One of the best things about visiting a salon - apart from it being totally acceptable to have a free glass of Prosecco at 10:30 in the morning - is leaving with a professional blow dry. As we sashay down the street with our hair swishing behind us, we feel like we’ve reached a Beyonce-esque level of glamour. But why is achieving the same look and feel at home so tricky? Well, there are actually 10 common blow drying mistakes you might be making. Learn them, avoid them, and you’ll be able to achieve the same flawless finish at home.
1. Drying soaking wet hair.
You might think ‘that’s the point of a hair dryer, isn’t it?’, but applying heat to your hair when it’s still really wet from the shower can be a big mistake. Not only can it lead to increased heat damage, but it will also take you longer to blow dry and could result in a frizzy, tangled finish. Experts recommend that you should leave your hair until it’s at least 70% dried by the air before tackling it with your blow dryer. If you haven’t got that long before your friends arrive for the big night out though, then try to absorb as much moisture as possible without heat. After you’ve patted it dry with a towel, use some kitchen roll to absorb the excess moisture your damp towel might be missing.
2. Not using prep products.
If you keep all of your styling products until the end, then you’re doing your blow dry a serious disservice. First of all, using some heat protectant product is an absolute must if you want to keep your hair looking and feeling healthy. Then there are a whole host of other prep products you can be using to get the most from your blow dry, from volumising and shine-enhancing sprays (we love our Blow dry in a Bottle, of course) to curl enhancing creams like our Crème de Curl. Our personal favourite is our new miracle serum for blowdries, Milk - for smooth, glossy hair! Applying these products before you use your hairdryer will make your hair easier to work with and lead to much better results.
3. Using the wrong brush.
We all have our go-to, everyday hair brush, but the chances are that it’s not the best one to use during blow drying. To achieve some serious volume and bounce, you want to use a rounded, bristle brush; and for a faster blow dry, a brush with vents is essential. Keep one of these handy each time you need to use your hairdryer and you’ll be guaranteed a faster, bouncier at-home blow dry.
4. Targeting the ends first.
We’ve been taught to brush hair from the ends first to avoid too much pulling, but once you’ve got your hairdryer in hand, you need to throw this rule out of the window . For a sleek, smooth finish, make sure you dry your hair from the roots through the lengths, and then to the ends. As well as creating a shinier result, this will also stop you from over-drying your ends, which will naturally be more susceptible to heat damage anyway. And while we’re on that subject, another key blowdrying mistake is…
5. Setting your heat too high.
Just because your tool has an extra hot setting, doesn’t necessarily mean you should be using it. The problems of heat damage aside, blasting your locks with too high a temperature can also affect the final look. Especially when drying fine hair or fringes, it’s important to build up the volume and shape rather than frazzling it too soon. Set your appliance on a low-medium heat, and you’ll probably be surprised at how much softer the final results are (in practically the same amount of time, too!)
6. Holding the blow dryer in the wrong hand.
If you’re right handed, your instinct will probably be to hold the hairdryer in that hand because it’s the strongest. We know that appliances can start to feel like a deadweight after you’ve been holding them for a while, but trust us - it’s much more important to use your skilled hand for wielding the brush and controlling the style. And just think of the workout you’re giving your left arm once you switch..!
7. Drying your hair in the wrong direction.
Forever wondering why your blow dry leaves your hair looking limp and practically stuck to your head? You’re probably sending the heat downwards towards your shoulders. For root lift and volume, brush your hair away from your scalp and direct your hairdryer upwards. If you have a parting, drying your hair in the opposite direction can also give the roots a boost. Alternatively, if you want a smooth, straighter finish then don’t ever think about drying your hair upside down - you need to be focusing the heat down the lengths for ultimate gloss.
8. Not using tension.
If you’re only rough-drying your hair and plan to style it later, keeping your hair loose and finger-combing it dry will work just fine. However, if you want that smooth, salon-quality blow out, then you’re going to need to keep tension on your hair while drying it. This means sectioning it off and following the brush with the hairdryer through each area. Just make sure you’re using the right brush (point 3, if you’ve already forgot)!
9. Ignoring the cool setting.
Contrary to what we used to think, the cool setting on your appliance isn’t just for giving your face a quick blast when you’re getting too sweaty getting ready. A shot of cool air actually helps to smooth down the hair cuticle and set your style - meaning that it won’t fall limp as soon as you leave the house.
10. Forgetting about the finishing products.
You’ve got the gorgeous, swishy blow dry of your dreams - so you’re ready to go, right? Wrong. Once you leave your house, you’ll be battling with the elements and so it’s important to finish off your style. A light misting of Weather Proof Finish Anti-humidity Hairspray will not only add hold; it will also create a barrier between your hair and the air, preventing moisture from causing frizz. And for the final touch, a spritz of shine spray will leave a glossy finish that screams ‘I was in the salon drinking Prosecco at 10:30’ but was actually created by you.
So there we have it - never suffer a blow dry fail again by avoiding these mistakes.