You hear a lot of buzz these days about the perfect blow-out, and while it’s always great to have a professional style your hair, there’s no reason you can’t achieve similar results at home. Save time at the salon, and money in your pocket, with these tried-and-true techniques for volume, shine and long-lasting style. Just allot 15-30 minutes, depending on texture and length of your hair, to give yourself a good blow-out.
Shampoo and condition
After shampooing and conditioning the hair properly, always apply styling aids before you comb out wet hair to keep from damaging your locks with breakage. Use a wet brush that is made specifically for long hair. Otherwise, long hair should never be brushed when it is wet because this is another major cause of breakage. It's easier to damage your mane than you probably think! Use a wide-tooth comb for shorter hair instead of a brush. Just a few extra minutes of time and little more energy can make your hair go from flat and lifeless to shiny and eye-catching.
When applying styling aids, always apply the products on your fingertips not the palm of your hand. That's a stylist's trade secret! Using the space on your palm is wasteful because you don't need that much product. The fingertip method allows you to apply the products at the roots or on the scalp where it’s needed using the remainder on the ends of the hair. You’ll save money in the long run by using less product.
Always take the moisture out of your hair before you begin blow drying at the roots. The wetter the hair, the more diluted styling aids will be. If you want more volume use a volumizing spray after removing excess moisture. Apply the product at the scalp and massage into the hair like a shampoo.
When blow drying, always use the nozzle that came with the brow dryer. The focused heat from the nozzle will prevent the heating element from touching your hair and burning it. It also gives more control and concentrates the heat on your brush, drying only the section you’re working on as opposed to drying too large of a portion too quickly without control. You’ll end up with less frizz and more shine.
Sectioning hair for a blow-out
Dry the bangs first. Most people have cowlicks – unwanted bends or splits in the hairline. If you leave bangs to dry last, it is usually too dry by the time you reach this section and the bangs will never lay correctly. The best styling aid for unruly cowlicks is Oribe's Cream for Style to control cowlicks.
After drying your bangs, start in the back and work your way to the top of the head. If you work from top to bottom, you will not be able to keep the best lift and volume in the hair.
Begin by sectioning off the hair you are drying from wet hair that isn’t being dried. This prevents the hair from becoming tangled in the brush.
Hold and allow each section to cool before releasing the hair and then gently unwind the round brush to release the hair in the direction you want the hair to fall. For cowlicks in the crown, always dry the hair in the opposite direction of hair growth. This keeps the hair from splitting and showing the scalp.
Drying hair with a flat brush Using a flat brush when you are styling and drying the hair gives a sleeker look with less volume. I know it requires a bit more effort, but trust me; it's worth it in the long run.
Start at the top of the head and work your way around to the back of the head. Wrap the hair around the head for a low-volume style.
Second-day Hair Since it’s best for hair health to not wash your hair everyday, here are a few tips to get the most out of a blow-out:
Don’t completely rewet your hair before styling – just dampen it with the spray from a water bottle. The products will reactivate from the previous days’ application. If you rinse your hair completely, you’ll have to apply styling aids again. Just a spray of water saves on products and time!
How often should you cut your hair?
Hair grows on average about ½-inch a month. To maintain a cut you need to have regular trims.
Short hair – should be cut every four weeks to keep it looking polished.
Long hair – get a trim every four to eight weeks, depending on how much you do to your hair on a daily basis (like thermal heat).
The myth of waiting to get a haircut so hair will grow longer is false. The hair will split at the ends and the split will continue up the hair shaft causing you to need to cut off more hair in the long run. You are better off getting a trim (1/2 an inch and under) to take off the split ends for growth.
by Lora Brown
Lora has 27 years of advanced education and has trained under the best stylist/salon owners in the world. She opened Lora Brown Salon in 1996 and THE SALON by Lora Brown in 2008. She is a member of the N.C.A. and P.B.A. and is known as one of the premier stylist/color experts in Amarillo.