There’s nothing like a good blow-dry. It’s the most confidence-boosting part of my beauty regimen. I have a pep in my step and suddenly find myself booking in to in-person meetings and pencilling plans that I’d been putting off. However, it’s taken me years to master the skill of doing them at home, and I think the problem is that I simply never picked the right brushes to execute the style to give it that elusive salon finish.
While I absolutely adore going to the hairdressers, sometimes it isn’t feasible, so I have been on a quest to find my perfect toolkit for cheating the closest thing to a great salon blow-dry from the comfort of my bedroom. Naturally, the first person I checked with was the person most recently crowned British Hairdresser of the Year for the second time, Robert Eaton, creative director at Russell Eaton Salons. “My go-to blow-drying brushes for clients to use at home has to be the range of ceramic hairbrushes from GHD,” he said.
Ceramic brushes are the most common brush type used for blow-dries in-salon, so it makes sense that they’re the ones he recommends to replicate the finish. Why are they preferred? The key is the heat distribution. “Ceramic brushes generate the perfect temperature for heat styling, allowing you to eliminate frizz while creating volume and shine,” Eaton says. If you’re after a long-hold root-lift, you can leave your hair rolled around a ceramic brush until it cools to set the bounciness in place.
So why GHD? “They offer a collection of four barrel sizes, depending on the kind of blow-dry you are hoping to achieve,” says Eaton. “The largest barrel, size 4, is great for perfecting a big bouncy blow-dry at home, and size 2 is perfectly sized for adding volume at the root on shorter hairstyles.” So you can kind of curate the set you need for you hair length and the style you want.
One tip I do have is to make sure you always detangle your hair before your start. As stylists say, you need to do the foundation work first. For all hair types, this means combing through knots and tangles, but if you have curly or Afro-textured hair like I do, you’ll need to detangle and use a paddle brush to straighten first before then using these brushes to smooth and give the hair bounce. You won’t reap the benefits of these brushes if you don’t do that foundation work first.
The Best Blow-Dry Brushes
This size is perfect for fringes and short, layered hairstyles. I’ve also found this size better to create a flick at the ends of the hair if you want to revive your blow-dry on day two or three, especially if your style normally drops quickly.
As Eaton says, this size is great for creating lift at the root. Holding it about an inch away from the root and directing heat there will give lift without having to backcomb. Make sure you add some volumizing spray or use a shampoo-and-conditioner duo before you start to style. This will ensure hold all day.
If you really just want a lovely, smooth finish to your hair but aren’t as worried about the shape (i.e., volume isn't a problem), this size will dry any hair length from shoulder length to super long with a glossy salon finish. However, if you are specifically looking for shape and bounce on long hair, this is the best size for you.
I love this as the styling product for the second part of my at-home blow-dry. It's great for thick hair. After I've done the initial blow-dry to detangle and straighten, I’ll apply a tiny amount of this to the lengths of my hair, and then smooth. The feeling is second to none, and it locks out frizz and any humidity.
The new and improved Full Shampoo and Conditioner now give hair twice the volume and the perfect base for a big blow-dry. The conditioner gives hydration and strengthens without even slightly weighing the hair down.