If you’re as obsessed with Kate Middleton as I am, you’ve probably fawned over her hair once or twice. Getting the perfect blowout doesn’t have to take hours or a professional hairstylist. All it takes is a little patience mixed with some practice, and you can achieve a great blowout in under 20 minutes that will look like you just stepped out of a salon. So put your flatirons away and give your look the finishing touch with a crave-worthy blowout.

Here’s what you’ll need:
A t-shirt or hair towel/turban
Heat-activated styling product (I recommend Kerastase Ciment Thermique) or a lighter serum/oil (like Moroccan Oil or Kerastase serum)
Hair dryer with an extended nozzle
Large round brush with soft bristles (such as boar)
Hair clips

Step 1: Towel Dry
Towel-dry your hair with a t-shirt or a hair towel. The rough fibers of a regular bath towel can break your hair and make your blowout frizz, so it’s important to start with a smooth towel and pat your hair instead of rubbing it. For best results, keep your hair wrapped in a hair towel or let it air-dry until it’s just slightly damp, time-permitting of course.

Step 2: Apply Product
Apply a heat-activated cream to your hair, especially if you have thick and/or curly hair. I live by Kerastase products, especially their Ciment Thermique heat-activated cream. Start underneath and work a quarter-sized amount of the product through the ends of your hair for even, light coverage. If you have fine and/or straight hair that gets weighed down easily, using a lighter product such as Moroccan oil or Kerastase serum only on the ends might be better for you.

Step 3: Pick Your Sectioning Technique
If you’re not used to blow-drying your own hair, it might be helpful for you to section off pieces for you to work with and pin up the damp sections. With this technique it is generally easier to start at the nape of your neck and work from the bottom to the top of your head. You can also start at the top of your head working your way down, pinning pieces up only once you’ve dried them. Once you get comfortable with the process, you can start on one side of your head, flipping sections over the top of your head once you’ve dried them. Before you know it, you’ll be able to work from one side to the other without pinning, flipping, stopping or missing a single section.

Step 4: The Actual Blow-Dry
Depending on which pinning (or flipping) technique you’re using, all that’s left to do is the actual blow-dry. Don’t worry, the basic prep work will make this step a million times easier. I’ve used a bunch of different tools over the years, but what I have found works best is a large round brush with soft bristles (like boar) paired with a hairdryer with an extended nozzle and a cool setting. Take a section of hair, run your brush through it, then stop the brush when it gets to the tips of your hair. Holding your hair in place on the round brush, roll the brush to your hairline. Pointing the nozzle down to avoid frizz, work the round brush slowly down the hair shaft, moving the hairdryer with it. Roll the hair around the brush to the hairline again, and repeat blow-dry technique until the section is dry. As you get more comfortable, you’ll move quicker through each section.
STA Tip: For maximum volume, start with a front section right above your forehead and blow dry it the same way you would if you had bangs. When you part your hair you’ll get instant height!

Step 5: Finishing Touches
If you have some sections that you just can’t get straight, feel free to use a flatiron sparingly. Run the iron over the section quickly, then let your hair completely cool before touching it.
STA Tip: If you are craving a little wave, divide your hair in half and twist each half with your fingers while you blow hot air onto the twist, followed by a blast of cool air to set it.

All that’s left to do is hit the town and show off your illuminating locks! Do you have a favorite blow-drying technique? Tell us about it on our Facebook page (www.facebook.com/staconsignment) or on Twitter (@STAconsignment)!

~Ashley, FashioniSTA