavy in some spots and straight in others… Every hairdresser’s dream, I’m sure…

    It’s also heaviest around the crown. I never had much volume until my favorite stylist ever (who now lives in NYC) cut convex & concave layers (she loved the geometry of hairdressing ;) ) This absolutely helped with the volume- she would also thin the ends in a major way to take the weight off and help me get bigger hair! These cuts also helped my hair be wavy all over when I wanted.

    I’ve also found that in order to have longer hair that didn’t bug the bejeesus out of me, bangs are a must.

    And I think product is a must.. I love dry shampoo! After I’ve dried my hair I use it on the roots around my part to help keep it from falling flat throughout the day.

  16. Camille Says:

    Well I just love you. Non creepily of course (although perhaps you should be the one to judge).

    I have very fine and thin hair and I’m sure I will be one of those women who go bald when they’re old and you will be able to see right through to my scalp.

    But whaddya do.

    Short haircuts always give me the best volume (when my hair is longer than my shoulders it is always extremely limp and lifeless and greasy-looking), but I have a squarish/roundish head and so short hair makes my face look especially fat. So I pretty much look ghastly all the time.

    I’ve made peace though.

  17. Lucy Says:


    Are you getting sick of us yet? I hoped someone else would leave a comment with my kind of hair, but most people seemed to have thin hair. Mine is really thick and a teensy wavy– like if I let it air dry it’s just gross looking kind of wavy. It also has pretty coarse texture. I feel like it’s just heavy and long, but I’m afraid to go short. What would you do? I wish I lived in NY…or could afford to go to NY. Some day!


  18. Maryn Says:

    What a fun series – I can’t wait to see the rest of your posts!

    I have a question and would love it if you had a minute to give some feedback: I have very straight hair with thin individual strands, but lots of them, so I have a crazy-thick ponytail and extremely oily scalp because of the density of strands. So….do I read the info on thin hair or on thick?

    All I really want is some volume on top and not on the bottom. It always looks okay for a few days after it’s cut, and then reverts to looking like a pyramid. Aargh.

  19. Barbara Says:

    I have fine and pretty thick hair. Currently in a long bob – was originally not quite dusting my shoulders, now just past. My passion is swing and movement. Though I know it has more when it’s not on/past my shoulders, I also need to be able to pull it up in a pony tail or twist. Would love to know how to tease my hair at the crown, pull up the sides, and have big high hair up and straight down. When I tease I always end up with knobby looking lumps in it, and if it’s not pinned up, the teasing falls out, the hair over it separates, and it looks gah!

    So I blow dry, flat iron the ends to smooth, and call it a day. Oh – also, if you have any tips to stop bangs from parting in the middle, I’ll leave you my fortune when I earn it.

    Love you!

  20. Camila Says:

    I have wavy hair with medium thickness. It is currently short (above my shoulders) and i have layers to take some weight off the ends. But I am wondering, when I blow dry my hair i always blow dry my roots upward (as in opposite from their natural fall) is that bad to do all the time? It gave me a lot of volume when my hair was really short (like a bob) but now i dont go through the whole blow drying volumizing process because I’m afraid I’m over volumizing it (is that even possible?) :)

  21. Camila Says:

    P.S. I’m with Barbara on the bangs, I have side bangs but they always part in the middle how do you keep that from happening?

  22. Amber Says:

    Yo, Reagan! I’ve been following for a while now (HDOF and Blob). First comment – hooray! Love your blobs!

    My hairs are curly with mixed medium/course texture (course and kinky underneath). I’ve almost always worn my hair long with layers. It can get big but not in the best way. I’m really (not really) thinking of planning a trip to NYC from Nashville just so I can some help on my hair. It’s soooo boring. I usually just diffuse for a coupla minutes after applying frizz serum and mousse and go.

  23. Nicole Says:

    I just found your blog and I love it! I have been reading post after post. I love the tutorial videos. I have always had volume issues. I also have fine (a stylist once told me it reminded her of soft baby hair), wavy (looks more frizzy usually) hair, but it is also thin. I have always wanted long hair, but can never get it to look great and always end up cutting it short. Is it possible to have a cute long cut with this type of hair? How about using my natural wavy with my fine thin hair? I have had it in a short cut, stacked in the back and a-line (hope that makes sense). I always just end up straitening it. To make it worse, I have a cowlick on the crown of my head. Any help would be appreciated. Also, I don’t know if you have a post like this, but I would be interested in how to find a good stylist or to know if you have one. I don’t know if I have ever had one, or if my hair is just helpless. Thanks!!! Keep up the great work!

  24. Amanda T. Says:

    Hi! I have thick, wavy hair that is a mixture of medium and coarse strands. I have a square face shape and a highish forehead. I also have crazy cowlicks; one at the crown of my head on the back and two on my forhead. Because my hair is so thick it tends to be really heavy when it is long, which makes volume around the crown seem impossible and the weight of the hair really takes over and it is hard to maintain a “style” throughout the day. But when it’s short it can feel a little poofy and for some reason it tends to look mushroom-ish in shape. Any style that has to lay real precisely is usually a mistake on me because of the cowlicks and wave. Despite the challenges I love to change up my hair and would LOVE some professional advice on things I could try. Can you recommend a cut/style/length based on what I’ve told you?

    I am really enjoying your blog and I love the tutorials!

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  26. Ashley Says:

    Hello! I love your blog and was hoping that you might have some good advice for me for my next hair cut. I have fine hair but tons of it, and it’s super straight. It holds a curl pretty well but right now I’m trying to grow my hair out so it’s about 1 inch past my shoulders. On a normal day I would try to add some wave to it with a curling iron, but I want to go for a 60′s vibe with my side swept bangs. What cut will help with my volume?

    Thanks for your advice!

  27. Adelyn Says:

    hey! I’m needing to get my hair cut and really want some volume. I have medium and wavy hair with medium thickness. It’s kind of long. You can see pictures of it on my blog here – http://randomnessfromtheaddiecorner.blogspot.com/2012/04/like-nerd.html. I usually wash it at night, put some coconut oil in it to add shine, and let it dry in a french braid. If you have time, I’d really love to hear how I should cut it to get awesome volume! Thanks and keep up the excellent work!

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  29. Olivia Says:

    Love love your blog. I too am a fan of giant hair. Naturally my hair is rather giant but not in a good way, no matter what it looks like when I go to bed, I wake up looking as though I’ve just crawled out of a cave. Simple “braid before bed”, or “scrunch with product to achieve this look” looks are not my friend! My hair is naturally curly and medium to fine thickness but really inconsistent so has straight bits and fluffy, it’s a bit like playdough, it styles well but looks like crap if you do nothing with it. I’ve traditionally had short hair as it’s easy to style and I can give it lots of boost and volume(awesome!) BUT now I’ve grown it long and it’s just boring, straight is flat and lifeless, curly is verging on gene Simmons. I’d love an indie wavy look similar to Zooey deschanel but can’t pull off blunt bangs (which I’m ok with). I’m heading to my stylist and want to come in well armed! Any ideas?


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