If you’re blessed with anything less than stick-straight hair, you likely have a full-time relationship with your blow dryer.  With my thick, wavy hair, blowouts are my vice.  I often pay $25+ for a professional straightening before big events. However, the salon bills can add up – especially for something that lasts only a couple of days – so I’ve spent time learning how to get the look at home.

Here’s how you can perfect your blowout too (no stylist required):

1. After shampooing and conditioning, towel-dry hair.  Comb through a product that provides hold and protects your strands from heat. I recommend Frizz-Ease 3-Day Straight.

2. Dry your hair until it is 80% dry. No need for a brush at this point, finger-drying is fine.

3.  Separate your hair into 2-3 inch sections and clip it out of the way. Starting with the bottom layers, and section by section, blow dry the strands with a round bristle brush until completely dry. Make sure you use the nozzle attachment on your dryer to ensure a frizz-free finish and keep the hair taut in the brush for smooth, straight strands.  If you find wielding a brush and a blow dryer  too complicated, consider investing in the Conair Spin Brush. It’s a dryer and brush in one and works by spinning both clockwise and counterclockwise. I tried it and I got a better blow-out in less time. In fact, I just might skip the salon for the next big event.

4. Once you have completed drying all of sections, it’s time for a couple finishing touches.  Add a small amount of shine serum to your hands (a dime-sized amount is plenty) and smooth over your hair. Don’t apply too close to the scalp or your hair will fall flat and lose volume.  If you have fine hair, skip the shine serum and go straight to step five.

5. If you have fine hair and need a little more oomph, tease small sections at the crown and spray with a volume-boosting hairspray. I recommend using hairspray, regardless of your hair type, to keep everything in place. Just don’t overdo it. You want it to be touchably perfect.

See? Getting a salon-worthy blowout was not as hard as you thought. Skip the blow dry the next day and use a dry shampoo to extend your blowout for a day or two longer. Now that you’ve perfected this, what hairstyle do you want to master next?