3 Ways to Blow-Dry Hair: Secrets, Tips & Tricks

Curly, straight, long or short. We have you covered!

Confession time: if you have naturally salon smooth hair, we envy you. Getting luscious, blow-out locks can be hard to achieve without a hairstylist. But don’t worry, there is something you can do to recreate those natural-looking waves you’ve been coveting since forever. Behold: our step-by-step guide on how to blow dry your hair.

Pick one of the tutorials below to get the perfect blow-out for your hair.

 

Step 1

Start with Clean Hair.

Start with clean, fresh hair after washing it with the Nexxus Frizz Defy Shampoo and Conditioner which will help smooth your locks, for an extra luxurious look and feel.

How to blow dry your hair for a wavy effect - All Things Hair
Step 2

Apply Mousse.

Next, apply some mousse to your hair to help build volume and retain the waves you’re about to create.

For a mess-free method of application, squirt some of the VO5 Mega Hold Mousse into the palm of your hand, and dip your comb into it. Then comb through your hair to evenly distribute the product.

How to blow dry your hair for a wavy effect - All Things Hair
Step 3

Dry the Mousse.

To help set the mousse (and to prevent it from going crispy) you’ll need to use a hair dryer.

Did you know?: “Mousse has a polymer content that, when dried, swells and holds together to give great volume and hold. When left to dry naturally, the formulation will feel crispy on the hair, but if fully dried using a hair dryer, it should feel soft and touchable.” – Unilever Creative Director and Head Stylist, Dan Lynes.

How to blow dry your hair for a wavy effect - All Things Hair
Step 4

Create a Wave.

Starting with the hair nearest to your face, take a 3-4 inch wide section and wrap it around your round brush.

Then, at arm’s length, blast this section hair using a hair dryer – this will help to create a wavy shape, as with the help of heat, your hair will mimick the shape of the round brush.

How to blow dry your hair for a wavy effect - All Things Hair
Step 5

Pin the Wave.

To help set your wave so that it really lasts, pin it in place while tending to the rest of your tresses. Once you’ve created the wave, gently remove the round brush and ensure that the curl doesn’t get separated when you release it.

Now wrap the curl around your fingers to help it retain its shape, then remove them as you clip the curl in place on your head.

How to blow dry your hair for a wavy effect - All Things Hair
Step 6

Curl and Pin the Rest of Your Hair.

Repeat steps 4 and 5 until you’ve curled and pinned your whole head.

Tip: Make sure to roll all of your curls back and away from your face, in order to create gorgeous, blow out-style waves.

How to blow dry your hair for a wavy effect - All Things Hair
Step 7

Unpin Your Hair.

Once your hair has completely cooled, let your curls down one by one – your hair should tumble into loose, natural looking waves. For added volume, tip your head upside down and lightly shake your head to separate the waves.

How to blow dry your hair for a wavy effect - All Things Hair
Step 8

The Finished Look.

And that’s it, you’re wavy ‘do is done! There’s also no need for a setting spray, as the mousse you applied earlier should help keep your waves in place all day.

How to blow dry your hair for a wavy effect - All Things Hair

 

Step 1

Protect.

Starting with towel-dried tresses, apply the VO5 Heat Protect Spray all over your hair.

As you’ll be using a hairdryer, it’s essential to safeguard your locks against any damage that can be caused by heated styling tools. 

Woman with bleach blonde wet bob
Step 2

Use a Volumising Spray.

The key to creating bouncy blow dry short hair looks? Apply the TONI&GUY 3D Volumiser Spray to damp hair. 

Focus on the roots to give your tresses long-lasting lift throughout the day. 

Woman with bleach blonde wet bob
Step 3

Section your Strands.

Use a comb to create four equal sections in the hair. The first two should be at the back of your head, from ear to ear. 

The second two, at the front of your head, from above the ears. Clip each section up and away from your face. 

Woman with blow-drying blonde bob
Step 4

Start Drying.

Starting with the back section of your hair, use a brush in your dominant hand to comb through your hair as you dry it, keeping the brush tight against your scalp.

Editor’s Tip: Make sure the nozzle of your hairdryer is parallel to the handle, this will ensure your finish is as sleek as possible.

Woman blow-drying bleach blonde hair
Step 5

Use a Round Brush.

Repeat this process on the other sections of your hair, drying them one-by-one.

Style the ends by wrapping your hair around a round brush and pointing the nozzle of the hairdryer downwards. This will give them a slightly tucked-under look. 

Woman blow-drying bleach blonde hair
Step 6

Lift The Crown.

When drying the crown of your head, use a round brush to lift the hair at the roots and redirect it upwards.

Drying this way will add salon-worthy volume to your short hair blow dry.

Woman blow-drying blonde bob
Step 7

Style Your Fringe.

If you’re rocking bangs, flat wrap the hair against the scalp when drying, just as you did with the other sections. 

Then, bring the hair forward and dry using a brush to set the fringe.

Woman blow-drying blonde bob
Step 8

Set With Hairspray.

Once all your hair is dry and you’re happy with the style, set it in place by misting the Tigi Bed Head Flexi Head Hairspray from front to back.

This will help keep your look shiny, sleek and frizz-free all day.

Woman spraying her blonde bob
Step 9

That's It!

Give yourselves a round of applause, ladies: you’ve now mastered how to blow dry short hair.

Woman with bleach blonde bob and bangs

 

Step 1

Set The Foundation for Straight Hair.

Start by applying a small amount of the TIGI Bed Head Straighten Out 98% Humidity Defying Straightening Cream to towel-dried tresses. Work it through the hair from root to tip with your fingers.

This will help protect your strands against heat damage and help keep your hair straighter for longer between washes. 

Woman touching her curly wet hair
Step 2

Adjust the Nozzle.

Before you switch on your hairdryer, make sure the nozzle is attached in a vertical position. This will help make the drying process easier, and faster. 

Woman holding a hairdryer with wet hair
Step 3

Section Your Hair.

Starting at the back of the head, divide the hair horizontally from the middle of the ear. 

Clip the top section onto the top of your head. This will allow you to easily access and style the bottom section of the hair.

Woman with wet curly hair
Step 4

Start Styling.

Starting with the bottom section of your hair, use your least dominant hand to hold the hairdryer and your dominant hand to hold the hairbrush.

Dry this layer section by section, ensuring that the nozzle is pointing in the same direction as the handle and not perpendicular to it. This will help the hair dry faster and reduce frizz.

Woman blow-drying wet hair
Step 5

Section and Repeat.

Repeat this process for the rest of the hair. Section horizontally as you go and make sure the hair is thoroughly dried from roo to tip. 

Woman with section shoulder length hair
Step 6

Add Volume.

When drying the crown of your head, use your hairbrush to direct the roots of the hair up and forwards. This trick will give your tresses an instant lift and visible volume.

Around your hairline, direct the hair forwards when drying it or pull it up and back, depending on how you prefer your hair to be styled.  

Woman blow-drying her hair
Step 7

Finish With Hairspray

Set the style with the VO5 Flexible Hold Hairspray. Mist it all over the hair to tame flyaways and frizz so you’re left with perfectly straight hair.

Woman spraying her shoulder-length red/brown hair
Step 8

That's All There Is to It!

Take a bow, ladies. You’ve now mastered how to blow dry hair straight.

Woman with straight shoulder length red/brown hair

 

Woman with blow-dried brown hair
Credit: Verity Jane Smith

1. Use products sparingly for the first two days. While styling products are great for enhancing or holding your ‘do, too much product will weigh your hair down.

2. By the third day, your roots are likely to need a bit of lifting and freshening. This is where dry shampoo comes in. The perfect tool for masking any oil build-up, dry shampoo can also be used prior to engaging in any physical activity or before sleeping, as it will help absorb sweat and grease before the hair even has a chance to.

3. Sleep smartly and invest in a silk or satin pillowcase. The texture of cotton is rougher on hair and can cause it to crease easily, reducing the lifespan of your blow out.

Shop the article

  1. Hairdryer
  2. Comb
  3. Section clips

*At All Things Hair, we want to help you navigate our modern world with ease. All our market picks are independently selected by our editors. However, when you buy something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission. 

Stay inspired

Sign up to the newsletter and get exclusive hair care tips and tricks.