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Friday, 4 February 2011

aveda's smoothie salon secrets

Michael Lendon
When it comes to the playing the drying game, I know the benefits of a great blow-out can bless hair with texture, body and shine. But when it comes to getting to grips with a dryer, section clips and a brush it’s a different story, and I resort to the lazy way of styling my hair - with straightening irons. But I’ve finally pulled the plug on them and learned how to blow-dry like a pro thanks to a masterclass from Michael Lendon, Aveda’s Creative Director. So, spending almost an hour in the chair what did I learn? For starters, there’s no short-cut. “You have to set aside at least 15 minutes with the brush and dryer to get a salon inspired result,” explains Michael. And for the rest, read on for the ultimate tips on mastering a fashionable blow-dry.

  • “Find the right products and you’re half way to a high performing style,” says Michael. The ultimate prep product for all hair types is their Smooth Infusion Style Prep Smoother, £18. “It temporarily resurfaces the hair and fights humidity, the number one spoiler for a smoothie style,” reveals Michael. Apply 2 pumps for medium length hair and massage into damp hair.
  • Next, let the hair air-dry for a few minutes. “Put on the Prep and have breakfast,” says Michael. “You never want to take soaking wet hair straight to the dryer. Wait until it’s around 70 percent dry before subjecting hair to styling.
  • Arm yourself with a good hairdryer – not one with a pathetic puff. “You want one with at least a speed of 200 watts,” reveals Michael, “and with a removable nozzle that concentrates the heat and you can adjust. That’s essential.”
  • To begin, section off the hair (they do great clips in Muji) with sections no wider than the brush you’re working with. “Creating tension is your biggest secret to a smoother style,” reveals Michael. “With your fingers pulling the hair start drying off.” Surprised by how straight strands were already, Michael then armed me with a paddle brush. This pleased me enormously, as in the past I’ve always found a barrel brush hard to twirl and dry without entangling my hair.
  • With dryer on hot and speed on medium high, sandwich sectioned hair between the bristles of the brush with the nozzle angled down the shaft. Keep the hair taut. “Dry so you feel comfortable,” says Michael. If your hands feel awkward adjust them. For me, I preferred holding the body of the dryer rather than the handle for better control.
  • Dry each section until no longer damp. “Don’t be afraid to bring the nozzle right up to the brush,” says Michael, “and keep the brush and the dryer moving down the hair shaft simultaneously.”
  • “Spend most of your time on the top section of the hair,” says Michael. “The more attention you pay to it, the sleeker your style will look.”
  • Finally, use cool air to set. “Hot air softens the hair, whereas a cool blast seals the cuticles and stop hair fluffing up. This finishing technique will also give the hair more shine and make your style last,” concludes Michael.

The Aveda Smooth Infusion Blow Dry Masterclass costs £45 at the Aveda Institute, 174 High Holborn WC1 (020 7759 7355). The Aveda Smooth Infusion Blow Dry is available at participating Aveda Salons nationwide where stylists will send you away with plenty of head turning tips.

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