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Insider Secrets to a Shiny Blow Dry

Caggie Dunlop golden blonde with a shiny blowdry

Step by Step How To Tutorial for a Shiny Blow Dry

Don’t tell anyone, But shiny hair doesn’t mean healthy hair. I know, mind blowing . . . right? The secret to shiny hair is simple. Make it reflective. These are a few easy things to help every time you want shiny hair, and should help to make your hair more reflective and shinier.

The Wash

Let’s start at the very beginning, and mean the absolute beginning. With the wash. To make sure we get as much moisture into the hair as possible, we need to find the right shampoo and conditioner. This is the first phase, and creates the foundation for the rest of our blow dry.  The Cuticle of a Hair Strand under a microscope

Try and imagine how the cuticle of a hair looks in a microscope. It’s made from hundreds of tiny tiles, like the roof of a house. Now imagine if they aren’t sitting flat. The rain can’t flow down. It’s exactly the same with hair. When the hair is damaged, the tiles don’t sit flat, this is why hair gets tangled.

Drying

So now you’ve washed and conditioned the hair, we have all those tiny tiles sitting where we want them, but it’s still soaking wet. The last thing we want to do is make those roof tiles sit up again. So we have to be super gentle when we dry it. You know in the movies when the hero comes out of the shower drying his hair as hard as he can? That’s exactly what we shouldn’t be doing. We want smooth, shiny hair, not messed up tangled hair. Sometimes it’s good to use a paper towel, they’re super absorbent and they’re not as aggressive as towels.

Blow Drying

OK, so that bits done. Now we have to remove the excess moisture. This is important for two reasons. ONE, it’ll be faster to dry your hair, and TWO, most importantly; it won’t dilute the product you use. There’s not much point in putting product in soaking wet hair, it just gets wasted.

I know I said remove excess water, but this isn’t an excuse to blast dry the hair any old way. Remember how the roof tiles need to let the water slide? It’s exactly the same with air. The air flow from the dryer needs to flow DOWN THE HAIR, making sure the air flow is always coming from above. This is the key. The more we encourage a smother hair shaft, the shinier the hair.

Applying Product

Apply your product, maybe something moisturizing, and let’s start drying. But which brush? We need to encourage shiny hair, so feel your brush against your skin. Is it sharp or soft? Typically a rounder brush is quite sharp. It needs to grip the hair for lift, so it has to be. Now think about something like a paddle brush. Usually they have a bigger surface area and softer bristles. This makes it quick and smooth.

Try and work methodically through the drying, imagine the hair in quarters and work round the head, a quarter at a time, working in sections. Heat the hair in the brush and when it’s dry allow it to cool. Imagine the hair is like wax, when it’s hot it’ll do what you want, and when it’s cold it stay where you left it. Even if you don’t necessarily want it there.

Hairstyle Blog contributing author Samuel Ryde
Contributing author Samuel Ryde knows whereof he speaks with years of service to clients as Senior Stylist at Ena Salon in London. You can follow Samuel on Twitter, and LinkedIn.

Got a question, war story or comment about this topic? Click on the "Leave Your Comments" link at the very bottom of this article. Some of my best ideas for future articles come from reading reader comments. I'd love to hear from you!

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