“My hair looks way better after you style it than it does after I do at home” is something we hear a whole bunch. It’s partly ‘cos we style thousands of heads a year, but also ‘cos we probably use a blow dryer when we style your hair.
Doesn’t matter how much product ya use, your hair naturally wants to fall a particular way. Mine naturally wants to fall left-to-right, making combovers easy. If I wanna do something else though, a slickback for example, my hair puts up a bit of a fight. A blow dryer however, lets you set your hair however you’d like opening up all kinda styles. Rad.
You’ll need a few things to get the best outta your blow-drying antics:
- A blow dryer
- A heat protectant – we recommend Reuzel Grooming Tonic
- A brush/comb/both – we recommend the Kent Gel Styler Brush
You’ll wanna wet your hair first, be it by jumping in the shower or spraying it down with a bottle. You want it to be damp, not saturated, so give it a good towel dry before you get started. After you’ve towel dried, work through a little bit of your heat protectant. You wanna make sure you use enough to cover all your hair, but not so much that your hair is soaked – we’re aiming for towel-dried.
Before I break out the blow dryer, I start by combing my hair into the style I want, so for a side part I’ll sweep the top across my head and form a part, and then comb the sides down. A Nu Brush makes this part a dream. Once I’ve done that I’ll blow dry the sides straight down (or at 45-degrees towards the back of my head if I want them to look swept back) with medium heat and the highest speed, and once it’s sitting how I want, I’ll work in a little product whilst the hairs still damp, hit it with a little more heat and then once it’s where I want it with the product, I’ll blast it with cold air and set it. Hot air gives your hair the flexibility to get where you want it to go, cold air sets it where you want it to go.
The top should still be pretty damp at this point, so if I’m using a water-based product I’ll work it in now, but if I’m using an oil-based product I’ll let it dry out a little first. Once you’re producted-up, you can start blow drying. I use a round brush to pickup the hair, and then use it to guide my hair to where I want it (sideways for a comb over, backwards for a side part, up for volume) whilst simultaneously hitting it on a high heat setting at high speed. You wanna hold the blow dryer about 8-inches from your hair. I’ll do a full pass, then put in product if I’m using something oil based, before going in with a bit more detail. If there’s anywhere that isn’t sitting as you’d like, hit it with a medium heat and work it a little more, and if I wanna add texture with my fingers or a pomp comb or similar, now is when I’ll do it with a medium-low heat and speed. Once you’re stoked, blast it with some cold air, using a comb to set your hair as you want it the exact same way you did with the hot air at the beginning, and then give ‘er one last tidy up with your styling tool of choice and you should be sorted.
Everyone’s hair is different, and every product is different, so it’ll take a little bit of experimenting to figure out what works best for your hair, so don’t take the above heat settings and process as word of god. Rework it to suit, try doing things in a different order (except for when to use hot and cold air) and see where ya end up. If your hair ends up looking frizzy and is difficult to control, you used too much heat and if your hair ends up drifting back to where it naturally sits, you didn’t use enough.
Otherwise, ask your barber to style your hair with a blow dryer the next time you’re in for a cut and ask them about how they’ve done it. They see thousands of heads, so they’ll definitely be able to give you a few tips ‘n’ tricks suited to your specific hair.