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Big hair is back! Here’s how experts create the perfect bouncy blow-dry

By Megan Bedford

Big hair is back! Here’s how experts create the perfect bouncy blow-dry

Raise your round brush and repeat after me: “The blow dry is back!”

The pandemic has caused beauty routines to relax somewhat, including our approach to hair styling. We’re on board with that, but recently there has been a marked revival in the popularity of significantly more ‘done’ smooth, bouncy and voluminous looks.

As usual a number of celebrities are leading the charge. Adele’s smooth perfectly-coiffed ’do has been center stage the past few months. Jennifer Lopez and Kim Kardashian are continually part of the press cycle and a talking point for many that follow those sorts of things. Though their high-profile relationships are probably the first topic covered, their full-bodied, glossy and glamorous locks are also unmissable. Now their stylist Chris Appleton is becoming a star in his own right on social media for sharing his tips and tricks.

Gen Z is the driver for the ’90s/00s revival infusing beauty right now, something that’s helping extend the blow dry renaissance through generations. Their delight in discovering the love of big hair, referencing everyone from Cindy Crawford to the character Cher from Clueless in constant Instagram and TikTok posts, is a delightful walk down memory lane for those of us that remember these moments the first time round.


David and Victoria Beckham’s son Brooklyn recently married billionaire heiress and actress Nicola Peltz in a multi-million dollar wedding in Miami. For her wedding day ’do, 27-year-old Peltz asked her hairstylist to chop in a heavy parted fringe just before walking down the aisle, in order to directly reference Claudia Schiffer’s blonde locks the supermodel was famous for in the ’90s.

Schiffer’s own look back then appeared to heavily reference Brigitte Bardot’s big, blonde style of the ’60s, and so the trend cycle continues.

Emma Cocker, Joico Ambassador and owner of Dye Pretty salon, has noticed a move towards big bouncy hair in the salon and suggests yet another force at play. “I have noticed in the world of social influencers and celebrity and pop culture, there has been a clear move towards body positivity and size inclusivity. I think the aesthetic we are seeing in big, feminine, voluptuous and voluminous hair has been influenced by this aesthetic. People are not trying to minimise, or hide themselves as much as they were before, which is heartening.”

Dyson Global Education Manager Amy Johnson also confirms the return of what she calls ‘supermodel hair’ – polished and smooth, yet full of volume. “At fashion weeks across the world, we have seen beautifully shaped waves and sculpted blowouts making an appearance, alongside the desire to keep hair as healthy as possible, ” she says.

Lauren Gunn, Oribe stylist and owner of Colleen salon, says closer to home the reappearance of occasions to dress for are a big motivator. “We’ve all been slothing around in our sweatpants for far too long and we are ready to glam up big time at any opportunity!” she says.


So what does this mean for us mere mortals without a glam team at our sides? Returning to the tools. Hot tools that is.

But first, prepping the hair to hold the style you create with volume and smooth texture is essential, says Cocker.

“Starting with a volumising shampoo and conditioner followed by a volumising styling product will be integral to achieving this look and keeping it,” she explains.

Cocker uses the Joico JoiFull volumising range in the salon for lightweight care and condition while amping up the volume.

“If the hair is thick and unruly you will need to consider a moisturising and smoothing care routine to achieve more of a smooth and polished look.” She suggests asking your stylist which styling products will suit your hair type.

Peltz’s hairstylist Adir Abergel told Vogue the weather in Miami was the biggest challenge to keeping the actress’s hair looking smooth on her big day.

“One of the most important parts of good hair is to ensure it is super-hydrated before the big day arrives,” he says, and this applies to a great blow dry, too. “Nicola actually has quite wavy hair – it has a lot of texture in it—so to make sure it’s protected from the humidity I’ve had her using the Virtue Restorative Mask all week”. 

To prep her hair, he then used Virtue’s Healing Oil and Un-Frizz Cream before doing a “really good blowout.”

He added, “The secret … is to use another source of heat after you’ve blow dried it. I used a large barrel curling iron to give it that high finish.”

Blow dry essentials (L-R): Joico Joifull Volumizing Shampoo and Conditioner; Oribe Imperial Blowout Transformative Styling Creme; Dyson Airwrap multi-styler; Parlux 385 Power Light Ceramic & Ionic Hair Dyer

Gunn suggests always starting with freshly washed hair, selecting professional-grade tools and warns not to skimp on that application of styling product. She likes a combination of Oribe Foundation Mist to protect locks from heat, before distributing Oribe Imperial Blowout Transformative Styling Creme or Oribe Grandiose Plumping Hair Mousse.

 “Apply your blow-dry product section by section and comb it through to ensure each strand will reap the benefits,” she says. 

“Use a strong hairdryer and a big brush to get the tension you’ll need for root lift and shine. Dry each section of hair carefully until it’s completely dry, the smallest amount of moisture left in the hair will ruin the blow-dry down the track.”

 Finally, she says you can ‘’lock in’ your style with a lightweight flexible hairspray like Oribe Superfine Hairspray, or a touch of hair serum.


Heated hair tools have come a long way and there are reputable options at all price points. That said, brands that put significant research and expertise into their hair tools are generally worth their expense. 

Gunn likes Parlux hair dryers, an Italian brand well known in the hair industry for decades for producing gutsy quality products that deliver a blow dry that will last the distance, whether you’re a professional or a novice at home.

“I’m a big fan of a Parlux Hairdryer which packs a punch when it comes to blow-drying. I like to follow up a hot and fast setting by using the cooling button to get maximum lift and hold at the roots.

Cocker says she’s also a fan of a hot air brush, of which there are numerous new options right now. “The BaByliss Pro rotating hot air brush would have to be my favourite styling tool at home. The tool does all the work to build body in fine hair or for smoothing big unruly hair. Heated rollers are another great easy to use option.” 

Then there are Dyson’s next-level hair tools. Yes, they come with a next-level price tag, but each is designed to do a number of things and are meticulously engineered to maintain your hair’s health even with regular use.

The newly released, updated Dyson Air Wrap multi-styler tool is an all rounder with numerous attachments to dry, smooth and even create those desirable voluminous waves.

“The Dyson Airwrap multi-styler utilises powerful and precise airflow to deliver wet to dry styling, styling hair from damp (80% dry), reducing the reliance on extreme heat and preserving hair from unnecessary damage,” explains Amy Johnson.

She suggests sectioning hair and using the round brush attachment that has air flowing through it to brush through each section in a smooth pass, lifting sections up at the root to add volume.

“The volumising brush attachment helps to achieve a professional blow-wave result at home adding volume, lifting each section up at the root, and giving the control you need to add body and shape to smaller pieces. For shorter hair styles, the small round volumising brush will be your best friend – giving the control you need to add body and shape to smaller pieces. “

“To nail that signature Cindy Crawford-esque shape, use the Dyson Airwrap multi-styler round brush attachment to wrap the ends of hair, so it curves slightly in towards the face. Hold until the hair is fully dry, and give it a few seconds of the cool shot to lock it in.”

Both Dyson’s Air Wrap and Supersonic hair dryer come with smoothing attachments that deal to flyaways meaning it’s easier to that salon-smooth finish without wrestling to create tension with a round brush and use a blowdryer at the same time like the experts do.


Of course, for a special occasion, there’s nothing better than a professional result that can only be achieved by, well, professionals. Booking in for a blowdry is a surefire way to bring the glamour to your hair.

To make it last Emma Cocker suggests using a well-fitting shower cap when showering to keep moisture out and “channeling our sisters from decades past with the use of silk bonnets or pillowcases for less friction on hair overnight.”

Get two or three days out of the style before washing by simply dealing to oily roots by spraying with Oribe Gold Lust Dry Shampoo suggests Lauren Gunn.


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