How to Get a Perfect Blowout at Home
Love how your hair looks when you leave the salon? We have expert advice on how to get the just-blown-out look at home, whether you crave hair that's silky-smooth, has lots of bounce, or a style that plays up your cut's texture or your natural curls.
To get that sought-after "red carpet-style curl," as Drybar founder Alli Webb calls it, start by prepping wet hair with a protein-rich smoothing cream, then rough-dry strands until they're 80 to 90 percent dry. Next, reach for a boar-bristled round brush: "Brush small sections of hair forward toward the mirror and then straight back, following the direction of the dryer's airflow to smooth the cuticle and create movement," says Johnny Gaita, a New York City stylist. Finish by twisting 1- or 2-inch pieces of hair around the brush as you blast it with heat to give ends a bouncy curl. Let strands cool, then spritz with a lightweight hairspray.
Best for chin- to shoulder-length bobs, this look is so easy, it doesn't even require a brush. "The trick is to use your free hand like a brush to stretch hair while the heat from the dryer guides it," says Gaita. Prep hair with a volumizing mousse for lift and control. Then create a Mohawk-like section by pulling hair back from eyebrow to eyebrow toward crown; secure out of the way. Hold the dryer behind your head, point the air toward your chin and use your fingers to pull hair in the direction of the airflow on each side.
Next, tackle the Mohawk section: Grab and hold up a 1-inch section of hair, aim the dryer from behind and blast from root to tip. Continue throughout this section, then blow both of the sides toward chin. For the back of the head, simply direct the air down and comb through hair with fingers until dry.
Defined, natural curls
Because curly hair lacks moisture, the key to frizz-free ringlets is hydration, says Morgan Willhite, a hairstylist in Santa Monica and creative director for Ouidad. When you get out of the shower, immediately apply a moisturizing leave-in conditioner from midshaft to ends. "It will make the foundation soft, so the styling product you apply next won't dry crunchy and tacky," says Willhite. Gently blot excess water with a towel, then apply a quarter-size drop of a water-based gel evenly throughout hair. For a bouncy finish, dry hair using an air-dispensing diffuser. Keep hands off while blow-drying, she adds: "Too much touching while hair is still wet will weigh down curls and create frizz."
Straight and shiny
You really can get incredibly straight hair with just a blow-dryer and brush (a flat-paddle one, to be exact). First, apply a straightening lotion to damp hair and rough-dry, paying special attention to your roots, until it's about 80 percent dry. Now imagine a point in front of your nose and, starting at the nape of your neck, begin brushing sections—no wider than the width of the brush—forward toward that point as you dry. "The tension of the brush paired with the guided airflow down the hair shaft mimics a flat iron," says Gregory Patterson, celebrity hairstylist and global lead educator for BlowPro Haircare. When you get to the ends, turn the brush in slightly so they don't appear coarse. "Sleek styles look softer and prettier with a touch of bend," notes Webb. To prevent frizz, run a pea-size drop of serum from midshaft to ends.