My recent trip to Nine Zero One Salon (http://justjilli.com/2014/09/17/my-current-obsessions-3/) really inspired me to take better care of my hair. Ultimately, this has meant breaking up with my beloved straightener (seriously, it’s not you, it’s me!) and trying to figure out how the hell to blow dry my own hair in a way that leaves me looking socially acceptable enough to actually leave the house! Since I’m not particularly good at doing my own hair, and haven’t really attempted an at-home blow dry in years (my previous routine involved air drying and straightening), it didn’t take long to realize that I was severely uninformed on the subject. A couple of botched attempts later, I realized I had 3 options: succumb to the awful train wreck that was my current ‘blow out,’ pay somebody else to blowout my hair every few days, or learn how to do it myself. Spoiler alert – I decided on the latter. At this point, I knew it was time to bring in the big guns (and by that I mean ‘YouTubers’). Being the night owl that I am, I stayed up late one night watching how-to video after video, and maniacally reading articles on the best way to achieve what I was going for – namely, a salon worthy blowout from home.
Well, one long night, and a couple of under eye circles later, I had found the key to achieving that just-left-the salon hair every girl wants:
- Get a good brush – seriously! This is the most important part, and the reason all my previous attempts had been futile. What they don’t teach you in high school is that all good blowouts start with a good brush. And all my late-night research lead to me to buy the Spornette Porcupine G-36 XL (pictured below), a round brush with a mixture of boar and nylon bristles. I chose this brush because it was on multiple ‘best brush’ lists and totally affordable at around $12.00. I went with the largest size (3”) because, as I learned, the bigger the brush, the straighter (less curly) your hair will be. I’ve been really happy with this brush, and would definitely recommend it.
- Styling products are essential – consult with your stylist on which ones work best on your hair
- Use the nozzle on your dryer to direct the air
- Consider getting clips for sectioning off hair
Once you have the right tools and products, the rest is actually pretty easy! Here’s a step-by-step guide on getting that salon worthy blowout from home: (that is, if you have fine hair like I do. Sorry, but I’m not a stylist, and I only know what worked for my own hair).
- Start by applying whichever products work best for your hair
- ‘Rough-dry’ roots using your fingers, on medium heat, until hair is about 80% dry. You don’t need the nozzle for this part
- Then divide hair into horizontal sections (there’s no wrong way to do this, but I make 3 sections, (top, middle, bottom) and tie them into mini buns– this is where those clips come in handy
- Starting at the bottom of your head, take small sections of hair (about 2 inches wide) and blow dry on high heat using the nozzle. Tension is key here, because it keeps hair glossy and prevents frizz, a dead giveaway that you’re blowout is a DIY job. Wrap hair around the brush so that it is taut, and as you pull the brush through your hair, the dryer should follow. Make sure to maintain tension the entire time. Work your way down from roots, making sure that the dryer isn’t directed on one spot for too long. The nozzle should be facing down, and held at least 3 inches from hair. The brush should be kept in a fairly vertical position throughout.
- Save the crown of your hair for last. Pull your hair up towards the ceiling. You will switch up the positioning of the brush for this last part; it should now be more or less horizontal.
- Finish with a blast of cold air to lock in style and add some shine.
At the risk of sounding like a braggart, I have to admit that the results have been unreal! These small changes have made a world of difference. It takes a little more time and effort, but it’s totally worth it. My hair feels silky smooth and soft, looks healthy, and most important, isn’t being fried by my straightener anymore.