THE BLOWOUT

A few weeks ago, disaster came upon my household. I was told I couldn’t use my diffuser anymore. Now first off, as a girl with a soft core afro, this was hard to swallow. And you know what the worst part of it was? The diffuser wasn’t even broken, my mom just thought that it was getting too hot and that it would burn down the entire house (logical, I know). I had a new, T3 diffuser ordered and in transit (obviously!), but that left me with a few weeks without a diffuser. I know, I know, it’s not that bad. I really don’t mind my natural curls… but it’s just nice to wake up once in a while to look in the mirror, and know what to expect. With my diffuser, I can count on voluminous curls. Au natural, not so much. Self-education really is the best education, in my opinion. With practice, I can now give myself big, glamorous waves that last me up to three days with just a few tools.
Big league volume is a necessity for this look– I like the René Furterer Voumea shampoo/ conditioner combo for this. While your conditioner is soaking in, comb your hair with a wide-tooth comb or a Tangle Teezer, being as gentle as possible. Once out of the shower and detangled, get in there with your hands with an anti-frizz product and a styling mousse of some sort. My current favourites are the Pantene BB Creme and Phomollient from Aveda. Now wait about half an hour to forty-five minutes– you want your hair to be around 70% dry.
No matter how much hair you’ve got, you’re going to need to work with 1 inch sections, bottom up. I usually do around four or five, so make sure you’ve got a big clip to help you out.
Now let’s dig in. Your tools at hand will be a one to two inch round brush and a good blowdryer. Hold the brush in your dominant hand and the dryer in your weak hand. If you have a concentrator (a attachment for your dryer that, well, concentrates the heat), all the better. Face it horizontally. Now this brush technique will take some practice to get the hang of. Work with about two or three inch long sections of the section that you’ve not got clipped up. Hair on top of the brush. Start off by drying the roots and the tops of the strands. Then, work your way down, maintaining a bit of tension with your brush so that the hair stays moderately tight to the brush.
                                               
As you get to the ends, rotate your wrist downwards so that the brush picks up the ends again, focusing the nozzle on the barrel of the brush. This rotating motion will give you those big waves. If you’re getting the rhythm, you can use the nozzle of the drier to hold the section as you reposition the brush, if you get what I’m saying. Once you’ve finished a complete section, go through again roughly with your brush, assuring that the section is completely dried (this will prevent unwanted frizz).

Once you’ve finally made it to the hair at the top of your head, you’re gonna take on a bit of a different technique. If you’re looking in the mirror, you want it so the brush is behind the section, and now face the drier towards your face (but not at it, ouch), drying the roots, then working with some brush action to curl the ends.

Grab a pump of a finishing cream, or another of the Pantene BB, massage it between your palms, and comb through your Bardot-esque waves, et voila! Big, effortless-looking (but painstaking) tresses. Try to avoid touching your baby-soft hair, I dare you. 

–Anna Raponi

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