How to Rescue a Disappointing Blow-dry
We’ve all been there. You enter the salon all giddy about the awesome Hollywood-esque waves you’re going to leave with, but you end up stepping out of the salon disappointed and frankly a little perturbed that you just spent your hard-earned cash on something that turned out not at all like you described it. It can be difficult to find your blow-dry stylist soulmate—the one who delivers the bounce, wave, and volume of your (very exacting) dreams—and even then soulmates can have off days. Just know that when you’re less than thrilled with the result, there are ways to fix it (and the pros are backing us on this one).
Keep reading to find out how to salvage a blowout gone wrong!
GHD White Platinum Styler (£165)
Fullness is a good thing, but too much volume at the top looks outdated. If your only complaint is a muffin top-esque appearance near your roots, you’re in luck because the fix is super easy. “Simply use your straighteners on a low heat setting to gently smooth out about two inches at the root,” Joico’s celebrity hairstylist Paul Norton says. He says you shouldn’t need more than two passes through each section to reconstruct the volume. Devin Toth stylist at Salon SCK and Rowenta Beauty spokesperson reminds us not to go overboard: “Remember, you won't need to iron the mid-shafts and ends because those areas of the hairstyle don't need fixing; they're the muffin bottom—they're perfect.”
Mason Pearson Pocket Size Pure Bristle Brush (£42)
Tight Shirley Temple curls look great on Shirley Temple, but we prefer curls of the looser, beachier variety a la the Victoria’s Secret Angels. When faced with the former, you have a few options. “If you like your curls but think they're just a little too tight and contrived when you leave the salon, simply relax them by gliding a flat iron on a warm heat setting, through each curl until they loosen up. This technique is great because it will modernise your tight curls without eliminating them completely,” Toth says.
If you’re not near an outlet or just want to take a less drastic approach, try the mist or brush technique. “If your hair is curled too tight, add a bit of moisture to it by spraying a styling mist [even water will do] over your entire head or you can even concentrate it on the areas you think are too tight,” Norton says. As long as the mist is fine and consistent, Norton prefers this technique for softening the curls over adding more heat.
If the curls are simply all wrong, you can always brush them out with a boar bristle brush. “The dense bristles from the brush will separate the strands of hair away from individual curls, while simultaneously combining them into a clean, Hollywood glam, S-wave hairstyle,” Toth says.
Sometimes you and your stylist are just on different wavelengths when it comes to volume, curl, and style. You may think you’re speaking the same language, but then the finished product is too poufy, the curls start too high, the ends are curled under—it’s all just too much. Luckily, there’s an easy fix. “To make overly done curls look more subtle use a serum from roots to ends. And then in small sections all over your head, hold the root area with your hand and take your paddle brush to firmly swipe through the curls. This will stretch them out into a more relaxed feeling,” Norton says. And if you've brushed it out too much, Norton says simply twirling the curls with your finger with perk up the tendrils just enough.
For even more flattening, grab a hair tie. “Apply a few pumps of smoothing serum, like Kérastase Elixir Ultime (£28), to your hairstyle while twisting all of your hair into a low ponytail. Not only will this approach deflate and condense your big beauty queen blowout, but if all of your ends were previously flipped under, then this twisting technique will give your hairstyle a more natural flow and spontaneity,” Toth says.
And then there’s the bedhead blowout. The blowout that looks only marginally better than what you do at home (which isn’t much). It’s flat, piecey, not polished at all—it just looks like bedhead, and not in the good way. When this happens, turn to your favorites products: dry shampoo and texturing spray. Norton says first flip your head upside down, and, using your fingers, vigorously muss up your hair at the scalp to wake up the roots. Then target a texturising spray like (our favorite) Joico’s Hair Shake (£14) on any areas that need a lot of love. “It is a perfect way to bulk up the hair and close up the gapping and separated areas that you wish to appear more solid. Once you spray it, simply use your fingertips to rub the hair together in sections,” Norton says. Toth also suggests massaging dry shampoo into your roots to bring lift at the crown.
“If all else fails and the top of your hairstyle is still just too flat, try using straghteners with beveled edges on its plates (like the GHD Platinum Styler) to lift the hair right at the roots to add volume,” Toth says. “Contrary to popular belief, straighteners with beveled edges can actually get closer to the roots than a curling iron and can therefore lift them better. The moment you close your iron onto the base of a small section of hair, start twisting it up away from your face. Once you've twisted your iron about half a rotation away, you can release it from that section and move on to the next.”
Have you ever encountered a bad blowout experience? Would these tips have saved your style? Tell us below!