A truly phenomenal haircut requires proportion, balance and structure—like architecture for our strands. It’s something hair pros train for years to perfect, and each client’s facial features, bone structure, and hair texture will all go into determining where, precisely, to snip.
For extra oomph? Nicholas Hardwick, principal stylist at London’s Josh Wood Colour, swears by some super-subtle layers. “I love adding barely visible layers to give life throughout the cut and encourage root lift and movement,” he says. “It’s like the hair cut equivalent of a wind machine.” We like the sound of that.
If the structure is already there, you can wash and go, and it’ll look beautiful. But for extra lift-off, a speedy blow-dry will add swoosh. The trick is to keep any styling subtle so it doesn’t look too “done” (the hair equivalent of no-makeup makeup). You want it to look like it has plenty of natural body.
For this, “you’ll need a good round brush, about 32 millimeters wide. My personal favorites are Kent Salons round brushes or YS Parks round brushes,” says Clarke. “Then apply some volume spray.” For weightless lift, she recommends ColorWow’s Xtra Large Bombshell Volumizer, Kevin Murphy’s Anti.Gravity Spray, and Ouai’s Volume Spray.
If you can’t wait for it to air-dry, “blast your hair for a few minutes to make sure your hair is easier to work with,” says Clarke. “Confuse your roots by blasting your hair from side to side—do this with your head upside down, if you can—it’s a great hack for volume,” she explains. “Section your hair in horizontal sections about an inch thick, place your hair on top of your round brush, then lift and wrap it over the brush, curling it over the barrel. When you get to the parting, blow-dry it in the opposite direction to where you want to part it, then when you flip it back, you’ll get some serious lift,” she adds. And for lazy girls, the Dyson Air Wrap is a wise investment. “Use the round volumizing brush attachment for a professional-looking blow-dry without the arm ache,” recommends Clarke.