Embracing the High-Powered Grooming Tool

What Your Hair Really Needs Is Some Blow


August 21, 2015 Style : Grooming By Photo by Henry Phillips
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My barber has tattoos, a potbelly, a bald head and a twelve-year-old daughter. He knows my hair. He gives me advice. He’s an all-around nice guy. The only thing I hate about him is that when I leave his chair every handful of weeks, I have a small window of time when my Marcel Kittel quaff is looking top-notch. Then, my hair falls flat. The quaff doesn’t flow, the volume and shine loses voluminousness and sheen.

So finally I ask him, “What’s with my limp hair when you’re not around?” And then he brings up blow. I’ve been a towel-dryer, an air-dryer, a don’t-touch-it-and-pray-it-turns-good-er, a put-so-much-product-in-it-doesn’t-have-a-choice-er. And it all fell flat. My thick hair got heavy. My mop did what it wanted. I used the same product as my barber, I manipulated the same hair. But the pudgy bald guy did better, and I couldn’t imitate. The difference: he had blow.

I always scoffed at the hair dryer as some sort of female-exclusive grooming product. Like eyelash curlers and heel pumices, the hair dryer was an unnecessary accoutrement for manipulating the body in a way it didn’t need to be manipulated. Follicles can dry on their own. Towels work well enough. But what the barber could do with my hair with a short stint with the hair dryer, I envied. He’d whisk through the hair, shaping as he went, taking damp hair to near-dry (never fully dry) in a few hot seconds. He’d take a dab of hair paste (no bigger than a finger nail), rub it into his palms, make a few fell swoops, and whoosh, the high hair went up, shone and held. No frizz. No fall.

So I caved. Prime shipping turned up a ceramic, ion hair dryer at my door in two days. It took courage to open the packaging and unwrap my power-tool grooming product, but I summoned strength. I kept the tool in a dark spot in a cabinet. I brought it out quickly in the mornings, post-shower, and took to the golden field of follicles. It blew, it dried, and it wafted the hair up on my head. It took some testing, but quickly I achieved a barber-shop-quality quaff. I did what baldie could do. It was no potbellied, tattooed man magic. It was his tool box, put to standard use. So, men, in the face of blowdryer fear, stand tall. It shall do the same to your hair.

And now for some hair dryer guidelines: 1. The more you spend the better you get, but entry level ain’t that bad. 2. Make sure you get something over 1500 watts, minimum. 3. Ceramic makes the most natural heat. 4. Negative ions reduce static electricity in your hair, which helps reduce frizziness. 5. Make sure it’s got a good “Cool Shot” button — the less heat you can use to dry your hair the better. All that in consideration, I went for the bargain deal of the Conair 1875 Watt Tourmaline Ceramic Hair ($28), and it’s served me and my quaff well.