There's a whole world of products for fine hair and blowouts that I wasn't even aware of until I attended the launch for the new John Frieda Luxurious Volume hair-care collection, which promises to add natural-looking, long-lasting volume to fine, flat locks. The line's star ingredients--high-tech polymers, lightweight conditioners, and gentle cleansers--are supposed to bond and add structure to individual strands without weighing them down. All in all, it sounds like a welcome product line for fine-haired femmes.
Because I have thick hair and couldn't test the products on myself, I needed help in the form of one of Vancouver's best hairstylists, Chris Funk, and my friend Paula. Chris is a mobile stylist and makes house calls (so convenient!); we all met at my place one Saturday afternoon to test-drive the John Frieda Luxurious Volume line and learn how to give fine hair the best possible boost.
How to Do a Fine Hair Blowout
Step 1. Good volume begins in the shower--or in this case, the kitchen sink. Chris shampooed Paula's hair with Touchably Full Shampoo ($10.49) and conditioned the ends with Touchably Full Conditioner ($10.49).
Step 2. Gently squeeze water out of the ends with a towel (don't rub!), and use a detangling brush to get rid of any knots.
Step 3. Apply Root Booster Blow-Dry Lotion ($10.49) to the roots, and spritz ends with Fine to Full Blow Out Spray ($14.99). The new targeted spray nozzle on the Root Booster Blow-Dry Lotion makes it easy to apply product precisely and evenly. Chris spritzed Paula's hair liberally, explaining that the products were lightweight and wouldn't weigh down her 'do.
Step 4. Blow-dry the roots, and pull hair in the opposite direction of where it will lay with your fingers as you're doing it. (For example, if your part is on the left and most of your hair lies on the right, pull the hair that lies on the right up and toward the left as you dry the roots to give them a lift.) Chris cautioned against "overdirecting" (i.e. pulling hair to one side, directing a lot of heat on it, and accidentally blow-drying it into place). "It creates a funny shape and might not sit right later."
Step 5. Separate hair into sections: a top section, 2 side sections, 2 mid sections, and 2 bottom sections. Starting with the sides, wrap a section of hair around a round brush and start blow-drying using a medium-high heat setting. Chris recommended tugging the brush to set roots away from the head instead of flat against it, and directing the blow dryer's air flow from underneath. To avoid frying fine hair, keep the blow dryer constantly moving.
As Chris worked, I asked him what he thought of the John Frieda Luxurious Volume line as a professional hairstylist. His opinion: The products do what they're intended to do. He particularly liked the Root Booster Blow-Dry Lotion and the Fine to Full Blow-Out Spray. "The sprays weren't too gritty but they had good hold," he said, which allowed the round brushes to slide through hair easily without getting caught.
Step 6. When a section is finished, use a blast of cold air to set it. Then wrap it loosely around two fingers, and secure the loop with a bobby pin.
Step 7. By the time you've finished all the sections, you should have a head full of bobby-pinned, looped hair. Once it's cool, remove the bobby pins and loosen the waves. Set the style with All-Day Hold Hairspray ($10.49). According to Chris, "The hairspray goes on a bit firm, but it will help set hair and the crunchiness softens throughout the day."
Step 8. Do what Paula did and enjoy your beautiful hair! An hour after Chris finished, she went to Starbucks where the barista exclaimed "Your hair looks amazing!" while she ordered a mocha. Although the results were dramatic (as shown above), as the day wore on and Paula went out for dinner and salsa dancing, her blowout gradually relaxed into a polished, natural-looking 'do with subtle volume. It looked like her own hair, but better.
John Frieda Luxurious Volume is available at most drugstores and mass retailers.
Special thanks to Chris Funk and Paula for their help. For more information about Chris's hairstyling services, or to book an appointment in the convenience of your own home, go to funkdhair.com.