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How to Do an At-Home Blow-Out

Blowout Addiction: How to Save Money and Do It at Home

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Bad hair days can make us depressed, so it may come as no surprise that some women are addicted to blow-outs. In New York City, ladies spend thousands of dollars a year for sleek, shiny hair and perfectly tamed curls. Gabby Fraenkel, 23, told The New York Post, "I've been getting three to four blow-outs a week for as long as I can remember." Fraenkel's biweekly salon blow-outs are $40 a pop, and she pays $65 for house calls. Annually, that adds up to around $7,500, or 15 percent of her $50,000 salary. "[It's] something I do for 'me' to feel good inside and out," she told the Post.

Kate Middleton spends $12,000 a year on blow-outs

Lauren Pressman, 32, prefers the $20 blow-outs at Yani Hair Salon on Manhattan's Upper East Side. "I can't remember the last time I washed my hair," Pressman told the Post. "I've been here every week twice a week for five years." Though her salon visits over the past five years have cost her $10,000, she thinks they're worth it. "It's definitely an addiction: all the compliments and looking good, it spoils you," she admits. "I've never had a guy compliment my shoes, but a million guys have complimented my hair."

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Read on to learn how to nail a professional blow-out at home.

With the exponentially increasing popularity of blow-outs, dedicated salons are popping up nationwide. The Post reports that celebrity stylist Rachel Zoe is opening a salon called DreamDry in New York next month. The Drybar blowout chain opened a location in New York City's aptly named Flatiron District last year, and has seen a 28.5 percent increase in customers. Drybar has 16 salons across the country and is responsible for a combined 40,000 blowouts every month. Three more Manhattan locations will open by year's end.

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Weekly blow-outs may be the new mani-pedis, but just like lacquered nails, sleek hair is easy to do at home. Whether you're looking for the stick-straight blow-out that was prevalent in the last decade or the more natural, softer blowout with a few curls à la Kate Middleton, here's how to get gorgeous, frizz-free hair at home:

1. Wash your hair. Don't just get it wet. A gorgeous blow-out must be done on clean hair, and you can maximize your blow-out with the right shampoo and conditioner. Be sure to choose something appropriate for your hair type, whether you need color-protecting, volumizing, straightening, or hydrating.

2. Prep your hair. Comb a nickle-sized amount of prep product through wet hair to evenly distribute, avoiding your hairline. For a volumized style, you can apply mousse. For a more straight style, try an antifrizz styling cream. These will help with the blow-drying process.

3. Choose the right brush. Stylists generally prefer natural bristles, which are gentler on hair. A round brush will create volume and lift, while a big paddle brush will dry hair straight without the volume.

4. Blow-dry. Dry your hair roughly with your fingers to get about 75 percent of the moisture out, save time, and be less damaging to the hair. Next, divide your hair into front and back sections. You can use hair clips to keep the damp sections out of the way. Take small sections from the front in your brush, and follow the brush with your hair dryer aiming down, applying heat along your stroke. This will seal the follicle and create shine. Dry your full head of hair from front to back. If you have bangs, you want to do those first since they're much harder to style when they're dry. Spend more time on the top and front sections, since those are what people see the most.

5. Finish your look. If clean, pretty hair is all you need, then just leave your hair alone, or you can apply a small amount of serum with argan oil to ends for shine, or a little lightweight aerosol hairspray to keep your style in place. For a superstraight look, run over stands with a flat iron. For waves, take your curling iron and add in a few strategic loose waves to the bottom half of your hair, or to frame your face. We love clipless curling irons for a really relaxed look: you just wrap the hair around the iron for a slight curl. If you do overcurl, don't worry! You can always use a natural-bristle brush to soften curls into a '40s Veronica Lake-type style.

6. Make the style last. Avoid humidity and touching your hair too much, as the oils from your hands will transfer to hair and weigh it down. Pull your hair into a loose bun before bed to keep hair looking fresh for days. Apply dry shampoo as necessary.

— Joanna Douglas
Copyright © 2012 Yahoo Inc.

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