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March 21, 2012

Big, Big Hair on a Bite-Sized Budget

“I’m a big woman. I need big hair.”–Aretha Franklin
Regardless of your size, every girl needs to know how to get big, sexy, body-ful hair. Whether you’re looking to add a little poof to your every day pony or want to achieve a huge updo for a hot date, all the tools and products you need to get Texas-sized hair are available for a song. Here are my favorites:
  1. Inject some oomph into freshly washed hair with a volumizing mousse. Two to three root-to-tip applications of TRESemme 24-Hour Body Foaming Mousse ($6) to damp, towel-dried hair will leave you with plumped strands.
  2. If you’re starting with second-day or dry hair, spritz roots with dry shampoo. Batiste Dry Shampoo ($8) absorbs oil, product build-up and dirt, leaving behind clean-feeling, fuller hair. Their new Fresh scent is super light and clean!
  3. Getting a Bardot-worthy bouffant is going to require some teasing (also known as back-combing), and finding out which comb will fluff your hair to perfection takes trial and error. Back-combing purists swear that the best beehives are obtained by using simple plastic combs, like this one on sale for 89 cents at Sally. In my experience, they can rat hair a tad too tightly, making teased sections a literal pain to brush out. But, they might be the best pick for ultra heavy, coarse hair. Alternatively, this boar bristle teasing brush by Goody ($5) costs a fraction of the salon version and the two are virtually identical.
  4. My teasing comb of choice is the good old-fashioned ‘fro pik ($1.50). For my long locks, pick-style combs give tons of long-lasting height that’s still loose enough to brush out at the end of the night. (Picks are also useful for lifting up flattened sections of updos once you’ve pinned ’em up.)
  5. Once you’ve found a comb that works, it’s time to tease. Lightly spritz (don’t soak) small sections (one-two inches in width max!) of hair with a volumizing, flexible hairspray before putting a comb to it. TRESemme 24-Hour Body Finishing Spray ($5) provides a solid grip without weighing hair down. I also love that it maintains an even and consistent spray no matter what angle I’m holding the can—that’s definitely a feature a lot of drugstore hair sprays don’t have.
  6. Once you’ve finished teasing, the odds are good you’ll look like a crazy wildebeest. Don’t panic, this is normal, we’re not done yet. Smooth the top layer of hair over the backcombed part with a paddle-shaped bristle brush. I can’t imagine life without my Sonia Kashuk Tools Small Hair Brush ($12.59), aka the Target twin to ultra-expensive Mason Pearson brushes. A gentle-handed smoothing with this baby tames the crazy without flattening hard-earned volume. What you do after that is up to you!

Check out my Beauty, Hair & Makeup board on Pinterest for loads of heavenly-high hair style ideas. Just be sure to spray the heck out your hard-earned ‘do once you’re done! –Meghan

  • Elizabeth Dehn
    Born and raised in Minnesota by surprisingly low-maintenance parents, beauty writer and lifestyle editor Elizabeth Dehn (aka Bets) spent her awkward years buying Mood lipstick and whipping up DIY face masks before founding Beauty Bets in 2009.
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