Product Reviews

I Tried 6 Popular Hair Volumizing Products—This One Totally Transformed My Flat Hair

written by MEAGHAN MOORE

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Source: Christine Le
Source: Christine Le

As someone who was born with very flat hair, I’ve been on a mission to find volume for what feels like forever. I’ve tried mousses, hair sprays, texture sprays, volume gels—you name it, I’ve tried it. The unfortunate reality? The majority of products end up leaving my hair sticky, weighing my hair down, or simply don’t do anything at all.

But because of my stubbornness and addiction to trying new hair products, I’ve continued my quest to achieve Southern Belle, Farrah Fawcett-level volume. Over the last few months, I’ve tested six popular volume-promising products, and used them on repeat to see if any of them could take me to new heights. After washing and conditioning and before pulling out my Shark FlexStyle (*chef’s kiss*), I gave each of these products a fair shot to help my hair reach new heights.

Throughout my experiment, I kept my shampoo, conditioner, and heat protectant all the same, and used the same blow-dry routine—setting in pin curls or rollers, letting them cool for a few hours, and brushing them out—to make sure I was giving each product the same shot. There were some clear misses—and one clear winner.

Each of the products below is scored on a scale from 0-10, with 10 meaning I got perfect Dolly Parton-volume, and zero meaning I was left flatter than when I started. Let’s get lifted.

Garnier Fructis Sky-Hi Volume Mousse

Pros: affordable, pleasant scent, increased hold
Cons: lack of volume

I’ll be starting off my report with a product that left me feeling… meh. We all know Garnier Fructis as an affordable drugstore line with products that (usually) work, and the Sky-Hi Volume Mousse was no exception. The product was easy to use and featured the classic Garnier scent, which I personally enjoy. After applying to my roots and blow-drying, I definitely noticed a little extra volume at my roots, but not much. However, for $5.99 at my local CVS, this product gave some lift, which I’ll take. TL;DR: It wasn’t life-changing, but wasn’t bad, either.

Rating: 5/10

Garnier Fructis
Sky-Hi Volume Mousse
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Joico JoiWhip Firm Hold Designing Foam

Pros: mid-level price, didn’t leave hair sticky
Cons: lack of volume, weighed hair down

After hearing rave reviews from a friend, I was very optimistic about the Joico JoiWhip. She claimed that this product gave her almost too much volume, which is a phenomenon I’ve never experienced. After trying this a few times, I can confirm that this product is not for me. The mousse is extremely dense, isn’t easy to work with, and left me with weighed-down, flat hair. I’d rather leave my hair product-free than use this one, which is saying something.

Rating: 2/10

JoiWhip Firm Hold Designing Foam



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SexyHair Big Root Volumizing Spray Mousse

Pros: humidity resistant, delivered volume
Cons: required some trial and error

I wanted to love this one, I really did, but it fell a little flat (pun intended). But really, the first time I used this product, it seemed too good to be true. It gave an insane amount of volume that lasted all night, even if it did leave my hair slightly dull. But the next time I used it, I accidentally used slightly more than I did the first time, because my hair was left sticky and entirely weighed down, which is not what I need when I’m racing to get to happy hour. Sure, this was user error, but I don’t want a product that goes from volume-of-my-dreams to need-to-shower-immediately within a couple of sprays.

Rating: 5.5/10

Big Root Pump Plus Volumizing Spray Mousse
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Color Wow Xtra Large Bombshell Volumizer

Pros: added volume, left hair shiny, doubles as a heat protectant
Cons: volume was temporary

I learned about this product from one of my favorite TikTokers who has the most gorgeous, voluminous hair ever. This product is made for all hair types and promises to thicken and add long-lasting, weightless volume to the hair—a tall task. It did exactly what it said and left me with lifted hair that maintained its shine and never felt sticky. The only con is I felt my hair deflated by the end of the day, but you can’t win ’em all.

Rating: 7.5/10

Color WOW
Xtra Large Bombshell Volumizer
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Dry Bar Southern Belle Volume-Boosting Mousse

Pros: pleasant smell, delivered some volume
Cons: left a little to be desired

Technically, this product did what it promised: left my hair soft and shiny with volume. However, I wasn’t blown away. If you want your hair to have some hold or are looking for a *whisper* of volume, this is a great option, but as someone looking for va-va-voom hair, it didn’t stand out to me.

Rating: 7/10

Dry Bar
Southern Belle Volume-Boosting Mousse
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SexyHair Blow Dry Volumizing Gel

Pros: gave hair volume from root to end, flexible, long-lasting
Cons: required some trial and error

You guys, this is IT (or as close as I’ve been to the sky-high hair I’m after). This product was different from the start, as it’s a gel rather than a mousse. The directions also instruct you to apply the product from root to ends, while most other products were meant to be used on the root alone. After taking out my first roller, I knew I was in for a treat—my hair was left shiny, full, and completely un-sticky. In fact, my hair had so much volume, I had a friend ask if I got it blown out professionally. My blowout lasted all day without flattening, which is a win in my book. This product halted my search, and I’ll be living out my hair dreams for the foreseeable future.

Rating: 10/10

Blow Dry Volumizing Gel
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