Want to go from your glorious head of curls to some seriously sleek strands? I recently tapped into the expertise of celebrity hairstylist Gabrielle Corney (she gave Carol’s Daughter founder Lisa Price her bouncy, healthy blowout for an HSN on-air appearance and is also the master behind looks on celebs like Va$htie Kola and long time client “Love & Hip Hop”‘s Olivia) to give us the scoop on some natural hair blow out tips.
First things first, if your hair is damaged (you can tell by gently pulling at a strand and if it feels gummy, mushy, and/or snaps off easily, you just might have some damage) heat could exasperate the problem. Plus a blowout on damaged hair won’t be as bouncy and vibrant. And then why waste the time and money for a so-so outcome?
While going to a professional is highly recommended, if you’re a whiz with some hair tools, Gabrielle says after shampooing and deep conditioning your hair apply a leave-in conditioner making sure to comb through for even distribution. To make blow drying (and therefore your life) easier, divide the hair into 2-4 sections.
Using an ionic blow dryer is suggested as they make the cuticles lie flat and impart shine. Gabrielle prefers to use a Denman brush in conjunction with the blow dryer (a feat of awesomeness I was able to experience her do live), but you can also use a comb attachment at home. Be sure to also use a heat protectant prior to using any heat appliance. Gabrielle loves Carol’s Daughter Macadamia Heat Styling Hair Spray and Macadamia Heat Protection Serum.
Blow drying the hair section by section helps to prevent applying excessive heat to already dried sections, plus it makes it easier for you to get the job done. Blow the left side of your hair to the left, and the right to the right. Once the hair is completely dry, blow dry it in the direction the hair is going to be styled.
Now comes the flat or curling iron. Gabrielle swears by ceramic irons by brands like Babyliss, FHI, and Rusk. For shorter hair or hard to reach areas, a mini flat iron is a curly haired girl’s dream. Getting kinky hair straight can be a challenge for some if you’re doing it at home, but work in very small sections and take your time. Glide the iron through the hair adding a little flick of the wrist at the ends for a bit of a curl or twirling sections of the hair with a rod for soft waves.
How to maintain your blowout
Wrapping or pin curling the hair at night with a 100% silk or satin scarf helps keep your style while you toss and turn. For a quick way to bring body back to a limp blowout, Gabrielle also suggests using hot rollers because the indirect heat source is less damaging on the hair and only takes about 5-10 minutes to set the curl.
What about heat damage?
It’s hard to make a blanket statement about heat damage and how it pertains to natural hair because it really depends on the individual. Many kinky haired girls have several different textures around sections of the hair so while one area will revert back, another may become permanently straightened. As with just about anything, moderation is key if you want your curls to spring back.
Check out a few of Gabrielle’s favorite hair products in the widget below.
When Gabrielle Corney isn’t flying to Los Angeles or across the globe to style her celebrity clients, she can be found at Styles New York Salon in Manhattan (212) 730-6488. Follow her on Twitter @gabidoeshair.