Seasoned hairdressers make the blow out look easy, but in reality, it's practically impossible to emulate that perfect salon professional finish at home.
To uncover the secrets of what hair consumers can do to create spectacular at-home blow-outs, I asked some of the pros.
Start With The Right Products
To achieve an ultra sleek and smooth professional style, start by selecting the proper shampoo and conditioners for your hair type, texture, length and current condition. The key is to nourish your tresses making them relaxed and easy to style.
Hairdressers understand the importance of using the highest quality salon formulations to guarantee spectacular results.
Depending on your hair type and texture, use a rinse-out conditioner. The last step should be to rinse very well.
Hairdressers agree that consumers achieve less than spectacular results because they don't rinse as well as they should. When possible, perform a cool/cold final rinse.
Most hairstylists agree that this closes the cuticle and helps to encourage natural shine.
Using a wide toothed comb or pick, detangle wet strands working from ends up towards the roots to remove knots. Regardless of hair type or texture apply a heat protectant product to prevent burning your hair.
For dry tresses try Phyo, for normal hair, a lightweight conditioning balm designed to nourish and shield from breakage. Curly or wavy hair benefits from a non-sticky curl definer which helps avoid sticky or crunchy curls.
Those with frizzy hair do well with Phytodefrisant balm that helps to block frizz forming humidity.
Blow Drying Tools
Just because the pros use professional style models, this doesn't mean that the average hair consumer needs to invest the extra capitol.
Professional blow dryer models can cost upwards of $200. In many cases the professional models do not offer any different features, power or speed of drying.
The professional versions are more pricey because they require a robust motor that can withstand all-day usage at full velocity on many different heads of hair.
This popular consumer blow dryer, designed around a classic nozzle style, is just as powerful and reliable as the professional tools.
The Conair blow dryer offers the same features at a great price. It also combines all the latest dryer technologies such as dual ionic ports, ceramic heat, ionic on/off switches, quiet tone motor, 2 heat speed/settings, cool shot button, hinged filter and concentrator.
Wattage By Hair Type & Textures
Fine, thin or damaged strands require a minimum power of 1,200 to 1,500 watts of air speed. Fragile curly strands would also benefit from the same range of power wattage.
Medium straight, textured hair, that is neither fine nor damaged ,can dry very well with any range of power depending on the style desired and the speed of drying.
Thick and wavy hair or tresses that takes a long time to dry generally requires a minimum of 1,875 watts. They will often benefit from the highest wattages that is also turbo charged.
Blow Drying Techniques
If you talk to ten hairdressers, they may give you ten different opinions about how to blow dry hair.
To Flip Or Not To Flip
One common difference of opinion is whether to flip your hair upside down or not. Some hairdressers believe that it builds in great natural body and will help to enhance natural curls and waves.
Other hairdressers believe that it doesn't provide the sleekest look.
For enhancing natural curls and waves, consider using a long finger diffuser that allows you to lift and separate curls while directly the air flow to the curls.
Some curl experts believe that touching the curls is a no-no while drying and can cause frizz. Others believe that you should separate curls with your fingers as your diffuse.
Garren suggests you flip your hair upside down while gently cupping the curls in your hand as you dry. Once fully dry, gently pull forward, shake, and—voila!—instant Sarah Jessica Parker.
Straight hair? Yuval Samburski of Leonard Golino Salon said the key to straightening hair is to let it air dry naturally until it's 70 percent dry. Then divide hair into small sections and begin blow-drying, starting from the nape of the neck, applying tension as you dry the hair from roots to ends using a round brush.
Let each section cool off before releasing the hair from the hold.
Never touch the blow dryer directly to the hair, it can burn tresses.
To finish your style, keep the nozzle of the dryer directed from the roots down towards the end to close and polish the hair's cuticles.
Blowing "down" the hair shaft will cause it to lay flatter, leaving tresses shiny, sleek and smooth.
Note: For hair that is fragile or damaged consider first towel blotting to absorb extra moisture and then drying on the slowest, coolest setting to prevent "heat bubbles" or damage.
It's also important to move the dryer back and forth over a large area of hair rather than directing the heat to one small area.
Keep in mind that the best blow drying pros didn't develop their expertise overnight. Many have literally blow dryed thousands of heads of hair over the course of many years. Lots of practice has netted experienced hairdressers great skills.
Keep this in mind and remember to use the right products, tools and practice, practice, practice. Afterall, what do they say? Practice makes perfect!
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- Revised Publication Date: 09/29/11
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