The Anatomy of a Perfect Blow Dry: Everything You Need to DIY the Salon Effect
A great salon blow dry is undeniably a work of art, but that doesn’t mean the version you’ve crafted at home isn’t worth a space on the gallery wall—or a selfie on Instagram. To break down exactly how to mirror your hairstylist’s handiwork in your own bathroom, we are giving you a crash course on mastering the art, and the exact tools you’ll need to use.
Before you start practicing your wrist movements, make sure your blowout arsenal is well-stocked. You need to have a professional hair dryer, as sometimes commercial dryers aren’t strong enough, we recommends any of the Parlux hair dryer which we use in the salon. Always use the precision nozzle, and you’ll need two round brushes. Have a wood or bristle round brush on hand for the bulk of the blowout process, and one with a ceramic barrel for finishing, which amps up the shine. The brushes depend on the length of the hair, but generally, you should use a smaller brush for areas around the face, and a larger one to smooth over the parts in the back.
While your hair is still completely wet, you’ll want to apply a dollop of mousse like Redken’s Full Effect to your root area for maximum lift, though if your strands are already thick or curly, skip this step and run a serum through your ends instead. Some people put product in when the hair has partially dried, but the correct way to do it is to put them in when your hair is 100% wet. One common mistake is when people put mousse all over their head—if you put it on the lengths, the hair gets heavy, so it should only be at the roots.
Divide and Conquer
With your volumizing mousse in place and all of your tools at the ready, you’re all set to begin the blow dry process. We recommend splitting your hair into four workable sections like a hot cross bun—divide your back area from ear to ear and tie off the top part to separate it from your layers underneath, then the two front pieces on both sides of your head. If you have a fringe, blow those out first with a smaller round brush, and start with the front sections using your round brush. The nozzle should be close to the hair, but not touching it. Repeat over each section until it is completely dry. Juggling a round brush with a blow dryer can be quite the circus act, but if you’re still honing in on your skills, work with small pieces to ease the process. Fine textures are usually good after one or two sweeps of the round brush, while thick and curly types should aim for around three to five.
If your DIY blow dry in the past had trouble standing up to the humidity, don’t knock your own handiwork—the leftover water in your strands are what should be blamed. If your hair isn’t 100% dry when you finish, it will go frizzy in 10 minutes. Very often, people will think their hair is dry because it’s hot, but two minutes later, they touch it and their hair is still damp or humid. Once you’ve completed each section, take a step away from your styling station and allow your strands to cool down for a few minutes. If your layers are slightly wet when you run your fingers through, you’ll want to give them another pass under the brush and dryer. Then, you can set them in velcro rollers to build even more body, or work a few finishing drops of L’oreal Mythic Oil through the ends for shine. When you take the rollers out, flip your hair upside-down, and you can apply a dry shampoo just to the roots. Not only will the product lock in the volume, but it’s also a way to extend the life of your blowout as a preventative step.
Hush Hair & Beauty is one of Birmingham’s leading contemporary hair and beauty salons, whether you are looking to reinvent your style or perhaps create an edgy, hot off the catwalk look, our expert hairdressers provide an unparalleled bespoke salon experience.
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