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The 7-Minute Blowout

  • Diana King

    It's Time to Turn Heads

    You love the polished finish of a great blowout, but let's be real: Who has the time? With your crazy schedule, it's a miracle if you can wash your hair, let alone dry it. So we tapped one of New York City's speediest stylists, Christopher Marrero, who cranks out as many as 14 blow-dries a day at DreamDry, a blow-dry bar. He shared his time-saving tips and tricks so you can skip the appointment and give yourself a salon-worthy style in a flash.

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  • Diana King

    Step 1: Choose the Right Tool

    Your ticket to scoring amazing hair in a hurry is using the best blow-dryer. Pick a model with "professional" in its name to ensure that it has a turbo motor, to dry hair faster, and operates on no more than 1,800 watts, to minimize damage. It might cost more, but your strands will repay you in good-hair days. Marrero's secret weapon: the Turbo Power TwinTurbo 2600 Professional Hair Dryer ($120, Start by rough-drying your hair. Marrero says that one of the biggest mistakes women make is to use a round brush on sopping wet hair. It's a time suck because your hair won't hold a shape when saturated with water. Instead try this: After washing, wrap a towel around your hair and twist to wring out excess water. Next, apply a fast-dry spray — which makes moisture evaporate quickly so you won't fry your locks — from midlength to ends. We like Redken Pillow Proof Blow Dry Express Primer ($22, for salons). Dry hair by moving the dryer (without the concentrator nozzle) side to side while raking your fingers through the strands and lifting at the roots. Get hair 80 percent dry.

  • Diana King

    Step 2: Divide and Conquer

    Separate your hair into four sections: one at the crown, one on each side and one in the back. Twist each and secure with a clip. Try Sephora Collection Hold It Together Blow Dry Clips ($10, Attach the concentrator nozzle to the dryer and grab a round brush with mixed boar and nylon bristles, like Marrero's pick: the Marilyn Brush Tuxedo Pro Round Brush ($24, The longer your hair, the bigger the brush should be. Use your dominant hand to hold the brush and your other hand to hold the dryer. Starting with the crown section, unclip the hair and position the brush behind it. Use the brush to pull hair upward as you direct the airflow down toward the roots. As the brush nears the ends, let them wrap around it, and roll the brush back down toward your head as you dry. Remove the brush and repeat until the section is fully dried. To avoid getting your hair tangled in the bristles (we've all been there — ouch!), gently pull the brush out of the roll of hair horizontally, rotating your wrist in small circles to help release strands. Once the section is dry, wrap your hair around four fingers to create a large curl and pin it into place with a clip. Repeat the entire process on the two side sections, rolling hair away from your face to create a flattering style that will frame your cheekbones.

    If you have trouble mastering this step, section and dry your hair, then use a large-barrel styling iron like the T3 BodyWaver Professional Styling Iron ($149, instead of a round brush to get the same voluminous results.

  • Diana King

    Step 3: Attack the Back

    The front and top sections of your hair are what people see, so focus on those. Save time on the back section by running a paddle brush through your hair to tame it as you dry. One we love: Denman D83 Boar Bristle Paddle Brush ($26, The hair from the crown section will fall over the back, covering most of it when you're through styling, so there's no need to make it perfect.

  • Diana King

    Step 4: Get a Frizz-Free Finish

    Lock in your style by switching the dryer to the cool setting and hitting your hair with cold air to close the cuticles; this will amp up shine. Then remove the clips to let each section down, and gently comb through strands with your fingers to loosen the curls. After parting your hair, rub a dab of smoothing cream on your fingertips. Try Pantene Pro-V Beautiful Lengths Strengthen and Smooth Finishing Creme ($5, drugstores). Lightly apply it to your ends and around your part to smooth flyways.

    Originally published in FITNESS magazine, March 2014.