How To Blow Dry Hair

Woman who is blow drying her short hair
Photo: Shutterstock
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 blowout 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 for a really good blowout, 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.
4 section hair parting
The styling product you choose depends on the specific results you want for the style, and in many cases, the type of hair you are dealing with. For fine to medium-textured hair that is straight to wavy, lighter styling products such as mousse and setting lotions are good because they provide gentle hold and smoothing effects for the hair. For curlier or coarser hair types, stronger hold products like styling gel and wax-based balms are usually more effective in creating longer-lasting styles.
Now that the hair is protected and styled with a 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 it in an orderly fashion. The easiest pattern for sectioning the hair to blow-dry is a four-section parting that divides the hair into a top section (from forehead to mid-crown and from side to side), left and right sides (from the front edge to behind the ears), and the back (from mid-crown to nape).
Using the comb, draw the perimeter of each section, and gather the interior hairs and twist them, securing them with butterfly clips. Once all the hair is secured, 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.
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