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Smooth Sailing

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This summer nix the fussy volume and focus on a casually smooth blowout with a little bend

With blow-dry bars at an all-time high around the country, getting perfect locks may seem like the biggest no-brainer of your beauty routine. But what to ask for once you sit in that chair? That does actually require a little input. To be totally on trend, try less volume and barely there waves. Says Blow, The New York Blow Dry Bar stylist Gregory Patterson, "I am really seeing less volume and the waves relaxing to a more casual 'bend' -- almost like day three of a blowout if you were to start with super voluminous, bouncy hair." Since the new year, he's seen a significant amount of women of all ages wanting this look, making it the new sort of classic blowout -- "the New York woman's go-to."

Whereas last year saw an emphasis on volume, body and loose curls, this sophisticatedly modern blowout takes inspiration from Jennifer Aniston and Kate Hudson at the most recent Golden Globes. "It's no-fuss," says Patterson, who adds it's ideal for this warmer season as it has more longevity and is more flexible, transforming in seconds into an ever-so-chic topknot. He notes its ideal for all hair lengths, types and textures. Although the look calls for less volume, face shape should be considered -- for example, "too often I see a very petite-faced woman who has so much volume her face is almost lost in her hairstyle. For women with wider faces, more volume at the top visually balances out width in cheekbones and produces a slimming visual for the eye."

The key to accomplishing this look is preparation, says Patterson. "Use quality hair care that doesn't build on your hair strands, which causes it to fall flat quickly." In other words, cleanse the palette effectively yet gently -- he suggests Blowpro Hydra Quench Shampoo and Conditioner. The other main attribute is smoothness: "Get it smooth, get it completely dry and let it evolve," he says. Spritz Blowpro's You Only Smoother or an anti-humectant like Ready Set Blow, which "accelerates the blowout without the drying effects of alcohol, and has frizz- and moisture-blocking ingredients to keep the style smooth." A dryer with ceramic heating elements and ions and a boar and nylon mix round brush (or Mason Pearson flat brush) are also the best way to go. "Section your hair, always use the nozzle attachment to protect it, and concentrate the air flow." After it's perfectly dry, add a little Blowpro Weather Girl serum, which will help avoid greasiness on hot days.

To make it last longer, "you must protect it from moisture and humidity," says Patterson, which means wearing a shower cap (like Blowpro's Perfect Shower Cap). When asking for this look yourself in a salon, Patterson suggests descriptions like "'smooth with movement on just the ends' and 'natural volume with a slight bend.'" And remember, don't feel guilty about tossing it into a topknot -- it's made for a girl on the go.

This post was originally published on Beauty Bender.