How to Get the Best Blowout for Any Kind of Hair

Fresh-from-the-salon hair doesn't have to be a splurge reserved for special occasions. Become the boss of your blow-dryer with these easy techniques.

full and bouncy DIY blowout

Full and Bouncy Blowout: Best for medium to long styles.

Prime: Start with wet hair. Blot—don't rub—to remove excess moisture. Comb strands, then apply a quarter-size dollop of smoothing cream from midshaft to ends. Look for a protein-rich formula for heat protection, plus smoothing ingredients such as silicones and argan oil. If hair is very fine, add a thickening spray from roots to tips.

Rough Dry: Use your fingers to lift and pull hair straight out all over your head, holding the dryer above and aiming the hot air down, until hair is 80 percent to 90 percent dry.

Section Strands: Divide hair into two big sections—front and back—from ear to ear. Next, break the front into three smaller sections. Twist into buns, then secure with clips.

• Smooth Hair: Starting at the back of your neck, place a 2-inch portion of hair over a medium to large round brush (one with a ceramic base and natural bristles will speed up drying time and add shine). To smooth the cuticle, aim the airflow down the hair shaft while brushing.

Polish Ends: Holding the brush vertically with the top pointing up, twist hair around the brush to give ends a bouncy curl. Spin the brush in either direction—toward the face or away from it—but be sure to do the same on both sides. Repeat Steps 4 and 5 until all sections are completely dry.

• Hold It: Hairspray is like the topcoat to a manicure—key to a stay-put style. Spritz on a lightweight version for flexible hold, minus the crunch.