Increase Your Height Using Your Hair

Many people wish they were a few inches taller. There are many different strategies you can use to increase your perceived height. Styling your hair to look taller is an easy method with enough options to fit anyone's personality.


Volumizing Your Hair

  1. Stop straightening your hair. If your natural hair is textured, curly, or wavy, don't straighten it. Embrace your natural lift and make it work for you. Just avoid letting your hair grow out too far horizontally.[1]
  2. Use volumizing shampoo and mousse. These products are especially important for fine hair. Volumizing shampoo minimizes the amount of residue left on hair that could weigh it down.[2] Mousse is a styling product that directly gives lift at the roots. Massage mousse into clean, wet hair near the scalp. Blow-dry your moussed hair while pulling a round brush through it to optimize your hair's volume.[3]
  3. Curl or perm your hair. If your hair is naturally straight, or you just want to add more texture, there are many ways of temporarily curling your hair. Curling can be done relatively easy at home with a curling iron or rollers. A "permanent wave" adds wavy texture or curls to even the straightest hair through chemical processing and heat. Perms are fairly difficult to do at home and are best left to professional stylists if you are inexperienced.[4]
  4. Blow-dry your hair upside down. Tilt your face forward and drape your hair in front of you. Drying in this position will lift your roots from your scalp, giving more volume.
    • If you have bangs, dry them right-side up before you start. Your bangs are likely much shorter than the rest of your hair and won't have the same weight. If you dry them upside down, they may stick up too much.[5]
  5. Incorporate finger waves into your style. Finger waves are a subtle, easy way to add volume and texture to short hair. Damp hair is bunched together in multiple hair clamps and allowed to dry to form the "waves." Variations use curlers at the hair's tips and mousse for hold and added volume.[6]

Adding Inches Through Your Hairstyle

  1. Put your hair into a topknot or bun. There are enough variations of this hairstyle to fit any look, from trendy to conservative. To add height, pick a bun that is more towards the top of your head rather than to the side.[7] Topknots are also increasing in popularity among men with longer hair.[8]
  2. Tease your hair. Also called backcombing, teasing adds volume by introducing small, controlled tangles to hold hair up. All you need is a fine-tooth comb and a little hairspray.
    • Teasing too much or too often can cause damage to your hair, especially if it's dry.[9]
  3. Go retro with a beehive, bouffant, or pompadour. Not everyone can pull off these "dated" looks. However, if you have the right attitude and fashion sense, they may be a good option for adding a few inches to your height. Only wear these styles if you are comfortable with standing out.
    • A less exaggerated version of these "pouf" styles is currently popular. Sometimes called the "hair bump," this style tends to be more subtle while adding substantial lift.

Styling Your Hair into a Trendy Pouf

  1. Separate a four-inch wide section of hair from your crown. The hair section should be centered so that it is surrounded by more hair on all sides. Lift this section and hold it up vertically. You can either leave your bangs down or include them in the bump by joining them together.
  2. Backcomb the hair section slightly with a teasing brush to create the base for your bump. If you don't have a teasing brush, a fine-tooth comb will do. Run the brush or comb from the middle of the hair two the roots two to three times. The brush should penetrate only the back half of the hair section to maintain a neat look.[10]
  3. Take the teased section and loosely twist it a few times, leaving the straight half free and pointing downwards. Push the teased section up slightly and pin it into place with a wide hair clip. If your hair is thick, you may need more than one clip. Once your hair is secure, run your fingers through the straight portion of the hair section to blend it with the rest of your hair.[10]
  4. Use hair volumizing inserts to skip the teasing and cut down on style time. A variety of leave-in hair inserts are available as a shortcut to the hair bump. Just section your hair as in step one, place the insert towards the back of your crown, and layer your hair over the insert. You can also use them to make a bump towards the front of your head using only your bangs instead. The three major types of inserts are:
    • Velcro: The velcro insert resembles a dome. Place the flat side against the top of your head. The velcro will both hold the insert onto your head and the hair section over top to form the hair bump.[11]
    • Plastic: These crescent-shaped inserts are lined with teeth to hold hair in place. Position the curved part on the crown of your head like a head band. Many popular sets come with multiple sizes for different pouf heights.[12]
    • Foam: Sponge hair rollers take a little more skill to use than other inserts. They must be clipped into place sideways over the crown using bobby pins. Some teasing may be necessary for the draped hair section to hide the insert from view.[13]

Creating the Illusion of Height

  1. Keep your hair short. If your hair is long, it can make you look shorter in proportion. If you aren't planning on putting your hair up, keep it cut to shoulder length or shorter.
    • If you are a man with visibly thinning hair, try shaving it off completely. Studies have found that men with a completely shaved head appear taller than men who are balding.[14]
  2. Cut your hair short at the sides of your head. This narrows your appearance, making you seem taller. If you keep your hair very short, as in a typical men's style, buzz your hair on the sides of your head very short and keep the hair on top a little longer. [15]
  3. Get a layered cut. If your hair is fine and difficult to style, layering adds volume without requiring product for maintenance or altering texture. Long bangs that frame your face also create a lengthening effect.[16]
  4. Finished.


  • Self-confidence will make you seem taller than anything you do with your hair. Accept and love your body, no matter how petite you may be.
  • If you're going with a tall hairstyle, don't overdo it. If your hair is comically tall, people will notice and possibly draw attention to your height.
  • Avoid using hairsprays that contain alcohol. They can dry out and damage your hair, making it more difficult to style.[17]
  • Be careful, as teasing or back combing hair can cause split ends.

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