I don't have any hair—I left it all behind on the floor of Soho's Spoke & Weal last April. But except for reality television, hair is my favorite thing to talk to other people about. Tell me about the products you use! Talk to me about wet brushing! What I lack in practical experience, I make up for in my ability to fiercely interrogate you about dry shampoo. I am a wonderful addition to parties.
But even I possess hair knowledge blind spots—oops, sorry, bald spots. When Jen Atkin came to our office to demo the Dyson Supersonic ages ago, I had only thought there was one way to blowdry your hair: by pointing the blowdryer at your hair and turning it on. (Embarrassing, I know.) The Dyson alone comes with, like, two additional diffusers. So I pitched this assignment because I legitimately wanted to know about the myriad ways one could blow it out. And then I cornered several of my coworkers and lured them, using only charm and charisma, into imparting their secrets.
Wavy to Straight
Glossier's Head of Communications has hair so straight, it recoiled at the sound of my voice. It is also a lie—Amy Snook has "ugly-wavy" texture (her words, not mine!) but she blow dries her hair every day. How I love learning intimate details about my coworkers.
Amy uses a flat brush, for lack of knowing how round brushes work. (We'll get to those!) "I use Oribe Volumista at my roots, and then I clip the top part of my hair up while I do the bottom. I just use a drugstore flat brush and a straightening attachment." Then she does the same thing to the top, but she dries against her natural part for added volume. Also: "I will literally never dry my hair upside-down because 1) it doesn't work, and 2) it makes you look like you got electrocuted." Noted!
Curly to Straight
"It takes me about 1.5 hours tops to do it totally, which is pretty good because it literally used to take me hours when I was younger," says Kim Johnson, Community Manager and curly-haired person. Kim blows her hair straight whenever she's tired of her curly hair OR if she's going on a first date. (She reverts to curls for the second date to "keep them on their toes.") She starts by parting her hair and making four sections on each side, priming them with Bumble and bumble Hairdresser's Oil Primer and adding additional Hairdresser's Oil as necessary.
Then, Kim brushes through each section with a flat brush and blowdries it with a Julien Farel Hairdryer (plus straightening attachment) to. a. crisp. "High heat, high everything. It's gotta be intense. After I'm done, I resection my hair into even smaller pieces and iron them with my Sedu Flatiron. No product."
For Slight Volume
Data and Business Analyst Kate Caputo is so committed to round brushing that she gave me a demo of it in our bathroom, using Christophe Robin's (new!) Round Brush. The look she's going for is mostly straight, but with slight body—achieved by curling her hair at the ends. To prep: "I use Oribe Gold Lust Hair Oil on damp hair, sometimes with Oribe Royal Blowout if I'm going somewhere." She brushes it through with a wet brush, leaves it in a bun for a minute, and then goes to work with the dryer.
"I use a Sedu Revolution Hair Dryer, and I usually blow it straight down. But I wrap my ends in the round brush while I do this, and then I twist the brush and hold it"—like a manual curl. The finished result is mostly straight, with a hint of volume.
For Lots of Volume
Enter the finger diffuser, Product and Operations Manager Erin Olander's clutch attachment for blowing out wavy hair. After combing through wet hair and applying Rahua Voluminous Spray all over, Erin blowdries using a Babyliss Pro Hair Dryer and Nano Titanium Finger Diffuser, stuffing section by section into the diffuser like spaghetti into a tiny bowl that also shoots hot air. Not for nothing, Erin was the most effusive about her choice of blowdryer out of everybody I spoke to. "It's really awesome and it dries hair so quickly—plus, it's very effective on frizz." Also not crazy expensive.
Look no further than Customer Experience's Jordan Verilli. "My natural hair is thick and coarse with tight curls and kinks—I learned how to blow dry them at Devachan in Soho. At home I use the Devacurl Styling Cream and Defining Gel when my hair is wet and I scrunch up my curls. If they're still dripping, I wrap a cotton t-shirt around them to dry them off a little bit."
Out comes the blowdryer—Jordan uses a Supersolano with a finger diffuser. "I don't love volume so I go top-down as opposed to bottom-up, and never upside-down." Her chief reference for blown-out curls is Gugu Mbatha-Raw in Belle, which I am going to watch this weekend. But I'm a glutton for this stuff—period dramas, yes, but also hair stories. Tell me yours!
Photographed by Tom Newton.
Style your hair before bed, sleep in a little bit later with ITG's guide to overnight hair hacks.