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…
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
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.
2. First side sponge
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.
3. Second side sponge + smooth down
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!
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!
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.