How to make the best out of your hair – Part Two

It’s about time I update my hair how-to series, and following up on my ‘how to wash your hair‘ post I thought it would be good to move on the next step – styling your hair.

I intend to do a series of tutorials on more intricate styling soon, but for now, let’s stick to the basics – the basic blowdry.  The techniques you use will all depend on your hair texture, how much hair you have, etc.  Like my first post, a lot of it is pretty self-explanatory, but I’m hoping that some of you might get a few tips from this!

THE BASIC BLOWDRY

ALWAYS use a heat protecting serum.  There are a lot of products out there that don’t feel like ‘product’ on your hair once it’s dried, a fave of mine is Redken Anti-snap.  It doesn’t have a hold factor to it, but your locks will thank you for it!!  Then, use a smoothing balm/volumiser if you like.  This will depend on your hair, and the end result you want.

Volume

Work a bit of volumiser in with your fingers, concentrating on the roots.  Start drying your hair, tip your head upside down for even more volume.  ALWAYS point the hairdryer’s nozzle in the direction of the hairgrowth to smooth the cuticle.  If you aim in the opposite way, your hair will have a lot of frizz.  Use your fingers as a brush, and pull your hair up and out for maximum volume. Dry your hair this way this way until it’s about 60 – 70% dry, then section it off in sections the size of your brush, starting from ear to ear (any bigger and you’ll lose tension in your hair)

Blowdry by placing a round brush underneath each section, lifting the hair as you rotate the brush.  The hair dryer should be drying from above the section, facing downwards, and not touching the hair.  (Quick tip:  for even more volume, blowdry the roots of the whole section you separated first, let it cool down properly, and only then carry on to the ends, pointing the nozzle downwards, smoothing the hair as you dry.)  Make sure you keep a lot of tension in the hair with the brush, lifting the brush upwards and outwards.  Repeat this action a few times.

For curled-in ends, leave the brush to cool facing downwards, with your hair spiralled around it.  For a flicked effect,  leave the brush to cool down facing upwards.  For a more tousled look, let your brush face sideways to cool down, alternating sides with each section.  The cooling down stage is almost more important than the blowdrying stage, as it sets the hair.

When you get to the top, and you want even more volume, do the same as before, and instead of leaving the hair to cool down around the brush, take the hair out of the brush and wind it around big velcro rollers like these, making sure the ends are smooth, and not buckled.  Leave this in for about 5 – 10 minutes.  Spritz your hair with a little bit of hairspray, remove the rollers, tip your head upside down again, switch your hair dryer to a cool setting, and shake out your hair using your fingers whilst setting it with a cool shot of air.  Flip your head back up again and finish with a bit of hairspray.

Smooth

If you have super curly hair, it will be easier to start blowdrying when your hair is wet, rather than rough-drying it first.  Comb a little bit of smoothing balm through your hair, making sure put some of the product in your hairline if you have frizzy bits.  Section off your hair in small sections, starting from the back.  Instead of placing the brush underneath the hair like before, place the brush on top of the hair, securing the hair underneath with your thumb.  Again, the roots are the most important aspect.  If your roots are smooth, the rest will fall into place easier.

To straighten curly hair, you have to keep tension in the hair to smooth it.    Use your thumb on the hand that’s holding the brush to keep the tension.  If you want minimum volume, instead of lifting the hair, keep on pushing it down.  Blowdry each section, keeping the nozzle in a downward direction.  With the midlengths and ends, use a combination of holding the brush above the hair and underneath it to smooth it, keeping the dryer nozzle facing downwards.   Then, if you want the ends straight instead of curly, keep on rolling the ends as if you want to curl it, but pull it down instead of letting it set in a curl.  Smooth your hair with a drop of anti-frizz serum.

Fringe

If you have a full fringe, start your blowdry by drying this first.  After you’ve applied your chosen heat protectant, section off your fringe.  If you want a natural-looking fringe (not too curled under, not too straight) try these tricks:  Using a paddle brush, shift your fringe to one side.  Start blowdrying, positioning the hair dryer nozzle in the direction you’re brushing it.  Then alternate it so you brush and dry it in the opposite direction.  Focus on the roots as you’re doing this. When the roots are dry, section your fringe in two sections, and quickly blowdry the underneath section with a large round brush.  Try not to lift it too much, otherwise you’ll get too much volume.  Repeat this step with the top section.

I hope these tips have helped a few of you, feel free to add your favourite tips in the comments section below!