The blow-out blew up this sea­son, but is it worth the ef­fort?

VOGUE Australia - - CONTENTS -

Ev­ery trend has a sat­u­ra­tion point. In the hair world, there are few trends that have run the gamut from run­way to re­al­ity more com­pre­hen­sively than the in­sou­ciant cas­cade of zero-ef­fort hair. Sea­son af­ter sea­son, show af­ter show, we were served up ef­fort­less strands that hero-ed nat­u­ral tex­ture – the ap­pear­ance of hav­ing done lit­tle at all (even if that wasn’t al­ways the case) was mod­ern and cool. It was, how­ever, only a mat­ter of time be­fore the pen­du­lum swung and turned the trend on its head. This sea­son it came in a big way. Across all ma­jor cities the de­fin­i­tive mood seemed to say: it’s high time for the blow-dry.

“The blow-dry is back,” said hair­styl­ist An­thony Turner to re­porters back­stage at the au­tumn/win­ter col­lec­tions in New York. Hairstylists who pre­vi­ously sub­scribed to the tou­sled, just-skipped-out-of-bed move­ment seemed to be chang­ing course. Hot air was blow­ing back­stage at Moschino too, where models sported Step­ford-wife ’dos with doses of vol­ume at the roots and a 60s flick at the ends. Even at shows such as Stella Mc­Cart­ney and Lan­vin, where lived-in #woke­u­p­likethis tex­ture has reigned supreme for count­less sea­sons, there was a glossy, bor­der­ing on blown-out, fin­ish to the models’ locks. And at Al­berta Fer­retti and Ralph Lau­ren, the blow-dry wasn’t tow­er­ing high and sprayed stiff, but had the nat­u­ral move­ment and sheen of hair that’s looked af­ter.

And that’s the thing about the hum­ble blow-dry this sea­son: it shouldn’t sig­nal you’ve have spent hours preen­ing and primp­ing, pre­cisely be­cause you haven’t. Syd­ney-based stylist and Dyson Su­per­sonic am­bas­sador Renya Xy­dis says the best blow-out – one that’s ul­tra-bouncy – re­quires a spe­cific yet easy-to-master tech­nique. “In­stead of just go­ing one way, you have to di­rect your hair. You’ve got to pull your roots out, and that’s what a lot of peo­ple aren’t do­ing: they’re

pulling the ends and it’s dam­ag­ing it. They don’t re­alise that you have to re­ally stretch your roots, and do­ing that is key,” she says. “I start at the front, be­cause the minute you know that your front looks good, you feel good, right?”

It’s the nu­ances of this new in­ter­pre­ta­tion of the blow-dry that make it ut­terly mod­ern, and it starts with how you pair it. “It’s about bring­ing back the blow-dries, and about fash­ion as well,” says Xy­dis, who tends to the peren­ni­ally im­pec­ca­ble manes of Cate Blanchett and Nicole Kid­man. “Every­one is re­ally into these amaz­ing jack­ets now and these big, quite pow­er­ful suits, so women are re­ally go­ing for that big glam blow-dry.” Par­tial to sneak­ers? The blow-dry is your new­est ac­ces­sory, el­e­vat­ing an other­wise ca­sual out­fit to stylish pro­por­tions by de­liv­er­ing the right amount of pol­ish to tip the scale from pared back to put-to­gether.

Equally, how you fin­ish off a blow-dry is para­mount. On a scale of Texan beauty pageant ’do to French-girl strands, a blow-dry in 2018 is styled with an el­e­ment of aban­don­ment. Spritz a fresh blow-out with dry sham­poo to in­fuse a dose of grit and coun­ter­act the squeaky clean fin­ish. “The minute you blow-dry your hair, you press the but­ton to go cold and straight away it cools it down and holds bet­ter,” says Xy­dis, who swears by the nifty cool-shot but­ton on the Dyson Su­per­sonic.

While heat-styling de­vices have his­tor­i­cally been blasted for fry­ing ends to the point of break­age, the lat­est ad­di­tions to the arse­nal of dry­ers and tongs have hair health at the fore­front. The launch of the Dyson’s first hairdryer a few years ago, the Su­per­sonic, changed the heat-styling land­scape pre­cisely be­cause it was de­signed with one thing in mind: hair health. Liv­ing up to its name as the gold stan­dard in hair dry­ers, the brand’s lat­est lim­ited-edi­tion styler is gilded in 23-karat gold leaf while still de­liv­er­ing im­pec­ca­ble sub­stance: clever heat con­trol, pow­er­ful air­flow and er­gonomic de­sign.

Ghd chief tech­nol­ogy of­fi­cer Dr Tim Moore at­tests that heat styling may even be bet­ter for your hair than sim­ply air-dry­ing. When hair is wet, he says, it be­comes weak (around half the strength of dry hair) and por­ous, putting un­due pres­sure on the core of each strand, which can lead to break­age. “When you brush your wet hair to style it be­fore you leave your house, you then cause more break­age than you would do other­wise,” he says. “If you use a hair-dryer in the proper way – by start­ing with a low set­ting – the wa­ter on the sur­face acts a bit like sweat, in that it then cools the ac­tual fi­bres of the hair. The tem­per­a­ture of wet hair with a hair-dryer point­ing at it is a slight in­crease to the ini­tial tem­per­a­ture and it stays there for two min­utes … so as long as you don’t move on to an­other sec­tion of hair the mo­ment you start to feel your hair in­creas­ing in tem­per­a­ture, then you just won’t dam­age the hair at all.”

With heat dam­age front of mind, Moore’s team have been work­ing on a ‘smart’ straight­ener, the Ghd Plat­inum+, which uniquely recog­nises the thick­ness and sec­tion size of the hair be­ing put through the de­vice and di­als the heat up or down ac­cord­ingly. Ef­fi­cient.

In-sa­lon too, blow-outs have bal­looned. The newly opened sa­lon Paloma, in Syd­ney’s Padding­ton, of­fers a ded­i­cated dry bar. Cater­ing to the girl-on-the-go, there’s a quick-pick menu of blow-outs from Smooth & Straight to Per­fectly Im­per­fect styles that take just 20 min­utes from wet to dry, dis­pelling the no­tion that a blow-dry is a time-con­sum­ing en­deav­our. “Women who wouldn’t usu­ally come in for a blowdry be­tween a cut or colour ap­point­ment are now com­ing in for a dry bar ser­vice ev­ery week, be­cause it’s quick, ac­ces­si­ble and af­ford­able,” says the sa­lon’s owner, Paloma Rose Gar­cia, who, de­spite herald­ing a wash-and-wear move­ment among the fash­ion set, ad­mits there is room for a more so­phis­ti­cated fin­ish.

Clean, pol­ished hair will “never go out of fash­ion”, she says. “The same goes for a messy, tou­sled style. There is a time and a place for both.” And that’s the real beauty of to­day’s easy-breezy blow-dry: you can take it or leave it.


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