Indeed, the humble hairdryer can do much more than take hair from wet to dry, as anyone partial to a professional blow-dry will know.
But even if achieving a bouncy blow-dry isn’t your thing, your dryer can be the ticket to achieving ‘cool girl hair’ that looks more Kate Moss than Kate Middleton.
Don’t just take our word for it: during a blow-dry masterclass, veteran stylist and Ghd ambassador Zoe Irwin shared the techniques she uses on models for photoshoots and celebrities attending events.
Having travelled a lot to hone her craft, Irwin picked up a French girl trick that stuck with her. “What the Parisians do when blow-drying their hair is focus on the crown. The more the crown is lifted, [the more] it counteracts the jaw.” Picture Brigitte Bardot, Charlotte Gainsbourg (below) or Clemence Poesy; signature to their effortlessly tousled locks is a little height around the crown which elevates their look (quite literally).
Once the hair is rough-dried, Irwin was taught to “take a triangle-shaped section of hair at the back, and with a large round brush wrap the hair around it”. (The larger the width of the brush barrel, the greater the volume you’ll get.)
On a high heat, direct the hairdryer towards the section, “first aiming the air at the top and then from the underneath”. Next comes the all-important cool shot – “taking it from hot to cold gives a stronger set” – before releasing the hair from the brush.
“Even for a straight blow-dry, it just gives you a cuter lift,” the expert explains.
Whether you’re going for a sleek or textured finish when blow-drying, Irwin has some other tips that make for a better result:
– When blow-drying your own hair, first focus on rough-drying it. “You’re looking to take out 95 per cent of the water,” says Irwin, explaining that this will make a big difference to the hair’s health when you go on to style it. “This is because when the hair is wet it’s much more vulnerable to damage.”
– Be more intentional with the way you move your hairdryer. Often, when rough-drying, we move the hair and dryer around in haphazard ways. Instead, try Irwin’s method: “Use your fingers to lift up large sections of hair at the underneath, and circle your hairdryer instead of waving it around.” She explains that this ensures “the air goes all the way through the hair to the crown, helping enhance volume without causing friction”. Once you’ve done this with the bottom section of the hair, lift the top and do the same.
– Take your time. “Make each section purposeful when you’re blow-drying,” she advises. “Warm up each section thoroughly, then cool it thoroughly before moving on to the next.” Ensuring each section is left cold to the touch has multiple benefits. It not only sets the hair into place, but the cold air will help smooth down the cuticles, resulting in enhanced shine.
– Use styling products. “If you tend to get flyways at the roots after blow-drying, put some styling product onto your palms and gently pat your hands down at the roots,” Irwin suggests. We like the Larry King finishing cream, A Social Life For Your Hair. But remember to embrace an imperfect finish. The French would.
From Harper’s Bazaar UK