The cheat’s guide to hair volume

Cheating at hair volume with Scunci Boost It sponges
I know, they don’t look like much do they? But in fact, these Scunci Boost It sponges have sort of changed my life in that they cut down my daily hair prep time and made me feel a lot more confident about my naturally-limp hair. I discovered these sponges earlier this year, after a hunt for something, anything that would help give me some solid volume that didn’t rely on hair-destroying daily backcombing. I had no idea if I’d be able to make them work for me.
But I did – and I don’t think I quite use them how they were intended as I get a bigger uplift with my method, so I thought I’d share my secret after a fair few requests for some more hair tutorials recently!
Before vs after…


Cheating at hair volume with Scunci Boost It sponges
I’m not a fan of my natural, flat hair. I have a lot of hair, don’t get me wrong, but it’s incredibly fine and on its own will just sit stubbornly against my head as in the above left photo. When I look at that picture, all I can think is how big and gross my face looks – I like having volume to balance everything out. In the second photo, the only difference is that I now have my cheat’s sponges in and a little bit of back-combing to help the hair lay in place.
So without further delay, let’s show you how to do it!
1. First, middle section & sponge


Cheating at hair volume with Scunci Boost It sponges - step by step guide
Starting a good inch or so away from the front of my hair (I have a fringe, so this will be further back if you don’t – think of it as needing to sit on the curve of the back of your head), I gather together a chunk about an inch deep that’s roughly the width of the biggest sponge. This doesn’t need to be precise, because you’re going to see you will blend the top section of your hair together later, but the closer you are to the right width the easier you’ll find this to get it to look neat. I gently back comb at the roots at the back of this section, because this helps the hair to stay in place over the sponge.
The sponge itself has a standard metal hair clip stuck to the back, so try to slide it against the middle of the hair lying flat behind the section in your hand and it should look like the below left picture. If it’s not secure in place, slide out and try again until it is. Once you’ve done that, lay the hair down like the below right picture.
Cheating at hair volume with Scunci Boost It sponges - step by step guide
2. First side sponge


Cheating at hair volume with Scunci Boost It sponges - step by step guide
This is a bit more fiddly than the middle section and might take some practice to get it to work for you. I also always find this easier on the right side of my head than the left – which could well be because often you have thicker hair on one side than the other and in my case hairdressers love to comment on how vastly different it is (great for the confidence!). Anyway, if you roughly copy what I’ve done top right (I actually had no idea I overlapped them until I saw this picture), you should find you have a natural ‘slope’ of volume from the middle sponge to the less deep side sponge. It’s the same process – lift a section of hair the same depth as before and roughly the width of the sponge, backcomb behind at the foots, slide the sponge on its hair clip under, lay over the top. It’s just in this case, I’ve taken the section of hair at a slight diagonal angle towards the back of my head, again following the shape of my skull.
If the hair isn’t sitting quite right over the second sponge, you can tweak it into place. The great thing with these sponges is they have a sort of velcro surface, so where you place the hair on them it tends to stick almost like it’s sitting on a tiny brush. Bottom right I’m tweaking, bottom left is the finished result of said tweaking.


Cheating at hair volume with Scunci Boost It sponges - step by step guide
3. Second side sponge + smooth down


Cheating at hair volume with Scunci Boost It sponges - step by step guide
Now, just repeat what you did on the other side. I’m backcombing in the left picture, and on the right is when the hair is laid down over and I’ve tweaked and smoothed it into place. There was a lot of tweaking to get an even layer of volume over the head, but you can see it’s fairly easy to get something that looks like a tonne of backcombing has been done.
4. Decorate + refine!


Cheating at hair volume with Scunci Boost It sponges - step by step guide
What I’m showing you in this mini tutorial is actually exactly how I got the hair (well, minus the curling part) in this post, which loads of people commented on. I love wearing hair scarves, but I previously hated how difficult it was to get any kind of oomph behind them with my stubborn hair. In actual fact, I often wear the sponges now as the foundation of beehives and even to give volume to ponytails – once they’re on your head securely, not very much moves them so the possibilities are endless. Anyway, in this example, I tied the scarf before where the sponges start and then I use my brush to blend the hair together. I sometimes need to add a little back-comb to the underneath section of my hair, if there’s a gap between the hair lying over the sponge and the hair sitting under. That usually does the trick to blend them together.
5. Final tweaks and you’re done!


Cheating at hair volume with Scunci Boost It sponges - step by step guide
I use my fingers to comb the curls together neatly and then there you have it, the finished look. What a difference a few cheap bits of sponge make! And if you beef up your backcombing for special occassions, these sponges can really support some extra height.


  1. August 24, 2016 / 12:40 pm

    Thank you so much for this little tutorial! I like anything that's a 'cheat' (I'm lazy/time-pressured) and like you, I have fine hair that kind of just lies there unless I do something to it. I can't even get my hair to stay in a simple style like a bun without adding a tonne of product, likewise backcombing needs lots of product generally too. I'm sold anyway, I am going to buy those little sponges!! I'll let you know how I get on. I loved your tutorial about the cheat's retro roll and have used it so many times, so I hold great faith in your tutorials. You look very pretty in these photos, even the flat hair one 😉 xx

    • August 24, 2016 / 12:48 pm

      Aw I'm so pleased to help! What I would say is that my method here may not work *perfectly* for the look you want, or the shape/size of your head compared to mine, but the basic premise of using the big sponge centre back and the other two smaller ones either side *should* work. It can be a bit of a trick working out how much hair you need to cover the sponges adequately, but what I would say is I've gotten away with a very thin layer because the colour of them blends in so well with my natural hair (and your hair is a similar colour to mine so that will help).

      It makes me really happy that you've used my other tutorial a lot 😀 and thank you, but I don't buy it on my moon-face photo 😉 xx

  2. August 24, 2016 / 1:58 pm

    Thanks for this great tutorial! I also have very fine but also thin straight hair. It refuses to do anything for me. I am now on a mission to find these sponges somewhere. They look a whole lot more comfortable than the old "bumps" plastic things I tried to use that sometimes fell out!

    Your hair always looks amazing.


    • August 24, 2016 / 5:44 pm

      Happy to help! Yeah I've never tried those plastic bumps but I couldn't fathom how they'd actually stay on. These sponges just don't budge. They're a trick to get out but I'd much rather that than something that might fall out.

      Thank you 🙂 I guess there is a demand for more tutorials, even though I think everything I do is nothing special!! x

  3. August 24, 2016 / 2:54 pm

    Great tutorial! Would like to ask where do you buy your chiffon scarves? Thanks

    • August 24, 2016 / 5:45 pm

      This one was from eBay and was super cheap, but j also buy them from Bow and Crossbones. Go for a square shape and you'll be able to alter the width to your preference 🙂

  4. August 25, 2016 / 8:25 am

    Thank you for a great tutorial! Your hair looks so voluminous those sponges could work really well with a full on 60's hairstyle with curved ends 🙂 I have lots of thick hair so my hair usually ends up straightening pretty much right after I've finished backcombing, but I found that it works much better on a dirty hair full of dry shampoo topped with some multispray (and preferably salt spray to make it matte). It just doesn't work on clean hair, but I'd prefer having curls on a clean hair that's pretty and shiny instead of being full of chemicals and looking very, very matte.

    • August 26, 2016 / 4:04 pm

      They definitely give it a noticeable lift! I think they could easily work for 60s looks and I honestly think they'd be fine with most hair thicknesses – and really if you have thick hair it's going to cover the sponge even better and there'll be more for the clip to grip onto.

  5. August 25, 2016 / 8:43 pm

    These are really awesome! I can never get my backcombing quite even, so this sounds like a great hack to save time and create a perfect style. It sounds like it takes a bit of time to master, but it would be worth it to get some big, sexy, 1960s hair without all of the fuss. I'll have to see if they have these here.

    • August 26, 2016 / 4:05 pm

      They're a really cheap solution to the volume problem! I never get my backcombing even either, and while it took me a bit of practice to get these in level too, I mastered it far quicker than I ever have backcombing!

  6. August 26, 2016 / 3:26 pm

    Ooo, these might even work in my hair! I can't create volume with backcombing as it just falls out the second I touch it (I have weird hair!). I could even create a fab 60s bob. Thank you for the tutorial, I may just have to purchase myself some of these. xx

    • August 26, 2016 / 4:05 pm

      Seems like most of us struggle with backcombing! Mine doesn't stay in brilliantly either, but it really holds with these underneath and I barely have to do any! x

  7. August 26, 2016 / 8:38 pm

    Love the visuals in this, really easy to follow. They look like little cakes!

  8. August 27, 2016 / 12:28 am

    I have to start by saying that there is unequivocally nothing "big or gross" about your face (no matter the hairstyle), my sweet friend. You are a jaw dropping beauty through and through.

    These look like such a cool product! Thank you for the introduction to them. I like that they give one some body, but not a (potentially) comically huge amount of lift.

    Your hair is always seriously on point and it was a lot of fun learning about one of the ways that you help achieve your terrific 'dos.

    xoxo ♥ Jessica

  9. August 27, 2016 / 3:25 pm

    Great tutorial! I have sponges really similar to these but didn't know how to use them. I will definitely give them another go. I love the way your hair looks.

  10. August 28, 2016 / 8:23 pm

    So this whole time I've been assuming you back comb A LOT and yet always wondered how it is that your hair remains in such good condition! This post made me think of a story told by a woman who worked as a hair dresser in the 50s & 60s. Apparently once you had your hair set you had to come back after a week and have it combed back out again…one girl did not have hers combed out for a month and then came back only for the hair dresser to cut it off into a pixie. So yes, very good cheat indeed!

  11. August 30, 2016 / 8:53 am

    I feel like i have seen a magical trick revealed. Fantastic tutorial! Very effective result.

  12. September 8, 2016 / 8:09 am

    Oh, that looks like an excellent solution. I've been trying to think of ways to get more volume into my hair without trashing it.

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