If you’ve ever given yourself a blowout, you know it doesn’t take much for it to go horribly wrong. In fact, there are certain things you should just avoid. While there’s nothing like attempting to uncurl an impossible kink to make you want to call it a natural day, don’t throw in the dryer just yet. By following our pro-guide on what to NEVER do (arguably more important than what you should do) when DIY’ing your blowout, we’re confident that the smooth silky locks of your hair dreams are just a brush, a heat protectant and a high setting away.
(image via Twenty20)
Never Pretend Your Blow Dryer is a Wind Machine
Blow drying is basically an art and a science. The first step in the perfect blowout is getting your form together—never just grab the dryer and go at it. “Never blow dry like Beyonce with a wind machine,” says SEVEN haircare Educator Kat Trotter-Viterbo. “You need control for a soft and shiny finish,” she stresses. Once your roots are dry, try using a paddle brush and dry the hair with the wind of the blow dryer going in a downward motion. “This will press the hair into a compact and shiny finish and help control flyaways,” she explains.
Similarly (though it may feel very mosh-girl chic) never flip your head upside down. “Most people do this for volume,” Kat explains, however, this isolates the heat below the occipital bone (where your head starts to curve closest to your neck), which you don’t want to do. “That is the last place you want volume, and the toughest place to get it,” she says. To achieve volume, try blow drying the front of your hairline and top of your hair first, starting at the roots.
PRO Beauty Tools Celebrity Stylist, Johnny Lavoy agrees. “Flipping your head over, or just aiming the blow dryer at the top layer of your hair can lead to over drying and even damage,” he says.
Never Blow Dry Your Ends First
“Never ignore the roots!” cautions CHI Artist Cynthia Diersen. “Those need to dry FIRST before the rest of your hair since they hold the most amount of water.”
“Never dry your ends first,” Kat adds. Because your ends are the driest and oldest part of the hair, they are likely to dry the quickest, due to its potential high porosity. “Try blow drying at the roots first,” she echoes. “This is the newest part of the hair and will allow you the maximum control in creating volume and a soft finish. Work your way through the ends last, allowing them to naturally dry through the process.”
SEVEN Platform Educator, Tyson Daniel backs the importance of control. “Never blow dry your hair against the direction of your cuticle. This makes your hair frizzy and makes it harder to get a smooth, luminous look,” he explains.
Though it may be frustrating (we’re in the struggle too, girl) never get aggressive with your hair. “When drying your hair, avoid twisting, wringing or aggressively drying. This disturbs the cuticle of the hair which results in frizzy styles or worse, damaged hair,” says Cynthia.
Never Forget to Section
For maximum control, make sure to section your hair. “Section your hair into 4 sections and start at the back,” says Cynthia. For best results, make sure you’re using the right brush. “Using a round or a paddle brush to dry the rest of the hair out, making sure each section is properly sealed with the heat of the dryer,” she continues.
Johnny also swears by the power of sectioning. “Sections should be no wider than the barrel of the brush, unless you have curly hair. For curly hair, sections should be smaller (about half as wide as the barrel),” he advises.
Never Forget Your Nozzle
To make sure you are really controlling your heat and making the most out of your blowout, never dry without an air concentrator nozzle. “Using the nozzle gives a direct air flow, cutting down on drying time,” emphasizes Johnny.
“Some of the worse breakage I’ve seen on hair is due to clients not using this attachment, which usually comes included with any dryer,” says Cynthia. “My favorite dryer right now is the CHI DURA Handshot Dryer, $144.99. It packs a lot of power for such a compact and light weight tool!” she recommends.
(image via CHI)
Never Neglect Your Brush
You definitely want to make sure you’re using the best brush for you. “For best results, use a round thermal brush,” says Johnny. “They come in a variety of sizes suitable for all hair lengths, but I personally recommend the PRO Beauty Tools Ionic Ceramic Thermal Brushes, $13.99” he explains. “The Ionic Ceramic Technology allows for even heat distribution, which helps eliminates frizz and adds shine. They come in two sizes – 1 ¾” and 2 ¼” – and also offer an extra-long barrel, which helps dry larger sections of hair faster,” he tells us.
It’s also important to have a strategy when going in with your brush. “Never start round brushing your hair in the back while it is soaking wet, says Tyson. “It will take way too much time, and get frustrating by the time you get to the front of your hair.” Likewise, don’t put pressure from the end of a hot blow dryer directly on your brush, as this can cause super damage or, “put your hair in the line of fire,” Tyson describes. This is also where most heat damage happens on DIY blowouts, so beware!
(image via target)
Never Hold Your Dryer Wrong
You want to make sure your circulating around the hair—don’t stay on one section too long to avoid burning your locks. “Direct heat can cause damage, it’s important not to hold the dryer directly on their hair,” says Johnny. “For best results, make sure the blow dryer is constantly moving and working in the direction of the brush. You shouldn’t keep the hot air blowing on any part of your hair for too long. That leads to dryness, breakage and overall damage,” he cautions.
Never Ignore the Heat Setting
The heat setting you use is also dependent on your hair type. “Thicker hair can take higher temperature, but anyone with fine hair should be using a lower heat temperature,” Johnny explains. “Using the wrong heat setting can lead to over-drying,” he says.
To preserve your blowout (you worked hard for it, it should last) go for the cold shot button. “It’s there for a reason, though many consumers don’t understand what the purpose of the cold shot button is. The cold shoot button helps set the hair for longer-lasting blowouts,” Johnny explains. Sealing with a dose of cool can also help close the cuticle and add shine.
Never Skimp Or Skip On Product
All of the pros agreed, forgetting or skimping on product, like a heat protectant, was a blowout death knell. “Never skip out on your thermal protector before the blow dry!” exclaims Kat. She recommends SEVEN haircare’s HEAT DEFENSE spray, $29. “Most hot tools (blow dryer included) can get as hot as 350 degrees. That’s hot enough to bake cookies or cook a chicken. You would never grab a cookie tray with your bare hands…so don’t do it to your mane,” she explains.
Tyson agrees—there’s nothing worse than blowing out with just your dryer. “Never use cheap hair products or—even worse—nothing on your hair at all. It’s like going out into a windstorm naked. Try SEVEN haircare’s STYLE cream, $28 for a bit of control and soft finish,” he says.
The product you go with can impact how the look of your style, so make sure to do your research. “Always apply a REAL silk-based product as a heat protectant and style aid,” Cynthia shares. “I like to layer the following products for a weightless style with ultimate shine and protection: BioSilk Hydrating Therapy Pure Moisture Leave in Spray, $10.78 to detangle, followed by a few drops of the BioSilk Hydrate Therapy Maracuja Oil, $23.20. Brush the hair evenly and power dry up to 75% of the moisture out of the hair,” she recommends.
(image via Seven)
Never Apply Product Too Close to the Scalp
Even if you’re using the right product, never just goop it on, as this can have an adverse effect. “For hold, avoid using heavy finishing sprays or using them too close to the hair. Instead use sprays that allow for flexibility after multiple layers like our CHI Royal Treatment Ultimate Control Hairspray, $9.80,” says Cynthia, to gain control of how little or how much hold you want to have in your finished style. “Spray at least 6-8 inches away from the hair to avoid the ‘wet’ look in your finish,” she adds.
Melissa Peverini, Marula Pure Beauty Oil Brand Ambassador, tells us that product placement is just as important as where you place your dryer. She recommends the Marula Pure Beauty Oil 5-in-1 Volume Spray, $28.40, however, at a distance. “Avoid spraying too close to the roots on wet hair,” she says. Keep the products about 6” away from the scalp as too much can create sticky roots during your blowout. If you’re using an oil (she swears by Marula Pure Beauty Oil Hair Treatment & Styling Oil, $26) try not to use more than 1-2 pumps at a time. “A little goes a long way for wet or dry hair,” she says. Again, avoid your roots. “This is the healthiest part of the hair, so apply mostly on the mid-shaft and ends where hydration and shine are needed, prior to your blow-out,” adds Melissa.
(image via Marula)
Never Downplay Your Prep
A great blowout starts with a thorough hair cleansing. “Avoid over the counter products that are filled with waxes and silicones,” says Cynthia, who advises to have an idea of what’s in products before buying. “Talk to your professional stylist and trust their recommendations. They might come at a slightly bigger investment, but professional products are concentrated so you use less of them per application and you gain more benefits!”
Also, never go overboard when you condition. “Never use too much conditioner or apply it too close to the scalp,” she explains. It can be tough to hold back, but your blowout depends on it! “People tend to apply too much and too close to the scalp, which is a waste of product and results in limp and greasy looking styles” she says.
Never Rush It
Although you may be low on time, make sure you see all the steps of your blowout through. “When we’re in a hurry we tend to ‘do what it takes’ to get out of the door on time,” Cynthia says of our relatable morning, however, don’t just freestyle! “If you’re in this situation, avoid putting your hair in a tight ponytail when your hair is too wet. The hair needs to have time to dry and revert to its natural shape. When wet, it’s loaded with water which makes it stretch out to its maximum capacity. If we don’t allow it to shrink back to normal, it can snap from tension spots in the ponytail,” she explains.
Not rushing it is most important thing to remember in the long list of blowout don’ts, according to Tyson. “Never be in a hurry. It’s better to set aside the right amount of time and do it right,” he says—which are pretty much all around words to live by. Your blowout: your life.