Lattes, spa pedicures and perfect blowouts: they all top the list of those elusive things we can never quite master as well as the pros. After wrestling with our blowdryer — tired arms and tangled hair — for far too long, we decided we need to knock one of those wonders off the list and figure out how to blow dry our hair like the hairstylists do. To guide us on our journey, we caught up with hair pro Natasha Sunshine-Antonioni to get her expert advice on how to DIY the perfect blowout.
STEP 1: Prime and Prep Your Hair
The perfect blowout starts by spraying your hair before styling. “A primer sets your hair up to receive the benefits from your styling product,” says Sunshine-Antonioni. “If you think of a painter and their canvas, they always prime their canvas before applying the paint to get the best results. Spray a product like the Pureology Colour Fanatic Multi-benefit Leave-in Treatment from the mid-shaft to the ends of the hair. Then, choose a product that’s appropriate for the look you’re going for.” If you’re going for a sleek style, you want to use something that’s a bit creamier or shinier like the Garnier Fructis Sleek & Shine Anti-Frizz Serum. For a more voluminous style, use a volume spray like the Redken Guts 10 Volume Spray Foam at your roots.
STEP 2: Pre-Dry Your Hair
“I am a believer in using the fastest way to get the best results, so start by pre-drying the hair with your blow dryer,” suggests Sunshine-Antonioni. “Use your hand to stretch your hair and pull on it while you’re blowing with the tip of your blow dryer pointed down. If you have curly hair, you want to use a lot of tension and really stretch your hair, and if you have finer hair, you just move the blow dryer back and forth and do it hands-free. Do that until the hair is about eighty to ninety percent dry before you pick up a brush.”
STEP 3: Section Your Hair
“Next, make your part where you want it and section from ear to ear — one section on the left, one on the right, and then the remaining back of the head you want to put into four different sections,” she says.
STEP 4: Choose the Right Brush
Now it’s time to get down to business with the right tools. Sunshine-Antonioni likes to use a round bristle brush and says, “the bigger the brush, the straighter the hair. The smaller the brush, the tighter the curls, so choose according to the result you’re going for.”
STEP 5: Blow Dry Your Hair Like a Pro
When it comes time to dry with your brush, Sunshine-Antonioni recommends starting in the front of your hair. “If you have fine hair and you start in the back, by the time you get to the front it’s pretty much dry, and you’ve set your hair up to be flat,” she explains. It’s also important to focus more on the ends of your hair. “A lot of times people will spend time and energy by going from the root to the tips of the hair, but for a beautiful, polished blowdry you really just need to focus on the ends of the hair.” Place your brush from the mid-shaft to the end and then once it’s in there, that tension will smooth out the root at the same time.
If you want a smoother blow-dry with polished ends, roll your hair in toward the face, wrapping your hair around your brush. “A lot of times I see women drying their hair and they’re using a round brush, but the hair is not wrapping around the brush so the ends look frizzy,” Sunshine-Antonioni says.
“When you’re drying the back of the hair, it seems like everybody’s always killing themselves with their elbows up in the air, sweating, but if you actually just take your hair from the back and pull it around to the front, and you blow dry it in front of the face, it will expend a lot less energy and you’ll get a better polish to the ends. You won’t believe how much easier it is.”
STEP 6: Finish Your DIY Blowout
Once your salon-worthy blowout is done, Sunshine-Antonioni recommends setting your style with a light mist of flexible hairspray like the Matrix Total Results High Amplify Flexible Hold Hairspray.
STEP 7: Now Make Your Blowout Last
So you’ve mastered the perfect blowout but a couple of days later it’s suddenly greasy and less voluminous. Cue dry shampoo. We recommend trying the Pureology Style + Protect Refresh & Go Dry Shampoo. “Make a horseshoe shape parting on the top of your head from temple to temple and spray it right at the root, about six inches away from the hair. Next, brush it through your hair,” Sunshine-Antonioni advises. You can also follow up with a conditioner like the Batiste Dry Conditioner. “If your ends look a little dry, but you don’t want to layer on a serum because it’s too heavy, the dry conditioner is wonderful because it leaves you with light freshness. Start from the mid-shaft to the ends and spray vigorously, then brush through.” Wondering if you can use both products at once? Yes, she says, as long you brush the products thoroughly between applications and concentrate the conditioner on your ends and shampoo at the roots.