How to Straighten Your Hair Without Losing Volume in the Process

how to straighten hair but keep volume category

Somewhere between the bouffant blowout of the ’80s and the so-slick-it-sticks-to-your-head look of the ’90s, there lies a sleek yet bouncy medium. Here, some pointers for straightening your hair so you don’t lose too much volume in the process.

Here's what to do:

Step 1: After washing your hair as usual, squeeze out as much water as you can. (We recommend using a microfiber towel for this.) Next, spritz on a lightweight leave-in conditioner and comb it through, so it coats your strands evenly. This will help smooth the cuticle, which is crucial to preventing fuzz without weighing things down.

Step 2: Take your blow dryer and quickly blast your hair with heat, using your fingertips to rough dry your hair until it's about 70 percent there. If you have the time, let it air-dry the rest of the way to reduce the amount of heat exposure and potential damage.

Step 3: Once fully dry, divide your hair into small, even sections around your head. (The reason the sections should be small: You want the heat to penetrate all of the strands in fewer swipes.)

Step 4: Now here’s the key to keeping your volume while straightening it: When running a flat iron down the length of your hair, do not clamp it down like a panini press. (That’s what, obviously, flattens it.) Instead, leave it slightly open so your strands still benefit from the direct heat, while maintaining as much volume as possible.

Step 5: If you need a little more polish afterward, spritz a shine serum into your palms (not directly on your hair) and work it sparingly through the ends only.

For even more volume: You can always take a cue from your mom (and beauty TikTokers) and pop in a few Velcro rollers. Starting at the ends of each section you want more bounce, roll the hair forward, toward the crown and secure. After 15 or so minutes, gently unravel them one by one, following the same direction they were rolled in.

And for the finishing touch, flip your head upside down and mist on a flexible hold hairspray. Use your fingers to gently rake the hairspray through your hair while still upside down. Then, flip your hair back and enjoy that va va volume.

Jenny Jin Headshot Vertical 2023
Jenny Jin

Beauty Director

Jenny Jin is PureWow’s Beauty Director and is currently based in Los Angeles. Since beginning her journalism career at Real Simple magazine, she has become a human encyclopedia of...
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