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Get shiny, silky hair with these four blow-dry tips from Dean Banowetz -- the stylist who transforms the tresses of American Idol finalists.1. Prep with the right styling products.
"Try these product 'cocktails' to customize your look," says Banowetz. For a sleek style, mix an anti-frizz cream with a shine serum; if you need more hold, combine with a gel. Rub products between palms and on tops of hands (this helps to coat more strands), then flip your head over and rake through hair, starting at the roots and working toward the top layers. "Always apply styling agents to wet hair for even distribution," he advises.2. Separate small sections.
"The more time you take, the longer the style will last," says Banowetz. First, tousle hair gently with the dryer to remove at least 50 percent of moisture. Create a circular part at the top of your head and clip, then continue clipping every inch and a half until you reach your neck. Starting with the bottom layer, unclip and direct airflow onto each small section from the root down to the ends. "Blowing the hair in opposite directions will just create flyaways," explains Banowetz.3. Use the right brush.
The size and shape of your brush can determine the outcome -- round brushes give bend at the ends, paddles create a stick-straight style, and boar bristles are placed close together to pull strands smooth. "Brushes hold on to heat and continue to style even when the dryer is off," says Banowetz.4. Put some muscle into it.
The more tension you create, the better the blow-out (just don't pull too hard).
Originally published in FITNESS magazine, June 2006.