Catherine Q. O'Neill
Believe me, if I could get a professional blowout every day I would (and some women do!). But on most mornings, I'm left face-to-face with my Harry Josh dryer, a round brush, and about 15 minutes to not screw it up. Here are the most important things I learned while researching chapter one (blowouts) of Allure Hair: The Ultimate How-To Hair Guide.
Your blowout starts the minute you get out of the shower. So don't rub your hair with a towel (it causes frizz) and don't wrap your towel on your head (it makes the roots lie flat). Oh and get out of that bathroom--the humidity is already causing your hair to curl!
See more: 34 Hair Ideas for 2014
Heat protectant is important. Seriously. Otherwise, the heat won't dissipate evenly, leading to major damage. Try Oscar Blandi Pronto Dry Styling Heat Protect Spray, which covers you up to 450 degrees, and make sure not to forget the ends.
Hit the roots first. Once you mist your roots with volumizer or mousse, it's go time. Turn on that blow dryer immediately and start lifting and tousling your roots with your fingers. Otherwise, the whole operation will backfire and the product will dry flat against your head, says New York City hairstylist Matt Fugate.
That ion setting? It means something. Here's what you need to know about ions: They smooth the cuticle and make frizz lie flat--but they can also make your hair lie flat. So switch the ion control on for smooth, silky styles and turn it off for big, voluminous hair. Got it?
Don't forget to cool down. Even if you have the sexiest, most gorgeous blowout right now, it's going to fall flat the minute you walk out the door if you don't let it cool. Clip each section up carefully, wait 15 minutes for it to cool (this is a great time to do your makeup), then unwind it for bouncy strands that will last the whole day.
For tons more hair ideas and inspiration, check out Allure Hair: The Ultimate How-to Hair Guide, available on newsstands.
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