Secrets of a perfect salon blowout
Want your hair to have va-va-volume with the kind of gentle, glossy curves that seem to happen only for celebrities? Try a blowout, a pricey salon luxury that you can do at home easily and affordably. A blowout simply means styling your hair with a round brush as you blow it dry -- no curling iron or flat iron needed.
Even better, a blowout is built to last. An at-home version will hold up for two to three days, depending on hair type. Sure, you put in some time on day one, but a quick touch-up is all you need the next couple of mornings.
"I tell my clients to sleep with a loose ponytail," says Stefanie Henriquez, a stylist at the Frédéric Fekkai salon at the Mark Hotel in Manhattan. "Throw your hair upside down and put it in a loose ponytail at the crown of your head."
We asked Henriquez to share more techniques, tips and favorite products that she uses on her clients.
How to get a long lasting, salon-style blowout at home
1. Shampoo and condition hair with volumizing products.
Apply conditioner to the ponytail portion of your hair only, not on roots. Rinse with cool water. "This seals the cuticle and holds in moisture," Henriquez says. "Rinse very, very well."
2. Wrap wet hair in a towel.
Wrap hair in towel or let it air-dry a bit to cut down on blow drying time later.
3. Prep with styling products.
You'll need two, Henriquez says: One for the ponytail portion of your hair, and another for the roots. For a splurge, Henriquez suggests using Fekkai's Ageless All-Day Hair Plump, $95, on the ponytail section. This leave-in treatment makes hair thick, healthy and smooth. (For a list of retail locations, visit fekkai.com/wheretobuy.) For an affordable option, try Umberto Thickening Spray, about $9 at Target.
To perk up roots, Henriquez recommends Fekkai's Coiff Bouffant Lifting & Texturizing Spray Gel, $23. (For retail locations, fekkai.com/wheretobuy.) For a steal, try John Frieda Luxurious Volume Lavish Lift Root Booster, about $6 at drugstores and mass retailers. Always use lightweight products on roots.
4. Turn head upside down and blow dry hair.
This gives roots even more lift. Don't use a brush just yet – comb through hair with your fingers. Begin drying at the roots and work toward the ends, getting hair about 75 percent dry.
5. Flip head upright and finish drying hair with a round brush.
A boar bristle brush is best, Henriquez says, because it has the right tension to make hair smooth and shiny. Work from the front of your head to the back, separating hair into small, defined sections. Dry each section by rolling it through the brush, root to tip. Lift the brush out and up to give roots a lift, and dry each section completely (damp hair means a frizzy finished style). Once each section is dry, give it a shot of cool air while it's wound on the brush. Then, wrap the section around a Velcro roller. This will set the style and add volume and bounce. Continue until all of your hair is in rollers.
6. Release hair from the Velcro rollers.
Shake out the curls with your head upside down. Flip hair upright and use your fingers to smooth the style into place.
7. Finish with a sheer-hold hairspray.
If necessary, apply a shine serum to the ends of hair.
Blowout do's and don'ts from Henriquez
- Do blow dry using a low speed and high heat. And, use a nozzle attachment, which funnels air in one direction. This results in smoother strands.
- Don't buy a giant hairbrush thinking it will add body to your tresses. In fact, the smaller the brush, the more volume it gives hair.
- Do invest in a professional-grade hair dryer that has at least 2600 watts of power. Henriquez says Twin Turbo dryers are used for perfect blowouts at the salon.
- Don't overdose on styling products. Each is important to the finished style, but be reasonable with the amounts. "The less product you use, the longer the blowout will last," Henriquez says.