Go big or go home with your hair this spring! The classic blow-out hair style is back with a vengeance and we’re loving it. That salon blow-dry experience is EVERYTHING, but here are some tips from the experts to try at home too…
As trends start to swing away from minimalism and low-effort styles, we’re noticing more and more interest in classic big blow-out hair looks. Case in point: a collective adoration of Adele’s stunning Vogue cover shoot, which surely produced a tidal wave of salon blow-dry bookings.
Bouncy, voluminous and shiny, this is a look for any age and almost all lengths of hair. Mastering the blow-out hair look can be tricky without an extra pair of hands to help, but that’s not to say it’s impossible.
We reached out to some of the top stylists up and down the country for some advice on how to take your blow-drying skills up a notch, while keeping the look ultra-modern.
Get to the root of the issue
“The most important part of a bouncy blow out is getting the roots lifted at the crown and parting,” says Cat Nicolson, salon director at Charlie Miller Stockbridge. “It’s really important to use the heat from the dryer to plump the roots from underneath, forcing the roots against gravity. Brushing the hair across the parting from underneath will also give the parting area lift and bounce.”
Whether blow drying with a brush, using a hot brush or a tong it’s imperative to lift the roots away from the scalp first as this stops the hair getting oily and the blow out will stay fresher and last for longer, she insists.
Her top tip to keep it modern? “A 2022 bouncy look needs to be kept narrower around the face, because lifting the roots out at the sides could leave you looking a bit ‘80s Krystle Carrington from Dynasty!”
Reach for the right tools
“Volume is queen when it comes to a big bouncy blow dry,” agrees Nadia Suliaman, manager of Forbici salon in Knightsbridge. “The Forbici way is to wash hair with a volumising shampoo and blow dry each section using multiple brushes.” Multiple brushes? Of course – round brushes help to create shape, while flatter brushes are easier to grip and manipulate hair sections. And the tools don’t stop there.
“After blow drying, take each individual section and use rollers to pin all over your head. Once all dried, leave the rollers for 15 minutes then start to remove each roller section, twisting hair around your fingers. Back-comb the roots to get an even more full look, then smooth and spray with extra strong spray to give that big bouncy desired look.”
Wet, Wet, Wet
“For a blow-dry that lasts for days, make sure you are using a product on wet hair that will give grip to the hair and lock in shape,” explains Bumble and bumble digital trainer Aaron Firmstone. “Follow this with a blow-dry that has much more movement and lift than you want for your end result; this will act as a scaffold to keep your shape and bounce lasting for days.”
Aaron recommends choosing products designed for volume and thickening at every stage of the style, from shampoo to thickening spray, to compound the effects. And his favourite is an old classic: “Mousse is your best friend when it comes to create ultimate volume, longevity and bounce to your blow-dry. Look for a hydrating version that feels like cream in your hands, and apply it to your hair using a wide toothed comb for even distribution from root to tip.”
Of course, products can only get your so far. If you love a blow-out style and want to rock it on the regular, you need to have that built into your haircut.
“The ‘70s blow dry style is definitely on trend for spring 2022. To help achieve this look, I recommend adding some soft layers into your hair cut at your next appointment,” says Simon Hill, owner of SESH Hairdressing. “Ask your hairdresser for some face-framing layering to create that bouncy shape at the front of your hair. Throughout the back, ask for soft feathered layers. This helps you to create movement and reduces some weight from your hair which can cause your style to drop.”
Andrew Mulvenna, owner of Andrew Mulvenna Hair, even has a shortcode in the salon for an ultra-modern blow-out hair look. “We call it ‘the Cindy’ after Miss Crawford,” he explains. “It’s a fresh reworking of that iconic ’90s runway hair. Still plenty of power and volume but now it moves, with a lighter feel to the texture.”
They comb in a clean, firm mousse from root to tip on clean, damp hair – “Even dare to do it twice” – before starting to build shape with the dryer. “This is essentially a ‘curly blow-dry’ technique but now when blow-drying we drag out the ends a touch to loosen the overall silhouette. When dry, back-comb only the roots where required, heat-set with a twist from the stylers and gently brush out. Now the hair-style has some serious built-in body that really lasts.”
Draw the eyes
“Have a feature to the look,” suggests celebrity stylist and Fudge Professional global ambassador Jonathan Andrew. “I often use partings and shape around the face to give the blow dry a focal point, sweeping the fringe area or creating extra lift through the front. This is a great way of modernising the look and keeping it fresh and sexy, rather than fancy dress.”
Whether you’re in the salon or trying the look at home, his number one piece of advice is to focus on the fundamentals – building that structure, thoroughly drying the hair, and using pins to keep the shape as it cools. “Styling tools like irons and wands should be there to accentuate the look, not make it,” he adds.