While grown-out roots and fuzzy brows are the daily reminder that salons are closed until further notice, there's no better time than now to perfect a beauty skill at home. Pulling off a smooth blowout that rivals a pro's touch isn't easy, but it's one of the easier DIY tasks that with the right tools — like Tangle Teezer's The Ultimate Vented Brush that launched this month — I found to come pretty darn close. Topping the list of reasons why I'm its newest fan (more to come on why in a second), is that it's only $16 at Ulta. A salon-quality blowout for under $20? Sign me up.
A Brief Curly to Straight Hair History
My hair rituals shift with the seasons. During the fall, winter, and most of the spring I wear a blowout. In summer, when frizz won't let my smooth hair be great, I switch over to a curly look using my go-to curly cocktail: DevaCurl Supercream Coconut Curl Styler and the Colorwow Dream Coat for Curly Hair.
With weekly pre-quarantine blowouts being my thing for at least six months out of the year, I've since started practicing how to perfect it myself at home. Honestly, it's never as close to the real thing, but I've found that with the help of the right tools and products that actually work with my texture, and depending on how much time I have, I can get it sleek enough last more than just a few days. The good thing about having endless time on my weekend wash days (or at least feeling like I do these days) is that I can experiment with new tools and products.
Perfecting My Blowout at Home
I've literally tried every type of tool — round brushes, classic boar bristles, and paddle brushes. It's been a wild mix of results. Round brushes require a level of skill and flexibility that I could never really wrap my head around. Thankfully, I didn't have too many tangle mishaps, but it was generally tricky to get the level of smoothness I was seeking. Paddle brushes were cool, but if it wasn't specifically designed to withstand the heat from my hair-dryer, I found that over time the bristles got warped.
Typically, what I need in a good brush is a great mix of stiffness and flexibility, so it glides through my curls without too much tugging, but also gives a little tension, particularly at the roots where I need the most smoothing. I also prefer a wider brush head. Although I'm working in detangled sections (usually four), a bigger brush gets me through the process a lot faster since it can hold more hair at a time.
Smoothing My Curl With a New Brush
Naturally, I was hyped to try Tangle Teezers's new blow-dry brush. After all, the brand was founded on creating brushes to help melt away knots without damaging hair. It has certainly lived up to the claims. Don't just take my word for it, it even won an ishonest Best of Beauty Award four times.
Last year, I started using its styling brush as my main drying tool, although it wasn't specifically designed for blow-drying, it worked great for my texture. My hair, although dense, is pretty fine, so too much friction with the wrong brush makes it frizzy, even when blow-drying.
There's really a lot that I like about The Ultimate Vented brush. My goal is always to get my hair as smooth as possible while drying in the shortest amount of time, all so that I don't have to go too hard with the flatiron after. This helps me do that. The teeth are wide at the base and skinny at the tip so it basically detangles any leftover knots that didn't come out in the shower.
They also flex, but not too much, so the tension is on point. The teeth also help wick water off of hair and through the vent that runs down the middle, so I don't hold the drier on any one section of hair for too long — even with a good heat protectant this is important. The handle isn't too wide or thin, which gives me a just-right grip it, even when doing the back sections of my hair.
How It Worked for My Hair
Considering how well it works on my curly hair and imaging the ease on straighter hair, I'd say it's absolutely worth trying. Giving yourself a blowout at home can be daunting, but thankfully I have a ton of time on my hands to perfect it. Although, I don't want to spend all my time trying to get my hair smooth. This one got me to my pre-flatiron stage in about 15 minutes (see below). Not only do I have a newfound respect for all the stylists who can bang out a blowout on my curls in under an hour, but even better is now having a great tool to get me as close to salon results, until I can actually get back to a salon.
Tangle Teezer's The Ultimate Vented Hair Brush is $16 at ulta.com.
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