These Hairstyles Can Help You Fake Fuller Hair

The '80s scarred us in myriad ways — from the colorful taffeta to the over-lined lips. But one fashion trend reached such epic proportions during that time that we haven't really recovered since. That trend, of course, was big hair. We mean BIG hair. Once we hit the '90s, runway strands fell more or less flat. (Thanks, Kate Moss.) And they pretty much stayed that way, save for occasional woke-up-like-this waves — until now.

This past season, hairstylists reached for volumizing sprays, mousses, and round brushes, working massive body back into strands. Whether it was bouncy blowouts, high-octane curls, or fluffy pigtails, one thing was for certain: the bigger, the better.

While we're digging the move to mega-volume — which looks great on all hair types — it can be a tricky minx to master. So we tapped the master of big hair — legendary stylist Orlando Pita — for help. Using his new product line, he created a handful of looks that show just how versatile and flattering big hair can be. Whether you want to try this style for every day, or you plan on pulling it out for a special occasion, there's a gorgeous 'do in here for you. This ain't your mama's '80s perm.
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Photographed by Andrew Stinson.
Siren Call
It's impossible to talk about volume without talking about Brigitte Bardot and her iconic bouffant. The rumpled, sex-kitten look took the idea of big hair in the '50s and spun it on its head. Suddenly, volume went from high-maintenance to devil-may-care.

Pita's modern incarnation still has that down-to-earth intention about it, but with a twist. "This is a good day-after-blowout style," Pita says. Here's why: Firstly, the bouffant looks a bit less throwback-y when paired with a slept-on blowout. Secondly, a little oil at the roots makes teasing a hell of a lot easier.

Jonathan Simkhai Knit Sports Bra, $335, available at Jonathan Simkhai; Lana Large Glam Hoops in Yellow Gold, $1,275, available at Lana Jewelry.
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Photographed by Andrew Stinson.
Working with damp hair, Pita raked mousse from roots to tips and blowdried with a medium round brush. Next, he took two-inch sections of hair, misted them with his volume spray, curled them with a one-inch iron, and pinned them against the head to set. "The volume spray is good because it isn't wet or sticky," he explains. "It won't melt your hair onto the curler like a regular hairspray."

Once the hair fully cooled, he carefully unraveled the curls and smoothed them out with a boar-bristle brush. Next, he gathered a large chunk of hair at the crown and teased the under-layers for height. He divided this section into two pieces and twisted them over each other once before pinning them at the back of the head.

Pro tip: If your pouf is still looking flat, you can use a rat-tail comb to gently pull up some volume from beneath.

Orlando Pita Play Body Breakthrough Volume Boosting Hairspray, $34, available at Ulta Beauty.
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Photographed by Andrew Stinson.
Night Fever
You can thank Diane von Furstenberg for the return of these iconic fluffy curls — which every model at her runway show wore (and which she also rocks herself). Pita took her on-the-nose interpretation of the trend and gave it a cool-girl twist.

By starting the curls a bit further down, leaving the top of the style smooth, he allowed the voluminous coils to fall in a more natural, undone way.

Edun dress.

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Photographed by Andrew Stinson.
After side-parting the hair, Pita prepped it with mousse again. (If you take away one thing from this story, let it be mousse.) This time, he employed a different curling technique for the set. Instead of wrapping two-inch sections of hair flat around the iron, he twisted the hair like a rope before wrapping it around the barrel. The resulting curls were more coiled, which, when brushed out, offers up a springier texture than a wave.

After the set cooled, Pita released the curls and brushed them out, making sure to mist the strands generously with hairspray as he went. Pro tip: To keep the style from looking too Saturday Night Fever, brush the curls down and out instead of up and out.

If your hair is naturally this curly (lucky you!), work a relaxing cream through it, like John Frieda Unwind Curls Calming Crème, to stretch out those coils a touch. Dry with a diffuser holding your head right-side-up; you want the volume to come from the bottom for this look.
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Photographed by Andrew Stinson.
Shine On
If curls and poufs aren't exactly your speed, never fear: Sleek-straight hair can fall into the volume family, too. In fact, Pita says, this is a much fresher take on the traditional blowout. "It's much more flattering to have a little lift in the roots," he says.

The best part of this look, though? It totally eliminates the need for a round brush — which is our least favorite thing about DIY blowouts anyway.

Jonathan Simkhai top; Lady Grey earrings.
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Photographed by Andrew Stinson.
Pita advises prepping the hair with mousse once again, and then grabbing a Mason Pearson brush. (Sonia Kashuk makes a great drugstore alternative.) "[You can] use the shape of your scalp to create volume," Pita says. That means flipping your head to one side, and brushing your hair along the shape of your scalp while you blowdry. "This will create lift without it looking too rounded, like it would if you were using a round brush," Pita says.

Use the Mason Pearson and dryer to polish up the lower half of the hair, too. You'll have loads of lift and shine. And what more could you ask for?

Pro tip: If you have thin strands that are still looking a little limp, carefully tease the under-layers on both sides of the part as well as the crown for additional lift.

Orlando Pita Play The Great Inflate Air Whipped Styling Foam, $28, available at Ulta Beauty.
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Photographed by Andrew Stinson.
Double Duty
One of our favorite hairstyles from the fall 2016 runways is one that Pita created himself — a cool-girl pair of pigtails at Michael Kors. Not only did it utilize volume, it also incorporated another major trend of the season: double hairstyles. Buns, braids, and more all got the twin treatment — and of course, pigtails reigned.

"This is actually a great second-day look from the [bouffant] look, because you'd still have some of that tease left in your hair," Pita explains. There's very little we love more than a lazy-girl style.

Edun jumpsuit.

Lana Large Wave Magic Hoops in White Gold, $795, available at Lana Jewelry.
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Photographed by Andrew Stinson.
Pita created a two-inch part from the center of the hairline, and then teased the remaining hair from the center of the top of the head to the crown. (This is what really makes this playground style grown up.)

He divided the hair in half and gathered each side into a ponytail right behind the ears with a small, clear elastic, leaving a few pieces loose in the front. "It's a fun, sophisticated look that's super-easy to pull off," Pita says. "It's sexy, but not overtly so." You can also pull it together in two minutes flat, which makes it a dream on mornings when you keep hitting snooze.
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Photographed by Andrew Stinson.
Fashion Plait
Sure, tight, structural braids are having a major moment in the hair world. But there's something to be said for giving your twist a double shot of volume. A poufed-up side braid is an unexpected way to work big hair into your updo. And, like the rest of these styles, this one is surprisingly easy to pull off.

Sportmax jumpsuit.

Lana Large Wave Hoops in Yellow Gold, $1,575, available at Lana Jewelry.
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Photographed by Andrew Stinson.
Instead of just braiding the hair and then pulling it apart for texture (rookie move!), Pita first split it into three pieces and fluffed up each section with a boar-bristle brush. "It gives it a bit of a more polished look," he explains. But don't go crazy with teasing. Instead, use a light touch — like you're fluffing up cotton candy. Then, loosely braid as usual and tie off the ends.

To make the non-braided side tight, pin it after you're done braiding, and simply hide the pins under your plait. For an even more effortless look, Pita suggests pulling out a few pieces around your face — and he's got a great tip for that. "Spritz your finger with hairspray and then pull the pieces up and out," he says. It will look like the hair just fell that way.
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