Blow-drying your own hair can seem like a chore, even though it basically consists of aiming a blowdryer at your locks and brushing through it. I do love some quality salon time but eventually, I’ve realized I can give self-styling a try. I’ve learned there are many mistakes you can make while trying to achieve the perfect blowout. Here’s how to avoid the pitfalls I’ve fallen into and save yourself the singed hair. This is the complete guide on how to blow dry hair.
How to Blow Dry Hair – A Step by Step Guide for Straight and Curly Hair
For Straight Hair
The Tools You Will Need
- Hair Dryer (of course)
Look for adjustable temperature and air settings. Stylists recommend 1800 watts.
This dryer accessory gives polished results and protects hair from the heat.
- Round Brush
This is the MVP for styling your hair. Whatever results you want, whether straight or wavy, you can achieve it in less time with a brush. For quicker results, use a large brush to cover more sections on your scalp. If you want an even faster blowdry, brushes with vents cut down drying time.
- Hair Clips
This handy tool makes sectioning hair a piece of cake while preventing damage that comes from overheating.
The Products You will Need
- Hair Mousse
A good mousse will add volume and hold to your hair. run it through damp hair for best results.
- Hair Cream
Good for a lightweight hold, hair cream takes away frizz and adds shine and moisture.
Hairspray locks your blowout in place and removes hairs that stick out from your ‘do.
Step 1 – Prep-dry and Section
- Rough-dry Until it’s 80% Wet
Remove excess water from the hair with a towel (don’t rub!). Then, set your blowdryer on low to medium heat and high air settings. Blow-dry until your hair is 80% damp.
- Secure the Top of your Hair with a Clip
Imagine your hair is separated into three portions from top to bottom. Take the uppermost section and clip it.
- Start with the Bottom Section
With a brush, start blow-drying the unclipped hair at the bottom using higher heat.
- Point the Nozzle Down
A pro-tip for hair-drying your own hair is to point your blowdryer’s nozzle downwards for sleek and glassy hair.
- Pull Hair Taut as You Dry
Pull hair firmly upwards to add lift and volume on the lower sections.
- Start a Few Inches Away from the Scalp Towards Hair Ends
Dry the roots and work your way to the tips of the hair, using a brush all throughout to hold hair taut and roll the strands out as you go. This is a good trick for more volume.
Step 2 – Dry Top Layers
- Remove the Clip
Once the bottom sections are dried and styled, remove the hair clip on the crown. Clip the hair on the bottom before drying the top layers.
- Repeat Process with the Top Section
The same method goes for the crown. Pull hair firmly and point your blowdryer down.
- Aim at the Roots for Volume
Focus the heat at the roots for more lift. Don’t forget to dry hair from top to tips and use the brush to pull the hair along.
Step 3 – Shape Ends and Finish
- Flip the Hair Back
Finally, you can now detach the clip from the bottom section and flip your hair back. Aim the blowdryer at the frontmost section of your hair, near the forehead. Brush through.
- Part the Hair in Your Normal Style
You can part your hair as you normally do or experiment with a different part.
How to Curl the Ends:
- Twirl Hair for Extra Body
Twirling hair gives an added oomph to your style.
- Roll under with Round Brush
Curl your hair under with the brush.
- Blast with heat
Next, aim your blowdryer at the twirled section.
- Set with cold air
To hold the style in place, dry with cold air.
Apply styling cream
Lastly, don’t forget to run styling cream through your locks to finish.
For Curly Hair
The Tools You Will Need
- Find the right dryer
For curly hair, 1400 watts is recommended. If you have thick hair, you can go up to 2000 watts with no problems.
- Use a diffuser
A diffuser is good for curls because it shapes and defines your hair. For best results, use a diffuser that caves in slightly. This promotes your hair’s natural shape.
The Products You will Need
Use a conditioner first. It brings moisture back into the hair. Curly hair can often dry out and replenishing your hair’s oils is essential for any styling routine.
- Hair Gel
A gel holds your curls in place and keeps its shape. You want the finished results of your hard work to last. Apply it after your leave-in conditioner has sunk in (which takes a few minutes). Run it through your hair. Alternatives for gels are mousses and pomades.
After blowdrying, amp up the shine with a serum. A finisher also gives extra hold and hydration to your curls.
Step 1: Apply Leave-in and Gel
After shampooing, use your conditioner of choice. When hair is still wet, you can use a leave-in conditioner. Work the gel into hair from roots to tips. Make sure it is evenly distributed.
Step 2: Diffuse at the Roots
- Use Low to Medium Heat
Wet hair is vulnerable to heat. Change your hair dryer settings to lessen breakage and damage.
- Start with a Diffuser at Roots
Place your diffuser close to your scalp first and lift hair at the roots gently to volumize. A diffuser is key for volume because it distributes heat slowly and draws out the moisture. There’s actually no need to turn your hair upside down.
- Avoid Direct Heat on the Ends
To dry your hair properly, avoid pointing the nozzle on the ends of your hair. Move your diffuser in circles on the hair to maximize volume.
Step 3 – Smooth and Finish
- Use a Small Amount of Pomade
After the blow dry, rub a pea-sized amount of pomade or any other finisher between your hands to heat it up.
- Run it Through the Hairline to the Ends
Apply the pomade to blow-dried hair from roots to tips, making sure it is evenly distributed. Make sure you use a sweeping motion from the hairline to the ends, like you’re tying your hair back, to get rid of the stiffness from the gel.
- Massage Your Scalp at the Roots
- To add volume, massage your head and fluff up your hair at the roots.
Best Tips for Blow-Drying Hair at Home
Invest in a Great Blow-dryer
A good blow dry starts with premium tools. Don’t skimp on a hair dryer because your hair deserves better than a shoddy dryer that overheats and damages your strands. Get a blow dryer that will perform well and last ages.
Use a Good Shampoo and Conditioner
In addition to a hair dryer, you need to prime your hair properly with a good shampoo and conditioner. They don’t need to be luxuriously expensive but don’t get the cheap products that strip your hair of moisture. Choose a reputable brand with a focus on haircare.
Work in Sections
I know we’re all in a rush but if you’re not sectioning your hair while blow-drying, rethink your strategy. While styling your hair solo, you need all the help you can get and the best help is through hair clips. Divide your hair into three or four sections and brush through. This ensures all parts get equal attention and don’t get overheated.
Don’t Leave Wet Hair in a Towel for Too Long
It’s a no-no to put your damp strands in an abrasive environment like a towel for too long. This habit is a recipe for hair damage. If you absolutely need to, just keep it up for 10 minutes or less.
Apply the Right Products in the Right Sections
If you like a product’s benefits so much that you start to overapply it all over your hair, this is your sign to stop. Use products only the right amount and the right places. A great tip to get the most out of your product is to use hairspray from a distance so the mist is evenly diffused. Spritz sparingly for less crunch.
Use a Nozzle Attachment
Get that nozzle attachment that you’ve stowed away and use it. A narrow nozzle is perfect if you want sleek, shiny hair.
For Curly Hair, Use a Diffuser
The nozzle of choice for girls with curls is a diffuser. A diffuser will get frizz-free and defined curls without overdrying hair. Its large size is good for an easy and quick blow dry.
Use the Right Brush
The right brush not only shaves off time from your blow-drying routine, but it also gives hair that’s smooth like silky, 400-thread count sheets. Don’t dry your hair for too long when using a round brush with metal components in its core. That type of brush heats up quickly and can be damaging. Ceramic brushes are good options for women with coarse hair.
For Volume, Focus on the Roots
If you like volume in your hair, be mindful of where you apply your hair gels, creams, and mousses. Place the product on the roots of the hair to get the lift you’re after. Applying cream on the ends will only make your hair sag from the weight.
Start with Your Hairline
Always start at the visible sections when you dry your hair. When you blow dry using a bottom-to-top direction, you risk the roots drying by the time you finish the ends. It’s harder to smooth out, especially if you have bangs.
Brush out the Ends
If you’re running low on time, you may be tempted to skip this step. But for an amazing, professional-looking blowout, you need to tend to your entire hair. After all, your ends need some love, too. To help combat frizz and dryness, focus your dryer on the tips of your hair. Guide it with a brush and then let it cool. Slather on your finishing serums to lock in moisture and you’re ready to head out.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do you blow dry your hair for beginners?
Achieving the perfect blowout on your own can seem really daunting, especially if you’re a novice to hairstyling but I promise you it can be done even outside of a salon. You just need the right tools and a can-do attitude! I’ve outlined specific steps below to help you along.
How do you blow dry your own hair professionally?
Professionally straightened hair really is a thing of beauty. When your hair frames your face in just the right way, you can feel ten feet tall. To mimic the touch of an expert’s hands, you need an efficient and adjustable hairdryer, a handful of hair products, hair clips for sectioning hair, and some hair-savvy techniques.
How do you blow dry your hair without it getting frizzy?
Even those with straight hair can be prone to frizz. There are a few tricks you can cop to prevent your hair from frizzing up. Towel-dry well and apply heat protectant before styling. Start with your hairline and make sure you point your dryer’s nozzle downwards. With a gentle brush, pull hair tightly and slowly for the sleekest of finishes.
I hope these tips can be of help to you, whether you’re a beginner just testing the waters or a styling virtuoso wanting to sharpen her skills. Using the right tools and products do make a world of difference, in my experience. I hope this information busted some myths and answered some of your queries. By applying these to my own styling routine, I’ve learned a salon-quality blowout is within reach whatever your skill level.
Leah WilliamsLeah Williams is the founder of Lucky Curl and has been in the hair care and styling industry for the last 15 years. Since then, she has developed incredible expertise and a deep understanding of how to treat and style the most difficult hair types and is passionate about sharing her knowledge with the readers of Lucky Curl.
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