Let's be real: Drugstore volumizing products have a reputation of being sticky, gunky, and far from effective. And, in the past, that's been true. But as brands reformulate and pack better science into their new launches, we're seeing more and more sprays and mousses that have the ability to lift roots and plump up lengths — while keeping hair soft and touchable, too.
We all want fuller hair
and a major bargain, but which drugstore products are actually worth your dough? We took that questions to top hair pros and they came back with a killer short list. "A lot of volumizers are very tacky and compromise your style," Danilo, longtime hairstylist to Gwen Stefani admitted. Luckily, the ones ahead are far from it.
Ahead, top pros shout out the volumizers that deserve a spot in your cart.
The Expert: Clariss Rubenstein, hairstylist to Leighton Meester, Bella Hadid, and Sofia Vergara Best For: Straight to wavy hair "The name is what got me, but this [range] delivers," Rubenstein told us. "I use it constantly on shoots for style and texture, to make hair look alive when it's falling flat, or for its intended purpose: to absorb oil and refresh hair when it’s getting close to (or past) shampoo time. It’s a staple for me at home and on set."
Not Your Mother's
Plump For Joy Dry Shampoo,
Best For: Straight to wavy hair Looking for something a little drier? Rubenstein swears by this dry shampoo for post-workout rehab or any time you want to pump up the volume and are also dealing with excessive oil or sweat. "It is the driest dry shampoo out there — and my post-spin class savior!" she told us.
Bed Head Rockaholic Dirty Secret Dry Shampoo,
Best For: Straight, wavy, or curly hair When it comes to prepping wet hair, Rubenstein relies upon this mousse — which she says is far from crunchy or sticky. "Add some to roots before you blow-dry for a super full look," she says. "It really juices your hair up!"
Luxurious Volume Perfectly Full Mousse,
The Expert: , Co-Founder of Michelle Breyer NaturallyCurly.com Best For: Wavy, curly, or textured hair "SheaMoisture keeps coming out with new, amazing products," Breyer told us. "This one has become a favorite of mine because it leaves my curls bouncy and defined, and it smells amazing!"
Peace Rose Oil Complex Nourish & Silken Styling Gel-Cream,
Best For: Wavy, curly, or textured hair "A good mousse can be great for curls," Breyer says about this top-rated volumizer. "This is a NaturallyCurly Hall of Famer and provides great definition!"
Totally Twisted Curl Boosting Hair Mousse,
The Expert: Danilo, longtime hairstylist to Gwen Stefani Best For: Straight, wavy, or curly hair Danilo has worked for Pantene for years and says this formula is the most plumping of the entire range. Simply mist through wet hair from roots to tips before blow-drying. "If you blow this in, it will literally double your hair," Danilo told us. "I've had a lot of fun getting some big hairdos out of this with very little effort." This formula isn't messing around, so you need to blow-dry it in to avoid stiffness. "Sometimes, just to go over the top [during an editorial shoot], I'll blow this in, then spray it down again, and then blow it in again, then the hair is massive." Pantene Pro-V Volume Root Lifting Spray Gel, $4.97, available at Walmart.
Best For: Straight, wavy, or curly hair Danilo calls this newer formula "millennial volume," meaning it's great for lived in, natural-looking fullness — as opposed to the massive hair you can get with the former offering. "Even if you're wearing your hair straight you still want a little fullness and structure," he says, suggesting that you mist this formula onto wet hair and blow dry, just like you would with the previous spray. For a quick touch up (and to control flyaways without deflating the hair) mist on dry hair, allow to dry, then style as usual. Pantene Pro-V Powerful Body Booster Spray, $3.97, available at Walmart.
The Expert: Nikki Providence, hairstylist to Jenny Slate and Leona Lewis Best For: Wavy hair Have wavy hair and prefer to air-dry? Providence swears by this mist. "Spray it in your hair when it’s damp, use your fingers to comb it through and define waves, then let it air-dry," she explains. "It can really bring the volume to your waves!" Bonus? "It smells amazing," she adds.
Beach Blonde Sea Waves Salt Spray,
Best For: Straight, wavy, or curly hair This mousse is formulated for curly hair, so you know it will be just as hydrating as it is defining. Whether you have curls or not, zhuzhing this through your roots on damp hair will offer up the kind of volume you only thought a professional blowout could give. Dove Style + Care Curls Defining Mousse, $4.99, available at Ulta Beauty.
Best For: Straight, wavy, or curly hair Because of the wheat amino acids in this hair cream, a quarter-sized dollop plumps up fine strands, and works as a great primer before a blowout. TRESemme Runway Collection Max the Volume Root Lifting Cream, $4.99, available at Target.
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