Looking for some full and lush retro hair à la Cindy Crawford? Big hair is back, according to just about everyone, and it's really not that hard to achieve the look. “A blow dryer brush is the best way to achieve that ‘90s supermodel volume,” says Courtney Resch, master hairstylist and owner of Ashen Salon in La Jolla, CA. Why a dryer brush? “Think back to hot rollers,” she says. This type of dryer gives you the hot roller effect: a big, breezy mane, thanks to a two-birds-one-stone kind of tool. “The dryer brush sets your hair while it’s drying, so it’s bouncy and light, whereas using a hair wand or curling can pull the hair down.”
- Courtney Resch, professional hairstylist
Resch adds, “To create volume, smoothness, and shine, any stylist will tell you the two key things are heat and tension. When the hair is finished with a round dryer brush it sets in volume and bounce from the root—from damp to dry—creating a longer lasting effect.” With a drying round brush, she says, you can get that glamorous salon style at home.
There is a catch, though—according to Resch, you still need a regular blow dryer. Unless(!!) you follow the stylist's personal technique, and you'll likely be able to save some time (we’ll get to that in a bit). “You have to blow out your hair from wet to dry to really get the volume and bounce,” she says. “This means regular blow dryer first, drying round brush second.” In theory, you could use a regular round brush, but unless you’re a pro “It’s really hard to round brush your own hair,” she explains. “The dryer brushes allow you to finish your hair to create bounce and smoothness, and to style without having to use a hot tool like a flat iron or curling iron.”
Fortunately, this type of blow dryer is ultra popular right now (so you’ve got options!).
3 best blow dryer brushes for 90s blowouts
This round brush dryer will help you finish that super full, light and fluffy look you’re going for—and you’ll get a taste of the Drybar experience at home. Its all-in-one approach to a round-brush blowout is stylist approved, and it rings in at $155.
If you’re looking for an under-$100 option, you can score this one from Revlon between $35-60 bucks (it’s usually on sale somewhere, which we’ll get to in a second). With superstar reviews across the internet and a huge fanbase, you should have good luck with adding some bounce to your blowout.
“If you’re going to invest in one hair tool, your blow dryer should be what you spend the most on,” says Resch. “For this reason, the Dyson Air Wrap is unmatchable. It does it all.” You can use the blow dryer attachment to begin the process, and use the round brush attachment to “get the Victoria Secret model bouncy blowout of your dreams—in 15 minutes from wet to dry.” (FYI, there are eight attachments that come with the Dyson, including two sets of two curling barrels with left and right orientations.)
Pro tips to get the 90s blowout look:
1. Get your hair mostly dry first.
The dryer brush is meant to be a tool—try not to use it on sopping wet hair. “Before you use any of these brushes, blow dry your hair 80 percent of the way dry—and do this upside down,” says Resch. “Use a blow dryer attachment first—that’s why the Dyson Air Wrap is so great, because you can do all of this with one tool (using the blow dryer attachment and then the dryer brush). With the other dryer brushes, you’d need another blow dryer to start the drying process.”
2. Use spray.
“Spray hairspray before you go to use the brush for a curl and volume—even if your hair is damp,” says Resch. Her fave: Davines This Is A Medium Hairspray.
3. Focus on your crown.
“Finish the last 20 percent of the drying process right side up with your drying brush. Blow dry your hair from the crown of your head upward to create volume; keep the focus at the crown, but you can even blow dry your bangs using this method. Dry the opposite direction of where you want them to lay.”
4. Use heat.
If your dryer has this capability, “Lower the power and up the heat,” she says.
5. Don’t go for cheap tools.
“In general, the big misconception is that it isn’t a big deal for your blow dryer to be cheap—this is so not true,” she says. “It’s the tool you use the most, and it’s hands-down more powerful than any other hair tool. How many times have you blown the fuse trying to blow dry your hair growing up?!”
With all that said, go forth and rock your inner '90s supermodel.
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