How to Give Yourself the Perfect Blowout
The perfect blowout: sleek shiny hair, perfect pin curls, and major volume – what’s not to love?
But when you depend on the salon to help you with your ‘do, it takes money and time you might not be able to spare. (Buh-bye weekends.)
So cancel that appointment and get ready to give yourself the perfect blowout – it’s easier than you think!
Start in the Shower
One of the most basic requirements for a killer blowout? A clean slate for your hair.
That’s why getting that super sleek right-out-of-the-salon look starts before you even pick up your blow dryer, says stylist Gregory Patterson of Blow, the New York Blow Dry Bar.
“A great blowout actually starts in the shower,” Patterson told Harper’s Bazaar. “Many women don’t wash out their conditioner enough. But that residue will ruin your blow-dry.”
Patterson often shampoos his client’s hair a second time, making sure to rinse thoroughly for that squeaky-clean feeling.
Once you hop out of the shower, blot your hair dry with a microfiber towel or a t-shirt, so it’s not sopping wet. If you start to style while wet, says beauty editor Molly Ritterbeck, your efforts will just fall flat.
“One of the biggest mistakes women make is to use a round brush on sopping wet hair,” Ritterbeck explains at Fitness.
“It’s a time suck because your hair won’t hold a shape when saturated with water. Instead try this: After washing, wrap a towel around your hair and twist to wring out excess water.”
Start the styling process with damp hair to achieve greater heights.
Girls with Curls: Exchange your heavy towel for a soft t-shirt, says Michelle Phan, a beauty vlogger. “This trick works especially well for curly-haired girls, because a t-shirt won’t mess up your natural curl pattern like a towel does,” Phan told Bustle.
Choose Your Weapons
Before you reach for your blow dryer, make sure you’re armed and ready with the right products for your hair texture.
Curly girls will need a protein-infused primer to help protect their strands from heat, says InStyle’s beauty editor Marianne Mychaskiw, while most other textures should look for a primer with light moisturizing oils.
Next, “rough dry” your hair by using your fingers, rather than a brush, until your hair is almost dry. (The experts at Fitness suggest drying your hair about 80% of the way.)
Now you’re finally ready for styling product.
“My secret move is combining a volumizing spray and lightweight gel,” stylist Jonathan Mason revealed to Bustle.
“Work these from roots to ends on towel dried hair before blow drying. This trick will work wonders for adding height and hold to see the whole day through.”
Of course, one of the most important elements in your blowout is your hair dryer – so make sure you have an excellent one.
Whatever you do, make sure you’ve also picked the right attachment for your hair type – and proceed with caution.
Girls with Curls: Unlike women with wavy or straight hair, curly-haired girls should start using a boar bristle brush – even when hair is still wet, says stylist Olivia Halpin. Same goes for any product you need to apply to your hair – otherwise, the product will sit on top of your hair without fully absorbing into the shaft.
Piece by Piece
Section off your hair from front to back, so you’re only tackling one piece at a time.
At Fitness, Ritterbeck recommends breaking your hair into four manageable sections: “One at the crown, one on each side and one in the back. Twist each and secure with a clip.”
Start styling the front and sides of your hair first, since they’re more noticeable than the back, and you want to use damp hair to your advantage.
While mastering the right movement with a round brush can take a little bit of dexterity, it’s not too hard to get used to.
“The trick to getting each section to lie straight for a long period of time is to make sure the roots are completely dry,” explained stylist Erin Taylor at StyleCaster.
“Once that area is dry, wrap hair into loose curls with your fingers and secure with duckbill clips,” Patterson added at Harper’s Bazaar.
Girls with Curls: While just about every other texture can get away with the nozzle attachment, you’ll need a diffuser to ensure your hair doesn’t go completely haywire. “The tool is a necessity if you’re trying to preserve natural curl or wave,” writes Cheryl Wischhover at Self.
Once your hair is almost completely dry, it’s time to hit it with a few blasts of cool air from your hair dryer.
“Lock in your style by switching the dryer to the cool setting and hitting your hair with cold air to close the cuticles; this will amp up shine,” suggests Ritterbeck at Fitness.
This technique also helps manage frizz – which can occur from too much moisture, or too much heat (unfair).
If you have especially thick hair, follow up with a smoothing cream or serum to help keep fly-aways at bay, as you comb fingers through your hair for separation and definition.
Want to add volume or definition to make your blowout more interesting? These techniques will add a little bit of styling time, but they’re oh-so-worth it.
For more volume, focus some attention at the crown of your head. You can even grab a few rollers or make pin curls.
“Once you’ve gotten the top partly completely dry, pop in two Velcro rollers,” suggests Patterson. “It’ll add body while your hair cools and sets.”
You can also create additional definition by switching up the direction of your blow dryer, says Taylor.
“Alternate the direction of your wrist every section (flip up, then down, and so on) so your ends are going in different directions,” Taylor told StyleCaster. “It adds life and interest to your style.”
Sleep On It
Now that you’ve labored over your very own blowout – make it last overnight with a well-placed ponytail.
“If you’re trying to maintain a straight blowout, pull your ponytail to the nape of your neck so that hair stays flat,” suggests Wischhover.
“If you’re going for bouncy volume, do the opposite and pull it high up on your head into a topknot,” she adds.
Switch out your pillowcases for silk to minimize tangling, and don’t forget to hit your roots with dry shampoo in the morning to zap oil along your hairline.
Whether you want to save money or cut down on time in the salon chair, learning how to DIY your blowout will give you more control over your hair – and help protect it from excessive heat.
Follow our tips – from hitting the showers to hitting the hay – for the perfect blowout with monster volume.