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In the right hands, a blow dryer and round brush can create vastly different hairstyles. And while the looks may change, there’s one hard-and-fast rule among stylists before styling even begins: not to start from sopping wet hair. “It takes longer and encourages frizz and breakage,” says Missy Clarkson, hair stylist at Burke & Hair salon in Vancouver’s Gastown.
After stepping out of the shower, towel dry hair first then flip your head upside down and rough-dry from the roots until hair is at least 50 per cent dry. “It will give your hair some lift,” says Clarkson. We asked Clarkson to share five different ways to blow dry hair to create your favourite hairstyles.
Natural blow dry
Apply a heat-protectant spray to the hair before you begin styling (try Kevin Murphy Damage.Manager). For the safest blow dry, “make sure the heat is not too high, and [the blow dryer] is not too close the hair,” says Clarkson. Divide the hair into a top Mohawk, and blow dry the hair in sections, starting from the front—where you have the most control—to the back, using a round brush (a larger brush will create more volume). “The smaller the brush, the more control you have,” she says, adding that ceramic brushes hold and distribute heat better than metal ones. “A high-quality brush makes all the difference.” Position your arm (that’s holding the brush) at a 90-degree angle.
Once finished, flip hair upside down again blast with a shot of cold air to remove all heat. “Heat manipulates the hair,” says Clarkson. “So if the hair is still hot, it can still be manipulated.” Cooled strands will keep your blowout in place.
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A wavy finish
Again, go with Clarkson’s “cheater move” and blow dry upside down until it’s about 80 per cent dry this time. Divide up the hair like a beach ball, creating vertical sections starting from the face, and blow dry using a small round boar bristle brush to create a tighter wave.
Finish with a curling tong to create natural, beachy movement. “Wrap hair around the wand and away from the face, leaving out the ends.” This will leave loose and billowy waves in the hair.
Diffuse curly hair
While you can blow dry naturally curly hair to a pin-straight finish after two hours of styling, it will likely recoil to its wavy state once you step outside. “Keep curly hair curly,” Clarkson advises. Flip head upside down and diffuse dry.
Finish by using a small curling iron to hold the natural curl in shape and create more definition.
Styling second-day hair is all about the “faux dry,” says Clarkson. If you wash hair the night before and wake up to quickly style hair the next day, go for an easy updo. Part the hair at the centre and tie into knot at the back, adding in bobby pins to hold any loose pieces in place. Or to re-style already blown-out hair the next morning, add dry shampoo at the roots to remove any excess oil. Take the curling tong to re-shape any kinks that were worked into the hair while sleeping.
The textured hairstyle
The beauty about this look is that you can create a grunge-inspired slept-on hairstyle with texturizing pastes and hair products—but it also works perfectly on second day hair as well. If you don’t have time to wash hair in the morning, work in a volumizing dry shampoo at the roots. Part the hair at the middle and blow dry with a large round brush to create beautiful waves. Divide up the hair into a Mohawk, and back-brush small sections at a time. “Start at the root and work forward,” she says. “This will create soft-looking waves.” With lots of volume.
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