Wednesday, June 25, 2014

6 Ways to Keep A Blowout Looking Good Even When It's Crazy-Humid Out

Got this blowout from Sonia at DreamDry on a Wednesday...and was still rocking it a week later. My blowout-preserving tips work, yo. :)
If you are anywhere but in New York City today, thank the hair gods. The weather here today is vile. Muggy is too kind. The air outside is heavy and superhumid--like you're walking through thick, hair-destroying soup. I am leaving for Mexico tomorrow (yay!), so I actually had a pre-trip blowout planned this morning (naturally). But I walked right into the salon and begged them to change my appointment to the end of the day so my blowout would have at least a fighting chance of staying intact. 

Besides rescheduling your appointments, here are a few more tips for making sure your blowout survives a humid day like this one:

1) Start with a good frizz-fighting product. Obvious, yes, so I almost didn't include it, but just in case, here it is. If I'm doing my hair myself, I like to shampoo with a smoothing shampoo (I like this one and this one), and then I'll use a mask as a my conditioner (I like this one). Then I add a leave-in frizz-fighter. I like Fekkai Glossing Cream or Living Proof Styling Cream. I just use a small dollop though. Don't go overboard. More is usually not better, and the more you glob on, the sooner your blowout is going to look greasy. Since I like to keep mine as long as humanly possible, I go as light as I can on product. The truth is: A really excellent blowout should not require a lot of product. It's more about the blow-drying technique, not how much goopy stuff you pile on top of it.

2) Go as straight as possible. This might seem counterintuitive, but the straighter your hair, the tighter, and flatter the cuticle of the hair will be, and that helps repel all of that frizz-causing water that's floating around in the air. This is not the day to go for voluminous waves. Break out your flat iron (or ask your stylist to) and straighten the hell out of your hair. Years ago, I remember interviewing celebrity hairstylist Andy LeCompte (he keeps celebs like freaking MADONNA frizz-free), and he was telling me that he had recently ironed Katie Holmes's hair supersleek for a particularly muggy Mexican press junket for just this reason. 

3) Use the right tools. While we're at it, a good flat iron and blow-dryer will definitely make a difference here. I'm all for spending less on certain hair tools (curling irons, for example), but for a good, frizz-deterring blowout, you need flat irons and blow-dryers that are powerful, and that usually costs more. (I firmly believe that these more expensive tools last longer though, so in the end, you're saving money--or at least breaking even.) I like this T3 blow-dryer and this FHI flatiron (which apparently is on major sale here--over half off!--so, like, run).

4) Pull your hair back when you're outside. Yes, your blowout looks great and you want to show it off. But if the weather sucks and you want to have any hope of keeping this blowout for more than five minutes, DON'T. Inside, yes, sure, strut around like a Gisele in a Pantene commercial. But walking outside, you need to strap that sucker down so that it doesn't get puffy. I use hair elastics like these to secure my hair back into a tight, low ponytail. Then, when I get the work or my event or anywhere with A/C, I'll take it down. (Note: Avoid regular elastics. They'll leave dents in a fresh blowout and that is always just so depressing.) 

5) Carry a small umbrella in your bag. I hate running, but if I'm on the street with a blowout and it starts to drizzle, suddenly I become freaking Usain Bolt. I don't care what your iPhone says--if it's remotely humid or gray outside, stick a mini umbrella in your bag just in case. You'll be so happy if you end up needing to use it. But let's be honest: If you lug it around all day, it won't rain. (And of course, if you don't bring it, it will.) I like the slim mini umbrellas from Totes like this one or this one.

6) Do a little touch up. Congrats! You made it through the day with your blowout pretty much unscathed. Now if you want to wear it tomorrow (and, um, why wouldn't you?), it's best to do a little maintenance. Before bed, I like to take my blow-dryer and my favorite round brush and perfect the sections that have gotten a little frizzy or poufy during the day. (For me, this is usually the top of my head, and then the baby hairs around my face and at the nape of my neck.) I take maybe three minutes to re-blow them out, and then I repeat in the morning, if needed. In the morning, I'll also add a little product, again only if needed. If my hair is starting to look a little greasy, I'll sprinkle on some dry shampoo (I just tried this Alterna dry shampoo last week and it made a Let's-Not-Talk-About-How-Many-Days-Old-My-Blowout-Is blowout look straight-out-of-the-salon new); if my hair is looking a little puffy, I'll pat on a few tiny dabs of The Body Shop Coconut Hair Shine, which is one of my #1 favorite products of all time. It's amazing at getting rid of frizz and flyways, literally in seconds.

So, that's my hair plan for today. If you have any good blowout-preserving or frizz-fighting secrets, please, please tell me below. I'd love to hear them.

Stay safe out there, blowouts of the world!

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