MASTER the BLOWOUT
It may seem like you can get a silky, polished blowout only in the salon. But with the right tools and a few pro hacks, you can create your own good hair day without burning out your biceps. Your four-step lesson starts now.
1After you shampoo and condition, comb out your wet hair then get it 80 percent dry. You could do this by air-drying, wrapping your hair in a towel, or rough-drying it with a blow-dryer using the lowest heat setting. (If you go the blow-drying route, apply a heat protectant first to guard against thermal damage, prevent frizz, and add shine.) Why pre-dry? For starters, the heat and brush tension needed to blow out sopping wet hair can be really damaging and “take away a lot of the hair’s natural body,” says Kattia Solano, owner of New York City’s Butterfly Studio Salon. You’ll also cut down on the dreaded arm fatigue from holding your brush and blow-dryer.
2If your goal is a supersleek effect, apply an oilbase styling cream from the midshaft to ends of hair. Want extra volume and body? Work in a root-lifting spray or mousse at the roots. Next, section your hair into four parts. “This will give you more control when styling,” says Solano, who suggests dividing hair down the middle of your head, then again from ear to ear. If your hair is thick or unruly, use eight smaller sections. Fasten each with a duckbill clip.
3Time to dry. Make sure the nozzle attachment is on. “It directs airflow exactly where you need it,” says hairstylist Juan Carlos Maciques of New York City’s Oscar Blandi Salon. Starting at your nape, wrap a section around a medium round brush. “Angle the nozzle of the dryer so it points from roots to ends,” Maciques says. Run the dryer down the hair section, twirling the brush when you get to the ends to smooth them out. Repeat as necessary until the section is completely dry.
For the best view in the mirror, turn your chin so it faces opposite the section you’re drying. When you get to the crown, tilt your head down. “You’ll have a broader range of motion,” Solano says.
4Did you know that cold air is key to a polished, frizz-free blowout? “It’s really important, after you’ve dried a section, that you set your work by going back over it using the cool-shot button,” Brager says. “The cold air seals the cuticle and locks in what you’ve done.”
Then move on to your next damp section and repeat Step 3. Once you’ve done your entire head, you can shake out your hair, tousle with your fingers to blend sections, or adjust your part if needed. Finish with a light mist of hair spray.
BRUSHLESS BLOW-DRY Dry sections of hair in a slot in the nozzle. Revlon Pro Collection Salon 360 Surround Styler, $60; walmart.com FIGHTS FRIZZ Tourmaline and ceramic tech reduces damage. Eva NYC Healthy Heat Pro-Lite Dryer in Galaxy, $70;target.comCUSTOMHEATT3 Cura Luxe featuresfive heat and two speedsettings, a volume boost switch, and auto-pause sensor. $250; t3micro.com
CERAMIC BRUSH Olivia Garden NanoThermic Ceramic & Round Brush 2¹∕8", $21;target.comNATURAL BRISTLE BRUSHConair Ceramic WoodOutburst Boar Round Brush, $16; target.com
STYLING CREAM Herbal Essences Bourbon Manuka Honey Oil-Infused Crème, $6; drugstoresSECTIONINGCLIPSRickyCare Matte Touch Clips, $7 for four; rickysnyc.com
HAIR SPRAY L’Oréal Paris Elnett Satin Extra Strong Hold, $15; drugstores
ROOT LIFTER John FriedaLuxurious Volume Root Booster, $8; drugstores