It's easier than it looks...
The time has come! Salons across the country have reopened their doors after four long months.
But thanks to DIY haircuts, box dye and self-isolation fringes - the privilege of being able to get a haircut or hair colour with a beloved hairdresser is, now, more valued than ever. Few let the government's announcement that hair salons and barbers can reopen go by without picking up a phone or logging on online to book in that first cut or colour post lockdown.
Hair and beauty services platform Treatwell experienced a record demand for hair appointments with figures showing an incredible 2250% increase in bookings. That includes one eager client in the UK who booked in for 5 am!
But with such a demand comes the struggle to even nab yourself an appointment. Not to mention that most hairdressers are only providing colour and cut treatments for the time being to catch up with the demand.
Meaning those of us who have unearthed our inner hairdressers and successfully mastered the art that is root touch-ups are going to have to wait even longer for the one task they can't master: the blowdry.
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Achieving a salon-worthy blow-dry (whether it be for dress-up Fridays or just as something to pass the time) is no mean feat. First, there’s choosing the best shampoo and conditioner for gravity-defying volume. Then, there’s juggling the brushes that’ll - hopefully - give you accidentally perfect, Kate Middleton-inspired waves and then you also have to choose the right heat setting on your hairdryer without burning your scalp. That’s all before you’ve even encountered the inevitable arm ache that ensures after just a few minutes…
But according to hairstylist, Jake Ryan, Creative Director of PREEN, an at-home blow-dry doesn’t have to be as hard as we make it. In fact, you can nail a salon finish in just a few arm-ache-free steps.
how to achieve a salon-worthy blow-dry at home:
Step One: Double Wash
The thing that is very often overlooked when trying to achieve salon results at home is the sheer number of products a stylist applies in one single appointment. If you’re struggling to get that lifted volume that a salon blow-dry promises, it’s likely because you’re skipping one vital step: rinse and repeat. “Always shampoo your hair twice and then condition the mid-length and ends,” advises Ryan. “Pull sections of hair through your fingers to make sure nothing is slipping through, this will ensure all the product is removed and help you get longevity out of your blowdry.” Rather than grab the hairdryer immediately after your shower, Ryan advises wrapping your hair in a towel and leaving for at least ten minutes. If you try to blow dry wet hair, it will not only weigh down but also flatten the hair.
Step Two: Prep and Perfect
When it comes to achieving a salon-worthy blow-dry at home, you’re going to need some help. While your hairdresser can’t come and do it for you, styling products are the next best thing. “I like to start by spritzing the hair with a leave-in conditioner and combing it through,” says Ryan. “This helps detangle and strengthen the hair for an easy blow-dry.” Perhaps the biggest hurdle to overcome when blowdrying your hair at home is volume, cue the Body. Mass plumping treatment by Kevin Murphy (€34) - a product Ryan uses in the salon. “If you want volume at the roots, spray the product into the roots only, section by section.” Oh, and a heat protecting spray is never a bad idea.
Step Three: Roughly Does It
Before you start reaching for a barrel brush, it’s important to make sure the hair is mostly dry. “Blast your hair until it is about 80% dry,” says Ryan. Don’t worry about styling too much here, simply run your hands through your hair whilst drying - that sought after salon bounce comes later. However, if you have a fringe (resulting from self-isolation or not), Ryan advises styling the front first while it’s wet to make sure there are no jumps.
Step Four: The Mane Event
Now comes the tricky part. Once your hair is semi-dry, start by sectioning the hair. “Divide your hair from your parting down to the nape of your neck, so you have two sections,” says Ryan. “Then, let down a section from each side at the back of your head.” Now, this is where the fun starts. Grab a barrel brush and start drying! “Work up the head, letting down a section from each side every time you move up,” recommends Ryan. “If you like volume, pull your roots up from the start as this will build volume in the hair and help it to last.” Once your hair is completely dry, Ryan advises using the cold blast button on your hairdryer for a matter of seconds. This will set the blowdry in place.
Step Five: Finishing Touches
There’s a reason why your hairdresser will always ask if you want some final product before leaving the chair: it makes the blow-dry last. “I always like to use a texturising spray when I have finished styling my clients’ hair,” says Ryan. But if you find that despite applying product after your blowdry, you only get an hour or two out of your hair, Ryan advises returning to step two: preparation. “My all-time go-to product for a long-lasting blow-dry is Kevin Murphy Anti. Gravity. Spray (€25). This should be sprayed generously through the mid-lengths and ends and comb through to make sure the product is evenly distributed.”
Main image by @jakeryan_hair on Instagram