We all moan about it. We leave the hairdresser’s chair with our hair looking awesome, but when we try to get that swishy-salon look at home, the results are pretty poor. I’m talking limp… frizzy… odd kinks that you just can’t get rid of. So you turn to your irons and straighten it all out and dash out the door, disappointed.
This. Ends. Now.
We’ve hijacked stylist Gareth Pitt of Matthew Luke Hairdressing in Bedfordshire (see his work on Instagram HERE) to devise a blow-drying drill that will take no prisoners. Why? Well, the salon won the prestigious Most Wanted Award for Innovation for its clever Blow Dry Pass – a monthly membership plan that lets you enjoy unlimited blow dries (and your mates get some freebies, too!). He should know a thing or two about how to blow dry hair, right? RIGHT.
Here’s his blow dry boot camp to toughen up our styling skills (BONUS! The workout this gives your upper arms will help them look all yoga-toned, too!). Over to you, Gareth…
Step one: Get your timing right
“This surprises lots of clients, but your hair should be about 80 per cent dry before you even start smoothing out with your tools. Towel dry your hair to get as much moisture out as possible. While your hair is wrapped in the towel, squeeze as much moisture out as possible – DO NOT be too rough as the hair is most fragile when its wet. Spritz your blow dry spray all over (I love Redken’s Pillow Proof) but concentrate on your ends. Make sure your hair is tangle free before drying – my personal favourite for this is a Tangle Teezer. Being careful, start at the bottom of the hair with gentle strokes working up to the root area. I find this easiest in sections; it saves time and stops you getting in a muddle!”
Step two: Collect the right supplies
“Make sure you have a hairdryer with variable speeds and a cool shot button – that one is non-negotiable! If you have long hair, you’ll want it to be fairly light, too. I love the ghd Air. Using a medium heat on a high speed and with a nozzle on the dryer, start drying the moisture out of the hair. So you don’t cause any damage, keep moving the hairdryer to different areas of the head, concentrating at the root area first and running your hands through the hair to keep it tangle free. This will save you lots of time and will also help avoid frizz. When you feel your hair is roughly 80% dry, you can start using your blow-drying tools. I love the Tangle Teezer Blow-Styling Brush – it’ll keep hair tangle free, help you smooth your hair out and also speed up the blow-drying time. It’s a miracle brush!”
Step three: On your marks, get set, go…
“Starting at the back, create horizontal sections and clip the unwanted hair out of the way. Use a medium heat still, but now a LOW speed. Start at the roots and work your way down slowly to the ends of the hair, being careful not to let the nozzle touch the hair – this can become very hot! Make sure you move the brush down in a nice fluid motion. You should only need to go over each section twice to make sure its 100% dry. If it still feels damp after going over twice, your hair is not dry enough to start smoothing!
“Once you have completed the first section, repeat by taking another horizontal section above the one you have just smoothed out. You will carry doing this all the way up the head. When your hair is totally dry, turn the heat down to the lowest setting and press down your cool shot button and go over it all to “set” the hair. Yes, it takes a bit of time, but trust me – it’s worth it, and your blow dry will last longer.”
Step four: The final hurdle
“Okay, so your hair is now 100% dry and smooth. You now have a great canvas for that salon styled look by using your heat tools. For a lovely smooth glossy finish, you can turn to your straighteners – my all-time favourite is the ghd platinum. Repeat the section technique you used to dry, and pull the sections through slowly but in a fluid motion, only going over each section once. For that extra wow factor, finish with Redken’s Diamond Oil Glow Dry for a mirror like shine, and a misting of Redken’s Control Addict 28 hairspray for lasting hold.”
Well done soldier – now, swish out your front door and defeat the day. You’ve got this!