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How to Build a Bouffant for Extra Hair Volume

Looking to pack just a little more oomph into your hairstyles? Want to dress up boring buns or ponytails with a little height? One way to add extra intrigue and drama to any hairstyle is by adding a bit of backcombing, otherwise known as a bouffant.

Bouffants come in many sizes and shapes, from the miniature hump to the super-sized roll, and can be created in a number of ways. So here are step-by-step instructions for three of the easiest and most common methods:

Method #1: Blow-Dry Technique

For most women with naturally straight hair, this is the easiest way to create a bouffant. After a wash and shampoo, bend over and blow-dry your hair upside-down; this will start strands moving in the right direction – up! Make sure strands are completely straight, as waves or curls will likely snag and break during the next steps; women with curlier or kinkier textures may want to try another method, or use a flat iron to get hair as straight as possible.

Once hair is absolutely dry and cool - do NOT tease hair when wet, damp, or hot, as this will almost surely lead to breakage – determine where you want your bouffant and part a section of hair for it, securing the rest of your locks with clips or ponytail holders. Divide the hair to be teased into subsections, using smaller (1-2”) areas for a more compact bump, and larger ones (up to 4”) for a bigger, looser bouffant.

Next, take a section of hair and hold it straight up. With a fine-toothed comb and short, brisk strokes, comb the section of hair down toward the scalp, from tip to root. As you tease the hair, you should be creating a sort of miniature-nest effect. Once the entire section of hair has been combed into a pile, move on to the next part. Repeat until the entire portion of hair to be included in the bouffant is done.

To create a smooth look, use a boar-bristle brush and a small amount of product to tame the edges and top of the bouffant. Simply place a bit of pomade, mousse, or other light holding product on the brush, then brush the hair down lightly, making sure not to push down on the hair too hard. Finish with a few shots of hairspray or spritz, and you’re ready to style the rest into a ponytail, updo, or other style.

Method #2: Roller Set Method

This way may be easier and healthier, especially for women with naturally curly or kinky hair textures. Simply wash and set hair on small- to large-sized rollers (again, smaller curls will create a tighter bouffant, while larger ones will give more height and hair volume). Let dry, and comb out with a wide-toothed comb, using an especially light touch in the area where you want your bouffant. For even more height, you can then tease roller-set tresses as described above, but just remember that hair must be straight to do this, too.

Method #3: The Filler Method

Probably the easiest way of all. Starting with roller-set or blow-dried locks, just add a filler material to create the height you want in the place you want, secure with hair pins if needed, and comb or brush hair over the top. Most beauty supply stores sell foam hair fillers that will do the job, although these can feel hard and stiff to the touch. For a more natural look, try using a ball of loose extension hair; it is inexpensive and easy to buy at any store.

And now your bouffant hairstyle is ready to hit the streets, whether for work, play, or even a 60s style party – after all, Halloween is coming up!

Take care of yourselves,


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