10 Rules for a Perfect Blowout
Doing your own blowout is a lot like attempting a soufflé—one false move and it all goes south. The surefire recipe for a good hair day? Strong biceps, patience, and these ten tips.BY JENNA ROSENSTEIN
1. Switch your shower lineup.
If you’re after bouncy hair, skip shampoos and conditioners that bill themselves as moisturizing or damage-repairing—they contain ingredients that weigh down even thick hair. Go for ones labeled volumizing, which are lighter. Try Pantene Pro-V Sheer Volume shampoo and conditioner. But if your hair is a frizz ball, use a smoothing shampoo and conditioner, which are full of silicones and oils (good ones). We like Alterna Bamboo Smooth Anti-Frizz shampoo and conditioner.
2. Now leave the bathroom.
It might seem like the obvious place to style your hair, but if it’s at all humid, your blowout will frizz. Move the whole shebang to another room.3. Get in on a secret: Quick-dry sprays actually work. They contain ingredients, like isododecane, that wick water off hair so it dries faster, says cosmetic chemist Randy Schueller. Bonus: Most of these sprays also contain heat-protecting, hair-smoothing silicones (we like L’Oréal Paris Advanced Hairstyle Blow Dry It Quick Dry Primer Spray).
4. Drink coffee; check dailymail.com.
Procrastinating before you jump right in to blow-drying can actually make your hair look better. “If you try to style soaking-wet hair, it will take forever, and you’ll probably give up before your hair is completely smooth,” says hairstylist Jen Atkin. Rough-dry your hair any which way until it’s barely damp, or let it air-dry for about 20 minutes.
5. Hold off on mousse.
If you’re after smooth results, mousses (and gels, and anything with hold) work best when you apply them to damp hair and then blow-dry immediately. Letting them sit in hair while it air-dries for even ten minutes can freeze kinks and waves in place so they can’t be undone with a brush and a dryer, says hairstylist Nathaniel Hawkins. Oils, leave-in conditioners, and other anti-frizz products should be applied right away.
6. Always tackle your bangs first,
before they have a chance to dry wonky. For sideswept bangs, use a medium-size round boar-bristle brush and sweep them to one side. If your bangs are blunt, start by brushing them from side to side with a paddle brush as you dry them so they’re polished but not too flat, says hairstylist Matt Fugate.7. Know when to use ions. An ionic dryer flattens the cuticle, which is great if you want your hair to be straight and not puffy. If your aim is lots of volume, ditch the ionic dryer.8. Don’t let a blowout deflate. The difference between straight and lank is a two- to three-inch round boar-bristle brush. Use it to stretch your hair up slightly at the roots and then down toward your shoulders in a slight arc, pulling the brush straight through the ends. Move quickly to minimize damage.9. Count to four for volume. Five works, too. When you let hair cool for a few seconds on the round brush, it dries bouncier. Pull your hair up toward the ceiling, and then roll the brush down the length of your hair and back up. Keep each section of hair wound around the bristles for about four or five seconds after you’ve dried it.10. Check your work. Once you think your hair is dry, feel around for damp spots. If you want your blowout to last, hair needs to be 100 percent dry. Otherwise it will frizz and volume won’t last, says Hawkins.