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Blow Dry Your Hair: Tips From Hollywood Hairdresser Ken Paves


Jessica Simpson & Ken Paves 2002 All Rights Reserved

The very first time I met Ken Paves he was creating many different looks for Jessica Simpson for a Seventeen magazine photo shoot.

This required Ken to wash or wet Jessica's hair to remove the previous set and start over.

Of course this meant lots of time with his trusty blow dryer and favorite Mason Pearson brush.

The first few times Ken yield his trusty blow dryer I watched intently taking notes. To be honest, Ken moves so quickly, I had to watch him several times before I finally figured out his basic blow drying moves.

I immediately went home and washed my hair in order to incorporate his tips for a perfect blow out.

Over the years as Ken has explained each of the hundreds of styles he has created for his "girls" as he calls his many celebrity clients, he always starts with information on the hair products he uses and the type of brush.

Listed below are the basic steps that Ken Paves follows for his world famous Hollywood Hairdressing Blow Outs:

Ken Paves Blow Drying - Step By Step Instructions

Follow the steps to steal Ken's great blow out results:

1. Shampoo and condition hair with products created for your hair texture, type and current condition. If your strands are naturally straight, fine or thin and you desire lots of volume, be sure to use volume enhancing products to help amp up your strands.

If your hair is colored or chemically treated be sure to use products that address these special needs to prevent the development of dryness or damage.

Note: Ken uses his own Healthy Hair on all of his celebrities including Jessica and Ashlee Simpson, Carmen Electra, Jennifer Lopez and many other big names in the entertainment field. Ken created the line to meet his very specific requirements of a high end hair care line for consumers. Healthy Hair is available at the Marketplace.

Jessica Simpson & Ken Paves 2002 All Rights Reserved

2. Finish with a cool/cold water rinse to close the cuticle and help add natural shine.

It is very important to rinse thoroughly to remove any shampoo or related hair product residues from the hair to prevent product build-up.

3. Towel blot - do not rub - hair with an absorbent towel.

Either use a towel specifically designed to remove moisture or use a big thick towel. It is important not to rub hair but to simply blot it to absorb moisture.

It is important to remove excess moisture before applying leave-in conditioners or other styling products to avoid the water diluting the product and thus having less of an effect.

4. Depending on your natural hair texture, type and condition apply a moisturizing heat protecting conditioner or a product cocktail which includes a leave-in conditioner and/or defrisant product along with a straightening balm (if your hair is wavy or curly) or a styling mousse (if you desire some natural bend and texture for straight hair).

It's your option to work with one, two or all three products or select only those that your hair might require to create either shimmering straight strands or tresses with a little more fullness and texture.

Note: Ken usually applies his Healthy Hair Shine Serum because "it seals the ends and the cuticles". He also often uses mousse on all of his celebrities when creating tresses that contain soft texture such as waves.

Ken uses his fingers along with a "hair friendly" comb to make sure any products he applies are carefully blended into the hair from the roots to the ends.

5. Gently detangle hair from ends up to roots using a "hair friendly" comb or your fingers.

6. Remove remaining moisture from the hair by quickly finger drying your tresses with a blow dryer or letting your hair air dry a little bit to remove excess water.

Ken explained "if you start blow drying with strands that are still wet it will take forever for them to dry." Some hair dressers refer to this as "power drying". The goal is simply to remove any excess water.

7. Once any excess moisture has been removed separate strands into more workable sections. Ken separates hair into individual 1 1/2 to 2" sections carefully clipping any hair he is not working with up and out of the way. He uses flat duck bill clips that will not create crinkles in the hair.

There is no hard and fast rule on the precise thickness of the individual strands but it is best to be consistent to achieve optimal results. As Ken pointed out "it's all about consistency and control" of the hair as you blow dry.

Ken starts with sections at the back of the head right above the nape of the neck. He always "blow dries the ends of the sections first because they dry the fastest and need the most smoothing with the brush".

Jessica Simpson & Ken Paves 2002 All Rights Reserved

7. Ken selects the type of blow drying brush he uses depending on whether Ken's goal is stick straight or textured tresses.

Whether he uses a flat, paddle or round brush, he always uses a brush that contains a mixture of Boar's head and other bristles.

Ken is a big fan of the Mason Pearson brush line which offers several brush types and bristle mixes.

8. Starting with the ends of each individual section Ken uses his flat or paddle brush to anchor the ends of each section and direct the air from the blow dryer down the shaft in the direction that the hair grows.

As the section dries, Ken will use the brush to gently smooth the section sometimes curling the strands under the brush at the ends. If the desire is for stick straight strands, he will use a paddle style brush and use it to anchor the ends so that the strands dry straight.

When Ken's goal is to create more volume he uses a round Boar's head or similar style brush to build in volume for each of the individual strands while directing the air flow of a blow dryer down the shaft from roots to ends.

Continue to blow dry until each section is 100% dry.

9. Once each section of hair is dry Ken will cool it down so that

if you prefer the style to be straight, gently run a hot flat iron through all the strands for a few seconds to achieve perfect straightness and lock in shine.

9. If you prefer to add texture, use a small barrel curling iron to create random curls or waves at the ends of the tresses. Use fingers to arrange.

10. Apply one or two drops of shine serum into the palms of your hands and distribute well. Lightly brush your hands over the top of your newly finished style.

Optionally you may finish with a spritz of hairspray like Paves Professional Firm Hold Repairing Hair Spray.

Optional Tips

For an optional look you can create some soft volume along the crown extending from the hairline to the back of the head while pulling the rest of the strands up into a high twist.

This volume can be created by simply back combing the desired section or by using a volume enhancing spray or similar product when blow drying the style.


Ken Paves is a master celebrity hair dresser who creates perfect blow outs every time he picks up a blow dryer. Over the years he has perfected his techniques to guarantee fabulous results for all his clients, celebrity or not.

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