Blow-Out on a Budget

I love a good professional blow-dry. Who doesn't?!  But obviously, time and money constraints place a practical limitation on salon visits and my Dry Bar habit.

So, I’ve had to improvise! My at-home blow-dry game is pretty strong because I had to perfect my technique way back in Middle School. Perms were big back then and when Brook Shields got one I embarked on a Summer long campaign to nag my Mother witless until she finally relented and took me to the local salon.

Sadly, puberty and a too-tight perm came together in a perfect storm to forever change the texture of my naturally wavy hair to a robust Roseanne Roseannadanna frizz bomb. Hawt!

I still blame the perm.

Faced with this frizzy dilemma. I did what any enterprising 13-year-old would do, I became a blow-dry Ninja! I've been practicing the fine art of stretch and burn hair straightening since before it was even a thing. My current weapons of choice: The Con-Air IonShine 1875 for the straight and sleek or The John Frieda Hot Air Brush (for more bounce + beachy waves).

You can of course, find a more sophisticated and expensive blow-dryer with tricky gadgets out there and honestly, I’ve tried them all.

Whatever you for me, the key is the brush attachment. Without it you can't get a grip on your own hair (the heat + stretch is what straightens it). These get the job done quickly and as well as any pricey ceramic dryer if you have the right accessories.

My Blow-Dry arsenal includes:

1. A seriously good round brush. Because Mason-Pearson (my usual go-to) does not make a round brush, I’ve had to go further afield. I found this one at Violet Grey. It is, without question, the best blow-dry brush I have ever used. Lightweight and with the perfect boar to (plastic) bristle ratio that really grips your hair and smooths it into submission.

2. Good Hair clips. I've been using Goldwell Sectioning Hair clips forever, but I found these Y.S. Park Pro clips at Violet Grey when I bought my brush. They're pricey, but I prefer them as they leave less of a dent on freshly dried hair. First world problems, but still!

3. A good hair cream/heat shield. Don’t laugh, but I actually use my own Hand Cream on the ends of my hair and even rub it into my scalp when it feels dry! It’s made with Shea Butter, is 98% natural and smells absolutely delicious.

Here's how to do it:

1. Towel-dry your hair and apply a little Hand Cream directly to damp ends. Now do something else: Wash your face, do your make-up and get dressed while allowing your hair to air dry a little bit. This is key to the perfect blow-dry, as you don’t want to blow it straight from soaking wet because that's very damaging to hair.

2. Section off your hair and pin it up.  The smaller the sections, the better the blow-dry. I do about a 3” section at a time. I pin up the top and sides of my hair and start with the nape of my neck, working forward, but do whatever feels right to you.

3. Starting with your section of hair, collect and pull your hair section using your round brush.

4. Secure and sandwich your hair section between the round brush and the brush attachment of the blow-dryer. 

5. On the highest setting, slide down away from the scalp, pulling the hair section taut between the round brush and dryer brush. Curl under, curl out or pull straight to the ends. Whatever takes your fancy, Beautiful! 

6. That's it. You're done. I use a final pump or two to seal the ends and smooth down flyways up top. So much better than hair spray, which can be drying.


I can do my own hair from wet to sleek in less than 15 minutes. It will take as few times to perfect your technique, but I guarantee you that with some practice, you will emerge from your own bathroom with same sleek, bouncy hair with movement that you get at for favorite salon!


XX, mk