Step one: Find a really, ridiculously hot guy, and get him to do all of the heavy lifting. JK—not that that wouldn't be nice. It's just your hair will turn out a lot better with these (actual) steps to the easiest and speediest smooth, polished blow-out.
Start in the shower. Your hair will be easier to smooth if you shampoo just the roots. “Shampooing the length of your hair roughs up the cuticle and makes it harder to straighten later on,” says hairstylist Nathaniel Hawkins. Coat the rest of your hair with a deep conditioner—it will smooth better than regular conditioners, and you can use it twice a week without weighing hair down. (I like Pantene Advanced+ Keratin Repair 60-Second Therapy with defrizzing silicones.)
Stop using cotton towels—and start using paper ones. Hairstylist Adir Abergel begins every blowout by scrunching hair with a few sheets of Bounty. And it’s not because he hates doing laundry. “They don’t disturb the cuticle as much as regular towels, so your hair will be less likely to frizz,” he says. “And I swear, they absorb more water and take five minutes off a blowout.”
Use products that shave time off—and avoid ones that sneakily add it. Heat-protectant sprays smooth frizz, coat the hair evenly, and don’t have to be raked through like a cream or serum. (Try Oscar Blandi Pronto Dry Styling Heat Protect Spray.) Stay away from mousses, gels, and volumizers that boast strong hold. “They harden before hair dries, and that makes hair more difficult to style,” says Hawkins.
Take a breather. Have coffee. Watch the news. Pick up and then put down the crossword. Do anything except blow-dry your hair right out of the shower. Wait until it’s 80 percent dry before blow-drying, since wet hair is too hard to control. “Anything you do before that is unnecessary work and unnecessarily damages your hair,” says Hawkins.
Phone it in. You can get away with a half-assed blowout on your bottom layers—“no one sees them anyway,” says Abergel. Clip the top layers out of the way, and shake the underside with your fingers as you blow-dry. And there’s a reason every hairstylist uses ionic blow-dryers with souped-up motors (2,000 watts or more): They get hair shiniest, with the least effort, in the least amount of time.
Now, stop phoning it in. This will only take five minutes. Blow-dry your top layers with a round boar-bristle brush—and you might as well use a jumbo-size one so you can style a ton of hair at once and add extra volume to boot. I like the Ibiza Hair EX5 Extra Large Round Brush. Its cork handle is so lightweight, your arms won’t get tired.
Make it all bouncy and swingy. Want to go the extra mile? No? That’s fine. But if you are feeling inspired, “wrap a few top layers around four or five medium-size Velcro rollers for five minutes to get a slight, pretty wave and volume,” says Abergel.
For more blowout tricks, check out:
• The 10 Commandments of a Salon-Quality Blowout
• How to DIY the Cool-Girl Blowout, According to Mark Townsend
• The Mini Blowout That Will Save Your Post-Workout Hair
PHOTO: MARIO TESTINO