Beauty & Skincare

A Busy Mom’s Guide to An At-Home Blowout That Lasts for Days

written by GIANNA ALDANA

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Source: Jessica Welsh
Source: Jessica Welsh

I can confidently say that some of my favorite days are when I’m getting my hair done at the salon, while some of my least favorite are the days following that—when I’m trying to preserve my hair for as long as I can. Like many of us, I try my hardest to take note of every single thing my hairstylist does in hopes that I can replicate it at home. If you’re in the same boat, consider this our gift to you: a foolproof guide to achieving an at-home blowout that lasts for days.

We’ve probably all attempted to give ourselves a blowout at home, only to fail miserably. I’ve sat through various hair tutorials, tried out multiple hot air brushes, and even gained a little bit of extra arm muscle throughout the tedious process of styling my hair—all to be dissatisfied with my end result. For this reason, I knew I had to tap into an expert for the best advice regarding an at-home blowout. That’s where professional hairstylist Maria McCool comes in.

Maria McCool is not only an experienced hairstylist but also a salon owner, product creator, author, and the founder of haircare brand Calista. With the help of Maria’s tips and professional knowledge, we’ve created the ultimate guide to mastering an at-home blowout that’ll actually last. Trust us: After reading this, you’ll be an at-home blowout expert in no time.

Meet the expert
Maria McCool
Professional Hairstylist, Salon Owner, and Founder of Calista Tools

The Ultimate Guide to An At-Home Blowout

How to Prep Your Hair for a Blowout

While you’re still learning how to perfect your blowout technique, it’s important to set aside enough time to make sure you’re not rushing the process. This might look like practicing after your little ones are asleep in order to give yourself ample time to learn what works for you.

We asked Maria how much time you should realistically set aside for achieving an at-home blowout, and she suggested around 10-30 minutes, depending on your hair length. This also goes without saying, but the more you practice, the faster you’ll be able to style your hair!

Creating a Routine

Whether you’ve freshly showered or have day-two hair, there’s a little bit of prep that you can do beforehand to help the longevity of your blowout. “For hair prep, always use a heat protectant spray and a styling cream for protection and smoothness. I also recommend using a hair mask every fifth shampoo,” Maria says. She also added that between clean hair and “dirty” hair, one is not necessarily better than the other. In fact, you can achieve a perfect blowout (regardless of the current state of your hair) with Maria’s tips below.

For Clean Hair: “For clean hair, always use a heat protectant and a styling cream when hair is damp. This will ensure a smoother blowout,” Maria advises. She also shared that it’ll make a huge difference if you comb through your conditioner and let it set for at least five minutes in the shower.

For “Dirty” Hair: For moms that are always on the go, “dirty hair” is realistically what you’ll be dealing with. I often find that my hair actually holds a style better when it has some grit and oil to it. Maria shared that dry shampoo is your best bet in making the roots look less oily and giving your hair that extra oomph.

Understanding Hair Texture

In my personal experience, I’ve found that most of my at-home blowout fails were due to following tutorials that didn’t cater to my hair type. Whether you have straight, thick, or curly hair, we asked Maria for her professional opinion on how to better your at-home blowout—and she delivered!

Fine and Straight Hair

If your hair falls in the category of straight or fine, the #1 thing you probably struggle with is getting a voluminous finish that won’t fall throughout the day. Maria advises blow-drying your hair upside-down for more volume, thus achieving a fuller and bouncier blowout.

Coarse and Thick Hair

When it comes to coarse and thick hair, Maria recommends using a paddle brush to section off your hair and wrap it around your head while you dry it. From there she suggests you, “Brush hair from back to front, using your head to give it shape. This will help smooth it out a lot more.”

Curly Hair

“For curly hair, let it air out so it’s not sopping wet,” Maria says. “Once your hair is damp, go right in with the round brush while you blow dry so that you’re simultaneously straightening while blowing it out.”

woman towel drying hair
Source: Pexels | Yaroslav Shuraev

Blowout Technique Tips

After giving us her advice on hair prep and texture, we asked Maria for additional blowout technique tips and anything she typically shares with her clients. Remember that above all else, be patient with yourself as you learn to master the art of an at-home blowout, and that practice makes perfect.

Direct the Heat

“The thing that I see the most when clients dry their own hair is that they don’t put the dryer close enough to the brush, which makes their hair frizzy,” Maria says. She explains that the heat needs to be directed to the right spot for optimal smoothness and volume, suggesting, “Make sure you lift the brush high, high, high! You need to over-direct the hair to really get that volume.”

Focus on the Root

Maria says that the secret to salon-level blowouts all lies in the root. “The reason salon blowouts last so much longer is that we dry the root the most. Everyone always tries to dry their ends,” she says. “I promise you, the ends will dry in no time. If you don’t smooth and volumize that root, your blowouts won’t last. Take extra care of the root!”

Take the Extra Steps to Optimize Shine

Try using cool air on each section to lock in shine, Maria suggests. “For aftercare, use a serum that replaces your natural oils and keeps hair hydrated. This will keep hair shiny and smooth.” Lastly, if you want your blowout to last longer without extra heat, she suggests using velcro rollers with a touch of hairspray.

Use Quality Products and Tools

“One thing people ignore is that the quality of your products matters. When you use high-quality shampoo and conditioner, your styles will last twice as long,” Maria says. She recommends investing in a high-quality shampoo and conditioner, a heat protectant spray, and a styling product to really achieve that salon-level blowout.

When it comes to selecting the right tool for an at-home blowout, she says it’s all about preference. “Hot air brushes use hot air to actively blow your hair dry. With a heated round brush, your hair has to be dry to start. One is definitely not better than the other—it’s all about what you prefer!”

The Best Products for an At-Home Blowout

Now that we’ve learned that—in addition to technique—the secret to an effortlessly sleek blowout is the products you use, we asked Maria for some of her top recommendations. Below are a few of her favorite tools for achieving the perfect at-home blowout, plus a few of our own editor-favorite styling products.

Shop Expert Product Recommendations

StyleDryer Pro Hair Drying Brush

This brush is what Maria considers the “OG of blowout brushes,” and helped change how her clients style their hair. She describes this tool as “a one-step way to style and dry your hair at the same time.” 

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FAUXblo Thermal Brush

This brush is perfect for people who don’t want to go the blow dryer route. “If you’re a busy mom, you can air dry your hair at night, wake up the next morning, and get a quick, perfect blowout using the FAUXblo,” Maria says.

3 sizes available

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Hair Rollers, 3 Sizes

Maria’s hack for touching up your blowout without applying additional heat is to use velcro rollers with a little bit of hairspray.

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Shop More Hair Products We Recommend

Sephora | Kérastase
Elixir Hydrating Hair Oil Serum

Maria suggested using a hair serum to help nourish your natural oils. This editor-favorite hydrating option will keep your hair healthy, shiny, and smooth for days.

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Amazon | Enjoy
Shaping Lotion and Styling Cream

I bought this styling cream after my hairstylist used it on me, and it works wonders. The best part? It’s ideal for any hair type and helps prevent frizz and flyaways.

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Sephora | Pureology
Color Fanatic Heat Protectant Leave-In Conditioner

Another product my hairstylist introduced me to is this all-in-one leave in conditioner. It contains 21 essential benefits that helps with heat damage, detangling, color vibrancy, and more!

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Sephora | Oribe
Superfine Hair Spray

This high-performance hairspray is perfect for everyday touch-ups and doesn’t leave your hair feeling crunchy or hard. The superfine formula is also great for blowouts since it won’t weigh down the hair.

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Amazon | Klorane
Dry Shampoo with Oat Milk

I’ve tried various types of dry shampoos, but this one is at the top of the list. It’s formulated with oat milk and is paraben- and sulfate-free. Plus, it does a fantastic job at absorbing oil—without making the scalp itchy.

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Sephora | COLOR WOW
Dream Coat Supernatural Anti-Frizz Treatment

Although this isn’t a necessity, it’s worth purchasing if you have frizz-prone hair. It’s activated with blow-drying tension and aims to keep any hair type frizz-free.

Shop now