(Beauty Report Card)

I've Perfected The At-Home Blowout, Thanks To This Crucial Tool

How to give yourself an almost-professional blowout.

Angela Melero
At-home blowout tutorial

I have a lot of hair. Although this is not the worst problem one could have, it does have its drawbacks, the main one being that it takes forever to blow dry. Yes, while some have been able to master the skill easily, for me, raking a brush in tandem with a hot blow dryer through my dense hair is not only exhausting but requires a bit too much dexterity for my taste or ability. That said, I recently discovered a tool that changed my at-home blowouts forever, and I feel it's my duty as an editor to spread the word.

It all started in late December when I spent Christmas at my parents' house. In true form, I managed to pack about five pairs of jeans and a dozen t-shirts, but completely forgot to bring along my hair essentials. So after a shower, I found myself rummaging through my mother's bathroom in search of a blowdryer. And there it was in her top drawer: the Drybar Double Shot Blow-Dryer Brush. I'd heard of devices like this before: those that combine the hot air of a blow-dryer with the structure of a round brush, reducing the process to one easy movement. I'd always been skeptical of these tools as I didn't think there was one that could handle the mass of thick, wavy hair I was working with. But, seeing that I was in no rush (and no one besides my loved ones would see the outcome), I decided to give it a whirl.

What happened next was nothing short of a Christmas miracle. To my surprise and delight, the brush worked through each section of hair easily, efficiently, and, quickly. In the past, my at-home blowout attempts took at least an hour and often resulted in frizzy, half-damp hair (because I couldn't quite get to certain areas with my unwieldy blowdryer). The ease and size of the brush allowed me to get to those hard-to-reach places, and evenly distributed the hot air to the entire section of hair, leaving it smooth, shiny, and with a lovely bounce that I've only ever gotten after a trip to the hairdresser. And it took all of 25 minutes to blowout all of my hair.

Angela Melero

Naturally, I immediately invested in a blow-dryer brush for myself (as my mother refused to "gift" me hers). And, for the past couple months I've perfected the art of the at-home blowout, compiling a nice roster of essentials that deliver salon-quality results. What's more, with the right products, I can make said results last for four to five days. This year is already off to a fabulous start.

Ahead, the blowdry must-haves that have changed my hair routine for good:

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At-Home Blowout Products: It's All About The Prep

I wash my hair about once a week, and these wash days have turned into a full-blown self-care ritual, in which I've recently incorporated a blowout. I start things off with a 15-minute oil scalp treatment courtesy of Ceremonia's Aceite de Moska. After cleansing with my regular shampoo and conditioner, while my hair is still quite wet, I give my ends a spritz with OUAI's Leave-In Conditioner and apply a heat protectant cream (I love Farewell Frizz by Briogeo).

To allow the blowdry brush to work its magic faster (and because it takes my thick hair so long to dry), I rough dry my hair for a few minutes with my regular blowdryer prior to styling. I recommend doing this until the hair gets a damp consistency.

At-Home Blowout Products: The Main Event

Because there's so much of it, sectioning off my hair is crucial to the blowout process. I typically start by sectioning off the top half and throwing that into a loose bun then separating the bottom half into smaller pieces to be blowdried (I use a long cutting comb to get more precise and clean sections). When blowdrying, I try to work with smaller pieces of hair as this allows the brush to work faster and more efficiently.

After I've turned on my blowdryer brush, I run it through the hair very slowly for the first go, paying special attention to the root as this can take longer to dry. I then repeat the motion until the entire section of hair is completely dry — root to tip. (I avoid brushing out the completed piece with a cool brush or comb when it's still warm, as I've been told by hairstylist friends that it is still being set at this point.) I then move on to the rest of the hair, piece by piece, until I'm finished.

One thing to note, if you have bangs, I do not recommend using a blowdry brush for them — unless you enjoy '80s-style, barrel-like fringe. For my curtain bangs, I use my regular blowdryer with a styling concentrator attachment and a 1.3-inch round brush to give them a soft, rounded shape that falls around my face naturally.

At-Home Blowout Products: The After-Party

I typically wait until my hair has been completely blown out to go over it with a cool paddle brush. After I've done that and styled it to my liking, I give it a light misting of dry oil to let it really shine. And, voila, I'm good to go!

Also, to prolong my look, I spray the crown of my head with a bit of dry shampoo at night to keep the roots fresh and oil-free for the days that follow. And if the bouncy shape starts to get limp, I'll blast it with a bit of texturizing spray in the morning to revive its height and volume. (When spraying dry shampoo or texturizing spray, make sure you're holding the bottle about eight to 10 inches away from the hair to ensure the roots don't get saturated and stiff.)