Imagine hair that looks like it’s five inches can actually be an entire foot long, or more, depending on the quality of your blowout. Shrinkage is real. If you’ve ever been amazed at the photos of a natural hair blowout before and after, know that the same amazing feat can probably happen to you. It’s all in the technique.
How to Do a Blowout on Natural Hair: Step by Step Process
To get bouncy hair that’s protected from serious damage, there is a routine for blowouts. Don’t just put a blow dryer on your wet hair and expect the best. Blow drying is actually the middle step. Here’s what to do:
Pre-Poo and Cleanse
Retaining moisture is essential for a good blowout, as is clean hair. Start with a 100% coconut oil pre-shampoo treatment. This helps keep your hair from getting mechanical damage when you detangle. Leave it on for at least two hours, then rinse it out. Wash with your favorite moisturizing shampoo.
Use a deep conditioner from the same line. I know it seems like a lot, but your hair will be under a lot of stress with the blowout, and you’ll need to prepare and repair it as much as possible. Choose a deep conditioner that contains hydrolyzed proteins and leave it in overnight. Rinse it out very thoroughly.
Leave-In and Heat Protectant
Now add two light layers to your hair: a leave-in conditioner and a silicone-based heat protectant, in that order. Silicone helps your hair fight off frizz. After you have both these in, you can detangle your hair.
Stretch Your Hair
You can do this by setting your hair on plastic jumbo rollers and using a hooded dryer to dry it thoroughly. Or, if you don’t mind waiting, braid your hair tightly and wait until it dries. Then release the braids, resection, and braid again. Stretch your hair as far as it can go before blow-drying will help create bounce.
Blow-dry with Tension
Your hair should be fully dry. Aiming a blow dryer directly at wet hair creates bubbles inside the hair shaft and eventual breakage. Don’t add any more products in this stage. If your hair is loaded with product, it will not straighten properly. Here’s what you’ll need:
- Use a tourmaline hair dryer with a decently high wattage, around 1875. Ceramic doesn’t usually get quite as hot as tourmaline. Titanium heats up too quickly so it’s better left to the pros. If you’re doing your blowout yourself, try one of those old-style blow dryers that have a short, flat nozzle and a brush attachment. That way, you can reach all areas of your head without any issues.
- If you have a friend do your blowout, to create the tension, you’ll need a round brush with bristles. The sizes go up by your hair length. Start at the tips of the hair and use quick twisting motions to move up the length of your hair, pointing the blow dryer at the brush.
- You’ll need sectioning clips to keep other hairs out of the round brush and to help you be more methodical. Use small sections.
- A pair of sharp hair shears is useful to trim your ends when you’re done, if necessary. This will add bounce to your hairstyle and keep it looking professional.
How Often Should You Get a Blowout on Natural Hair
Dazzled by your long, silky locks? Hold on. Don’t blow out your hair every day. Don’t do it every week. Once a month is a limit because blowouts are damaging. It isn’t just the stretching of the proteins inside your hair, it’s the damage your cuticle suffers when your curly and coily strands get manipulated into straight hair.
It’s an inherently damaging process that a heat protectant can’t do anything about, and your hair will need time to recover. Wait? Do you really need a heat protectant then? Of course! Heat protectants coat your hair strands and can withstand high heat.
The best ones have a silicone base, and because they buffer the heat, your hair doesn’t fry while it’s being stretched. Your scalp also benefits from a heat protectant as it minimizes damage to your hair follicles from the high heat.
How Long Does a Blowout Hairstyle Last on Natural Hair
Some blowouts frizz right up as soon as you leave the salon. That’s because the heat is wrong, the process is wrong, and the products are also…wrong. We’ve talked about the products and the process. You should also know that you need high heat to get straight hair. Only use a medium setting if you want an afro blowout.
Your straight tresses should last at least a week, but don’t get a blowout in hot, humid weather or if you’re planning on working out. All that work you put into your hair won’t last a day. Here are some tips for stretching your silky locks into a week or two:
- Add a drop or two of silicone-based, waterless heat protectant, then wrap your hair securing it with bobby pins. Then tie a silk scarf around everything. Do this every night. It will help make your hair more resistant to humidity and frizz.
- Mid-week, change up your hairstyle and wear curls. The extra tension of the rollers at night will help re-stretch your hair.
- Don’t use any products besides the drop or two of waterless heat protectants at night. If your hair gets too heavy with the product, it will frizz right up.
- Drink water, but never let it get near your hair. Not the sprinkler, not the shower, not even dewy rain should get near your hair. Don’t even look at products that have water.
- Never use heat as a touchup after your blowout is complete. Initially, it will make your hair straightener, then, boom! Very serious damage will occur and your hair will crinkle in self-preservation or break off.
Natural Hair Blowout Styles
You can style it any way you want, but don’t use water or water-based products. I said that already, but it’s really important to remember.
This last step of heat further straightens your hair and makes it silky and bouncy. Enjoy your tresses!