Two weeks ago, my friend posed the question, “Do you think different curl types get the same treatment at blowout bars?”
I had absolutely no idea. So to find out, I sent three curl types to a blowout bar. Well, I tried to. Here’s what actually happened:I approached Jillian, a wavy-haired maven, who agreed instantly. I volunteered myself as curly. Then, I approached Baze, a super curly. I extended the invitation and was greeted with, “Are you out of your mind?” That went well.
I tried another super curly, Ashley. “Um they’ll destroy my hair.”
Um maybe Camille? “Think of the breakage!!”
I was starting to sense a pattern guys. “What would you do if you wanted a blow out?”
“Go to someone I trust.”
“Go to an ethnic salon.”
“Do it myself.”
In short: I couldn’t get a super curly to visit a blowout bar if my life depended on it. The universal consensus: Stylists at those places just don’t know what they’re doing. The super curlies claimed, “They’ll say they can’t manage our hair, or that we have to come back when the person who knows how to deal with super curly texture is there.”
What is a curly blowout?
For any of you who haven’t been in a blowout bar yet, a blowout is when you (or a trained professional) blow dry your hair after a wash for a sleek, shiny look. At least, that’s it in the most basic form. In practice, it also involves a lot of products, styling, some tugging with heavy duty brushes, and, if you’re working on your own head, maybe some mild swearing. A curly blowout can produce the kind of big, loose curls that celebrities like to wear on the red carpet and leave you strutting your stuff for the rest of the day.
As a curly girl, I expected a serious up-charge (maybe even a groan), but I never thought I’d be turned away. I asked Jillian about her past experience, “I’ve been up-charged for my thick hair.” Not that surprising. Length, texture, and thickness would require more of a stylist’s time.
I decided to catfish-call several blowout bars, pretending to be super curly. Everyone claimed to be able to service the texture. Interesting. The other discovery? All textures are charged the same flat rate. Wait really?
Mildly suspicious, Jillian and I headed to the local blowout bar. When we arrived no one in the room was curlier than me. Oy.
The receptionist looked at our hair, and you could tell she was taking note of my texture (but not in an offensive/stressed way). She paired us with stylists – mine happened to be an attractive-hipster with large biceps (Convenient, in more ways than one 😉 ).
After they washed our hair with sulfates (and I died a little) we got started. And, as one does, I struck up a conversation with the very attractive man who was currently at war with my hair.
“Do you have a girlfriend” *Ahem*
“Do women with kinkier texture ever come in?”
“Yeah actually, and it’s nice for them because the cost is the same no matter what.” Well, that settles that.
Jillian was done first (shocker) and looked like a Barbie. It took around another 15 minutes for me to be done (which all things considered, is really not that bad. +1 for the hipster stylist).
I should mention that during this blowout I sat so low to the floor that I couldn’t see my own reflection. So when I stood up, I was in shock. My hair was SO LONG. And it looked gooooooooooooood. My inner control freak was like – YASSSS girl. And then I got to thinking: can I do this again? *Insert the horrified shrieks of a hundred curly girls here.*
How to Get Blowout Curls 101
At the salon, you’re probably going to get a little bit of treatment you wouldn’t normally give your own hair (see the sulfates above… *shudder*), including someone running a brush through it. The end result should, hopefully, be a non-frizzy pseudo-straight or loosely curly/wavy look and probably some extra volume to boot. But what are you supposed to do before going to the salon?
By some miracle, I managed to wrangle blow-out tips from Devachan stylist, Dominique. He’s a styling guru (you guys would die if you could see what he can make happen with flexi rods).
According to Dom, frequent blowouts can force the curl pattern to stretch (due to the combination of brush tension and heat). This stretching can break bonds in the hair, aka cause irreversible heat damage. Not cute.
So how does one avoid that? If you’re planning on a blowout, do one to two deep conditioning treatments prior. And for the love of your curls, use heat protectant. It’s the equivalent of a fire suit for your hair. The sprays coat strands, and if you’re using a dryer or even an iron, and you’re about to burn strands, it burns the product layer off first. Comforting (I think?).
You can also minimize damage by decreasing the amount of tension you use. Three ways to do this:
- Boost slip by working B’Leave In throughout the hair (For more moisture, add a few drops of High Shine).
- Finger comb your hair before styling, to minimize tangles.
- Use a brush with wide-spread bristles and go easy on the tension. It may take a while longer but your hair will thank you.
Blown Out Curl Hairstyles for All Hair Types
But here’s the thing–the best part of being curly is versatility. The fact of the matter is, sometimes we want to switch it up. And it’s totally fine… if you’re careful. You can get some volume, some length, and a day or two of a completely different look. As Jillian proved, wavies can get a beach-wave Barbie look going with ease. All those super curlies that were supposedly coming into the blowout bar were likely to walk away with a big, beautiful head of semi-straight hair (think Beyonce or Michelle Obama).
What about a blowout with curls at the end? After all, it’s an in-demand look. With naturally curly hair, an easy way to achieve the look is just blowing out at the roots/mid lengths of your hair and only lightly blowing out the bottom for the loose-curl look. For wavies, you’re going to need a little more elbow grease. Make sure your roots dry completely, then give the ends a twist with a roundhead brush as you dry to the tips.
DIY blowout and Curl? Bring It On.
Now I don’t know about you, but after spending an hour of my life to make a blowout happen, I try to preserve it for as long as possible. But Dom was all like – “Girl, no.”
To keep up a blowout, many turn to re-ironing, but, “That’s when people end up with the most damage, they forget to re-apply heat protectant and they typically iron over the same pieces again and again.” It’s well known that repeatedly applying heat to your hair can force your curls to remain permanently “stretched out,” but apparently, some stylists even believe that leaving your hair in a straight state for as little as two days can start to force curls to stay stretched. #cry.
If you want to get the blowout look at home, the DevaDryer and DevaFuser can take you a long way. The spread out diffuser mimics a hand to help even out the drying process. Since you’re going for a blowout, just remember not to scrunch!
When you finally decide to abandon your straight hair, your first course of action should be a deep conditioning treatment. Get that MOISTURE. You can get a Heaven in Hair Treatment at your local Devachan or a Deva Inspired Salon (find ‘em here!) or opt for the DIY route.
DIY options include:
- Sleeping with Heaven in Hair applied to your curls, so they can soak up all that extra-hydrating goodness.
- You can also try to replicate a steam treatment, sans steamer (unless you have a steamer in which case I am impressed). Apply Heaven in Hair throughout your curls, then take a microfiber towel and soak it in hot water. Wrap it around your head, and then put a plastic cap over it. Yes you’ll look weird, but you’re on the road to curl recovery and that’s the only thing that matters.
To be honest, while I was happy to bring my curls back, when it was time to get in the shower and wash away my blowout, I was like </3. Pretty sure my relationship with a blowout is equivalent to a Carrie/Aiden situation. You never truly let it go.
Am I the only one?