Salon blowouts are not one style fits all. Hairstylists use a variety of techniques to achieve different looks based on everyone’s features, hair type, and preferences. Some blowouts create volume at the roots, resulting in a voluptuous style full of body and bounce. Others involve straight, sleek strands or styles that flip at the ends. There are seemingly endless possibilities.
To receive the best blowout for you — as well as maintain the longevity of the style — communication with your hairstylist is key. That starts with an honest conversation.
Connecting With Your Hairstylist
Talking with your stylist about what you want in a blowout can go a long way, and coming in prepared with your desires or examples is key. “I want to ensure my guests leave my chair not only happy with their cut or color, but with the final blowout as well,” says Alejandra Ruiz Esparza, hairstylist at LifeSpa in Florham Park, N.J. “Styling is a crucial part to any service. It’s the ‘voila factor.’”
To start, Esparza aims to create a safe space so her guests can feel comfortable communicating their needs. “I take the lead by asking the right questions that help me deliver and meet their desired expectations,” she explains. “I believe all stylists should be asking their guests these questions up front.”
Some questions an experienced stylist will ask:
- How much volume do you like?
- Do you prefer straight or wavy hair?
- Would you like big bouncy curls or a beachy wave with straight ends?
- What is your preferred daily styling routine? For example, do you want a style that can be low maintenance and long-lasting?
Esparza also notes that pictures are always welcome and appreciated. “If my guest doesn’t have a photo of the style they have in mind and I’m having trouble visualizing what they’re asking for, I’ll search for a photo on my phone to show them for better clarification,” she says.
Maintaining Your Salon Blowout
Once you’ve received a stunning blowout, you’ll want to be armed with tips and tools for keeping it looking its best. A blowout can last two to four days with the right at-home care routine, says Esparza. She recommends the following tips for maintaining your salon blowout at home:
- Avoid running your fingers through your hair. Overhandling your hair will cause dirt and oils that exist on your hands to be transferred, making hair greasier quicker.
- Apply a light hydrating oil on your ends before going to bed to keep them tamed. Esparza suggests using Kerastase L’Huile Original Hair Oil.
- Wrap your hair with a terry cloth cap or silk scarf before bed. A cloth cap or silk scarf helps prevent frizz from forming as you twist and turn throughout the night. Wrapping the hair also helps your ends maintain the shape of the blowout without creating any dents.
- In the morning, use dry shampoo to keep your hair looking clean and soft. Esparza’s favorite is Kerastase Fresh Affair Dry Shampoo. When applying, she recommends pulling sections away from the crown of your head and hairline and spraying your roots from about five inches away. “Then, give your roots a shimmy as if you were shampooing your hair,” she says. “Play with the roots as much as needed to achieve your clean hair look.”
4-Step At-Home Blowout
To recreate the salon blowout look on your own, a few fundamental tips and styling products can go a long way.
“One of the biggest keys to a beautiful blowout is how dry your hair is before you start styling it,” says Emily Carey, hairstylist at LifeSpa in Green Valley, Nev. “When I give myself a blowout at home, I let my hair air dry 70 to 80 percent before I pick up my hair dryer. The most common mistake I see involves starting with only towel-dried hair which can cause a lot of tangles and too much direct heat on the hair. Working smarter, not harder is key!”
Carey’s at-home blow-dry routine is only four simple steps:
Step 1: When your hair has air-dried 70 to 80 percent — the peak dry stage to begin styling — prep your hair with a blow-dry primer. Carey prefers Kerastase Ciment Thermique Blow Dry Primer as it helps protect against breakage caused by heat-styling.
Step 2: Once the primer has air-dried on the hair, apply a root lifter. Carey likes to use Moroccanoil Root Boost. Spray lightly at the roots and through the crown area only. This helps to build volume and lift the overall style.
Step 3: With your blow-dryer on the medium setting, begin to blow dry while using a round brush. Work through the hair section-by-section. “I always take vertical sections that are no more than two inches thick,” says Carey. “Most think grabbing bigger sections will make the process faster, but the hair won’t fully dry this way and that will affect the longevity of the style.”
Carey suggests starting to dry from the bottom of the section and work your way up the hair, but this is a personal preference. You can do whatever works best for you. The size of the round brush you use also matters in terms of the desired style. The smaller the brush, the tighter the curl will be in the hair. For a fuller, straighter style, use a larger brush that’s about three inches in size. Note that for longevity of a style, a tighter curl will last longer.
“I like to finish each section with a ‘cold shot’ by setting the dryer on a lower setting — this will help keep the hold of your blowout,” Carey adds.
Step 4: Once your hair is completely dry and you’ve achieved your desired style, if you prefer, you can use a texture spray to add more dimension. “I use Moroccan Oil Dry Texture Spray on each separate layer of my hair to help create effortless movement,” Carey says. “Lastly, I spray my favorite flexible hold hairspray to keep my hair alive all day.”