This Mistake Makes Your Blowout Fall Flat In Minutes, Says A Pro Hairstylist
As I write this, I'm on day seven of my blowout from hairdresser Wes Sharpton, the lead stylist and brand educator for Hairstory. Is it slightly embarrassing for me to reveal how long it's been since I last washed my hair? Perhaps. But my blowout looks just as bouncy as it did when I left Sharpton's Union Square studio slash office space—a feat I find so impressive that I have no choice but to divulge my wash day delay. (Don't worry; I'm planning on giving my scalp a good, purifying scrub later tonight.)
And I have him to thank for the ultra-longevity. During my appointment, Sharpton disclosed little tips and tricks to define my curls and keep the strands looking fresh. I had to know more—and here we are. Below, find Sharpton's tips to extend the life of your blowout, whether you opt for diffused curls, beachy waves, or a sleek, smooth 'do:
Don't use too much tension.
"When blow drying, the most common mistake is too much tension," Sharpton says. This one had me floored—after all, those with textured hair (like hair types 2c and beyond) need to properly smooth out the roots in order to manipulate the blowout later on. Make no mistake, "You need enough tension to get hair smooth," Sharpton adds. "But most people use too much and end up pulling all the elasticity out of the hair, which makes it lifeless without any bounce." The more you know!
Styling products are your friends.
Sure, you may run a serum over your ends as soon as you shut off the dryer (flyaways, begone!), but Sharpton recommends keeping those stylers on hand to extend the bounce. "If you're finding that you need more definition in your curls, use a little Hair Balm a day or two after washing to define your curls," he says. "It's perfect for definition, and it is silicone free so it can be added to hair without weighing it down."
I can personally attest to its powers: A little product on my dry hair gave my blowout a bit more shape as the days went on; I simply warmed it up in my palms, then twirled it into my ends to encourage a curl. Just make sure to apply the balm on your lengths only.
That said, if it's more lift you're looking for, you'll want to opt for a styler that absorbs excess oil, like Hairstory''s Powder. "It's got gritty effects when applied very closely to the roots, creating incredible volume on dry hair!" says Sharpton.
Set & protect.
Whether you diffuse or blow-dry your locks, take advantage of the cool setting. A shot of cool air helps seal down the cuticle, resulting in more hold and less frizz. Sharpton agrees: "Use the cool setting to lock in the lift," he adds. In fact, you may even want to switch on the cool setting mid-blow-dry. "When you have the hair sectioned and it's rolled around the brush, press the cool air button to cool the hair and set the style. This creates a look that will last," he adds.
Then to keep your style looking fresh for as long as possible, you'll want to protect the strands while you sleep. Tossing and turning all night long is a recipe for flat, lifeless (not to mention tangled) locks. "One of the easiest ways to keep curls intact for longer is placing your hair into a ponytail at the front forehead with a scrunchy on top when you sleep." Sharpton adds. "This helps keep the curls from getting roughed up while you sleep. Also, silk pillowcases can help reduce frizz."
Silk and satin fabrics are generally better for hair health overall; see here for our favorite chic options at every price point.
Achieving a bouncy, fluffy blowout is no walk in the park, but maintaining the style is a whole different ballgame. With Sharpton's tips, your strands will surely persevere—until it's time to grab the clarifying shampoo and start anew.
Jamie Schneider is the Beauty & Wellness Editor at mindbodygreen. She has a B.A. in Organizational Studies and English from the University of Michigan, and her work has appeared in Coveteur, The Chill Times, and Wyld Skincare. In her role at mbg, she reports on everything from the top beauty industry trends, to the gut-skin connection and the microbiome, to the latest expert makeup hacks. She currently lives in New York City.