Think a fabulous blow dry can only be achieved at the salon?
With the right tools and products, you can definitely style your hair to perfection at home!
Today I'm sharing my step-by-step guide to doing it for yourself:
Step 1: Choose The Right Blow Dryer
The blow dryers you buy in drugstores aren’t the best quality. You don’t need to fork out for a fancy Dyson but you’ll want to spend at least $100 to get something decent. Look for one that has powerful airflow and adjustable heat settings. Also, make sure the dryer you choose isn’t too heavy and comes with a concentrator nozzle or diffuser attachment!
Take Care Of Your Blow Dryer!
1) Don’t shake it while you’re using it! You wouldn’t shake your toaster, would you?
2) When storing, wrap the cord loosely around itself, not the dryer.
3) To avoid your blowdryer over heating, make sure you are cleaning out the filter located on the back to remove hair and debris that has collected over time.
Step 2: Towel Dry
After washing, absorb the excess moisture by gently squeezing your hair with a towel. Don’t rub because it can create knots, and cause frizz and breakage!
Step 3: Add A Heat Protecting Product
No matter what kind of hair type you have, you’ll need to use a heat protector before you start drying to keep strands smooth. I like L'Oreals 10-1 Leave-in Spray or Mythic Oil. If you have average hair, follow this up with a normal volumizing mousse like L'Oreals Full Volume. Whatever product you choose, don’t use too much or it will weigh the hair down. About a quarter-sized dollop is usually enough.
Step 4: Rough Dry
Set your blow dryer to medium heat and blast your hair all over until it’s about 80% dry. Flip your head upside down to get some volume (don’t do this if your hair is curly – you have enough volume!). If your hair is tangled, comb it after the rough dry.
Step 5: Section Hair Into Pieces
Sectioning your hair is the key to a great blowout. It helps dry hair properly and you’ll get a smoother more professional finish. You can buy section clips at beauty supply stores.
Here’s how to section: Start by clipping up the hair above your temples. Add another section from just above your ears. Start your style with the remaining hair that is left unclipped.
Step 6: Dry Each Section Using A Round Brush
If you want to totally smooth blow dry you’ll need to dry using a medium sized round brush. I like the ceramic-coated brushes because hair doesn’t tangle and get stuck. Make sure your concentrator is attached to your hair dryer! Using medium heat start by drying the back section at the nape of your neck first. When drying, you always want to start at the roots and midsection of the hair. The ends will dry on their own.
Each section has to set, so don’t take out the brush too fast before drying hair again! If you over-dry you can damage the hair. Aim for about one minute per section. If you have two brushes that are the same size, leave one in the hair and move on to the next section.
After blow drying the nape section, move center section. Do the same as above then move on to the top most section. The crown is where you want the most height so I usually pull the sections straight up while drying them. This can be hard to do on your own but practice makes perfect!
Step 7: Apply A Finishing Product
Using your fingers, carefully place where you want hair to be, then apply a finishing spray. My favourite is Savage Panache by L'Oreal because it gives hold, volume and texture. A lot of people don’t like hair spray but it will really help smooth out the cuticle and creates the pieces you want to accentuate, like keeping curtain bangs in place so they won’t fall into the rest of your hair. Finally, to really set the look, I like taking tiny pea size amount of Mythic Oil and running it through the ends of the hair. I also use a mist of L'Oreal's Fix Anti-Frizz Hairspray to tame any fly-aways.
Voila! A beautiful, salon-quality blow out that you did yourself.
Final Words Of Advice:
A professional quality blow dry takes 30 to 40 minutes to achieve, depending on the length of your hair and it should last 2 to 3 days. To extend that, apply a dry shampoo to help block oils. You can also re-blow dry the front pieces everyday to help maintain the look.
Don’t give up on blow drying your hair! There’s no magic secret, it just takes practice! You CAN do it yourself!
If you feel you need a hands on styling lesson in the salon, feel free to contact me by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
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YOUR ONE STOP SHOP FOR ALL THINGS RELATED TO HAIR. WHETHER YOU NEED INSPIRATION FOR A NEW STYLE, WANT TO LEARN HOW TO DO A RUNWAY LOOK, OR WANT TO LEARN MORE FROM THE EXPERTS, I'VE GOT YOU COVERED.
Christine White is a stylist, educator and the owner of Chroma Salon in Sarnia, ON.