Ditch the Salon: How To Get the Perfect Blowout at Home

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Written by Sophie Mara

Updated: February 19, 2024

Picture this: you step out of the salon with a fresh, bouncy blowout, ready to take on the day with no end of swishing and exaggerated hair flips. The only problem?

You already know it probably won’t last for more than a few days. Going back to your stylist every 72 hours is just not practical and your bank balance could never support such an extravagant habit.

image via @Laifen

The solution? You master the art of achieving a professional quality blowout at home and feel like red-carpet royalty whenever the mood strikes you.

Now, If you’ve ever tried to copy the way your stylist does your blowout, you’ll know they make it look a lot easier than it is. Next to their speed, precision, and flawless results, you have tired arms, tangled ends, and sneaky sections of damp hair that absolutely refuse to dry. It makes a successful at-home blowout seem totally out of reach and about as beneficial as a self-manicure (IYKYK). 

Spoiler alert: all of that’s about to change. Whilst we’re no experts on painting nails, we know all there is to know about styling hair. Our guide will take you through the blowout process in easy-to-follow steps so you can leave the house with salon-quality results every single time.

What you’ll need…

  • Good quality shampoo and conditioner
  • A clean, dry towel
  • A detangling brush or wide-tooth comb
  • Heat protectant
  • Volumizing mousse
  • Sectioning clips (or silk scrunchies)
  • A round brush
  • A blow dryer with a concentrator nozzle
  • A hair oil

Step One: Wash & Condition Your Hair

Every good salon trip starts with a thorough hair wash and conditioning treatment. So, to begin your at-home blowdry routine, hop in the shower and give those tresses the TLC they deserve. 

Begin by cleansing the hair thoroughly with a shampoo designed for your specific hair type. For example, if your hair is super thick, frizzy, or generally lacking moisture, look out for formulas rich in ingredients like coconut oil, aloe vera, and shea butter, and avoid those like sodium chloride and sulfates. 

Sodium chloride (salt) is sometimes added to shampoo to make the hair look and feel thicker. Meanwhile, sulfates are added to create the foaming effect. Unfortunately, both of these ingredients can also dry the hair out making it more likely to feel dry, brittle, and tangled. Not exactly the best start for a silky-smooth blowout.

However, shampoos and conditioners rich in those oils and butters we mentioned, will nourish the hair by adding moisture, allowing your locks to look and feel stronger, healthier, and moisturized from the inside out. 

Step Two: Condition Your Hair

After rinsing out your shampoo of choice, go in with a conditioning treatment and smooth it from the mid-lengths to the ends of your hair. Leave it in for a few minutes, then rinse it out gently with lukewarm water until it runs clear.

Everyone’s hair is different so whilst some will need to do this with every wash, others can get away with just once a week or even less. Don’t be afraid to experiment and get to know what works best for your hair by trying it both ways. Oh, and that rinse with lukewarm water we mentioned? That’s very important too. 

Step Three: Rinse Your Hair

If the water is too hot, the pores of your hair follicles begin to open up and the keratin within your hair (the natural protein that makes it smooth, strong, and shiny) becomes dehydrated and damaged. So, do yourself and your hair a favor and turn the temperature down a little. You’ll be glad you did when it comes time to start the blowout.

Step Four: Begin Drying Your Hair… Without A Hairdryer 

We know, we know. Already on step four and not a heat tool in sight. Well, as you might have already noticed, achieving the perfect blowout is as much about the prep as it is about the drying itself. So, before you flick on your blowdryer and get to work, gently pat any excess water out of your hair with a soft, clean, dry towel until your hair is damp rather than wet.

Partially drying your hair in this gentle way means you’ll need to spend a lot less time applying heat later on. And, as we’ve established, healthy hair is happy hair and will lead to a much more luscious-looking blowout.

Step Five: Gently Detangle Your Hair

As a final step in your wash routine, invest in a detangling brush or a wide-tooth comb specially designed to brush through wet hair. Hair is in its most delicate state when wet as it can stretch and break much more easily.

So, go ahead and gently comb it out starting from the ends and working your way slowly up to the root. This will prevent drag and stop the hair from stretching and snapping.

Step Six: Protect Your Hair

Okay we promise, this is the last bit of prep. Before you begin applying heat, go ahead and treat your tresses with a heat protectant. This can be a spray, a serum, or a cream, choose whichever suits your hair best. Aim for it to feel nourished and smooth without feeling heavy or weighed down. 

This extra nourishment and attention to detail is what will give you healthy-looking, salon-quality results at home. Finally, add a golf ball-sized amount of volumizing hair mousse to your fingertips and work it into your roots. This will provide even more protection and plenty of volume for your end result.

Step Seven: Dry Your Hair 

With all of the prep steps completed to make sure your hair looks and feels truly healthy, it’s time to reach for your blow dryer. Keep scrolling to discover all our top tips for achieving the best possible blowout for your hair length and style.

How To Blowout Long Hair

Long Hair 1
image via @soko

Begin by switching on your blow dryer to a low or medium heat, then rough dry the hair until it’s around 80% dry. Use your fingertips instead of a brush to prevent tangling at this stage. Again, this will minimize damage by minimizing the amount of concentrated heat you’re using.

Next, when you have a lot of length, volume, or both to contend with, you’ll need to tackle your blowout in small sections. Using your fingertips or a tail comb, section off the hair just above the ears. Secure the top part gently on top of your head with a sectioning clip or silk hair tie. 

Now, reach for your round brush. Remember the thickness of the barrel determines the sections of hair you’ll be able to dry at one time. It also makes a difference to the overall look of your blowout. In general, larger brushes are best for bouncier blowouts with tons of volume whilst thinner brushes are great for finer, shorter hair and and easily accessing bangs and shorter pieces.

Give this section a final once over with your de-tangling brush or wide-tooth comb so the hair is sitting evenly, then take a small section of hair no wider than the round brush. Starting at the root, place your round brush beneath the hair and begin brushing gently towards the ends. Your blow dryer should be on a cool or medium heat with the concentrator nozzle pointing diagonally towards the hair.

Add a little tension so that the hair sits straight on the brush, but don’t pull so hard that you can feel the pressure on your scalp. Also, instead of pulling straight downwards, lift the section of hair up a little as you go. This will create volume and give your blowout a bouncier and more professional look. 

Pro tip: for a 90s-inspired style, curl the brush under at the ends so all of your hair ends up flicking inwards. 

Once this piece is dry, move on to the next until you’ve completed the section. Carefully let down, brush, and dry more sections until you reach the top front. This is where you’ll want to switch things up.

How To Blowout Curtain Bangs & Front Pieces

Short Hair Blowout
image via @rachelwstylist

Whether you’re rocking bangs or just a few shorter pieces in front, this all-important section of hair is nearest to your face so you’ll want to get it just right. 

Section off the hair, and brush it gently forward. Now, place the round brush on top of the hair by the root, flick the hair back over the brush, and trust the process.

Position the concentrator nozzle underneath the hair facing the root. Pull the hair gently up and towards the back of your head and repeat until it’s dry.

This will give you perfectly voluminous, bouncy bangs cascading gently down the sides of your face and subtly highlighting your features.

How To Blowout Layered Hair

For layered blowouts, the real difference comes from how you section the hair. Instead of randomly selecting similarly sized pieces, make sure you’re dividing your hair roughly where each layer starts and ends. This way you’ll create a definition between the layers and make the most of your chosen cut. 

Another tip is to alternate how you blow out the hair at the ends. Using your round brush, flick the first layer in, and the next layer out, and alternate for heaps of bounce and definition when you’re done. 

How To Make Your Blowout Last

Just because you can now blow out your hair to a professional standard all by yourself doesn’t mean you don’t want your hard work to last, right?

To make the most of your blowout, allow the hair to fully cool before stepping outside. This will make sure your style is set and lessens the opportunity for moisture or heat from the outside to affect the finish.

Finally, take a small pea-sized amount of hair oil, and smooth it through the mid-lengths and ends of your hair. This will retain the moisture from your freshly washed locks preventing the hair from drying out or dropping.

It’ll also give your hair that coveted salon shine so you look and feel like you’re having your best hair day, every day.

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