How To: The Perfect Blow Out



I don't really like paying a small fortune to get my hair blown out. I know it's hard work, and I doubt I could ever get my hair looking as fabulous as it did when I walked out of Blow in New York City (mere hours before I came down with H1N1, so the whole effect was pretty much lost) (but major props to my girl Michelle, who turned me on to it!). But let me tell you girls, with some practice and some good advice, you can get a rockin' blow out going on, and still have some dollars in your wallet to spend on something else.

Before you get started, you need to assemble your tools. If you don't already have them, consider investing in the following essential tools: a 1875 watt blowdryer (I recommend the Rock Star 1875W Tourmaline Ionic Ceramic Dryer); a round boar bristle brush - at least two inches in diameter with ceramic or metal on the inside (something like the Friction Free Round Brush); a root volumizer (like Blow Up Root Lift Concentrate - holla to Blow again!); some large duckbill clips or a few 3/4" Clips, and some spray glosser (try Glisten Spray Gloss for a natural take on glossers).

Once you have all your tools assembled, wash and condition your hair. If your hair is very dry or damaged, consider a deep conditioner like Ojon's Restorative Hair Treatment. If you can leave it on overnight, so much the better. While hair is still damp, work your root lifter in well, and any other styling products you might want to use. Let hair air dry until just almost dry - don't worry about what it looks like or if it's frizzy - we will fix all that.

Next, section your hair and clip with the duckbills or jaw clips. I like to section out the top or crown of my head, each side, and two sections in the back, one along my neckline and one above that. Starting with whichever section you prefer - I always begin in the back, because the hair along my nape is the curliest and the frizziest - with your blow dryer on it's highest setting, remove any remaining moisture, and then use your round brush to pick up a two inch section of hair. Remember, styling hair well always includes two things: heat and tension. Using your brush, pull your hair away from your head (straight out will give you more volume) with your brush, and move the blow dryer and the brush slowly down your hair until it reaches the end of the strands. Do it again if it isn't as smooth as you would like.

At this point, if you're feeling adventurous, you can do what I do and roll the hair all the way up on the brush and apply direct heat with the blowdryer for about 30-45 seconds. Unroll hair gently, and twist the brush on the way out. You'll have a nice large curl for your efforts.

Some people recommend using a cold shot of air on your newly blown out sections. I've never done it, but I've seen it recommended often. Just FYI.

Move methodically through the sections of your hair. I like to start at the bottom and work up. Don't undo each section until you're ready to get to it, and use your clips to move half of the section out of the way.  This entire process really shouldn't take you longer than 15 minutes, and that's if your hair is longer than mine is.

After you have blown out all your sections, use your spray glosser to add a bit of shine and depth. Run your hands through your hair, and you're all set. You can also throw in velcro rollers at this point if you want more bounce and curl. Let them set for about 10 minutes, spray with some hairspray (I swear by Jonathan's Finish Control High Shine - Aerosol hairspray, and gently pull your rollers out.

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Meredith Edwards-Cornwall is the founder of online lifestyle websites RetrodivasBeauty.com and RetrodivasCloset.com. She is also known as @retrodiva on Twitter. She specializes in drinking large amounts of espresso, shopping, and enjoying social media. In all of her free time she writes for StyleBakeryMom.com twice a week, and does various other freelance gigs involving writing, designing, and generally being awesome. While she believes that success is indeed a job in New York, she currently resides in Virginia Beach, Virginia with her husband, two children, and two cats and has hung on to her day job.
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