It’s taken me forever to learn how to do my hair. Correction: I’ve always been good with all styling tools… except the blow dryer! Between products, heat settings, Ionic vs non-ionic (the list goes on..) by the end of my “blow out” all I have to show is fluffy half-dried hair and sore biceps. This year though something clicked! Finally I am able to dry my hair into a soft, smooth, bouncy style.
Here are some tips that helped me.
Start right: when you plan to style a bouncy blowout you’ll want to avoid anything that advertises as “moisturizing” or “repairing”. While these products are great for your hair on most occasions, using them in this instance will weigh down your hair leaving you a little flat. Instead try a volumizing shampoo or if your hair has a tendency to frizz (cough, cough, me) look for a silicone-infused “smoothing” formula.
Pick the right products: when it comes to blow drying my time (and muscle) saver is something called a “quick dry” spray. These products are typically lightweight sprays that promise to cut blow drying time in half- and actually do! A major bonus is that most also have thermal protection so you are protected by heat damage while you style. (This one by Kenra Professional is my absolute favorite and has a light formula for fine hair).
- If you have frizzy hair try a nickle-sized drop of styling cream through damp hair for control, next add a dime sized dallop of hair serum to the ends of damp hair for shine and finish with a few drops of dry oil once hair is dried (use only as needed at the ends to smooth over any splits).
- If you have fine hair try a golf ball sized drop of volumizing mousse in damp hair (go for a the size of an apple if hair is past shoulders), next add 3-4 pumps of root volumizer around your scalp, follow by a few spritzes of texturizing spray. If your hair doesn’t have quite as much volume as you’d like add a few spritzes of dry shampoo at the scalp for extra lift.
- If you have wavy/curly hair apply a few spritzes of leave-in conditioner first, follow with a smoothing cream (a quarter-sized blob) applied halfway down hair shaft and lower (skip if you have very fine hair), and finish with a dime sized amount of hair oil applied to dry ends if needed.
- If your hair is pin straight start with a golf ball sized blog of mousse (or apple sized blob if hair is longer than shoulder length) follow with 3-4 spritzes volumizing spray through damp hair and finish with hairspray.
Apply products at the right time: If you’re looking for a smooth blowout you will want to blow dry hair immediately after you apply mousse or gel, if you wait long enough the gel/mousse will dry in the shape of your natural texture and you could end up with kinks that are nearly impossible to smooth. Apply any oils, leave in conditioners, or anti-frizz products as soon as you get out of the shower.
Wait for the right time and place: First off, blow drying your hair in any warm, steamy, environment is a terrible idea…all of that humidity will cause your cuticle to swell (i.e. frizz). Next, you will need to wait until you hair is 85% dry, you can either air dry for about 20 minutes or you can “rough-dry” messily until it is almost dry.
Pick your tools: You’ll want an ionic blow dryer for a straight look (ions will flatten the cuticle and shorten drying time) but if you want tons of volume you should chose your standard dryer. You will also want to invest in a round boar-bristle brush (metal bristles can heat and burn hair, they can also be sharp and tear the cuticle) for volume, a paddle brush for smoothing, and hair clips to keep sectioned hair out of the way.
Choose where to start: generally you’ll want to start with bangs which can dry funky if you wait. Using a medium size round boar-bristle brush sweep bangs to one side for sideswept bangs or paddle brush blunt bangs from side to side for a not-too-flat-not-too-puffy look.
Add some volume: you will want to aim your nozzle at the roots to get major lift. Take a 2-3 inch boar brush and stretch hair slightly up at the roots, then pull backwards towards the shoulders for bounce. For even more volume take hair and pull up towards the ceiling, then roll the brush down the length of your hair and back up, keep each section wound around the brush for about 5 seconds after you dried it and release.
Double check: If there are any damp spots make sure to search them out and re-dry. Anything still damp will frizz.