No matter how cutting edge and characteristic your new haircut may be, if your hair stylist gives you a soap opera actress-worthy blowout, you run the risk of walking out with a cookie-cutter look. We’re not hating on our stylists–many are simply responding to a common request by women who crave the kind of voluminous, picture perfect, large-barrel-curl hair that’s nearly impossible to replicate at home. But, as more women choose to emulate effortless, off-duty model hair, we need to embrace a new glossary of hair terms to communicate with our stylists, as well as arm ourselves with products and techniques that will help create a modern, non-pageant queen blowout at home.
“A modern blowout is generally a little smoother and has a nice bounce and wave to it. It’s not so big that it has a pageant hair look,” says Chandra Chriswisser, owner and master stylist at Ohana Salon. “To achieve this look at home, start with clean hair and prep with the correct products using a volumizing product at the new growth area and something smoothing throughout the ends–if the hair is finer stick with something that offers light smoothing as well as something with hold to it. If the hair is coarse, use a heavier smoothing product to calm it down.”
Chriswisser suggests starting by rough drying the hair till it’s about 80-90% dry (80% if your trying to smooth curl and frizz 90% if your hair is finer and needs more body). Section off the top “mohawk section” and dry that over directing back and then set each section with either Velcro rollers or make a barrel curl with your hands and clip it in, she says. Let the top hang out and cool while you blowout the rest of the hair. And, remember: the brush you use is everything.
“If you want a smoother blowout with minimal wave/curl in the ends use a round brush that’s at least 2″ or larger,” Chriswisser says. “For a blowout with more wave and curl use a round brush with a barrel smaller than 2.””
While drying you hair, keep the brush moving all the way down the shaft and blow dry with a flat nozzle, says Celebrity Hairstylist Laurie Heaps. “As opposed to curling the hair around the brush and holding the blow dryer on it, which is the most common mistake my clients make,” she says. “Then I would spray a texturizer like Oribe dry texturizing spray for more volume and finish with a White Sands Liquid Texture Medium Thermal Spray. Lift at the root, smooth hair throughout, and a straight end are key to not looking pageant-like.”
As Heaps mentioned, product and tools are key to achieving a modern blowout. Lisa Abbey, founder & CEO of Flygirl Beauty Brand, recommends avoiding any product with too stiff a hold, like mousses and lacquer-type hair sprays, and relying instead on soft cremes, balms, serums and texturizers.
“For soft volume use a bodifying blow dry lotion instead of mousse or volume spray,” Abbey says “Try velcro rollers for soft, unstructured fullness and body, instead of the curling iron. If you are a hot tool addict, try wrapping the hair around a flat iron–it gives softer waves than a curling wand.”
For finishing, give your hair spray the day off and instead use dry shampoos and dry texturizing sprays (we love Matrix Style Link Texture Builder) to get what Abbey describes as a “light hold and definition instead of hard hold or too much volume.”
And when it comes time to book your hair appointment, you’ll get a lot further with your stylist when you bring in photos to show her/him exactly what you have in mind.
“The stylist will know from the image that it is a modern blow out using cushion brushes versus round brushes,” says Matrix SoColor Celebrity Stylist Nick Stenson. “They’ll also be able to tell right away if a curling iron or wand is needed to achieve the look.”
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