Blow Dry like a Pro
You don't become an expert at anything overnight. We asked some of our stylist friends to share their blow out tips and here's what came back.
Blow Out Basics
- Start with hair that's lightly towel dried, not dripping wet. Remember a perfectly balanced blow out requires hair that's equally damp all over. Spritz a little water on sections if they air dry before you start styling.
- Divide and conquer hair a section at a time. Use clips to pin sections back and up (lifting the roots adds a boost of volume). Sectioning hair will help you handle the brush and blow dryer as you style.
- Always, always use a heat protectant when you heat style. For drying, apply your protectant right before you start.
- Your stylist doesn't dry all of your hair at once because it's much easier to work with a small section of hair at a time. Work section by section, starting with the bottom layers.
- Style each section with heat and finish with a blast of cool air to set the style and boost shine. If your dryer has a cool shot button, use it!
Sleek & Straight
"The key to a modern blowout is getting the ends to fan downward,
not curl under or flip out.."
- David Dieguez, Stylist at Blow, the New York Blow Dry Bar, New York, NY
- Use a concentrator attachment to control airflow more precisely and keep the cuticle smooth for stick straight results (yes, that's what it's for).
- Apply a straightening balm. Start off with a dime size amount for shoulder length and shorter styles; go with a quarter size amount for longer locks.
- Use a paddle brush to smooth strands. Olivia Emerald, Master Stylist at The Loft Salon in Boston, MA, suggests pulling hair straight forward and out at the sides. Stretching hair out in multiple directions will straighten all the kinks and prevent hair from flipping out or under.
- Make sure you hold the brush with tension and direct airflow down the hair shaft from the roots to the ends.
- For ultimate sleekness, run a flat iron over your ends to polish your look.
- When you're done styling, apply a finishing product like David Babaii Mise En Plise Light Styling Spray or Bumble and bumble Shine all over to tame flyaways, create a smoother surface and boost light reflection.
Amped Up Volume
"If you want volume, make sure hair is pulled away from the head,
rather than straight down, to get optimum lift."
- Sally Hershberger, Master Stylist at Sally Hershberger, New York, NY
Everyone wants sexy volume, even when they're going for the uber-straight look. Hair won't fall flat if you follow these va-va-voom tips:
- Use a root boosting product such as Blow Blow Up Root Lift Concentrate to amplify volume. Spray it at roots before applying your heat protectant.
- To create maximum volume, a good brush is essential. A vented round brush will allow air to flow through giving hair an all over lift.
- Direct hair around the brush and dry it in the opposite direction that you want it to fall. It will create extra height, body and movement.
- Use your brush to shape and define layers, rather than just blow-drying straight down. Sections can be directed and styled in different ways, especially around the face, for added body and style.
- Make sure to dry hair completely or else it can fall flat. Overheating can also wilt your volume, so don't over-dry hair either. Keep the dryer moving until your whole head is mostly dry and then touch up any damp spots.
- Finish with a lightweight hair spray like L'Oreal Elnett to hold your hair high and make your look last. Spray all over your hair and then run your fingers through from underneath to add a little oomph and avoid helmet head.
High Def Curls
"The problem with blow drying curly hair is the 'blow'. It's actually the wind from the dryer that straightens out your curl, either loosening it or making it fuzzy. Use a diffuser to cut down on the 'blow'."
- Sally Knollenberg Noblett, Creative Director at Joseph Michaels Salon and Spa, Chicago, IL
Follow these hair "do's" for drying and styling your curls.
- After showering, use a detangling comb to make sure your strands are snarl-free before styling. This will help keep the curls smooth as you style preventing frizz.
- Since curly hair is naturally dry and thrives on moisture, use nourishing styling products such as DevaCurl Angell to create elasticity and enhance curl shape. If you need more hold or structure, layer in a lightweight mousse like the Hair Rules Wavy Mousse before applying a heat protectant.
- Style hair with an ionic hair dryer. Ionic waves evaporate moisture molecules to help set curls and prevent damage.
- Use a diffuser attachment to dry your curls and prevent frizz. We love the Hot Tools Pink Titanium Professional Ionic Dryer, which has 360 degree diffused air flow.
- Set your dryer to a low heat setting to avoid over drying and damaging curls.
- Start drying from the front to make sure you get to the face framing sections before your curls get a mind of their own.
- Hands off! Scrunching, twisting and curling hair with your hands can cause frizz. Let your tools do the work.
- For hard to navigate curls, try a curl cream to soften your strands for shinier, more defined curls. Stylists love curl friendly collections like Miss Jessie's and Hair Rules.