I don’t say that lightly. But as someone with straight and slippery hair that could barely be teased after 15 mins of backcombing and hair spraying by a wedding hairdresser, that’s the truth. If I lost this $130 tool, I’d immediately order a new one. And yes, I paid for both the original and petite versions. JAN. 2019 UPDATE: I’ve since bought and tried the Rootie version as well. It’s too subtle without getting any closer to roots, so it just ended up taking longer to achieve the same amount of volume. Of the three versions/sizes of Voloom, my fave is still Voloom Petite.
This post will sound like a paid ad for Voloom (“Turn the volume up to 11!!”), but it’s not. (I *wish* we got commission for all the people we’ve converted.) I’m just obsessed with it because IT WORKS and IT’S EASY. Ever since Renee introduced me to this, I’ve used this regularly and often. And both of us named this one of our 2016 furvorites.
Voloom Before & After
Let’s go straight to the before-and-afters because nothing will convince you faster.
Literally, all I did was Voloom my air-dried hair. Mousse? None. Round brush? Nope. Photoshop?? Ha!
Every hair style other than Wet Rat looks better with Voloom. Ponytail…updo…even waves. Especially waves.
Wavy hair always felt sort of…off…on me. Turns out that I was just suffering from flat roots.
Voloom: How It Works and Compared to a Crimper
Voloom imprints a waffle-iron texture into hair that’s meant to stay hidden underneath the top layer. That texture is CRITICAL: it’s the crinoline holding up your hoop skirt.
The downside–pretty much the only one–is that the texture can sometimes show through the top layer of my hair. Using a light press will help with this (so would hairspraying the top layer in place, but I can’t be bothered). Ideally, it will look only like frizz if it does peek out.
Here’s a closer look. A little experimentation is required to figure out the right amount of pressure and the right temperature to achieve the look you like. If you clamp down hard enough, Voloom actually impresses 90-degree dents!
My preference: 300 degrees and a light press for 1 full second (don’t press the plates completely together). But I still experience quite a bit of show-through. I’ll take visible crimps and volume over smooth and limp hair any day though!
The big question you’re probably asking right now is, “Can’t I do the same thing with a crimping iron for way cheaper?!”
I bought a crimper because I saw some YouTube videos demo’ing crimpers in the same way (although you’ll notice they take a while to do the whole crown) and an Amazon review mentioned that it worked like Voloom–but the difference is the difference between a rocket ship…and a paper airplane.
I tried pressing the plates together as hard as I could. I turned the heat up. I crimped multiple layers, again and again.
All I had were crimps. NOT the wonderfully tall bumps that Voloom creates. Once I let down the top layer of my hair, it was obvious that crimping created no volume at all. The crimps are simply not dramatic enough. No one would be happier to tell you about a cheap dupe, but a crimper isn’t it.
Original Voloom vs. Voloom Petite
If you don’t have Voloom yet, I recommend getting the Voloom Petite. No, you won’t save on the price (they’re both $130), but the Petite does the same thing, is compact for travel, and comes with a heat mat. Edit: Both come with a heat mat (and hair clip and comb). Also, the Petite makes for a slightly more natural look if your crown/head is smaller.
But if you already have a Voloom, there’s no need to also get the Petite.
To be sure, Voloom Petite has fewer rows of “bricks” because of the smaller size and so it takes a couple of extra presses to do my hair. But the size of each brick is the same (or almost the same) as the Original so the final result is identical.
Also, Voloom is so fast that it doesn’t matter. I’m talking 2 minutes total with the Original: maybe 8 presses for 1 second each, and the rest of the time spent combing and lifting up sections of hair to get at the underlayers.
Voloom’s site honestly provides so much info about how it works and how to get the most from it that you should check it out if you need more convincing. I pored over the tips and FAQs before buying my first one, and they really were helpful.
So I’ll just close with a few (enabling) points that might not be as obvious from the website:
- Quality: Sturdy and well made. Responsive buttons and swivel cord. I’ve also traveled on many a bumpy plane, bus, and train with both the Original and Petite and they have survived intact (of course they’re cushioned in my luggage).
- Speed: Shockingly fast. It heats up in a minute or less, and each press takes only a second. ONE. SECOND. The first time, I couldn’t believe that my hair could be done that fast and so I kept Volooming more and more layers…and ended up with a square head. Oops!
- The life-changing part: Now that I Voloom, I wash my hair every three days instead of every two days. That’s because I no longer need to wash the grease out to make it fluffy. I Voloom on day 1 and the volume lasts through day 3. Each day, the volume subsides a little (more if it’s raining) but usually not enough to warrant re-Volooming. For someone whose hair can’t hold a curl for the whole day, it’s a miracle that I can still feel the Voloom texture after 3 days.
For flat hair, Voloom is simply worth it.
MARCH 2018 UPDATE: Regular use of Voloom made my scalp…*whispers*…itchy. Just a consequence of heat-styling roots. Applying conditioner to my roots (instead of just the ends of hair) fixed that.