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 pro tips.
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.
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.
GET IN ON A SECRET
Quick-dry sprays actually work. They contain ingredients, like isododecane, that wick water off hair so it dries faster.
DRINK COFFEE. CHECK YOUR EMAIL.
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. Rough-dry your hair any which way until it’s barely damp, or let it air-dry for about 20 minutes.
HOLD OFF ON MOUSE
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. Oils, leave-in conditioners, and other anti-frizz products should be applied right away.
ALWAYS TACKLE BANGS FIRST
For side swept 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.
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.
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.
COUNT TO FIVE FOR VOLUME
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.
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% dry. Otherwise it will frizz and volume won’t last.