To say that I have flat hair would be an understatement. Since birth, my locks have remained in a constant state of deflation. Although a quick blow dry at home gives the roots a little lift, the volume is usually short-lived.
Thankfully, I discovered a new salon in New York City that caters specifically to the aforementioned hair-care needs. Thus, I made sure to schedule an appointment right away. Dry Bar is all about the blowout and more specifically, getting a very quick volume boost in a seriously stylish atmosphere. There are no haircuts and no spa services, everything the experts craft comes straight off their custom menu of blowouts and up-dos.
I walked into a sleek, light-filled space, accented with touches of yellow and grey. My stylist Jessica led me past a giant flat screen playing Sex and The City 2 and to her chair where she offered champagne. I declined the bubbly, but went straight for the Drybar Menu and immediately selected the “Mai Tai” aka, the answer to my mediocre head of hair. Other styles they offer range from straightened looks to full-out curls, but I needed just the right amount of pumped-up wave.
After a relaxing wash, Jessica started to work her magic while I enjoyed flipping through the latest issue of Vogue. First she used some styling mousse to add volume and Moroccanoil for shine. Then she sectioned my hair and used a round brush to create large, loose waves. After each section was dry, she went back in with a curling iron to get that “beach-y” look I yearned for.
I was skeptical that it wouldn’t have the extra umph I was looking for since it was done in such a short amount of time, but when Jessica turned my chair around to face the mirror I was pleasantly surprised. Jessica’s blow dry brought my hair back to life with just the right amount of movement and lift.
Since I loved the Dry Bar experience and professional results, I wanted to know how to recreate the salon-worthy look at home. I caught up with the founder of Dry Bar, Alli Webb, to learn how her stylists create the perfect silky, bouncy blowout each time -- whether your hair is super fine and prone to flatness or has more texture and tends to frizz up mid-day. Don't forget to check out all the photos from my hairdo re-do at Dry Bar below.
PREP YOUR HAIR:
Cleanse with a clarifying shampoo: "You want to make sure your hair is super clean," says Webb. "I love L'Oreal Volume Expand Shampoo. Your hairline all the way around and the hair closest to your scapula gets the oiliest -- be sure to really scrub these areas!"
Use the right amount of conditioner for your hair type: "If you have very thick coarse hair, use a good conditioner to help soften your curls in preparation for your blowout," says Webb. "If you have medium to fine hair, focus the conditioner on the ends, so you don't weigh your hair down."
"Don't skimp on conditioner, buy the good stuff," adds Webb. "It really helps and makes a huge difference. Moroccanoil Hydrating mask is fantastic for dry, dull hair, or our L'Oreal 5 minute shots (available at Dry Bar) can really transform tired, over-processed hair."
Apply a heat-styling product: "Once your hair is super clean, choose the proper product for your hair type," advises Webb. "The wrong product can really affect a great blowout." If your hair is more curly, work in Redken Blown Away Blow-Dry Gel which will help keep frizz at bay. For finer hair that tends to fall flat, try Kerastase Ciment Thermique Leave-In Treatment.
Get the right tools: "You can use either a round, boar bristle brush or aluminum Bio Ionic style (these brushes get heated up from the dryer and are similar to a curling iron). The size of the barrel will determine the type of blowout (and curl) you achieve. A large or extra large barrel will give you a straighter look, while a smaller barrel will help you get more curl or wave." The right brush is just as important as your dryer. Webb swears by Bio Ionic Power Light dryers: "I'm obsessed. They're lightweight, but powerful!"
Start with the front: "As always, start your blowout in the front. Bangs, fringe and front hairline should look perfect before you move on."
Work in small sections: "Make sure you go over and over your small section. You want to lay down the hair cuticle for optimal shine. If you have straight hair and are looking for extra volume, rough dry (aka quickly dry all over). Roll each section with a small to medium barrel brush, then set it in large velcro rollers. For curly, textured hair, don't rough dry -- blow it out, section by section and then set it."
Don't forget to check out more expert drying tips.
SET YOUR STYLE:
Finish with a blast of cool air: "This will help seal the cuticle, and set the look."
Make it last: Web suggests misting in a light hairspray. "My favorite is Moroccanoil Luminous Hairspray." For flyways she prefers L'Oreal Lumi Control Pomade. "But go easy on the product, and focus on the ends not the roots," she adds.
Final touches: "If you still need a little extra smoothness and more movement, a curling iron will help smooth out frizz."
Drybar also has multiple location around California, as well as Scottsdale, Arizona and Dallas, Texas.
Photos by Bobby Doherty