6 Steps to Your Best Blowout

In this Marie Claire Master Class, a celebrity hairstylist teaches you how to tame frizz and add volume.

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June 15, 2010 5:30 PM
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woman getting a salon blowout
Rebecca Greenfield
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STEP 1: Less Is More

"Too much product is the number-one enemy of a good blowout," says Townsend. On wet hair (don't rub dry with a towel; it causes frizz), comb a nickel-size amount of your favorite heat-protection gel or styling cream through strands. "You can always use more product later, but you can't take any away," notes Townsend. Avoid greasy buildup — especially if you have bangs — by forgoing sprays and mousses near the hairline.
sally hershberger hair primer
Jeffrey Westbrook/Studio D
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STEP 1: Less Is More

MC Recommends: Sally Hershberger Style Primer, $12.50; Matrix Biolage Bodifying Spray Gel, $16.50.
woman getting a salon blowout
Rebecca Greenfield
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STEP 2: Hands-On

"You can get 75 percent of the moisture out of your hair by rough drying," says Townsend. "The more you do without a brush, the less pulling and damage you'll inflict in the long run." With your blowdryer set to medium — the high-temperature setting on most newer models is too hot for anything but thick, coarse hair — dry hair, using just your fingers to tousle small sections while moving the heat around your scalp and strands. Prevent frizz by pointing the nozzle of the dryer toward the floor to help seal your hair cuticles and, hence, create shine.
hair dryer
Jeffrey Westbrook/Studio D
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STEP 2: Hands-On

MC Recommends: BaByliss Pro Diamond Titanium Dryer, $129.99.
Rebecca Greenfield
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STEP 3: Brush Up

With a mixed-bristle round brush, start drying 3- to 4-inch sections of hair closest to your face. "Focus your energy on the front and top pieces, because this is what people see first," says Townsend. "If you start at the bottom, your arms will be tired by the time you get to the most important part of your blowout." As you complete each section, roll the piece into a loose curl and secure it in place with an alligator clip. "These barrel curls will add lift at the root while keeping dry hair separated from wet hair," explains Townsend.
Jeffrey Westbrook/Studio D
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STEP 3: Brush Up

MC Recommends: Spornette Prix Brush, $15.
Rebecca Greenfield
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STEP 4: Let Us Spray

With your blowdrying complete and curls unpinned, spritz your hands with a light shine spray and rake your fingers through hair while pushing it upward to build bounce. "People get into trouble with sprays because they hold them too close to their scalps," advises Townsend. "The product ends up in globs in some areas and completely missing from others. You get better results if you just use your fingers."
Jeffrey Westbrook/Studio D
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STEP 4: Let Us Spray

MC Recommends: Paul Mitchell Extra-Body Firm Finishing Spray, $15.
Rebecca Greenfield
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STEP 5: Troubleshooting

  • If your hair is too voluminous, re-dry the top sections with the dryer set to a higher heat setting. Then smooth your ends with a light conditioning oil.
  • If you lack volume, try steam curlers and set the sections that were pin-curled (step 3) for five to 10 minutes.
Jeffrey Westbrook/Studio D
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STEP 5: Troubleshooting

MC Recommends: Moroccanoil Light Oil Treatment, $39; Caruso Professional ProSet Steam Hairsetter, $39.99.
Rebecca Greenfield
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STEP 6: Make It Last

Maintain your blowout for an extra day (or two) by pulling your hair into a loose topknot or braid before bed. "Use a scrunchie to hold it in place or else you'll wake up with ridges," warns Townsend. And keep dry shampoo on hand to absorb sweat and oil. Even if you're in a hot spot, there's no excuse to settle for limp locks.
Jeffrey Westbrook/Studio D
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STEP 6: Make It Last

MC Recommends: René Furterer Naturia Dry Shampoo, $24.