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Now there’s a word that makes an impact. What comes to mind first when you hear it? For me it’s sexy, yet elegant hair with body, bounce and shine. The kind of hair that supermodels like Cindy Crawford and Cheryl Tiegs rocked on and off the runway. The key to getting this classic look is a blowout.
First, you’ll need to learn how to do a blowout on natural hair. You can be red-carpet ready in a matter of minutes once you’ve got the technique down. I’ve broken it into 7 easy-to-follow steps.
How to Do a Blowout on Natural Hair in 7 Easy Steps
1. Tools of the trade
The first thing you’ll need to do is make sure you have the right tools on hand. The only tools that are absolutely required are a round brush and a blow dryer. Use a blow dryer with multiple settings for best results. The recommended hair tools below will make things easier for you.
Recommended tools: Sectioning pick, hair clips, and the wide nozzle attachment that probably came with your blow dryer.
2. Prep and prime
The most important part is starting with clean hair. If you hair is weighed down by oils your blowout will fail. Make sure there’s no old residue coating your hair and scalp. Ideally use a shampoo without sulfates.
Use a heat protectant product. This will prevent heat damage. Consider a leave-in conditioner or a good hair oil. No matter what products you decide to use, use them lightly. Excess product will reduce volume and give your hair an unpleasant texture.
- Do not apply product to the roots! Try to apply at the middle length of your hair and the ends.
- Try to limit your applied products to 2 at maximum.
3. Dry your Hair
I recommend air drying. But if you don’t have the time, your rotating hot air brush or regular blow dryer will work just fine. Don’t dry your hair completely, just anywhere from 70-80% depending on your hair type. If your hair tends to frizz badly, dry your hair less. It may take a couple tries to find the sweet spot for your hair. If your blowout doesn’t have enough body when it’s done, that means your hair was too wet. On the flip side, a mountain of frizz means you started too dry–or that you need a smoothing serum in your hair too.
My favorite little trick: Instead of a towel, use an old tee shirt to dry your hair. Makes less frizz and might even work a little better too.
4. Sectioning and pinning
To make things simple for yourself, take the time to section and pin your hair. There’s not a wrong way to section. Just try to keep the sections symmetrical and don’t go overboard. One good rule of thumb is that your section should not be wider than your round brush. Just pin the sections with a hair clip or bobby pin and you’re ready to go.
5. Up, Up and Away
Take a section of hair and nestle your round brush at the roots. You’re going to utilize a technique called over-direction. It’s called over-direction because you’re directing the hair away from its natural position. All this means is instead of brushing down, we’re brushing ‘up’.
Here’s how to do it: guide the brush up and away from your scalp as it moves through your hair. Rotate your wrist slightly while moving the brush towards the end of your hair. Your hair will curve around your brush. The barrel of your round brush will do most of the hard work for you.
What should you do with the blow dryer, you ask? Simple, position the nozzle close to your round brush, and keep it there as you move the brush through your hair. The barrel and hair will heat up. The heat helps smooth the hair and make your blowout long-lasting.
This is the part that should take the most time. Go over your sections a few times at least.
- Don’t let your hair wrap all the way around your brush. This is a common mistake that can lead to having to cut a round brush out of a massive knot!
- Make sure your blow dryer isn’t too hot. This can be damaging with the source of heat so close.
- Focus on the roots of your hair. This makes the most out of your blowout. You’ll get the most lift and the most bounce.
- Don’t worry too much about what sections to do first. Some people go bottom up and others do the opposite. It’s a personal preference that you’ll develop in time.
6. Lock it in
When you’ve blown out all sections of your hair, it’s time to hit it with hairspray. I tend to focus on my crown and the sections of hair that frame my face for this step. But that is 100% up to you. Just make sure to spritz sparingly. The last thing you want is a crunchy texture to your blowout.
Please note: This step is optional. If you aren’t comfortable with using hairspray, feel free to skip it.
7. Blow cold air via blow dryer
Almost done! Here’s the very last thing, a step that in my opinion is extremely underrated. As your last step, switch your blow dryer to blow cold air. Proceed to fan yourself and your hair like the wind on a luxurious cruise ship would! The cold air will seal your hair shaft and create and even smoother and long lasting style. As an added bonus, the blast of air will tousle your hair for you.
- Not a fan of the windswept look? Just aim the cold air stream downwards and work from the top instead.
Congratulations, you made it to the end! Don’t worry if the first try takes a long time. With practice, the time these steps take will shorten. You could be completely finished with your blowout in half an hour.
So, now you know how to blow out hair. But sometimes we all need a little something extra to get us on our way. Still feel stuck? Seeing a live action blowout may help you get over those last hurdles. I recommend this Youtube video.