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Skin Deep: Here's how you can actually, really get a salon quality blow-dry at home

For post-salon hair at home.

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Welcome to Skin Deep with Louise McSharry, my opportunity to put years of obsessing over beauty products and techniques to good use. I won’t tell you something is good if it’s not. I won’t recommend products I haven’t actually tried. As the magical sitar in Moulin Rouge said, I only speak the truth.

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I’m good at hair. GHD curls? No problem. Plaits? Do you want French or Dutch? Grungey rock and roll texture? Sure! However, I can not, for the life of me blow dry my own hair. Well, I can do it, in the sense that I can point the hairdryer at my hair and it will be dry eventually, but it’s not going to look anything like it would if a hairdresser did it. Instead, it’ll be fluffy and inconsistent, like a child had given it a go and given up halfway through.

I know I’m not alone in this. I think it is an almost eternal beauty struggle. (Although I did recently enquire as to how a woman I know had consistently great hair and she said she did it herself, just with a good hairdryer. I’ve concluded that she must be some sort of robot.) Fortunately, as beauty technology progresses, there are ways for us to fake it til we make it. And by ‘making it’ I mean ‘win the lottery so that we have a hair-dresser on standby’.

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First, it is worth buying a decent hairdryer. Aside from anything else, it’ll cut your drying time in half. I love the Lanaiblo, which is a 2400 watt professional standard hairdrier, and the brainchild of Irish woman Katie Jane Goldin. I was given a Dyson Supersonic hairdryer as a group birthday present last year, and while I love it for diffusing my hair when I wear it curly, the Lanaiblo is my go-to if I want to wear my hair straight or if I’m planning on using a straightener or tongs. It is the most powerful hairdryer I’ve ever used without a doubt. Aside from that, Parlux‘ range is excellent and universally well-reviewed. Make sure you’re using a heat-protection product though, the heat which makes these dryers so quick can really damage your hair if you aren’t careful. GHD’s is good, as is Lee Stafford’s. Spray it onto damp hair before you dry it, and also before using any heat tools. You won’t regret it.

Still, though, I hear you saying. I may be quicker at it, but I’m still shite at drying my hair! Right, I hear you. Here comes the game-changer. The Babyliss Sheer Volume Rotating Hot Brush. This is the sister of the Babyliss Big Hair (remember that? People went mad for it.). A friend mentioned it to me recently, and as I now have enough hair to dry I decided to give it a go. IT. IS. GREAT. It’s great, because unlike the Big Hair, you start with dry hair, but it doesn’t matter what shape it’s in. So even if you just blast it with no brush or technique, the Hot Brush will be effective. Hell, even if you wash it in the morning then let it air dry over the course of the day (the lazy woman’s way, or as I like to call it, my way) it’ll work. It’s essentially a heated round brush that you glide through your hair section by section, and what you’re left with is smooth, soft, hair in about ten or fifteen minutes. Previously I’ve always avoided any gadgets like this because my thick hair is just asking to get tangled up in a rotating brush, but the bristles on this are wide enough apart that it rarely tangle. It’s magic.

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If that doesn’t sound like your thing, and you prefer a good curly blow dry, but GHD curls seem like the work of some sort of hair wizard, then may I recommend a curling wand. They look intimidating (they come with a heat protecting glove, for the love, etc.) but are surprisingly easy to use. You hold the wand upside down with one hand, and use the gloved hand to wrap a section of hair around the barrel from the wide end to the narrow, away from your face. What you end up with is effortless waves or curls, depending on how small a section of hair you use. You don’t need to spend massive money on a wand, I’ve tried a few mid-range ones and they all perform. If you’re uncertain about your technique, see if you can borrow one from a friend before making the investment!

If all of that still sounds like too much faff, then there is one absolutely proven, un-mess-up-able way to get a salon quality blow-dry at home. Via the Raven App, you can get a hairdresser to come to your house and dry your hair for you. Blow-dries come at a flat rate of €35, and I’ve yet to be disappointed.

New Product

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Glossier is a super-hip cosmetics brand which specialises in no-makeup makeup. They are all about making the most of your natural features – perfect skin, natural but groomed eyebrows and flushed cheeks. I have been desperate to try their products for years now (especially once I realised that the company’s founder is Emily Weiss a.k.a. Lauren and Whitney’s New York nemesis from The Hills). The company now delivers to the U.K., which means that via the wizardry of Address Pal and Parcel Motel, it delivers to us. I’m going to try some of their hero products out and come back to you!

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