The Fluffy Hair Trend Has Taken Over TikTok & Celebrities Can’t Get Enough

The voluminous blowout is back and here to stay.

by Natasha Marsh and Meguire Hennes
Originally Published: 
Hailee Steinfeld wearing the fluffy hair trend

It’s safe to say that some of the most iconic ‘90s beauty trends are making a serious comeback: Y2K nails, claw clips, and bandana-wrapped buns are proof of that. One hairstyle in particular, fluffy hair, is making waves all over TikTok and pretty much every other social media platform. Think Cher Horwitz from Clueless, Denise Richards in pretty much any ‘90s film, or Cindy Crawford’s early runway days — it’s all about the volume right now.

Read more: My Low-Porosity Hair Takes Forever To Dry — Here’s How I Deal

“The fluffy hair trend that is going around is a wink to popular ‘90s hairstyles,” Angel Cardona, Sebastian Professional top hairstylist, tells TZR. The style is centered on bounce, where the fluffiness of a just-rolled-out-of-bed look meets runway-ready. “The loosely styled look is part of the overall vibe that Gen Z has been styling on TikTok,” says Aquage brand ambassador Laura Polko. Here, “the fluffier the better” is the name of the game.

Hair lovers are prepared to spend 30 minutes to an hour on their hair — using velcro rollers, curling irons, volume spray, and patience to achieve the fluffy hair of their dreams. Blake Evans, hairstylist and Global Redken Artist, recognizes that the look requires a bit more time and energy than just throwing your hair up in a claw clip. “Imagine Farrah Fawcett in the ‘70s or Phylicia Rashad, Cindy Crawford, and Rosie Perez in the ‘90s, or for a more modern example, J.Lo, Doja Cat, and Kate Middleton have worn these looks,” Evans tells TZR. “The magic of this look is that if the proper steps are taken, it should last four to seven days.”

And it turns out, achieving the understated look requires just a few steps — five, to be exact. To help you create the effect at home, TZR spoke to top celebrity hairstylists to learn all the best steps and product recommendations. Get ready for your bounciest and fluffiest hair ever.

How Fluffy Is The Fluffy Hair Trend?

“Fluffy hair is the term coined by Gen Z on TikTok, but would otherwise be known as a ‘90s blowout to the rest of us,” Tara Simich, founder and CEO of Mermade Hair, tells TZR. According to Polko, it involves moving the hands from the back of the head, shaking the hair forward, and keeping it down and in front of the face to create a loose styled blowout — although there are a few more steps involved if you want the effect to last.

Overall, the trend embraces texture and imperfection and encourages a lot of effortless bounce and volume. “It’s all about minimalism,” Hairstory stylist Wes Sharpton shares. “Not looking like there is a lot of product in the hair but maintaining volume at the same time.”

What’s The Difference Between Fluffy Hair Vs. Poofy?

Not to be confused with poofy hair, fluffy hair is purposely done with a bit of product and technique. Fluffy hair accentuates volume and airiness,” says Sharpon. “Light product application is used to not weigh [the hair] down.” Whereas, according to Jamila Powell, founder of Naturally Drenched and owner of Maggie Rose Salon, poofy hair can have a little more roughness to the texture, described often as frizzy and hard to manage.

What Textures Work Well With Fluffy Hair?

All five experts agree that the fluffy hair trend is universally flattering on all hair types. “The great thing about fluffy hair is the easy, no-fuss approach,” says Simich. “It actually embraces fly-aways and imperfect hairlines or parts, rather than today's blowouts, which are much more sleek, or with a defined middle or side part.”

However, regardless of texture, if your hair is experiencing damage (heat, environmental, or color), it’s best to avoid the hairstyle as it does require some heat. In addition to using a heat protector, Cardona suggests spraying a good amount of hairspray on both finer and curly hair types. For finer types, the hairspray will help keep the look all day; and for curly hair, it will help to guard against humidity.

How To Get Fluffy Hair

According to Simich, a good rule of thumb for short hair is to try a side part in order to get extra volume and movement. “For long hair, use a tail comb to add extra volume at the roots,” Simich adds.

In terms of actual styling, there are two main options: heat or with rollers (which involve no heat). If you are opting for the latter, you can set your hair (dry or slightly damp) with mousse and roll your hair in velcro rollers, making sure the base of the section is wrapped to create more volume at the root. Then, sleep with the rollers in your hair (sleeping in a silk scarf or bonnet can help to keep them in place) and remove in the morning. Next, flip the hair upside down to loosen the curls slightly and gently comb your hair to the front. Then flip back and *boom* instant fluff.

Evans says the key to achieving the fluffy hair look is getting a haircut that assists and compliments your styling process. Regardless of whether you use hot tools or rollers, a heavily layered haircut can instantly add natural volume. “Make sure you have a haircut that has layers — long layers in the back, but a ton of layers around the face. For those flirting with the look, ask your stylist for face-framing layers, and it will take your blowout to the next level. Just be clear on where you want the shortest layer before starting to cut,” Evans says.

If hot tools are more your speed, follow the steps below for fluffy hair.

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Step 1: Cleanse Hair

Having a clean canvas beforehand is always paramount with any hairstyle, and the fluffy hair trend is no exception. Powell suggests using a shampoo and conditioner that will add shine and minimize frizz. You can also grab a volumizing shampoo and conditioner to promote fluff and volume. And if your hair is prone to dryness, the expert also encourages a detox or rebalancing treatment to prevent breakage.

Step 2: Prep Hair For Heat Styling

After washing, you’ll want to prep your hair with a leave-in conditioner and heat protectant. Polko suggests Aquage CBD Leave-In Conditioning Spray to keep your texture soft.

Evans encourages leaving your hair as damp as possible while adding your product combinations. He recommends placing Redken Volumizing Spray Mousse Guts 10 to only your roots and Kerastase Mousse Bouffant to the middle and ends. “To speed up your blow drying experience, apply Devafast Dry Accelerator from Devacurl. This will set the foundation for a light and airy blow dry,” Evans says. For curly or coily haired queens, Evans advises the Mizani Press Agent Raincoat Smoothing Serum mixed with the styling cream. If you have color-treated hair, apply Pureology Color Fanatic before the mousse.

As the hair dries, continuously shake the hair forward so it doesn’t become frizzy.

Step 3: Section Hair

Evans, Polko, and Powell recommend allowing 60% to 80% of the hair to air dry on its own. “Blast most of the moisture out of your hair with a traditional blow dryer or air dry to 90% before starting with a barrel brush,” Evans says. Once semi-dry, you can section off hair into four to six sections (depending on how much hair you have) to ensure each section is bouncy enough for the fluffy hair trend. Pro tip: The smaller the sections, the more curl and bounce you will achieve.

Step 4: Precision Blow-Dry

Going section by section, wrap the hair around a rounded blow dry brush. “Because you’ll want your ends to flip inwards for this trend, wrap the hair over the blow dry brush and twist inward, tucking the ends under,” Powell encourages.

For more curve, Simich proposes wrapping the hair around a barrel brush and holding it for a few seconds. Next, flip your hair over and apply a bit of hairspray for extra hold, volume, and shape. If you want extra volume, grab your teasing comb next.

Evans is a fan of the Amika Hair Blow Dryer Brush — an easy-to-use blowout tool. “Make sure to lift your hair off your scalp in the opposite direction you are going to wear it to get maximum volume. Set with Velcro rollers from Amazon for 20 minutes.”

If you have curly hair and want to try your hand at the fluffy hair trend, Evans suggests first using a pick attachment on your blow dryer to do a straightening blowout. Then he says to follow up with a straightening iron to achieve the subtle curl of the fluffy hairstyle. Because curly or textured hair has natural volume at the roots, it’s easier to achieve the look by using a straightener.

Evans recommends the Sam Villa Sleekr Flat Iron to straighten hair while maintaining volume and creating curls. “The Sam Villa iron is rounded on all edges do you won’t get a clamp mark from the flat iron. Set with foam rollers instead of velcro for 20 minutes — velcro rollers aren’t friendly to curly hair,” Evans says.

Step 5: Scoop Hair Forward

“In this trend, you are seeing hair that is being pushed forward in front of the head,” says Sharpton. “So you want to encourage it to get bigger and look airier by keeping the volume at the root.” Instead of getting extra volume via typical teasing (wherein you comb the hair downwards to create texture), you’ll take a section of the hair and brush it forward, moving the brush under the hair and bringing it in front of your face. Repeat that for the crown and sides of your head, using your hands to gently push those sections of hair forward even more — this will help to encourage bounce and fluffiness. Then flip the hair back and smooth any random flyaways.

“To minimize any frizz, add a lightweight oil like Olaplex No. 7 Bonding Oil and a finishing spray like Kenra Professional Shine Spray,” Powell tells TZR. Extra tip: Sleep on a satin pillowcase to preserve your blowout. The result is a perfectly high-volume, fluffy hairstyle.

How To Get Fluffy Hair With Minimum Heat

Evans says it’s possible to achieve the fluffy hair look without using a curling iron or rollers. Evans believes the easiest way to receive maximum volume without a hot tool is to “blow dry your hair with the nozzle off, then use the Kitsch Satin Heatless Curling Set Bundle and go to sleep.” Wake up in the morning to fluffy, beautiful supermodel hair.

This style can last up to four to seven days, Evans notes. “To keep the fluffy hair alive, use a dry shampoo before bed each night. You can apply the satin heatless curling set again or twist your hair into two buns twisting away from your face and use a scrunchie to secure each bun. When you wake up, apply the Ouai Dry Texture Spray to bring it to life,” Evans tells TZR.

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