The New Year is a great time for a new look. If you are a bit gun shy and not yet ready to pull the trigger on the of the moment lob (long bob) or a complete color makeover makes you nervous, why not start with a little lesson in achieving the sleekest blowout you’ve had in years? I have a lot of hair. Hair that seems to have a mind (and split personality) of its own as seen in this Instagram photo. It’s wavy. It’s curly. It’s flat. It’s full. I do my best to try and tame it, but even after all these years of practice, even I know there’s always room for improvement.
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I had the pleasure of meeting Ammon Carver at the opening of his salon and in-house photo studio in conjunction with Lanza Healing Haircare located on west 17th Street this past fall and I fell for him immediately. Not only is he incredibly talented, but also disarmingly warm and sure isn’t hard to look at (sorry, folks, he’s taken). He invited me to come back to the studio in order to tell me more about L’Anza‘s new Keratin line and demonstrate it on my tired tresses. I’m never one to turn down the opportunity for someone else to handle my hair, so I happily agreed. I was also ahappy to see that the salon studios for rent from Salon Lofts. I was so impressed with the product, which actually made my hair so shiny it looked like I’d had it highlighted, and Ammon’s attention to detail, that I asked if he’d be up for sharing some of his secrets. We decided to start with a straightforward blowout and below are a sprinkling of his top tips as to how to execute the type of blowout sure to turn heads.
(full disclosure: I hesitated to post this as now you’ll all know what my hair is actually capable of looking like. Often times, I’ve left the salon and the ladies seemed surprised to realize that I “actually have nice hair.”)
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Before you begin your blowout, be sure to apply product to your hair in order to ensure safety from heat and to seal in moisture. Ammon used L’Anza Keratin Healing Oil Combing Cream, which sort of smells like heaven.
A lot of people think flipping their heads upside down to get out the initial dampness is a good way to begin a blowout, but in actuality, you’re only increasing your chances of fighting frizz. Nope, that’s not volume. The best place to start your blowout is right at the root. The hair there is the most difficult to manage and tends to be the most frizzy/flyaway. Drake may have started at the bottom, but we’ll begin at the top.
Think of your hair in sections with the root being A, the midsection being B, and the ends being C. Just as you wouldn’t recite the alphabet backwards, don’t dry your hair backwards either. Your roots retain the most moisture (and as mentioned the most stubborn texture). The ends of your hair are the driest and if you blow them for the same amount of time as the roots, you will only dry and damage them further (ever notice how that’s the first part of your hair to dry)? This might take a bit of dexterity, but with practice, you’ll have the hang of it in no time.
Many people (myself included) save the front portion of their hair for the end much like dessert. Well, because this area often includes your face framing layers, it’s important to get that portion polished before finishing up your ‘do. What’s the point of having perfectly blown out tresses at the back of your head… unless you’re a carriage driver looking to make extra tips?
If your dryer has a nozzle, use it. It helps to keep the air flowing in a concentrated direction. Speaking of direction (and there isn’t just one), be sure you’re blowing down. As Ammon explained to me, “Think of your hair cuticle like the scales of a fish. If you blow up, it’s like rubbing the scales in the wrong direction.”
While the Mason Pearson brush Ammon used to tug my tresses taught may be on the pricey side, he assured me that it’s well worth the investment. As far as blow dryers go, there’s no need to go pro, but an upgrade from your drugstore offerings may be in order.
Now it’s time to add volume to your coif. Do so by concentrating a finishing hairspray near the roots.
If you don’t love a stick straight look, add some easy bounce with a large barrel curling iron. Don’t forget to curl pieces in the front away from your face.
Last, but not least, be sure to seal in your style with a finishing spray like L’Anza Keratin Healing Oil Lustrous Finishing Spray to extend the life of your blowout. (I carry a travel size of this spray in my bag for touch ups).
L’Anza Keratin Healing Oil Shampoo, L’anza Keratin Healing Oil Conditioner, L’Anza Keratin Healing Oil Combing Cream, Mason Pearson Junior Mix Brush, T3 Featherweight 2, L’Anza Keratin Healing Oil Lustrous Finishing Spray