Blow-Dry 101: 31 Easy Tips for the Ultimate Blowout!

A blowout is one of the most basic salon services, but that doesn't mean it's easy.

craft. Which begs the question, "What is the essence of the ultimate blowout?"

We couldn't nail it down for you in a concise paragraph, but we have tapped some of the best in the business to tell us their insider tips!

Read on to learn more about what makes a blowout bombshell-worthy, including how to make the most of your tools' potential and get the sleekiest, shiniest, most beautifully voluminous results ever.



Image: fourseasons/Getty Images


rt. What to do?

Heather Carranza, Brand Manager for It Factor, shares her favorite 5-step technique for a smooth and bouncy finish:

Step 1: Shampoo and condition with It Factor Quick Blowdry products. Towel-dry hair to remove excess water. Apply Simply It Smoothing Lotion—the ultimate all-in-one detangler and styler!

Step 2: Section hair into sections no wider than the width of your brush and clip each section. Use  a 100% boar bristle brush to ensure smoothness without damage.

Step 3: Starting at the nape, roll each section of hair onto your brush, then place the dryer’s nozzle attachment over the hair, moving back and forth quickly. When the section is about 80% dry, reposition the brush back to the nape and make a ½ turn.  This will tighten the hair around the brush, straightening and smoothing as you dry. 

NOTE:  Never place the nozzle directly on the hair. Instead, angle the nozzle so that the hot air blows over the top of the hair and the brush. 

Step 4: To quickly build body and dry all at once, stand to the side of the client, bringing the dryer and brush up to create volume. Continue to pull and roll the brush to create bounce and shine.  Pull the brush, keeping the nozzle at a 45-degree angle as you slide along, drying as you go. Rotate back to the nape and repeat until hair is completely dry. Once the hair is completely dried, backcomb lightly at the base and wrap hair in a curl formation and pin slightly off base with a clippie. This will create added volume and all-night hold. Continue until hair is completely dried and pinned. Allow it to cool to room temperature or place under a cool hooded dryer.

Step 5: When hair has completely cooled, spray with a light-holding hairspray and remove all clippies. Rake fingers through and set the style!

Your client is now ready to go out with a blowout that will last all night! Va-va-voom!

For more information and tips, visit


Image: Randy Brooke/WireImage


tasks—agree or disagree? (We know you agree.)

Guess what? A stylist spends, on average, two hours per day holding their dryer, repeatedly rotating their brush (and wrists) thousands of times while continuously raising and lowering their shoulders. Blow-drying is the leading cause of stylists' work injuries. And yet is it considered an Olympic sport? No. But we keep the hope alive.

Most stylists learn to blow-dry by watching their peers work, but they may not learn how to protect their bodies. Ergonomics is often overlooked in engineers' design process, but it's crucial to your well-being. Tools must feel "friendly" in the hand, necessitating less effort and offering better results.
Robert Reed, CEO and Founder of Ergo Research Inc., shares six ergonomically friendly tips that'll change the way you dry hair.

1. It can’t go without saying: gently detangling the hair is an important first step in preventing damage while the hair is in its most fragile state. Share with your guest how to use a polishing paddle (held vertically) to remove tangles without pulling.

2.     A percentage of moisture (water), depending on the hair texture, should be removed using your dryer and fingers. Keep in mind that you want to allow more moisture to remain for highly texturized hair, less for finer hair types.

3.     After removing the desired percentage of moisture, section the head as you did for your cut (top, crown, back, sides, nape).

4.     Using a dryer concentrator nozzle aids you in providing specific direction for your airflow.

5.     Heat is necessary to dry the hair, but too much heat will leave the cuticle open, so finish each section using a medium-level heat (or cool shot). Remember, most of your customers use dryers that are too hot. Share with them how to recognize when their hair is fully dry. Most of your guests over dry their hair, which is the No. 1 cause of color fading and static.

6. Select your favored styling or thermal protective product. Remember to share with your guest that styling products are not merely an option but, in fact, a necessity. After all, you can't create beautiful hair without these products, so how could they?


Interested in learning more about ergonomically friendly blow-drying? Ergo offers a class called "Art of a Blow Dry," which tours leading salons in the U.S. and Canada to train salon staff. Topics include:

  • New strategies of approaching blow-dry/finishing services, including adopting consistent terminology, efficient sectioning, creating super-tension at the root area for longer-lasting blowdries, time- and effort-saving techniques
  • How to integrate their new skills and insights to complement their haircut and color services
  • How to embrace new "best guets practice" dialogues, ensuring each guest has the knowledge and confidence to use the right products and tools to re-create their styles at home

For more info on the "Art of the Blow Dry" class, visit or


Who knows more about sexy hair than... Sexy Hair?

We chatted with several members of the Sexy Hair team nationwide, all of whom delivered us an array of must-have tips for achieving a sexy blowout.



Stephanie Polansky, Director of Education for Sexy Hair:

“The way you section the hair when you blow-dry it will determine your end result. Section the hair with horizontal partings when you want the hair to flip up or curl under. Section the hair with vertically partings if you want the hair to go towards or away from the face. Section the hair with diagonal partings if you want movement in the hair. Diagonal forward sections move the hair back and diagonal back sections move the hair forward."



Meghan Masterson, Sexy Hair Educator and stylist at Sivana Salon in St. James, New York:

"'I don't want big, sexy hair'... said no one, ever! To achieve big, voluminous hair, use a 1-inch to 2-inch round brush (for medium to long hair) instead of a bigger round brush. This gives you more soft waves on the ends and volume at the root."

Brian Jensen, Sexy Hair Educator and stylist at A Salon 7 in Reno, Nevada:

"Once I have the hair 90% dry, I go in with a round brush. I prefer a boar bristle and nylon mix brush because it picks up all the hair evenly, distributing heat and diffusing oils throughout the hair shaft—making for a faster, smoother, and shinier blowout!"

Nadirah Volpe, Sexy Hair Master Artist and stylist at Dej Salon in Sherman Oaks, California:

"A boar bristle brush will help to seal down the cuticle for the ultimate sleek and sexy blowout. Using a round ceramic brush with nylon bristles will help to gently heat the hair, setting it with a beautiful bouncy wave."



Melanie Knapp, Sexy Hair Master Artist and owner of Melanie Knapp Salon in Glastonbury, Connecticut:

"To create a sleeker look, I flat wrap hair around the head shape with my hands, and hold the brush vertically, rather than horizontally."

Jenifer Mikel, Sexy Hair Regional Education Manager and owner of Salon Illustrious in Walnut Creek, California:

“Flat wrap to smooth the hair and neutralize part lines and cowlicks."




"I suggest using the new Sexy Hair blow dryer and prep hair while damp using Big Sexy Hair Big Altitude, Healthy Sexy Hair Soy Renewal and Style Sexy Hair 450° Blow Out. This cocktail will ensure you get some serious volume, shine and nourishment to hair."

Nicole Nixon, Education Development and Training Manager for Sexy Hair:

 “Always prep with Style Sexy Hair 450° Blow Out!”



Lonn Bogart, Jr., Sexy Hair Master Artist and owner of Salon Nouveau in Dallas, Pennsylvania:

"My fail-proof way to blow-dry a client’s hair is to use their head shape. After applying product to damp hair, I comb the hair back away from their face with no part. Then, using my dryer, I begin using my hand to lift the hair at the root and wrap it to the other side of the head. Once hair is 90% dry, I begin using a vent brush, repeating the same movements using the vent brush to wrap the hair every direction around the client's head shape. Then I move to a paddle brush and repeat the same movements.  When I am finished, the hair is smooth and naturally volumized from using the curvature of the client’s head shape. I will use a round brush to detail the ends if the client is looking for any type of curvature at the ends of her hair. This blow-dry method also works extremely well for the client at home.  My clients find it easy and they get great results."




"Always, always, always start with blow drying the fringe with a fine-toothed comb, moving in a side-to-side motion until hair is 100% dry. This will ensure that this area will style with ease and stay that way throughout your client’s busy day. This will help to eliminate splits and cowlicks, so it's a great technique for our first-time-fringe-friends."




"To create beachy waves, lightly mist Soy Renewal Beach Spray on dry hair, and loosely braid in multiple braids.  Blow-dry each braid until the product feels completely dry, and let it cool.  Undo the braids and rake your fingers through the hair to separate."




"To make the style last longer, I pin curl clip each section I round brush to set the hair."

Ashley Rogers, Sexy Hair Educator and stylist at Melanie Knapp Salon:

"Give it a blast of cool air before releasing, for all-day fullness."




"If your finished blowout looks 'too perfect,' switch the dryer to the cool setting and tousle hair with your hand until the look softens a bit.  Mist your hand with Style Sexy Hair 450 Blow Out, to let your hands glide through the hair, and increase the shine."




"For more resistant hair types, rough-dry only 50% before you go in with your round brush to smooth out frizz. Rough-drying too much will disrupt the cuticle and make it more challenging to smooth."


"Dry to 80-90% dry before using a brush in order to achieve a more polished look. This helps to dry the hair without stressing out the strands and causing frizz.”



Katrina Cahill, Sexy Hair Educator and hairstylist at Shag Hair Salon in McKees Rocks, Pennsylvania:

"Be aware that your blow-dryer and hot tools don't always need to be on the highest setting. Using a concentrator on your blow-dryer allows to you to control your heat. Always keep your brush and your nozzle parallel and work the hair downward to give a smooth polished style."


"Be sure to use the drier's ionic feature.  By pushing the ion button so that the light is on, the drier will emit negatively charged ions, which work to dry hair more quickly and with a smoother finish. Also, be sure to use the included concentrator attachment. This ensures that a high concentration of air is hitting the hair exactly where you need it and pushing the hair's cuticle down for more shine and softness."




"To disperse powder products like Big Sexy Hair Powder Play through the underside of thick, long hair, flip the client's head over, shake powder into your palm, and use the low power setting on the dryer to blow the product from your hands into client's hair—but make sure you take the concentrator nozzle off first! Use the heat of your dryer to create a cocktail with difficult-to-mix products like pastes or waxes.  Soften the firmer product in your hand, and then add your second product to blend before application."




"Understand the foundation on styling; refresh your understanding of rollers and what they achieve. It's the key to properly round brushing. On base, off base, letting the hair cool on the brush or clipped into shape all play key roles into a beautiful blow dry."

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