+ Hairstyles

Tips for Faking a Salon Blowout at Home


A perfectly styled blowout is a thing of beauty.  When I’m in a major city, I love to hit up Drybar for a Cosmo-Tai.  But when I’m out West, I’m forced to style my own hair.  Here are some tips and tutorials for faking a salon blowout at home whether you start with wet or dry hair.

If you start with wet hair…

Prep the Hair.  If you’re starting with a wet head, you need to add product for volume and smoothness.  Living Proof makes an amazing mousse, as does Pantene.  To smooth it out and add shine, I like Living Proof’s 5-in-1 Perfect Hair Day treatment.

Dry It Right.  This video tutorial from Bumble & Bumble will show you how to add volume and smooth your hair without a round brush.  For my tools, I like this Aveda paddle brush  that I’ve been using for 20 years.  It’s the best.

As for my blowdryer, I can’t live without my Harry Josh dryer.  I love this thing so much that I travel with it.  That’s right, I sacrifice precious suitcase space so that I am never without this hair dryer.

If you start with dry hair…

Add Texture.  Whether your hair is dirty or clean, you need to add a bit of texture and volume.  BlowPro Textstyle Spray does both.  If texturizer/dry shampoo leaves your hair brittle or dull, try a dry conditioner instead.

Once the hair is ready to go, you have two choices…

1) Curling Iron Method.  The curling iron method is for ladies who want a perfectly smooth blowout with just a bit of bend or wave at the ends.

This tutorial from The Beauty Department is the best one I’ve found.  It uses an enormous 2″ curling iron, like this one from Hot Tools, and wide duck clips to give the curl time to set.  After three practice sessions, this hairstyle takes me about 15-20 minutes.

2) Hot Roller Method.  The hot roller method is for those who want more curl and more bounce in their blowout.  Or for those who need the curl to really last.

I love hot rollers because you can roll them up, and move on with your morning.  Your hair styles itself while you eat breakfast, start laundry, do your makeup, etc..  These Conair rollers are my favorite, and this tutorial from Martha Lynn Kale is the way to go.

When the hair is finished cooling and setting…

Spray It.  Once your hair is volumized, smoothed, and curled, you don’t want your hard work to fade.  If you have hair that holds a curl well, Sebastian Zero Gravity Flexible Hold hairspray gives you a softer, brushable hold.  However, if you’re like me, and you need to plaster your coif in place, you need Spray and Play Harder firm hold hairspray.

*image found here.



  1. Sara says:

    Love these tips: I’m going to try the hot rollers, but right now I’m enjoying beachy waves since blowouts in DC weather do not mix. My blow dryer is the Babyliss Pro Tourmaline Titanium 3000, which is a little more price-comparable and was recommended by my stylist. I also use a boar bristle round brush for smoothness. And Moroccan oil seems to do a good job of protecting my hair from all the heat.

    July 26, 2016/Reply
  2. chelsea says:

    Belle, how will hot rollers work on hair that’s naturally a little wavy and frizzy? This tutorial and others I’ve seen start with stick straight hair.

    July 26, 2016/Reply
    • stephanie says:

      I’m curious about this too. To me, with thick, wavy/frizzy hair, it’s enough of a battle to blow dry and get it straight/smooth. Having to curl on top of that sucks. I will sometimes do it on the second or third day but not like every time I wash. Also one I curl it, it’s a little unpredictable the following day. Sometimes you can kind of smooth some anti-frizz serum or spray on it and reshape it, sometimes it’s huge and going in random directions.

      July 26, 2016/Reply
  3. G says:

    My hair is slightly wavy and I use hot rollers with clean hair, 2nd day hair . . . I’ve used them with friends in college with all types of hair (thick, thin, straight, wavy/curly). I have a travel set and I love them! they take up less space in my suitcase than my sneakers.

    July 26, 2016/Reply
  4. Katie says:

    I’m so thankful for this post! I’ve never really learned how to use hot rollers, and ever since you mentioned that this is your go-to styling method, I’ve been hoping you would write a detailed post like this. Thanks, Belle!!!

    July 26, 2016/Reply
  5. Kate says:

    I pretty much stopped wearing my hair down for work because I can’t keep myself from touching it and I know that’s a very undermining form of body language. (I thought Michelle O’s hair was a bit over one eye during her speech last night and you need no further proof of her total poise than that she never touched it, ever.) Any tips for avoiding this from those who wear their hair down at work?

    July 26, 2016/Reply
    • Tardis says:

      I know what you mean – it struck me when I saw a put-together colleague on a panel, and she played with her hair the.entire.time. She looked like a child. Since then I’ve tried to be really conscious about what I do with my hands. I think it helps to have a “thinking” stance that keeps your hands occupied. Mine is to rest my chin on my fist or to fold my hands when my elbows are on my desk.

      July 27, 2016/Reply