Flirty Hair: How to Look Your Blow-Dried Best

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The other day, I was biking through Chelsea when I passed my hair place — Antonio Prieto — and decided to pop in to see my lovely and adorable stylist, Garrett. He knows all about the blog, and was asking me how flirting was going. And I admitted that maybe I wasn't being quite as outgoing as I'd hoped to be.

"If only could come in for a blow-dry every day," I sighed. "Then I bet my flirting mojo would go through the roof! After all, I always feel super-sexy after you're done with me, G."

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"Well, then, why don't I just tell you how you can do a great blow-dry job on your own?" he suggested.

Fabulous idea, no? And so, here we go! These are Garrett's tips on how to give yourself a home-style so good that people will think you just stepped out of Antonio Prieto ...

#1: GET THE RIGHT TOOLS

-Blow dryers with at least two speed and heat settings are best.

-Make sure you have a nice brush, too. A boar-bristle style or synthetic nylon brush is great for coarse or curly hair; ceramic brushes are best for normal or fine hair (because they help distribute the dryer heat more evenly).

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#2: ADD PRODUCT

Add some protectant to your hair beforehand, while it's still wet, so it won't get broken and frizzy from the heat.

-For a smooth sleek look, use an anti-frizz serum, light oil, or cream. (Some products G. especially likes are Kerastase Oleo Relax Serum and Label M Smoothing Cream.)

-For a fuller, thicker look, use a lightweight leave-in conditioner on the ends; and a mousse or some kind of thickening lotion for the rest of it. (G's recommendations: Kerastase Volumactive Mouse, Ecru Volumizing Silk Mist or Kerastase Silk Volumizing Mist.)

-For styling curly hair, stay away from gels or mousses, and use a cream or lotion that will help keep the hair moisturized while retaining the definition of the curl. (Kerastase Oleo Curl Crème, Ecru Silk Protective Conditioner or Label M Soufflé are all good choices.) Also, if you have curly hair, be sure to put a diffuser on your drier.

#3: SECTION YOUR HAIR

Separating your hair into sections is key to a good blow-dry, because that helps you do a thorough job. Garrett recommends using duckbill or butterfly clips. Spread them out on your bathroom counter. Then, make a center parting and split your hair into three sections: left front, right front, and rear. Put the hair at the back of your head into a ponytail, and use clip to hold back the hair on your right. Then focus on the left side. Split it into sub-sections, roughly about an inch wide, based on how fine or thick your hair is. (Take smaller sections for thick hair.)

#4: NOW YOU'RE READY TO BLOW!

Starting at the back of your left section, take a lock of hair — about as much as you can twirl around the brush you're using — and dry it, pulling the brush down through the hair. Work your way forward. Clip it back loosely when you're done, to keep it out of your way. Then do the other side. Once you've finished, you can work on the back, but making the front look good is your priority, obviously.

#5: IF YOU'RE USING A STRAIGHTENING OR CURLING IRON ...

Using an iron is often a great way to make your hair look professionally styled. Garrett says ceramic irons are often the best ones you can buy in the store. But his most crucial advice when it comes to using irons is to thoroughly dry your hair using a blow-dryer before; otherwise, applying such extreme heat directly to your hair is sure to give you a ton of split ends and frizz.

Hope this helps! If you're still struggling to look your best and want to stop by Antonio Prieto, ask for Garrett. (Or Danica, if you need color. She's my girl.)

xxx!

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