The farthest I’ll go in terms of “doing” my hair begins and ends with a blow dryer. I’m trying if I’m not just letting my hair air dry, and that’s exactly why I don’t feel like myself whenever I get a blow-out. It’s inevitably uber-smooth or loaded with Disney princess curls, and all I can do is count down the seconds until I can mess it up.
But then I got my hair done by Kendall Dorsey. The celebrity hairstylist—who’s worked with Solange and Nicki Minaj—understood the undone, texture-filled blowout I was going for. Not only did my hair turn out looking fantastic, but Dorsey taught me how to replicate the look at home, and it’s the easiest thing I’ve ever learned.
The technique is called hand styling, and even those who hate blowouts can do it (AKA me). “All I’m doing is making an S-shape with your hair and scrunching it,” says Dorsey as he demonstrates on my damp lengths. “You then just squeeze it for 5 to 7 seconds under a diffuser and it’ll give it a loose wave. When I release my hand it’s gonna set it—and once you dry it, that’s how it sits.” He likens it to the roller days of yore. “It’s the same format as that,” Dorsey explains. “While holding that S shape, you put the hair dryer over it and it gives you that Carrie Bradshaw full, wavy hair.” What my dreams are made of.
While my goal is to give my straight hair a wave, the technique also works for curlier textures as well. It’s just a matter of the shape you create ahead of blasting it with the blow dryer. “For straight hair, to add a light wave, panel out sections of wet or damp hair and create an S-shape with the section,” he says. “Scrunch and hold for 5 to 7 seconds, release, then diffuse quickly to set in. If your hair is wavy, you can make the S a little tighter. For coils, do a rotation or twist of the hair instead of an S-shape, then repeat the same steps.”
I’ve even tried this myself in the meantime to truly test how easy it is, and let me tell you, it’s a piece of cake—which, for me, is saying a lot.
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