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Blowouts are finicky. Too much volume and your hair looks pageant-y and over-styled. Too sleek and your hair falls flat. Here, nine common mistakes to avoid the next time you pick up the dryer.

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wet hair list

You're starting with fully wet hair
And that can cause heat damage. Let strands air-dry until they’re about 60 percent of the way there before beginning your blowout. This way you minimize the amount of heat your hair is exposed to—and you spend less time wielding the heavy dryer. If that means switching your routine to nighttime or starting earlier, so be it. Your tresses will thank you.

You’re not using the right products beforehand
A little mousse will give thin strands maximum lift at the roots and texture throughout. A dollop of styling cream will give thick or curly hair a frizz-free finish on the ends. Whatever your hair type, also be sure to use a heat-protectant spray to shield against damage.


brush list

You're not using the right brush
Skip metal brushes, which tend to overheat and snag hair. Look for a boar-bristle brush (or a boar and nylon mix), which will give you a better grip and smoother finish—without the scalding heat.

You’re not using the right temperature
Always use the lowest heat setting possible to get the job done without frying your ends. And since you’re starting with mostly dry hair, you won’t need too much heat (or time) to finish. Not to mention higher heat makes you sweat—and sweat causes frizz. 

section list

You're not sectioning your hair off first
Get a few duckbill clips and secure strands into even sections. Each section should fit comfortably on your brush (not falling off the edges). By drying them one by one you’ll get a consistently smooth texture throughout. So no more wonky, half-straightened pieces in the back.


nozzle list

You’re not using the nozzle attachment
It came with the dryer for a reason. Rather than spraying the air everywhere, it directs the heat onto the hair’s cuticle so you get a sleek finish.

You’re blow-drying in the wrong direction At the crown of your head, dry in an upward and back motion to create volume. On the mid-lengths and ends, use a downward motion.

aimee list

You’re not drying your hair completely
Yes, we said to air-dry it at the start. But make sure it’s 100-percent dry and finished before stepping outside. Otherwise, you’ll end up with a head full of frizz. An easy way to check? It should feel slightly warm (not hot, not cold) to the touch. 

You're not setting it properly
When your hair is about 90-percent dry, switch on the cold-shot button to lock in your look so it lasts longer. It’s the smallest step that makes the biggest difference. Trust.

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