A trip to the salon is transformative. Afterward, not only should your hair feel softer and healthier than ever, but you should also experience a boost of confidence like no other. Some of the credit goes toward your new haircut or color, of course, but you can’t discount the power of a good blowout. Your stylist gets your strands to be so smooth; you just want to show off your hair immediately. However, the post-salon joy can be cut short when you realize it’s harder to blow out hair yourself than you might think. The truth is, as with so many things, it’s really a matter of practice makes perfect. You can learn how to blow-dry hair to perfection with some time, tips, and (hair) treatments. Here, we’re sharing how to do a blowout so you can recreate the soft, silky strands your stylist has always seemed to have a monopoly on.
What Should I Put In My Hair Before Blow-Drying?
If you’ve attempted to replicate a salon blowout time and time again with no luck, it could be that you’re leaving out an important part of the equation: the products. High-quality formulas can make all the difference in whether blow-drying your own hair is a success.
Smoothing Oil-Infused Shampoo
First, it’s key to use a haircare system that addresses your hair’s needs. Hair stylists don’t use the same shampoo and conditioner on every client; they tailor it to your specific strands. And you should do the same. Post-blowout hair is often shiny and hydrated, making nourishing formulas like Smoothing Oil-Infused Shampoo and Conditioner) a popular choice. Made with fairly-traded argan oil and babassu oil, they gently cleanse and smooth hair for a healthy-looking finish.
Once your hair is clean, it’s essential to prep your mane with a heat protectant. This is because all heat tools, including blow dryers, can damage your hair. While it’s optional, we also recommend using a lightweight styling product on damp hair before blow-drying. Silk Groom Serum gets our vote; it’s an ultra-light formula with sesame and sunflower oils that helps control your hair without weighing it down.
How To Blow-Dry Hair At Home
Here’s how to do a blowout, broken down into six simple steps.
As with most of the best hairstyles, a good blowout starts with fresh, clean hair. Hop in the shower and suds up, then condition as you normally would. In addition to the duo we shared above, we have a couple of other options you can choose from.
For hair that lacks volume (something a blowout can also help with) use Rice and Wheat Volumizing Shampoo and Conditioning Rinse. Paired together, they add body for fuller, thicker-looking hair. Alternatively, if you’re dealing with damage, try Damage Repairing & Rehydrating Shampoo and Conditioner. The shampoo and conditioner with hyaluronic acid and ceramides help repair weak, brittle hair that’s been damaged (and that includes heat damage).
After using both your shampoo and conditioner, make sure to rinse thoroughly with lukewarm water. You don’t want any product left on your tresses, as it could make them look weighed down and dirty once they dry.
Kiehl’s Tip: How frequently should you go through this whole routine? Learn how long you can make your blowouts last in our article about how often you should wash your hair.
Prep Your Hair
This is when your heat protectant should appear on the scene. Apply one throughout your mane, whether it’s a spray, serum, or cream. You can also apply a styling product, like the aforementioned Silk Groom Serum, to smooth frizz and add shine as part of your prep work.
Creme with Silk Groom
If you prefer a hair cream, use Creme with Silk Groom instead. Made with jojoba oil, it moisturizes, conditions, and protects hair for an optimal styling session. Work a small amount of the non-greasy formula through damp hair before moving on to your next step.
You’ll get better results if you allow your hair to partially dry before starting with the real blowout. You can air dry while working on another part of your beauty routine (we recommend skincare) or towel-dry until your strands are a little damp but no longer sopping wet. This may sound like it adds time to your routine, but it’s actually a more efficient use of time. Plus, if you do a mix of air drying and blow drying it minimizes damage!
Divide and Conquer
The answer to how to blow-dry hair the right way is definitely not to grab your dryer and blast it haphazardly at your hair. There should be a bit more strategy at play. Take a comb and split your hair into sections. Clip all but one section out of the way, then blow-dry one length of hair at a time.
Brush and Blow-Dry
The real secret to mastering hair blowouts is to use a round brush. With this one type of brush, you can get a variety of looks. It’s the answer to how to blow-dry hair straight, with curled under-ends, and more.
For that sleek, perfectly straight look, place the brush underneath your first section and direct your blow dryer at your hair, angled downward. Keep the dryer focused on your hair as you slowly pull the brush down. Make sure your hair stays pulled taut; this is what will help it to dry straight. Repeat on each section of hair, adjusting your clips as needed.
You can add some curl by wrapping your hair around the round brush and twisting and rolling it until you get to the end of each section. To get a simple volume boost, hold the brush under your hair at the root of each section and blow dry before moving down the strand.
Apply a Finishing Touch
Shine should be no stranger to your blowout. Complete your look with a drop of hair serum, making sure to focus it on your ends.
How To Blow-Dry Curly Hair
While a lot of the steps are the same, how to blow-dry curly hair does have a few key differences. One being that you’ll need to make sure your blow dryer has a diffuser attached. This is the large, round, pronged attachment that you may have stuffed in the back of a cabinet when you first unboxed your blow dryer. It will help minimize frizz and keep your curls in shape. To use the diffuser, place your curls in its “claw” and blow-dry upward. It’s best to go until your hair is about 80% dry, then continue air drying to preserve moisture.
Speaking of moisture, your curly strands may benefit from a hair mask before your blowout. Try Amino Acid Scalp-Restoring Treatment-Mask with amino acids and coconut triglycerides, which nourishes your hair and scalp.
Why Is My Hair So Frizzy After Blow-Drying?
If you notice you have super frizzy hair, and it’s compromising the quality of your blowout, there could be a few things at play. The first is that (if you aren’t using a diffuser) you need to attach a nozzle to your blow dryer. This will help you better direct the air coming from the dryer and avoid frizz.
The second is that your prep step may not have been sufficient. For frizzy hair, we recommend also incorporating a leave-in into your routine. Smoothing Oil-Infused Leave-In Concentrate is a smoothing hair treatment that helps combat frizz. Apply it to damp hair before your blowout. If your hair is frizzy afterward, you can also use a few drops to calm it down.