Q: During my most recent trip to the salon, I was asked if I wanted to try a notching technique (where small pieces are cut
short at the crown of my head to help add volume to my long, fine, straight – i.e., flat - hair). I told my stylist I wanted to
research it before trying something new, but I haven't had any luck finding examples of this technique (like before and after photos)
online. I don't spend a whole lot of time styling my hair. Would this technique give me more volume without making my already fine
hair look even thinner? Would I end up with lots of little "baby hairs" on my crown that stick up like split ends?
A: This technique you describe works best with thick & wavy hair types that tend to be weighed down when allowed to grow longer. It
can usually be used with most hair types with some success, but frankly tends to result in mixed feelings regarding the results.
What is done in this technique is simple: small segments of the hair under the top layers are cut
short in an effort to allow the shorter hairs to stand taller, lifting up the hair on top making it look fuller. The amount of lift
depends on the texture and wave pattern naturally found in the hair. Very straight and very fine hair types, don’t get much benefit
from this technique as the hair tends to lie flat with straighter types at any length, and finer hair types tend not to be strong
enough to hold up the weight of much hair on top of it.
It is also a technique that can easily be “overdone” resulting in the “poke through” strands you referred to as “baby hairs”.
I do NOT recommend this technique for women with fine hair. As a better option, I recommend using
a root-lifting spray at the scalp and blow-drying the hair with a diffuser attachment while keeping it elevated if you want to add volume to the hair.