How to Get the Best Blowout Ever

Make a date with your hair dryer and use these expert tips to take your blowout to the next level.

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Blowout, Kerri Washington

Smooth moves

When it comes to mastering an at-home blowout an old adage rings true: practice makes perfect! But when you throw the tricks of a pro in the mix you’re set up for next level results. Here to share her wisdom is Anna Giannini, senior hair stylist at Untitled by Flaunt Salon in Toronto, who is no stranger to hearing about blowout-related woes. Fighting frizz, arm fatigue, and a finish that’s straight but lacks volume are the common complaints, she says. And as the woman responsible for my Best Blowout Ever, using Kérastase products, she knows of what she speaks. Transforming my naturally kinky/curly hair into a smooth yet tousled ‘do inspired by Kerry Washington takes serious skill, people.

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Blowout, Woman drying hair with towel

Prep work

You wouldn’t jump into a workout without stretching first, and a blowout requires the same approach. Getting hair suitably damp and applying a heat protectant product is like the warm up to the, yup, mane event. You also want to towel blot hair gently, says Giannini. Avoid rubbing strands to reduce friction and frizz.

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Blowout, Kerastase Incroyable Creme

Know thy type

Giannini looks to a client’s hair type when choosing the appropriate hair protectant. “Thick or coarse hair needs a cream product, while a lighter lotion works best on fine to medium textures,” she says, “Work in sections from roots to ends and saturate hair with product. Don’t be afraid to add more as needed if hair is drying. The amount of product depends on how much hair you have.” I have a lot of hair, which she saturated with this anti-frizz heat protectant. It’s formulated with micro-beeswax that holds with leaving hair stiff; and can be reactivated with heat to give a blowout an impressive extended life span.

Kérastase L’Incroyable Crème, $41 at kerastase.ca and in Kérastase salons.

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Blowout, T3 hair dryer and round brush

Good gizmo = good hair

With the ability to minimize drying time and maximize results, a tech-savvy hair dryer is a good investment for anyone seriously committed to living the smooth life. Look for features such as multiple heat temperatures, auto-shut off and a cool shot button, for starters. This beauty is designed with an ion generator that helps reduce static and frizz, while boosting shine. And it comes with a 2.5” brush, too!

T3 Featherweight Luxe 2i Dryer, $255 at beautyboutique.ca.

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Blowout, backstage beauty

Down in front

For a blowout you can breeze through Giannini tells clients to start working at the front first. “Get that area while hairs are still damp. If it dries too much it's hard to manipulate,” she says. Work in horizontal sections from behind the ears towards the hairline. With a face-framing effect in place you can then tackle the back half of your head, without compromising a stellar final look for dwindling arm strength.

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Blowout, woman blow drying her hair

Total transparency

The secret to smooth results? Less is more. “When grabbing hair in a brush, smaller sections are better. You want to see through the hair,” says Giannini, “Too many layers and you won't be able to dry all the way through, and that causes frizz.”

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Blowout, Brush and dryer blow drying hair

Size matters

On the road to your dream blowout the right size brush is an essential traveling companion. “A smaller brush, 1-1.5 inches wide, gives more grip at the root and can help stretch out roots with super tight curls,” says Giannini, “A medium size 2-inch brush helps get hair smooth, and gives some bend. And a bigger brush creates a straighter look with less bend.”

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Blowout, woman with tangled hair

Walk the line

If the mention of an at-home blowout brings visions of a tangled mess to mind, a little geometry can help. “You have to move the brush in same direction,” says Giannini, “If you roll straight up, then roll straight down; or if you roll up on angle then roll out the same way. Otherwise hair gets caught.”

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Blowout, Revlon Professional Double or Nothing Endless Control

Protective services

The home stretch of the blowout comes after hair is smoothed and you’ve shut off the hair dryer. Use a finishing product to seal in your hard work, ensuring longevity. Giannini swears by Kérastase Serum Solide Elixir Ultime, a pomade-serum for shine and hold. She emulsified it in her hands and worked through sections of my hair from back to front. To lock in my tousled look, she also twisted individual pieces throughout to enhance texture. For at-home upkeep, I enjoyed using this fluid wax to successfully restyle my hair.

Revlon Professional Style Masters Double or Nothing Endless Control, $20 at salons.

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Blowout oat delicacy dry shampoo

Fine tuning

The only halo we have time for is Beyoncé’s hit ballad — errant strands floating above a fresh blowout can take a hike. Try Giannini’s pro move to tame them: run a fine-tooth comb through a dab of finishing product before pulling through hair. Flyaways, what flyaways?

And after the time and effort put into a blowout you deserve to get maximum wear out of that hair. For Day two and onward, have dry shampoo on standby. The must-have will soak up naturally occurring oils and environmental odors while adding subtle volume to roots. Use it to refresh hair, starting from the crown of head moving forward rather than blasting the front, then brush through to evenly distribute. This is the right way to use dry shampoo.

Whole Blends Oat Delicacy Gentle Dry Shampoo, $7 at mass retailers and drug stores.