'When blow drying always point the nozzle down the hair shaft (root to tip)'
Laura Reid, senior stylist at Brown Sugar, South William Street, Dublin 2, on achieving the perfect blow-dry at home
'First things first, the only way to get a salon-perfect blow dry is to in fact go to a salon and have it done professionally," says Laura. "But thankfully there are now many hot tools to help recreate those looks our hairdressers give us in salon."
The basics that Laura recommends are as follows:
* Use a good strong dryer, at the very least 2200 watts. Max 3500 watts.
* Always keep the vent at the back clear.
* Once hair is done, keep it dry.
* Stay out of the gym.
* Use pump of product like Kerastase Elixir through the mid lengths and ends.
* Having a set of rollers at home is always a good freshen-up.
* Use good dry shampoo at the roots and leave to sit for five minutes then blast with hair dryer. Cheap dry shampoo will leave a heavy 'talc' look.
Laura's three essential looks for autumn/winter
Prep for all three looks (see panel, below) begin the same - in the shower! Everyone has different hair so I would highly recommend every girl ask her hairdresser to recommend a really good home care system, i.e. shampoo, conditioner, styling products.
We're talking using heat on all looks, not just flat irons or wands so we need to protect the hair. Did you know any decent hair dryer would hard boil an egg in six minutes? So it's massively important to care for our tresses if we want to not only achieve a desired look but also maintain it.
A favourite shampoo of mine is Kerastase Volumifique. It gives volume and is fantastic for slightly weakened hair. My most popular conditioner is Kerastase Lait Vital, which is for nourishing slightly dry hair. When the hair is wet I almost always go in with the same cocktail of products:
1. Kerastase Elixir Ultime. This nourishes hair and keeps it supple and contrary to it being an oil, it's incredibly light and by no means weighs the hair down.
2. L'Oreal Tecni Art Pli. This product gives guts to the hair, which helps us control it while styling and has an anti-humidity ingredient - I don't think there's a single woman out there who doesn't need that.
3. L'Oreal Tecni Art Construtor. This is heat activated and has a memoriser in it, which is magic for when you're brushing up or maintaining any style.
I would stress that everyone has a consultation on products, especially people with dry or damaged hair.
Ideally, you'll need a good hair dryer offering at least 2800 watts - my hair dryer is a Parlux and has 3500 watts. It's lightweight so is perfect if you have a lot of hair to get through. When blow drying, remember to always point the nozzle down the hair shaft (root to tip) so as not to diffuse the hair and make it coarse.