Blowdrying your hair. It's one of those things you probably do (and do often), but not The Right Way, and you know it. If you're anything like us, you're more of a blast-it-indiscriminately-until-it's-not-wet-anymore kind of gal...which, let's face it, isn't really cutting it.
So what is the proper way to blowdry your hair? We talked to Redken celebrity stylist Rodney Cutler, whose clients include Emma Watson, Jamie King, and Fergie, for his secret to the best at-home, everyday blowout. And this is going to change everything. (And no, we're not talking about 84 extra hours in front of the mirror. Believe us, we're just as lazy as you are.)
Here's what you're doing wrong:
Mistake #1: Your Hair Is Too Wet
"A lot of women start with sopping wet hair," says Cutler. "Your hair should be 60-to-65 percent dry before you even start to blowdry with a brush." Cutler explains that it's less damaging to your hair if you pre-dry. "Towel dry, then blow dry using only your hands for a bit, then use a brush—starting at the roots."
Mistake #2: You're Not Giving Enough Lift
Did you read that? The roots! If you want some lift and volume (AKA the hair you have leaving the salon), use your hands to comb your roots up and blow-dry. (Since the diameter of a brush won't allow you to get too close to the roots, this is an important step to give your hair some oomph, explains Cutler.)
Mistake #3: You're Starting in the Wrong Place
Cutler says that many women who use a brush end up wrapping the hair around it and blasting it with heat. Which is apparently not only a no, but it actually takes so much longer than doing it the right way. "Put your round brush in at the roots, roll the brush down to the ends then take it back up to the roots, concentrating your blowdryer on that area and your hairline first." By the time your roots and your hair midway down is dry, your ends should be pretty close. "Then start to roll the ends on the brush and finish drying."
Mistake #4: You're Not Using Your Products Correctly
When it comes to applying product, we can be like kindergartners in finger-painting class. The idea is to use them sparingly, the right way, and in the right place. "If you're going for volume, you want to concentrate product at the roots—since putting the products on your ends will pull your hair down." (Ahem, noted.) And if you're a hairspray fanatic? "When women get the style they want, they think it's time to hammer it with hairspray. First, you need to spray it from a distance which will allow for even distribution," says Cutler. "And keep it to a light spray—a close, heavy spray means that it actually builds up in one area, and your look will collapse."
Mistake #5: You're Not Using the Right Brush
"The bigger the brush, the smoother the hair," Cutler says. If you have a round brush that features metal in the middle, or a metal core, it can certainly provide a smoother look—but it also heats up like an iron, so remember to keep drying time to a minimum since it is more damaging. And if you have coarse hair or are prone to flyaways? It's better to skip those altogether for a traditional boar or nylon bristle brush, as the ones with metal tend to not have as many bristles and therefore don't provide as much tension for a smooth "pull."
Mistake #6: You're Not Letting Your Hair "Set"
Brush, dry, run? Stop! "Letting your hair cool down on the brush before moving on to the next section will make your style longer lasting," says Cutler. "It will actually set it." Translation? Unless you want to do this process again tomorrow, just chill and let your hair cool down on that brush, girl. It's that one thing that makes your post-salon hair so much better. (We're on to you, stylists.) (To extend your style, try Pillow Proof Blow Dry Two Day Extender, $18; ulta.com)
Mistake #7: You're Not Using a Nozzle
That attachment that came with your blow dryer when you bought it—and that you conveniently tucked under your bathroom sink never to be seen again? Yeah, you need that sucker. "If you don't use it, it just sprays the hair with heat all over," says Cutler. "It won't be concentrated on the cuticle and you won't get that smooth look."
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