When Blowouts Go BAD: 3 Truths For Anyone Who Wants It Done Right

These days, it seems like there’s a new blowout bar on every street corner. And all of us here in the office are in love with the concept.

I mean, for an average price of $35, you can pop in to one of these places and relax with a glass of wine while someone with professional training shampoos, dries, and styles your hair in such a way that—if things go as expected, anyway—you’ll be rocking awesome hair for days to come.

What’s not to love, right?

Well, nothing, really. So long, that is, as you can manage to steer clear of the dreaded (pun not intended, dreadlocks not involved) blowout gone bad—something I had the distinct misfortune of experiencing myself this past weekend.

Here’s how it went down.

I told my stylist I wanted Victoria’s Secret-esque waves—no cheesy barrel curls!—with lots of volume.

That wasn’t really what I walked out with.

She used a small metal round brush—a tool I’m not a fan of and definitely don’t recommend using on a day-to-day basis—to blow my hair dry in sections before setting it on Velcro rollers, which can be great tool for achieving volume. Then she used a huge curling iron on the ends. (I’d like to tell you what for, but honestly, I’m not sure.)

There were three glaring problems with the process.

One, the Velcro rollers were too small. You want volume? Use big ones.

Two, the stylist didn’t make sure my hair was completely dry before rolling it. Frizz city.

Three, the curling iron on the ends. Just. Why?

The result? Misshapen soccer mom hair. A bad rendition of “The Rachel.” Peculiarly placed volume. Curled ends.


If you think bad hair doesn’t age you, well, you didn’t see me leave the salon that night. And I’d post a photo to prove my point, were I not so vain. (OK, so I didn’t even take a photo. You wouldn’t have wanted to take a photo of this either, if it happened to your hair. Promise.)

It was nothing 20 minutes with a flat iron and a 1-inch curling iron couldn’t fix. Not the end of the world. And there are a couple of truths to be taken from my experience:

1. The cardinal rule of getting one’s hair done—assuming the desired cut/color/style is not the same ol’ thing one’s regular stylist is used to—involves bringing in a photo of the desired outcome. I failed in that regard. Sure, the salon probably should have offered photos from which to select looks, but whatever. Lesson learned.

2. No blowout in which the hair is not dried thoroughly and completely is a good one. If there’s one thing you should bear in mind when you’re drying your hair at home, this is it. And if your stylist makes this mistake, call him or her out on it—especially if you have any kind of natural wave, kink or curl.

3. Most of today’s styles don’t call for curled ends. And really, waves can easily be achieved at home, if you start with straight hair and wrap it, section by 1-inch section, around a 1-inch or 1 1/4-inch curling iron.

Have you ever fallen victim to a blowout gone bad? Ever left the salon feeling 15 years older? Let’s start a support group in the comments section!



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