Show of hands: Who doesn’t want to look like she stepped out of a salon every day? Young or old, short or long, having perfectly polished, blowout hair is pretty much every gal’s pipe dream. Don’t get us wrong—we appreciate a good ol’ messy-hair-don’t-care day or French-girl effortlessness just as the next person, but there’s something about a flawlessly polished hairstyle that we can’t diss. Maybe it’s the fact that it always looks put-together. Or rich. Or screams of skill and upkeep, and lots of luxurious treatments. Or all of the above.
You may not have the time or budget to afford a daily salon blowout—and who does, really—and thankfully, with these few tips, you don’t need to. All you need is a head of hair (check), a blowdryer (standard), a few key products (easily obtained) and some well-intentioned elbow grease (the better to pull your hair with, my dear!). Let’s get started:
Acing a Salon-Looking Blowout Hair at Home
Step 1: Determine your hair need for the day
A moisturizing shampoo and conditioner are good catch-alls for daily use, but sometimes a specific system, such as a color-safe variant (we like Clear Color & Heat Conqueror Nourishing Shampoo and Clear Color & Heat Conqueror Nourishing Conditioner) or a clarifying system can cleanse hair of buildup that might weigh hair down during the blowdry process.
Step 2: Dry gently
Leave the vigorous hair rubbing to when you give your Pomeranian a bath. Any unnecessary friction when drying fragile wet hair can cause strand breakage. Try this hack: Sandwich sections between two sheets of super-absorbent paper towels to sop up excess moisture, then proceed to gently dry with an actual towel.
Step 3: Apply heat protectant or primer
Thermal protectants don’t just help detangle wet hair, they also act as a shield from the searing hot blasts from a blowdryer. Some even have UV filters that protect strands against outdoor aggressors, while others have some awesome volumizing and control properties even on their own. We love spray formulas, such as that in TRESemmé Thermal Creations Instant Heat Tamer Spray, because they ensure a more even application, especially when first sprayed onto palms and then fingered out through strands.
Step 4. Rough dry
Set your blowdryer of choice to a medium setting and begin rough-drying, a.k.a. drying loosely by tousling strands with your hands and fingers, until it is around 75 percent dry or still slightly damp. Pointing your blowdryer’s concentrator nozzle downwards helps seal in the cuticle and prevents frizzing or poufing.
Step 5. Apply your main styling product
If you want more long-lasting hold, use this break while your hair is still damp to infuse it with your hero styling product. We’re loving the latest blowdry lotions, like Bed Head by TIGI Motor Mouth, out in the market these days—they’re a happy medium between mousse and cream and help give your locks some va-va-volume and uptown-girl shine. Distribute the product evenly by combing it through with a wide-toothed comb.
Step 6: Make six sections
Partition hair into sections: top center, top left, top right, bottom center, bottom left, bottom right, securing all with duckbill or darby clips. Run a round, medium-bristled brush (natural or mixed bristles will give more shine) on the underside of each bottom section first, moving downwards from the roots to tips. Respect your hair’s health: If you feel like you’re tugging too much, work in short bursts from the root rather than one continuous pull for blowout hair that still retains its integrity. Curl the ends under for a smooth flip. Repeat on all sections, concentrating most of your energy on the top three sections—people notice those first.
Ed’s note: Best efforts to dry the top center section in an upward motion, moving away from your crown, but don’t stress if you don’t get it perfect. Simply divide the top section and have each part join either the left or right sections, and blowdry as you would a regular side section.
Step 7: Fine-tune
Spritz on a fine mist of some setting spray, like Nexxus Comb Thru Finishing Mist, on your palms, and zhuszh (fluff) up your hair to add some last-minute bounce and shine. Refine any cowlicks or errant flips with a finer comb or your fingers, making sure to not mess with the hairline—the oils on your fingers can weigh down that crucial lift.
Step 8: Extend
Prolong the staying power of your blowout by getting those locks up in a loose top-knot before bed, or by refreshing with a dry shampoo, such as Dove Refresh+Care Detox & Purify Dry Shampoo to mop up grease, blowout hair’s number-one deflator.
How do you get blowout hair at home?