Modern hairstyling equipment is at the leading edge of technology, but nothing beats a glossy, newly done blowout in the salon. Step inside, and a strong mixture of the appropriate products, methods, and abilities come together to create petal-soft strands that you can't stop touching all day. While the events of the previous year have disrupted our typical salon timetables, there may yet be hope for the bouncy blowout of your dreams.
“It all comes down to using a combination of the right amount of product and a good amount of skills. The key here is to understand the hair and use the right product accordingly—a little too little or too much can change the final result,” says Bony Sasidharan, hair expert at Schwarzkopf Professional India. If you’re looking for a salon-worthy blowout without ever having to step beyond your living room, here’s what the experts want you to know.
1. Find a shampoo suited to your scalp type
While the key to the best shampoo is one that matches your hair type, Sasidharan recommends taking your scalp type into account as well. He continues, "For example, if someone had dry hair and an oily scalp, I would use a purifying shampoo on the scalp first, followed by a moisturising formula on the lengths to address the dryness." It is best to make a cocktail depending on your hair and scalp's demands. If you use a strong cleansing or repair shampoo, massage it on your hair for a minute or two before applying conditioner for best results.” As a rule of thumb, he recommends rinsing hair only with normal or lukewarm water, as heated temperatures can strip away the hair colour and make it dry.
2. Choose your conditioner wisely
The same diligence is also extended to the choice of conditioner, and Sasidharan reveals that hairstylists choose from two key formulas. “A cream-based conditioner is used for normal to thick hair while a spray conditioner is advisable for fine hair. Sometimes, when the hair is extremely dry, a leave-in spray conditioner can be used layered over a normal conditioner. A conditioner is supposed to be kept on the hair for a couple of minutes during every hair wash and at the salon, we time everything down to the minute,” he says.
3. The post-wash routine matters
Once you’ve found the friendliest formulas for your hair type, it is essential to turn your attention to the post-wash routine. Pooja Savla, style director at Jean Claude Biguine India, advises, “After the shampoo and conditioner routine, squeeze all excess water into a towel and use a wet brush from the ends going towards the roots.” Sasidharan also recommends opting for a spray conditioner or self-evaporating oil on the hair lengths for detangling any knots. “Always use a wide-toothed comb or a paddle brush to detangle the hair and don’t forget to use a heat protection serum to shield your strands from the heated blast of the blowdryer,” he adds.
4. Don’t skip the serum
While it might seem tempting to skip a few steps in your hairstyling routines during busy mornings, the payoff for using the right serum comes in the form of manageable, frizz-free hair throughout the day. Savla explains, “If you mix water and oil together, oil floats on top of the water. Similarly, an oil-based serum locks the moisture in the hair.” There are a host of different consistencies to choose from, and Sasidharan advises sticking to the golden rule of less is more. “The hair serums you’ll generally find available at the salon generally range from a thin oil base to a thicker gel base. The latter is used for normal to thick, coarse hair, while the former is used on fine hair to avoid over-loading the strands,” he explains.
5. Bring on the brush
If you’re in pursuit of the perfect bouncy blowout, your everyday paddle brush just won’t cut it. Ceramic brushes are most commonly used at the salon, while brushes with wooden bristles will prove helpful to tame frizz and improve shine. “Depending on the finish you have in mind, you can opt for a flat brush for smooth straight hair or a rounded brush to create volume and movement in the hair,” says Savla. Once you have found the perfect brush, some easy manoeuvres will mould your hair into the perfect shape. Sasidharan advises, “Blowdrying your hair at a 90-degree angle from the roots provides extra volume and root lift. Once you achieve the target shape or style, wrap the hair on the brush and use the cold air option on the hairdryer to fix that shape. With heat, you mould the hair into a new shape and with cold air, you fix it in place.”
6. Styling sprays are a must for a salon-perfect finish
Once you have set down the blowdryer, the last step to feather-soft hair comes in leveraging the right styling product for the perfect finish. “If you are looking to seal your hairstyle with a glossy effect, it is important to opt for a hairspray for holding it in place and a serum for that enviable mirror-like finish,” advises Savla. For long-lasting hold throughout the day, she also recommends opting for a quick spritz of hairspray on the brush and gently running it through the hair to tame statics and seal your perfect finish.