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Whilst I would love to contentedly spend every morning curling/straightening/styling my hair into nothing short of an art form, most days I find myself devoid of both the time and the patience to attempt anything more complex than a messy bun or quick braid. Regardless of time however, when it comes to my hair there has always been just one requirement - volume [not something which comes easily or naturally to my thick, heavy, and painfully straight locks!].

Over the past few months of early rises I've come to value the importance of preparation in adding and maintaining volume in my hair. Rather than relying solely on an AM spritz of volumising spray to keep my tresses buoyant throughout the day, I've learnt that the products and techniques used throughout my haircare routine can all come together to contribute to a bouffant result.

WASH There are a plethora of volumising shampoos on the market these days; indeed you'll be hard pressed to find a brand which doesn't offer up its own spin on the volume-inducing shampoo/conditioner duo. The hard part is finding a pair which work. My personal favourites are the L'Oreal Elvive Fibrology Thickening Shampoo and Conditioner. The formula of this budget [!!] offering contains an ingredient which thickens the shaft of each individual hair from within [sounds like a gimmick I know, but there must be something to the science because thickness is the result]. A little goes a long way, and you'll witness instant volume, which lasts. Truly, three days down the line and your locks will have remained as buoyant as they were post-blowdry.

TREAT You're out of the shower and in a rush to get into your radiator-warmed PJs and devour the latest episode of Girls, but stop right there. We're all guilty of labelling those post-shower styling products as a time-consuming faff, which is why I've spent the past few months diligently trying and testing all manner of pre-blowdry products. If the word 'mousse' bring back scarring images of your teen peers scrunching their curls into crispy oblivion, then allow me to introduce to you a 100% non-crispy offering. The Schwarkopf got2b Rise 'n Shine Whipped Mousse* leaves my hair super soft and completely weightless, without leaving a hint of buildup or that nasty tacky feeling which [lets be honest here] is something of a prerequisite to most budget styling products. For a slightly more luxe option, opt for the Sachajuan Volume Cream*. I have to admit that my favourite thing about this product is the scent. Whilst it does do its job and provides an instant injection of volume, I do find that [when used on its own] its effects wear off after a few hours and leave my hair feeling slightly heavy. Ideal for nights out and special occasions however, because if anything that scent is an guaranteed compliment magnet. Leave-in conditioner is an absolute essential in my everyday haircare routine, and my favourite high street offering is a 2-in-1 miracle worker. Expect voluminous and tangle free locks after a quick spritz of Aussie's Aussome Volume Leave-In Conditioner [which also smells divine].

PREP If your jam-packed agenda allows you to style your hair before you leave the house, then there's no doubt that speed is of the essence. If I'm really short for time then a quick spritz of the Oribe Volumista Mist* through my roots provides an instant lift, and is especially efficient when rejuvenating limp and lacklustre locks. If I have a little more time then I'll style the Schwarzkopf got2b Rise 'n Shine Soufflé* throughout the lengths of my hair for a 3-in-1 injection of volume, shine, and texture [it's also an A+++ antidote to lifeless roots]. For the finishing touch Schwarzkopf's got2b Rise 'n Shine Hairspray* provides long-lasting volume and maintains that 'lighter than air' bounce in my tresses without leaving them stiff or sticky.

STYLE It might seem an insignificant step to some but using the right brush can make such a difference, especially when it comes to maintaining that weightless sensation at your roots whilst still smoothing and removing tangles. The Lee Stafford Silky Smoother Brush well deserves its name; I introduce it to my routine mid-blowdry to shape the lengths of my hair and add lift to the roots. Whilst I wouldn't recommend vigorous backcombing, if longevity is required then I tease the underside of my roots with the Head Jog 50 Backcombing Brush. This adds a little lift without causing frizziness or inciting tangles.

MAINTAIN If your hair is seriously anti-volume and you require your locks to withstand the obstacles which day to day life inflicts upon our tresses then on-the-go maintenance is a must. The stars of the haircare world are the brands which create their products with us fussy girls in mind; so when it comes to formula, innovation and aptitude are key. The one product which I can 100% rely on for providing instant and enduring volume is the Oribe Thick Dry Finishing Spray* [sister product to the much-hyped Dry Texturising Spray]. Like the above L'Oreal shampoo, this works by swelling the individual hairs from within. A light-hand is required however [go overboard and you will find yourself with admittedly crisp and tacky tresses]. My favourite travel companion and handbag essential of the moment is the Swell Ultimate Volume Dry Shampoo*. Upon first glance you'd wonder just how this finely milled powder could ever lift your roots, but it will truly take them to new heights [as well as adding an element of finesse to day three hair].

Which products do you reach for when volume is on the agenda?


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*PR sample