To reach great heights, you need great foundations, which here means a well-prepped scalp. Roots need first to be clean and fluffy to achieve the volume you’re after (especially when pared with some clever blowdrying techniques – see below). Prep with a scrub like Christophe Robin’s much-lauded Cleansing Purifying Scrub with Sea Salt – it clears through build-up for a perfectly clarified scalp.
There are a plethora of excellent products that help add extra polish to even the most masterful blowout. Virtue’s 6-in-1 Styler and Oribe’s Royal Blowout Heat Styling Spray tick all the boxes for shiny, soft strands, providing heat protection and suppressing frizz. I have very fine hair but I find I can afford to apply a little more product when blowdrying compared to when I leave my hair to dry naturally, without my mane getting weighed down.
A weak hairdryer that half-heartedly breathes lukewarm air at you will only get you and your strands so far. Initially the idea of investing in a top of the line dryer might seem over indulgent, but this tends to ensure your tool will last longer so you don’t have to replace it as often. Often dubbed the Rolls Royce of Hair Dryers, the Parlux is a well-loved classic for a reason, often to be spied in heavy rotation backstage at fashion weeks and behind the chair in salons worldwide.
Their Alyon is the model I swear by; it uses ionic technology where negative ions break down the water molecules without opening up the hair cuticle. When the cuticle is roughed up, this leads to frizz and hair damage, meaning ionic hair dryers produce a smoother and healthier result.
After your hairdryer, choosing a quality round brush should be the next priority purchase when attempting to recreate an in-salon blowout at home. I rate the round brush from 3MoreInches very highly. This handmade tool, conceived by acclaimed London hairstylist Michael Van Clarke for use in his own salons, glides easily through wet hair without tugging needlessly, but the bristles provide sufficient hold to properly shape and style strands exactly as you desire.
Technique really is paramount when executing an immaculate blowdry. At your next hair appointment, I’d strongly recommend studying your hairstylist and committing to memory all the little wrist flicks, positions, and angles that give that characteristically polished look.
It’s tricky to replicate at first and needs concentration and practice, but after a while it should click, and going forward muscle memory will assume control.
I’d say there are two cardinal rules to follow that will set you and your hair in good stead. Firstly it’s really important to create a bit of tension between your hair and your brush, pulling your hair away from your face (this helps create volume) and then down. Keeping the nozzle flush to your strands and pointing downwards is vital – otherwise you risk creating frizz and, worse, damage. I’ll leave it to hair icon Sam McKnight to demonstrate:
My other must-do is to blowdry sections of hair towards the front, especially the pieces that frame your face. This creates that fabulous supermodel-esque volume, bounce, and moveable hair you’re after. Spritz a little dry shampoo in the roots around your hairline as this is where things tend to get greasy quickest. This video does a great job of explaining how to perfect this technique:
A rookie error is attempting to blowdry your hair while it’s sopping wet: a lot of that time, electricity, and energy will be drained just in removing excess water before you even begin styling your mane properly. If you have the luxury of a little time, try and let your locks airdry until the bulk of the water has evaporated – using a good microfibre towel, like the excellent Aquis range, helps accelerate this process.
If my hair gets too dry to properly style (especially the bits around the front that seem to dry the quickest), I reinject some moisture with a little bottle of Avène Thermal Water I keep stashed in my haircare cupboard.
Story by Tess de Vivie de Régie. Holding shot credit: Instagram @kellybellyboom