How to Get the Sleekest Blowout at Home, According to Hair Experts

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Photograph by Craig McDean; Styled by Grace Coddington.

What’s the most effortless way to ensure a killer at-home blowout? Realistically speaking, probably by forgoing it altogether and booking an appointment with your beloved stylist.

All joking aside, as we gear up for a post-pandemic lifestyle, leaving the house becomes more and more of a reality. You’ll find that some days, you cannot manage it all and there is absolutely no time to squeeze in your weekly (or bi-weekly, if you’re a hair diva,) blowout appointment. We’ve consulted with top hairstylists renowned for their signature blowouts for the very best tips on how to get a gorgeous, frizz-free, blowout at home.

Alex Brown

When she’s not being flown across the country to tend to the locks of the Kardashians, Brown is busy giving some of the smoothest blowouts and cuts to her clients at home base in Chicago. “The tools and products that you use at home are the most important elements to taming a frizzy blowout,” she says. “The proper brush for smoothing and the right products are extremely important because it’s the very start to achieving a frizz-free look. It will help with how long it takes to dry and how the final style will look overall. Make it easier on yourself wherever you can! My absolute favorite brush to use for achieving a smooth blowout is the Ibiza B5 round brush. It has tons of natural bristles which give you great tension and a super smooth finish. In terms of treatments, I love the K18 hair mask—it’s wonderful for reversing effects on damaged hair. This is great for those who bleach their hair and use a lot of heat.”

Ted Gibson

“Three factors you should never overlook when you’re blowing out hair and looking for professional results: a high-quality brush, a multi-functional professional blow dryer and a high-quality weekly hair mask to restore moisture after all of the heat damage,” says Los Angeles-based stylist Gibson, whose clients include Lupita Nygong’o, Jessica Chastain, Janelle Monáe, and Sandra Oh. “When prepping, first, I like to get hair 80 percent dry before I start blowing it out. Always use a heat protectant. I prefer Shooting Star Texture Meringue, (one I created) specifically as a pre-step to blow out hair.”

“That said, I can’t underestimate how important a good brush is in this process if you are going to blow out your own hair. Use a quality brush. Mason Pearson’s Popular Mixture brush is great for scalp love and for waves when blowing out. Also, I find that YS Park’s dual bristle round brush gives visible smoothness and detangling at the same time. I rely on the Elchim blow dryer to help give my clients really silky hair. I do about seven to 10 blow dries a day, so I need something high quality that lasts forever and delivers smoothness—this does it for me. Lastly, do a weekly (or more) hair mask—I often use Goldwell’s Kerasilk Intensive Smoothing Mask. Make sure you use a cold rinse after you mask—very important to seal in your conditioning elements!”

Adam Campbell

“Make sure to always squeeze extra water out of your hair into a towel before starting to dry. Getting excess water out before blow drying reduces the time that heat is being used on your hair,” says L.A. hair guru Campbell, who works with Angelina Jolie, Liv Tyler, and Natalie Portman. “And always use a product that has heat protection in it.”

“I start the application of product from underneath—near the nape of the neck—and work my way up to the top and front (you should always start with less product and then add more if you need more). I comb the product through the hair with a wide tooth comb from Mason Pearson, so the hair has even product distribution. I then make sure to section the hair. I start blow-drying the area that has the most frizz, or the strongest curl, or where someone’s cowlicks are. Once the hair starts to air dry in those places, it’s much harder to smooth them out. Always work in sections, using a clip to keep the other hair out of your way; using sections allows more control and will allow the hair to dry in those sections faster, reducing the amount of passes you need to do with the blow dryer. I try to get the roots dry before working on the ends. I finish the blow dry by holding the cold blast button for about 1-2 min to seal in the style and add extra shine.”

“My favorite brushes (which are really important for the best look) are from the brand Ibiza. I find that natural boar bristles are gentler on the hair, which reduces tangling and breakage. I always use the EX3 55mm to smooth hairlines. If I want the blow dry to be more on the bouncy-curly side, I’ll use it for the whole head. If I want more of a straighter finish for the style, I use the EX4 65mm, which is also great if you want more volume on the crown. I always use the Harry Josh Pro tools blow dryer—it’s awesome because it has a switch that turns the ionic function on or off. I like it turned on when I want to create a sleeker look or on styling frizzy hair; I like it turned off when I want to get more body into the style or if I’m working on finer hair. Many clients who aren’t so adept at holding a brush and a blow dryer at the same time are using the Dry Bar blow dryer brush, which is an all-in-one solution.”

“My go-to products for a sleek blow dry are a conditioning mask—I have been using the Harklinikken Hydrating Mask lately on clients, and it’s very hydrating and nourishing without feeling heavy or sticky afterward. My favorite product when doing blowouts is the Milbon thickening spray. I use it at the roots and sometimes through the ends on damp hair before the blow dry.”

Tarsha Marshall

“One of the most important factors to consider when you are blowing out your hair is addressing the texture,” says New York-based hair expert Marshall, who has worked with Mariah Carey and Brooke Shields. “The right brush is very important in this instance. Ceramic and boar bristle brushes are great for a smooth blowout. Ceramic heats up and smooths the hair shaft, which is great for hair with a lot of texture. Boar bristles are great with smoothing out curly hair and fine hair because of the grip it has on your hair during the blow dry. When blow drying, make sure you keep the blow dry nozzle pointed downwards so hair follicles are smoothed out. This will also keep hair looking shiny.”

“As far as blow dryers go, there are many factors in choosing the correct dryer. It depends on how you like the dryer to feel and what you are most comfortable with when blow drying your hair. The ceramic and ionic dryers are the rave now because of how they distribute heat and eliminate static. Twin turbo and Parlux are my favorites because they are both smaller in size and have powerful motors which perform extremely well.”

“When it comes to products, I’m not a junkie—but I do have my go-to’s that can complete any style: Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray, which builds volume and texture; Oribe Superfine Spray, which leaves your hair flexible, not stiff; Biosilk silk therapy, and Oribe Gold Lust Nourishing Hair Oil.”

Andy LeCompte

“Always start with clean, hydrated hair,” advises LeCompte, who heads up Andy LeCompte Salon in West Hollywood, where he has worked with Madonna and Penelope Cruz. “The right shampoo and conditioner will make a huge difference. Hydration is essential for healthy hair and a gorgeous blowout. If your hair is curly or thick, I recommend the Milbon smoothing shampoo and conditioner and Inphenom hair mask, especially if your hair is dry. If you have fine hair, Iles Formula is exceptional.”

“Drying your hair after the shower is also important. To reduce water and cut down frizz, use an Aquis hair towel—much better than a regular towel because they are designed to dry your hair to a damp state quicker and more evenly without heat or friction. Hair that is evenly damp starts to regain strength and is in better shape to handle the stress of thermal styling. A microfiber towel also is tightly woven so that it doesn’t snag your hair cuticle. Remember—you don’t want to stress your hair by adding heat until your hair is about 70-80 percent dry. The more wet your hair is, the easier your hair stretches, so if you have curly hair, get it a bit damper than if you have straighter hair. But for straighter textures, you want to eliminate about 75 percent of the moisture from the hair.”

“Heat protectants are so important to guard your hair when doing blowouts—I use often Olaplex No. 7. It’s great on all hair types and it’s not too heavy.”

“If you’re going for a bouncy or wavy look, twist your hair up when it is warm into two buns and secure with large hair pins, then blast them with heat from behind your ears. Allow them to cool and release. The result is a nice texture for a beach wave look.”

Dom Seeley

“Make sure you section off your hair when prepping the blowout and brushing,” explains Seeley, a London hair guru who works frequently with Bella Hadid and Kendall Jenner. “I cannot speak any more highly of the Dyson Supersonic. Ever since it was brought to market, I haven’t picked up another blow dryer. The technology, design, and research pushes it to the top of the list for me. In terms of products, you want to find the right product for your hair that hydrates. Hydration is one of the most important factors in addressing any styling hair needs—especially for hair that is being blown out with strong heat. I am obsessed with the new Color Wow Money Masque—it’s fool proof. You apply to damp hair after shampooing, and it’s really a no-fuss mask you don’t have to leave in for a time consuming 20-30 mins to see benefits.”

Valery Joseph

“A great blowout must start with a great cut,” says Joseph, the owner of Valery Joseph Salon, located on New York City’s Upper East Side. “The right layers will optimize your hair texture and give your hair a much more noticeable appearance. Always section off your hair into pieces to control drying areas of the hair one piece at a time. The most important thing you can do during your blowout is pull the hair from the roots and make sure the ends are nice and straight when styling. You must finish the blowout with good hairspray that will give you good hold, prevent frizz, but won’t feel sticky! I personally love Extend hair spray from my collection—it has no alcohol and is strong enough to hold, but soft enough that you can refresh your blowout the next day with ease.”

“In terms of blow dryers, I personally love FHI’s. It has a unique technology that distributes heat evenly and shortens the process of drying the hair. The right products obviously matter, too. One of the most essential products I insist my clients to use is my own Cure Split End Serum because it mends, seals, and protects split ends. More importantly, it helps prevent them from happening when you are blow drying your hair. I recommend it each and every time my clients get ready to blow their hair out.

Wendy Iles

“There are several factors that go into doing a great blow out,” Iles says. The hairstylist is based in Sydney and has styled the coifs of Heidi Klum, Marion Cotillard, Keira Knightley, and more. “Choosing a hydrating shampoo and conditioner is an important first step. Second, once out of the shower, you should wrap your hair in a microfiber towel because it’s anti-static and cuts down drying time. Then, apply a good finishing serum. My personal preference is mine, the Iles’ Finishing Serum Haute. This is a protective, necessary step for hair that will be blown out, giving shine and humidity protection. Also, the serum will add organic memory to the hair and will adapt to whatever movement you give it. Next, make sure you properly section off your hair and apply serum on every section from about 1 inch from the roots through to the ends as you blow dry. A great blow dryer to smooth out hair is the Dyson Supersonic. For brushes, I really think the Olivia Garden round brush is great for hair.

Maxime Salvador

The secret of a smooth, polished ‘Beverly Hills blowout,’ as I like to call it, is the pull when blowing out the hair,” explains Salvador, who heads up Salon by Maxime in Beverly Hills. “Don’t forget that there’s about 2 millimeters of hair underneath the scalp, resting dormant. Safely pulling on that hair makes the follicle softer and that much more mailable. But more importantly, you’re resetting the bonds that give the hair its structure. There are three types of bonds that give the hair its texture; water bond, salt bond, and amino acid bond. An amino acid bond can only be chemically altered with a keratin treatment, relaxer, or perm. But a water bond and salt bond can be broken down using water and heat, respectively. Pulling at the root stretches the hair, breaking down the shape it wants to naturally live in, so you can direct it better to live in the position you see fit. I pull exactly opposite of the direction gravity wants it (usually straight up) and blast the roots with the dryer. When the heat and drying has broken the two bonds I mentioned earlier, it’s time to retrain them. Half the blow dry is in the cooling to reset the structure. I clip it straight up and wait for the roots to cool down. When I unclip: Boom. The hair now wants to live up, and it defies gravity.”

“It’s always important to have a good hair texturizing spray. I use my own Salon Maxine hair texturizing spray because a lot of the other sprays are too sticky, or too heavy. This one is pretty consistent. I apply it at the end of a blow dry to add a little more grab in the hair, creating more volume. You can also use it to prolong the life of your blowout by applying a small amount on your hair, flipping it upside down, and running your fingers through your roots to shake it up.”

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