A lot of women ask about the best way to blow dry the hair to get the most out of what is a pretty basic styling technique. Done properly, the blow-out can give the hair
volume, shine and can become the staple of any woman’s styling arsenal, yet few women have truly mastered this styling technique in a way that is flattering to their hair. To fix this, we need to give the basic
tips to a really good blow out, as well as some advice for different hair types that will make a world of difference.
As with any styling technique, the most important part of the styling is preparation. You need to make sure you have all the tools necessary to get the results you want.
The tools you need vary slightly with different hair types, but all-in-all, there are some universal tools that everyone needs. These are:
• Wide-tooth comb
• Blutterfly or other clips
• Blow Dryer with adjustable heat and airflow, and cool shot trigger
• Brush (specific type depends on hair type)
• Styling product (specific type depends on hair type and desired results)
Once your tools are assembled, the next stage of preparation is getting the hair ready to be dried. This may sound like an odd thing, but is actually one of the major
mistakes many women make in blow-drying their hair. Before attempting to blow-dry the hair, the hair should be carefully towel-dried. Squeeze the hair gently, but firmly, between the folds of a towel, and press
the towel against the scalp to absorb as much moisture from the hair as possible.
Once towel-dried, apply styling and protective products to the hair and carefully comb them through. This is the point at which to apply your leave-in
conditioners (blotting excess moisture with your towel to keep the hair from becoming overly saturated again), and your smoothing agents like balms and serums. Distribute them evenly with your wide-tooth comb
so that they cover the hair from scalp to tip. After the protective products comes the styling product.
The styling product you opt to use depends on the specific results you want for the style, and in many cases the type of hair with which you are dealing. For fine to
medium textured hair that is straight to wavy, lighter styling products, such as mousse and setting lotions are good, in that they grant gentle hold and smoothing effects for the hair. With curlier hair or
coarser hair types, stronger hold products like styling gel and wax-based balms are usually more effective to create longer lasting styles.
Now that the hair is protected and plied with styling product, the next step in preparation is to arrange the hair to make it more manageable. To do this, we need to
section the hair so that we can dry the hair in an orderly fashion. The easiest pattern for sectioning the hair to blow-dry it is a four-section parting that divides the hair into top section (from forehead to
mid-crown and from side to side), left and right sides (from front edge to behind the ears) and back (from mid-crown to nape).
Using the comb, the perimeter of each section should be drawn, and the interior hairs should be gathered and wound into a twist, that can be secured in the butterfly clips.
When all the hair is secured, you begin drying the hair by letting down smaller portions of the sections and drying them one at a time. With less hair to deal with the drying process goes more quickly.
The brush used varies with the results you want, and to a lesser extent with the texture and type of the hair. For hair with natural wave that you want to preserve a
vented brush with widely-spaced tines is good. It will separate the strands for maximum air circulation without putting undue tension on the strands and thereby pulling the hair too straight.
If you want the hair styled straight, you should use a flat-paddle brush with tines that are more closely spaced. The larger surface area of the brush head with an
increased number of tines means that the hair is separated with more tension than with other brushes. This allows the hair to be kept taut as it dries, and leaves the hair straighter. If the goal is for more
gentle curves, you should opt for a round brush. The tines and barrel of the round brush are designed to separate the hair with some tension and thereby impart a gentle curve to the hair as it dries.
Finally, with naturally curly hair, the use of a hair brush can be ill-advised. If you want to keep the hair’s curl intact, you can add a diffuser attachment to your hair
dryer and use your fingers or your wide tooth comb to gently lift and “fluff” the hair to allow it to dry without stretching or flattening the curl.