You can't beat a good blowout and in the hands of Savannah Fincher, Corporate Style Director at Blo Blow Dry Bar, it can transform you from drab to fab in no time at all.
We were lucky enough to catch up with Fincher to find out insider tips and tricks that can help you get great looking hair from home using just a few must-haves. Read on: It's simpler than you think....
First things first, what’s the best way to prep hair for a blowout?There’s no “one-size-fits-all” blowout, but there are tips and tricks that get a great result from all hair types. Start by applying a PH-balanced leave in conditioner, ideally with a heat protectant. (At Blo, we use Unite Eurotherapy 7SECONDS) Next, detangle gently, DO NOT brush straight through knots or you’ll pull out the hair and cause split ends and flyaways. Then, rough dry. Move the dryer in circular motions and lightly shake excess water off the ends. Let’s talk about rough drying.
Why is it important and is there a right or wrong way to do it in order to prevent breakage?
A lot of people towel dry their hair aggressively before blow-drying. The process acts like sandpaper to your hair and creates flyaways. Instead, wrap hair in a Aquis Towel to start the drying process. Once it’s partially dry, apply a leave-in conditioner and gently detangle the hair. Then, pre-dry (or rough-dry) by moving the blow dryer in circular motions while lightly shaking any remaining water off the ends with your hands.
That continuous movement of your blow dryer will keep you from over-concentrating on one area and burning your hair or scalp, while the circular motion helps avoid cowlicks or unruly growth patterns. The rough-drying process shouldn’t take more than ten minutes.
Great. So let’s get to the actual blow-dry. What’s the best way to start?
Once you’ve pre-dried your hair, break it into sections. At the minimum, take a section from the nape of the neck and then four sections on each side, and section off a rectangle on the top of your head, including your part. Then, secure each section with a clip. When drying, you’ll want to start from the nape of the neck and work up towards the top of the head. This allows you to have control of the hair so you don’t miss any sections.
And let’s talk brushes. What kinds do you recommend?
We use round brushes with a ceramic center [at Blo]. These have multiple helpful functions, but even saturation of heat is one of the best. And regarding size, it depends on the results you’re going for. The larger the round brush, the easier it will be to get a nice blowout with a little bend on the end. With a smaller round brush, you’ll get more of a curl. I highly recommend Olivia Garden brushes. The Ceramic + Ion brushes are great for all hair types and textures. However, if your hair is more on the damaged or dehydrated side, I would recommend a boar bristle brush.
How do you keep your clients’ hair healthy during blowouts?
The majority of damage happens with an inappropriate application of heat. When it’s properly done, there should be little to no damage. Some people direct the nozzle of the dryer at their scalp, which goes against the grain of the cuticle and causes damage to the scalp and hair. Always go with the grain when drying!While heat can be damaging, so can washing your hair too often. Customers often tell us that they get blowouts so they can wash their hair less frequently.
Any tips for extending the life of a blowout?
Well, every time you wash your hair, you’re stripping its natural oils, so it’s important to use products that moisturize the hair and help seal the cuticle before getting a blowout (or doing one yourself). This keeps the scalp from producing excess oil, extends the life of your blowout and reduces the need to wash your hair.
Can you talk us through buying the perfect blowdryer for the job?
Avoid generic-brand blowdryers. Instead, look for any dryer that’s ion-infused. Heat with negatively charged ions locks in moisture rather than stripping it out. Ulta or even Sally Beauty Supply have some good, reasonably priced options.
Any tips for finding the right heat setting (hot enough to be quick and effective, but cool enough not to cause too much damage)?
There are scientific studies that show 365 degrees is the temperature that’s perfect for all hair types. That’s still going to get you the curl or smoothness you want without blowing up your cuticle. I’m 100 percent pro-heat protectant. I recommend using it both prior to styling and throughout. For finishing, it’s also good to use a UVA or UVB protectant for the sun. And just because you have fine or really straight hair, that doesn’t mean you don’t need to protect it from heat.
What’s your own personal hair routine?
I generally try to go with one, or at the most two, washes in a week, and I am very guilty of indulging in my company’s services. When I don’t go to Blo, I use a color-safe clarifying shampoo, followed by a really nice moisturizing shampoo. Then, I finish with a moisturizing conditioner. I try to do all of this with cold water, or at least a cold shot at the end of my shower to seal the cuticle. I use my Aquis towel and I love it, especially because I have such curly hair. I usually put the towel on and apply any body or skincare products. By the time I finish, my hair is about 50 percent dry. Then, I use a detangler. It’s a heat protectant and detangler in one. I use a boar bristle brush or a wet brush followed by a setting lotion. Then I do a basic blowout. I like my hair to be smoothed out for the first day or two, then I’ll start touching it up with curls. Once I get towards the end of my blowout cycle, I’ll do messy updos or braids. And I start using dry shampoo within 24 hours of washing.
Love it. And Finally, what hair mantra do you live by?
Beauty is only skin deep and the rest is up to your hairdresser.
There are 55 Blo Blow Dry Bars available in 4 different countries. Locate your nearest one here.
What are your personal tricks for the perfect at-home blowout? We'd love to hear about them. Join the discussion on our Facebook page.