What to Know Before Blowing Out Afro-Textured Hair

We asked the experts to share their tips.

What to Know Before Blowing Out Afro-Textured Hair
Photo: Getty Images/InStyle

The great thing about natural hair is that you can style it in so many different ways — one day you can have a curly twist out, the next day you can get a blowout and have it bone-straight.

"A blowout is a thermal way of drying and stretching natural hair that provides versatility and ease of styling as it leaves the hair in a stretched state," says Whitney Eaddy, celebrity stylist and founder of Juices & Botanics.

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Blowouts are a great styling option, but there are a few things to take into consideration if you want to preserve the health of your natural texture and avoid heat damage or breakage. "Due to the volume and textures in natural hair most people think that our hair is more resilient than other hair textures — while in reality, textured hair is most delicate in nature and requires more TLC," says the stylist.

That's why we asked Eaddy and David Lopez, celebrity stylist and T3 ambassador, to share everything you should know before blowing out natural hair. Follow their steps below.

Start With Fresh, Clean, Conditioned Strands

To prepare your hair for a blowout, you'll want to start with freshly shampooed hair that has been deep conditioned. "Whilst shampooing and conditioning your hair, it's important to make sure you are thoroughly cleansing the hair and rinsing out oils and product buildup, as this can affect the quality of your blowout and can lead to heat damage," says Eaddy.

A conditioning treatment is like the icing on the cake of any shampoo, if you want to treat your stands to extra nutrients and hydration, it's a must. According to Eaddy, deep conditioning your hair before a blowout will give you optimal results. "Not only does a deep condition before a blowout give you a smoother finish, it helps to improve hair elasticity and combat breakage from the heat process.

And if you want to give your hair some extra oomph, add in some steam — literally.

"A deep conditioning treatment with a hair steamer is one of my favorite hair care rituals and pro-tips for the best blowout for natural hair, especially if you are experiencing breakage of any sort," adds Eaddy. "Hair steaming ensures that your hair absorbs the maximum amount of hydration and moisture possible which also helps to increase elasticity and prevent breakage."

Detangle Your Stands

Knotted, tangled hair will not fare well during the blowout process — trust me on this one. Thoroughly detangling your hair helps with retention, especially for those with tighter curls and textures, as you avoid tangles.

If you have hair that gets knotty easily, the detangling process can be made easier with moisturizing products, like Juice & Botanics Juicy Smooth Detangling Conditioner, which work to ease any knots — so there's no need to ever tug at your tresses.

Eaddy recommends pre-detangling dry hair with your fingers to help remove any shedding hairs, then detangling the hair again once it's wet and you've applied conditioner. "After shampooing the hair at least two times, section the hair, apply your conditioner and detangle each section," says the stylist. "Use a detangling brush to comb through your stands, working from the root of your hair to the tip. I prefer using detangling brushes over wide-tooth combs because they remove shedding hairs that have been intertwining with your strands in-between wash days."

Apply a Leave-in Conditioner

"Always use a leave-in conditioner before applying your heat protectants," says Eaddy — who recommends using both a liquid and cream leave-in to provide optimal nourishment and support to the hair.

"The Juice & Botanics Replenishing Leave-In Conditioning Spray strengthens and restores hair with ultra-lightweight moisture from root to tip," says the stylist. "Not only does this revitalizing rice protein formula provide a wealth of shine and instant detangling, but it also improves hair elasticity, manageability, and luster."

"I also like to apply Juice & Botanics The Quench Cream Fortifying Leave-In Conditioner as it's crucial to treat the hair with something nourishing after you rinse out the conditioner," she adds. "This leave-in conditioner works to lock in hydration and moisture while also protecting the hair from environmental factors that can be very damaging. It's very lightweight and helps fight against frizz, all while working to improve the health and condition of the hair, to promote healthy locks and length retention."

Use a Heat Protectant

Heat protectants do exactly what they say on the bottle — protect your hair from the heat. Regardless of whether you're doing a DIY blowout, or you're going to a professional, this is a step that should not be missed.

Heat protectants are designed to form a protective barrier between your styling tools and your hair, they also help to seal in moisture and fend off flyaways.

"Heat protectants help prevent hair breakage and minimize damage that can be caused by thermal tools," says Eaddy. "I always like to layer my thermal protectant with a serum like Silk Essentials Thermal Strengthening Serum, Kendra Professional Blow Dry Midst, and MoroccanOil Protect & Prevent Spray, for extra measure."

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Divide Your Hair Into Sections

To achieve a smooth blowout, it's best to blow dry your hair in small sections. Yes, it takes more time but the results are worth it. Not only will your hair be easier to control, but you'll avoid creating a tangled mess.

"When sectioning off the hair after applying leave-in and thermal protection, I like to create Bantu knots or small buns and secure them with hair clips," says Eaddy. "This helps to keep the hair stretched and locks in the moisture from the leave-in conditioners and heat protectants."

Use a Comb or Paddle Brush

To achieve a flat, sleek blowout, Eaddy says she swears by using a blow dryer with comb attachment for optimal straightening power and more controlled styling. "Blow dryers with a comb attachment also cut down on drying time dramatically," explains the stylist. "There are some great budget-friendly blow dryers with comb attachments, buf if you want something more luxurious, I would definitely opt for the Dyson Supersonic™ Hair Dryer."

If you're looking to achieve a bouncy, smooth blowout with lots of volume, it's best to blowout your hair with a brush using the pull-and-roll technique. Once your hair is 60% dry, you can begin the popular technique by blowing out your hair with a round brush. You still want to work in small sections to keep the hair under control and to prevent heat damage.

Begin blow drying at the root of your hair and brush it tightly. Move your hair brush slowly toward the end of your hair, following the direction of the hair dryer. Make sure you point the nozzle of the hair dryer downward toward the ends of your hair to ensure the hair dries smoothly and frizz-free. As you approach the end of your hair, roll the hair brush toward the root and pull it back toward the end. Repeat this technique until your hair is completely dry and finish by blasting the roots of your hair with cold air to get a lovely lift at the roots, and help the hair cool.

If you struggle with the pull-and-roll technique, Lopez recommends trying the T3 AireBrush Duo with the round brush or paddle brush attachment. It's basically a hairdryer and a brush in one, so it makes life a lot easier, especially when doing a blowout.

How Long Does a Blowout Last?

Typically blowouts can last you anywhere from one to five days, with some lasting as long as ten days. It really depends on your hair type, says Lopez. "Dry hair types that don't get oily very quickly will last a lot longer."

What's the Best Way to Maintain a Blowout?

"The best way to maintain a blowout is to avoid water at all costs," says Lopez. If the slightest bit of water touches your perfected blowout, it will reverse your hard work.

Eaddy also recommends avoiding water-based hair products or applying too much oil to the hair, as both can react with humectants in the hair and cause frizziness.

What's The Best Way to Sleep With a Blowout?

If you want your blowout to last through a few bedtime naps, both Eaddy and Lopez recommend sleeping with a silk head wrap and using a silk pillowcase to help reduce friction and eliminate frizz.

"I love the You Go Natural's Pleated Sleep Turbans because they are lined with silk and versatile enough to wear fashionably," says Eaddy. Damn Gina Damn Good Silk Pillowcases are not just great for the ultimate beauty sleep, but they are made from 100% mulberry silk, which will help to keep your blowout intact. .

Lopez also recommends a great touch-up tool to give your blowout a burst of life if it looks limp or frizzy in the morning. "I like the T3 Edge heated, smoothing, styling brush," says the stylist. "It's great to make sure you keep up the smooth finish of the blowout for day two hair and beyond."

How Often Should You Do a Blowout?

Blowouts are a great way to stretch and style natural hair but they shouldn't be overdone. Heat is something that you'll want to keep to a minimum to preserve the health of your strands.

"I typically advise my clients not to do a blowout more than every four, six, or even eight weeks, if possible," says Eaddy. "Depending upon the current health and state of your hair, spacing out your blowouts will help to preserve the natural texture of your hair. I also recommend air drying your hair before doing a blowout at home, it's a great way to minimize direct heat."

Lopez says that your lifestyle and how important maintaining your curl pattern is, are also things to consider. "It's totally up to your personal preference as well as how sensitive your hair is to heat," says the stylist. "If your hair is sensitive to heat, you may want to limit how regularly you do blowouts."

What's The Best Way to Refresh a Blowout?

"If your blowout starts to revert, the best way to refresh your style is to add a bit of heat protectant and stretch your hair out with your hands using the tension method," says Eaddy. "Lightly glide your blow dryer over medium-sized sections of hair to elongate the strands. You don't want to refresh your blowout with too many heat passes, so try and keep the blow drying to a minimum to avoid damage."

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