There’s a reason so many women treat their standing blowout appointment like a religious ceremony. If you’re working with textured, thick, or curly hair, achieving a sleek blow dry can seem like the stuff of myth. Whether your shoulder has a tendency to cramp up while holding the blow dryer or you just don’t have the expertise necessary to wield the brush, you’d rather turn to the pros instead.
We firmly believe that every curly-haired should have the ability to complete a shiny blowout in the comfort of her own home. Even if you only break out the skill set on days when your blow dry stylist is double-booked, you’ll thank us.
We tapped Mizani artist and educator Rachelle Hawkins, who’s run her brush through many a 3A mane. Hawkins has the low-down on tips to get the perfect curly blowout while expending less time and energy.
Sound too good to be true? Read on for the best tips in Hawkins’ arsenal, my wavy friend.
Sectioning your hair will get the job done faster.
If there’s one blowout step most of us are guilty of skipping, it’s sectioning off the hair. While your local hair professional takes the time to clip off a few square inches of hair at a time, drying them intensely, most of us just rake through the strands with our fingers and hope for the best.
According to Hawkins, the way that the average woman approaches sectioning is actually quite counterproductive. By taking the few extra moments to tie off separate pieces for blow drying, you’re saving yourself time.
By tightly pinning each section in place, hair stays wet until you’re ready to style it. Plus, you’ll get a better grip on the hair you’re actually dealing with it. That means less frizz all over the head—a cause curly girls can enthusiastically get behind.
Apply your hair product with a comb.
Surely, you’ve heard the commandment that bringing a comb anywhere near your curls will result in not only a bad hair day but also the potential destruction of the world as we know it.
Not true, according to Hawkins. She’s a big fan of the comb as a tool for distributing product on curly hair.
“To ensure that every strand is covered and protected, section your hair and apply product section by section, combing it through along the way,” she instructs. ”Always, always use a heat protectant so you can ensure your curls will go back to their original state after. Without a heat protectant, you risk compromising your natural curl pattern.”
If you stick to this method, you’ll avoid any accidental gaps in coverage. That’s key, because heat damage will do a number on your curl pattern.
Even your heat protectant should moisturize your curls.
Moisture is the building block upon which every curly-haired woman’s world is built. Without it, you’ll see a serious uptick in frizz, dry-looking strands, and curls that aren’t so much ringlets as unruly puff balls.
That said, it makes sense that everything you apply to your mane should help add and lock in moisture.
“Curly and textured hair requires more moisture than straighter types,” Hawkins says. “You want to use products that are nourishing, especially before any heat application that can further dry your hair out or even damage it.”
For her own blowouts, Hawkins swears by the combination of Mizani’s 25 Miracle Milk leave-in conditioner and Thermasmooth Sleek Guard. She preps with the former and applies the later before turning on her blow dryer, citing “moisture and heat protection, along with amazing shine.”
Always use a brush—a good brush.
There’s no dropping cash on a quality blow dryer without also investing in a proper blowout brush. The right pick will help create tension as your dry your hair, helping you direct the air properly while smoothing and straightening.
“For curlier and coarser hair, use a boar bristle to blow dry; for wavy to curly girls, use a ceramic brush,” Hawkins says. “Maintain good tension throughout each section and hold the brush in the hair once it is dry and use your cool shot button to set the hair. This gives volume and lots of bounce. Make sure you’re elevating all the hair up so you get the best volume.”
The right tools will get you the result you’ve been hoping for with less stress.
Don’t be afraid to re-wet your curls and start over.
The heat styling rules that straight-haired ladies live by simply don’t apply to their curly counterparts. That includes the idea of rough drying—using your hand and a blow dryer to get hair about 70 percent dry before beginning to style it.
According to Hawkins, women with curly hair should treat their brush as if it’s permanently attached to the dryer.
“You always want to take curly and textured hair from wet to dry with a brush, Hawkins says. “Avoid wrap or rough drying because once the curls start to dry, it's difficult and almost impossible to manipulate the hair the way you want it without frizz. Use a spray bottle to rewet sections if you need to.”
If things aren’t headed in an aesthetic direction you like, don’t be afraid to dampen the hair. Think of it as a fresh start for your blowout.