Strand Saviors: How to get Better Volume [L’Oreal Stylist, Bob Recine, To the Rescue]

Get Hair-apy. It’s a slogan made popular by an inexpensive brand of hair products – but it couldn’t be truer. The catch is that it’s not nearly as easy to fix problem hair as marketing campaigns might like us to think.

In fact, if you’re suffering from troublesome tresses, it can become depressing to deal with. Especially when the problem is hair that doesn’t do anything. If you have that kind of hair, you know what we mean. Hair that lays flat and refuses to hold any style. Hair that resists product to a fault. Hair that laughs in the face of mousse. Volume? Ha! Keep dreaming girl!

If your hair is taunting you like this on a daily basis, it’s likely that you need to seek a higher power for help. BeautyNewsNYC has done that for you by seeking out Bob Recine, artistic partner for L’Oreal Professionnel, and asking him what he does in scenarios where hair is just not working.


BN: Can you tell us a little about your background?

BR: Well I’m a hairdresser in the fashion business working with a lot of photographers so I have a different point of view. I have an art background, I didn’t go to school for art but I’m working on a book about how art relates to fashion and my work. Hairdressing was always easy for me because I have an artistic mind. I’m from NYC and for the last two years I’ve been an artistic partner with L’Oreal Professionnel – their product line just for professionals.

BN: When you’re working on a photo shoot, what’s a common problem you might come across?

BR: Hmm, well, I’m the problem solver, so that’s a tough question! If the hair is too thin, (for instance) I know how to make it thicker by giving it a strong base with a volume product. L’Oreal’s Mousse Volupte is a product I’ve been working with. You put it on wet hair and then do what I call a convertible blowdry instead of pulling and brushing the hair.

BN: Convertible blowdry?

BR: Well when we try to “chase water out of the hair” section-by-section, it is damaging to the hair. I recommend flipping your head upside down and drying the whole head. You’re really making it a big explosion of hair. Then you deal with the styling of it. Hair only accepts to be styled when its dry.


BN: So you don’t recommend sectioning the hair and blowdrying it that way for better volume?

BR: Hair is really a fabric. If you look at it that way, you have a better understanding of it. There’s different ways to deal with different fabrics, the same as when you wash jeans many times as opposed to dry-cleaning them, they fade.

BN: Are there any products you recommend for getting the best possible volume?

BR: You have to work with products that don’t over-stylize the hair. I’ve always said the best styling tool is confidence and when you have hair that’s overworked, it’s noticeable. It’s all part of the psychology of our business. L’Oreal really has the best products and I have the best experience with them. You can’t buy the ones I work with in a store, but it’s not hard to find a L’Oreal sponsored salon.

BN: What about the opposite problem from thin hair? Let’s say someone has thick heavy hair; what’s the best way to achieve volume there?

BR: With hair that’s already got built-in volume, you want to focus on the health of that hair. When you over-volumize hair, you have something that’s bigger than you. People who have born volume should put an emphasis on health. There are lots of serums to use that can make hair look glassy and light.

BN: Which ones would you recommend?

BR: L’Oreal has some new categories of their products. There’s something called Gelee Riche. It’s a kind of gel that’s making amazing volume on all kinds of hair, but also for thick hair its giving that kind of sheen and not the kind crusty gel we know. It gives hair a very diamond-like shine. You apply it to wet hair but it can be used to touch up dry hair as well.

BN: Do you have any advice for what to avoid when trying to volumize?

BR: You always want to stay away from oils and things that are not really in a so-called volume category. You have to pick your products. I’d stay away from heavy serums. You want to be able to enrich and nourish hair, but not on your night out. Products have their place and you can’t always interpret them into everything all the time. That’s why we have lunch and dinner – both of them are for eating, but they both have their place and they’re both different.

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