It’s ubiquitous. It’s intimidating. It’s absolutely essential. The humble blowdryer can take your hair to gorgeous heights, but the right technique often spells the difference between frizzed-out fiasco and glossy perfection. Read on to learn how to get a salon-quality blowout with some tips from our experts.
Before You Begin
Invest in the right product for your hair. Life would be way easier if that $15 dryer worked actual magic, but each model tends to have hugely different effects. The key is to understand which features help your hair type. Tourmaline dryers work best on dry, coarse or curly hair, non-ionic options are great for straight, oily or fine strands, and ionic models can cut down drying time for thicker textures.
Learn how your hair likes to dry. Many stylists advocate wringing out as much moisture as possible before blasting your hair with heat. While that’s typically good advice, some tresses respond to different techniques. Set aside a weekend to experiment with both options: drying with barely damp hair or starting after a super-quick blot to soak up excess water. Each head of hair is unique, so it’s essential to know what works for yours.
While You’re Working
Begin by detangling. Before doing anything else, get rid of any tangles by combing through your hair with a paddle brush or wide-toothed comb. This will make the blowout infinitely easier.
Slick on a serum. When you’re ready to get going, use a moisturizing cream, smoothing product or heat-protecting spray to keep hair manageable. Give the ends some extra attention; they tend to be the most vulnerable to damage.
Use high heat and speed. Curly or coarse textures benefit from cooler settings, but glossy locks are best achieved by setting your blowdryer to the higher heat and speed functions.
Start with the roots. The ticket to natural volume is to lift this section as quickly as you can. Flip your head over, and hit the roots with a little warmth while massaging them with your fingertips.
Take your aim. How you hold the dryer is crucial. Point the concentrator downward and parallel to your brush, keeping the heat at least two inches from your hair. You’ll also want to make sure that the nozzle is positioned vertically rather than horizontally.
Work in smaller sections. It’s tempting to blast huge areas at once, but you’ll get the best results by dividing your hair into two-inch sections. Once you’ve finished one piece, pin it loosely in a loop to cool.
Lead with the brush. Holding your hair at a slight angle, use a medium-sized round brush to guide the nozzle downward to the ends. Make sure to keep the piece pulled tightly while you dry; you need that tension for salon-quality results.
Want a little more guidance? Schedule a one-on-one session with the stylists at Bella Vita to get extra tips, learn some techniques and discuss which dryer works best for you.