Once you learn how to achieve a bouncy blowout on your own, you will experience more hair bliss than you could ever imagine. Now, don’t expect it to be as perfect as a professional hairstylist would do (even though half the time theirs is a little too poufy for our liking). But hey — it’s
cheap FREE, it saves you having to get someone else to do it, and once you get the hang of it, you may even enjoy it.
1. Invest in a good hair dryer
Just like you can’t expect a sleek, straight result from a $10 flat iron, you can’t really expect to have a great blow-dry when you’re using a low-quality hair dryer circa 1992.
A lightweight dryer with 1,500 watts of power is the minimum you should look for—less than that, it may not take the water out fast enough, leaving your hair hot but with moisture still in it (causing your style to fall).
If you really mean business, you could invest in the Conair BaBylissPRO Volare. This bad boy packs a real Ferrari engine—that’s no lie: it actually has a Ferrari engine! If you want to invest even more on a dryer, then I need say no more than Dyson Supersonic hair dryer. It is the holy grail of dryers.
2. Buy a round brush… or three
Are you one of those people who does the old turn-your-head-upside-down trick to blow-dry? It’s an old trick that your mom may or may not have taught you, and it is decent enough, but you should figure out how to use a round brush — you will like the result way better.
For the volume-challenged among us, you need to lift your hair up and away from the scalp using a round brush: it makes a HUGE difference. They’re also essential for straightening — makes sense, right (since they hold your section taut as you direct the heat over it)? And finally, we absolutely adore that slight bend at the ends where it’s just a teeny bit curled under… the key to a salon look, wouldn’t you agree?
We recommend doing both when you blow-dry. Leaving one brush in the hair while you move on to the next section can really help it “set.” So if you can, buy two or even three brushes.
Tip: A larger size round brush is best if you like a straight blow-dry, whereas a smaller one will give you soft waves.
Here are our recommendations for the best brushes to use with your hair extensions.
3. Air it out
We sincerely hope you haven’t been blasting hot air at your head straight out of the shower… because if you have, then it’s no wonder you might find at-home blowouts a pain in the buns. When you start with soaking wet hair, blow-drying not only takes forever, but it also encourages frizz.
What you want to do instead is air dry… for just a bit. Get out of the shower and use a towel or t-shirt to absorb some of the water out of your hair. Then, do your makeup. Drink some coffee. Floss.
Curly hair should be about 50 percent dry before you start, and straighter hair can be up to 80 percent dry.
When you’re ready to start, divide your hair into four sections by creating a horseshoe shape from your temples to the back of your crown, and then parting it down the middle. Clip up the sections and work on one quadrant at a time.
Within each section, you’re going to have several smaller sections (each, say, as wide as your brush). Taking one at a time, direct the nozzle of your dryer over the bristles as you move the brush from roots to tips. You want to hold the dryer about five inches away from the hair and in a downward direction so that the cuticles lie flat and smooth.
Lift each section up and away from the scalp with the brush and blast the blow dryer there to start—this gives you a boost at the roots before you work on drying and smoothing the rest of the piece.
To get that nice curled-under look at the ends, wrap your hair around the brush and blast it with cool air for a moment or two. Then, you can either leave the brush in your hair while you move on to the next section, or pin, pin, pin.
Now this trick will make the process a little more involved, but it REALLY works. Once your section is cool and dry, remove it from the brush and then take a hair clip (ideally one of those professional plastic ones, or a metal duck clip) to secure it in place, keeping the shape intact. You’ll need to have enough clips to pin every section as you go, and then blast with cool air or let them sit for 10 or 20 minutes at the end before you take them out.
6. Slow Down
Whether you choose to do the round-brush leave-in trick or pinning, the key thing is to not give up before it’s time. The biggest mistake people make is to not dry the hair thoroughly, which only leads to a mediocre blowout that you’ll feel defeated by, and/or have to re-do. Ain’t nobody got time for that. Do it properly from the start and you should get two, three or more days out of it, as extensions hold their style incredibly well.
Just make sure each section feels springy and cool, and falls off the brush easily before you move on to the next section. If not, keep drying until it does.
7. Finishing Products
Once you’re done, choose a finishing product and apply it sparingly. It could be a gloss, a serum, a cream or an oil—but you really, really don’t want to overdo it or it’ll ruin your good work.
Finally, mist with hairspray to secure the style.
8. Lasting Impressions
If you want to get as many days as possible out of your blowout, make sure your hair is really clean before you do it. Then, on day two or three, get out the old dry shampoo. Nothing beats it for absorbing oil at the roots—and it gives you a sexy, piece-y, kind of texture.