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.
Sleek and Straight Blowout: Best for chin-length or longer hair.
• Prime: Rub a dime-size drop of straightening lotion through towel-dried hair, avoiding the roots. Look for one that contains amino acids, such as arginine, to protect locks against heat damage. And because straightened hair can look flat, consider spritzing roots with a lifting spray.
• Rough Dry: If you have ultra-curly hair, skip to Step 3; curly locks are prone to frizz, so styling should start on wet hair. The rest of you: Begin pre-drying, massaging roots with your fingers to add volume. Continue until hair is about 80 percent dry.
• Section Strands: Think of your head as a layer cake: nape (bottom layer), ear to ear (middle layer) and temple to temple (top layer). Clip each section up and out of the way.
• Straighten Hair: Imagine a point on the mirror in front of your nose. Starting at the back of your neck, unclip a section—no larger than the width of the brush—and begin brushing toward that point as you dry. A flat, cushioned paddle brush lets you easily control wider sections. Guiding the airflow down the shaft as you brush closes the cuticle, while the tension of the brush stretches hair. Constant repetition is essential for supersmooth strands.
• Polish Ends: Turn the brush in slightly at ends when drying. Sleek styles look softer and prettier with a bit of bend there. Repeat Steps 4 and 5 on middle and top sections.
• Hold It: Rub a pea-size drop of smoothing serum between your palms, then run your hands down the length from midshaft to ends (avoid the roots!) to tame flyaways and help prevent frizz.