Ahhhh, the perfect blowout. How is it you never really look as put together as you do when you leave the salon after a professional blow dry? Is there magic to hair care and achieving the perfect blowout or is it possible, just possible to do it yourself? Actually, it is as long as you follow the right steps.
A good blowout can last several days. Once you learn how to do it the right way and you take your time, you should be able to keep the look for several days. If you find hair is getting greasy, a bit of baby powder along the crown not only soaks up oils, it adds body.
Also check out 10 Things to Know About Blow Drying Your Hair.
Time Required: 15-30 minutes, depending on length and thickness of hair
Start with freshly-washed hair.
If you have dry hair, condition in the shower. If you have fine hair, condition only the ends. Blot hair -- never rub -- with a towel to get rid of excess moisture. You can't do a blowout with super wet hair or it will take forever.
Apply product to towel-dried hair.
A good styling product is key to the perfect blowout. It adds body to fine, limp hair, while women with thick, curly hair need to keep the frizzies at bay. The secret is to coat every strand of hair with product.
If you have dry hair, work in a leave-in conditioner, a straightening balm or shine serum. Start by coating the ends, working your way up the hair shaft. Finish by combing the product through hair.
If you have flat, limp hair, spritz a thickening spray (I swear by Bumble and Bumble Thickening Spray) or work in a mousse. Stay away from gels.
Break out the blowdryer (see Best Blowdryers).
If hair is still pretty wet, use a dryer to remove excess moisture before you start the blowdry or let hair airdry for a few minutes.
Separate hair into sections.
Divide combed hair into sections and secure with clips or ponytail holders. I find winding hair into mini buns -- two in the back and one on each side -- works best. If you have super thick or heavy hair, try dividing each of your sections. One above the other helps manage the blowout. Leave out a section to start with.
Start with your fingers.
Stylists know the secret to the perfect blowout is to start with your fingers. Pull your fingers through hair starting at the roots. Pull hair out a few inches and hold it while you use the dryer to shoot air at the crown on down. "A brush can only get so close in," says Manhattan stylist David Dieguez, in the July 2007 issue of Lucky Magazine. Dieguez suggests holding hair super taut, "otherwise, moisture stays in the hair shaft and frizzes it up."
Move on the round brush.
Now that your roots are dry, it's time to move on to a round-barreled brush (Ken Paves prefers a "mixed-bristle brush" -- a mix of boar and synthetic bristles). Pull the brush through hair as you blowdry, pointing the nozzle downward onto hair (this supposedly helps with frizz). Celebrity stylist Ken Paves likes to start with the ends, because they tend to dry fastest.
See my list of the best hairbrushes
Pull hair super taut as you dry.
As you pull the brush through hair, follow the brush with the dryer. I love Dieguez's tip in Lucky, "Imagine there's a point six inches in front of your nose. Stretch the hair toward that point as you dry. It sounds crazy, but when you're done, the tips won't flip under or up -- they'll just sort of fan out over your shoulders."
Lock in style with the "cool button."
The last step for each section is to pull hair taut with the brush and blast it with cool air from your dryer. You can also each dried section up in a Velcro roller.
- Continue through all sections until hair is dry.
- Finish off with a serum.
What You Need:
- Styling product for your hair type
- Wide-tooth comb
- Clips or ponytail holders
- Wide-barrelled brush, preferably a mix of boar and synthetic bristles