7 Expert Tips That Cut Your Blow-Dry Time in Half

A do-it-yourself blowout can be tricky: The time it involves, the minor arm acrobatics it entails and the level of sweat that can start to accumulate from the heat of the dryer can be a downright challenge. But, don’t sprint to the salon quite yet; these seven tips from master stylist Ilda Plaka at Salon Ziba in New York can help make the at-home hair routine a whole lot easier.

Post-Shower Step
As soon as you step out of the shower, try to squeeze as much water out of your hair as possible—but don’t make the mistake of ditching your towel right away. According to Plaka, keeping it on your head for two to five minutes after you wash absorbs a lot more of the water than you think.

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Protect Your Strands
Before you hit the power button on your dryer, always apply a thermal-protection product.

Go to the Roots
Begin your blow-dry by using your fingers to direct air toward the roots of your hair. “This can be done for up to five minutes, depending upon your hair texture and volume needed,” Plaka says.

Take a Break
Feeling tired? Take a break, turn off the dryer and brush your hair with a flat paddle brush. This step helps to smooth your hair, which also allows it to dry more quickly and evenly. According to Plaka, it’s also a trick often used backstage at Fashion Week for faster runway blowouts.

Work from the Back
Using a medium round brush, part your hair into sections and begin drying from the back, moving forward. But, if you have bangs, Plaka recommends working on them first. 

Section It Out
You’ve probably watched your favorite salon do this step. “Another way you can speed up drying time is to section your hair and then smooth it before drying,” Plaka says. Then, a two-brush technique can be very effective (and it’s not as tricky as it looks)! “While drying, use a flat brush to smooth your hair, then take individual sections of hair and roll them around a round brush. Then, hold them there for a few seconds to allow them to set. When unrolling the brush make sure not to pull your hair. A setting cream or mousse can help set your look.”

Get a Treatment
In-salon smoothing treatments like keratin treatments can also reduce drying time by smoothing the surface of the hair shaft.


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