If you're frustrated with spending the extra time on your hair only to end up with limp locks that look nothing like when your stylist blows it out, a simple change to the way you're doing things could make all the difference.
Cheryl Esposito, a stylist at Blow, The New York Blow Dry Bar – where city girls pop in to get their strands set for sexy nights out on the town – explains the most common ways women ruin their blowouts, and how to style an envy-inducing mane of sleek fabulousness instead.
DON'T Slap on too much product. "We all have the tendency to pour it in our hands and jam it into the front hairline, which causes uneven application," says Esposito. Depending on your length and texture, start with a dime or quarter-size amount – and always round to the lighter side since most products can easily be layered if you need more later. Apply from the mid-shaft down, avoiding the root area so as to prevent an attack of the greasies.
DON'T Use a cheap hairdryer. Investing in a quality dryer will be more economical in the end because it'll dry faster and last longer. "If the blow dryer isn't hot enough, it'll be that much harder to get your hair smooth, and could be causing more damage to your hair," says Esposito. Look for a dryer with ionic technology for a gentler heat that gets the job done even quicker.
DON'T Forget the nozzle. This little accessory really does make a key difference in the smoothness of your blowout. "It allows you to get a precise angle and give you a more directional drying strength," says Esposito. Make sure the nozzle always points downwards on the length of your hair, unless you're adding volume to the root by shooting up against it.
DON'T Use a damaging brush. If you're going for a smooth look – and really, who isn't – a boar bristle brush is your best friend. "It's gentle on the hair, smoothes the cuticle and allows the natural oils of the hair to add condition and shine," says Esposito. And the natural tension the bristles create makes for a smoother, more lustrous finish.
DON'T Apply product straight out of the shower. "Most products are water soluble and will perform much better if you 'rough dry' your hair a bit – meaning, dry hair with your fingers just enough to absorb excess water so that it's not dripping wet," says Esposito. Short on time? Sop hair up with an absorbent cotton towel first to cut minutes drying.
Once you've got your gorgeous blowout, lengthen its life with a quick sprinkle of hair powder on the roots the next day to absorb oil and refresh strands with texture and volume.
And for versatile hold with minimal build-up, we're loving Blow's new Serious Non-Stick Hairspray. Fortified with proteins, natural soy and silk, the light spray also comes in a super cute mini hot pink version that actually fits into a clutch.
We're betting it was designed by a woman.
For more tips on scoring the perfect blowout, watch this video of celebrity hair stylist Danielle Caputo breaking down the process into easy steps.