The biggest blow dry mistakes you're making at home

Sarah Carty
·Lifestyle Editor
·6-min read

It’s something you probably do up to three or four times a week but for some reason your hair never looks as good when you blow dry it at home as it does when you come out of a salon.

If you’re the kind of gal who turns her head upside down and blasts her hair until it’s bone dry, then you probably know there’s a few pretty essential blow drying steps you’re missing which are leaving your locks looking lacklustre.

We spoke to the experts to find out what we’re doing wrong and how we can nail a gorgeous at-home blow dry every time.

Young woman blowdrying hair, wearing dressing gown
If you can never recreate that salon-perfect blow dry at home, there might be a number of reasons for that. Photo: Getty Images

1. You haven’t washed your hair right

Virginie Gayssot, Head of Education and Colour at Franck Provost, told Yahoo Lifestyle that it’s essential you wash your hair properly for your blow dry to go the distance.

“It might sound obvious but always use a shampoo and conditioner tailored to your hair type - speak with your hairdresser about what works best for you,” she said.

2. You’re using your towel all wrong

Yes, believe it or believe it not, there is a right and wrong way to use your towel when it comes to maintaining your locks.

According to hairstylist extraordinaire, Kevin Murphy, one of the biggest mistakes people make is that they rough their hair up too much in the towel and are then forced to spend time de-fuzing the frizz they just created.

“The best thing to do is wrap your hair up in a towel and squeeze the water and any moisture out (gently) before you start blow drying with your hands gently till it is about 80% dry,” he said.

Virginia Gayssot agreed, saying that people should gently towel dry their hair by patting it, not running it, and letting it air dry if possible.

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3. You aren’t using the right products

In order to get that straight-out-of-the-salon look, you’re going to need to invest in a few key products to keep your mane in shape.

When it comes to conditioner and mask or hair treatments, Virginia recommends keeping them away from your roots and just conditioning from the ears down.

If you coat hair with ingredients that weigh it down, your hair will fall flat and your blow dry won't look freshly done for more than a day,” she said.

Both Virginie and Kevin stressed that you should always start with a heat protectant spray which will protect your hair from whatever styler you decide to use. Always remember to get the back on your head as well.

dyson hair dryer
Kevin Murphy swears by the Dyson hair dryer, which has lasted him five years. Photo: Supplied

4. You’re using a cheap hair dryer

According to Kevin Murphy not all hair dryers are created equal. One big mistake you may be making is scrimping by with a cheap hair dryer, which could be causing your tresses a whole world of pain.

“I personally use a Dyson and it has lasted me 5 years. I believe you get what you pay for - a pricy blow dryer will actually save you money in the long run while speeding up your blow dry time and most likely last longer,” Kevin told Yahoo Lifestyle.

“More expensive dryers have invested in better technology which is ultimately going to benefit the hair since it will likely be gentle with an even distribution of heat resulting in a better finish.”

It’s also important to keep your blow dryer clean. The back of the dryer collects lint and debris so if not properly cleaned, it can alter the airflow making your dryer not function properly. You also run the risk of overheating.

5. You aren’t controlling the heat settings

While you may be the kind of person to blast your hair at the hottest setting and hope for the best, it could mean you’re causing a plethora of damage to your tresses and really dry the hair out.

“Fine hair tends to be fragile so keeping your dryer on a medium to low temperature is best. Thicker, coarse hair can handle more heat but keep the airflow down so you don’t create more frizz,” Kevin said.

6. You’re not using the right brush

If you’ve had the same hairbrush since you were a child, there’s no way you’ll be able to get that blowout you’ve dreamed of.

“The key is all in the right brush. If you don't have the right brush you won't get the result you. want - whilst it all comes down to personal preference I recommend a boar bristle paddle brush,” Virginie said.

Woman brushing and drying hair
It's all about picking the right brush, using the right products and investing in a good hairdryer. Photo: Getty Images

7. You’re not starting at the root

When you actually get down to blow drying your hair, make sure you always start at the roots and work your way down to your ends.

You should always section your hair, and start to blow dry each section (tightly) from roots to ends, moving the brush and the dryer together pulling slowly down the hair shaft,” Kevin recommended.

“Angle the air flow of the nozzle toward the tip of the hair to encourage the hair cuticles to look smooth and shiny. Repeat a couple of times until each section is smooth and dry.”

Virginie said to start at the temples and hairline before making your way to the back of the head. If you want a bouncy blow dry, she recommends pinning each section after blow drying it to make it cool down into the shape you desire.

7. You’re putting too much lift in your fringe

One of the biggest blow dry mistakes Kevin Murphy sees is when people put too much lift at the root of their fringe.

“One of the hardest tricks to master is blow-drying your fringe,” Kevin said.

“For a less voluminous fringe, hold your hair dryer facing down, and brush your fringe from side to side until dry. This will calm down any cowlicks, ensuring your fringe falls straight. Finish by either rolling the ends under or add a flick to the sides depending on the style you’re going for.”

8. You’re not applying the finishing touches

While you may have perfected your at-home blow dry, it’s not going to last a minute in the great outdoors unless you treat it with some finishing touches.

Virginie recommends using a spritz of hairspray and tipping your hair upside down for maximum volume.

She also applying a tiny (very tiny!) amount of finishing cream to the ends to seal in moisture and avoid any frizz.

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