The secret to great hair? Hot air
The first time I used a blow dryer, it was an emergency. I swear.
I’d been caught in a downpour and entered our office’s greenroom, soaked. (I cover finance and occasionally appear on-air in our TV studio.) First, I picked up the device and trained its business end on my socks. Then, making sure the coast was clear, I aimed it at my mane. My hair is typically a thatch that springs up like scissor-teased ribbon. Soon it looked more like a windswept Pomeranian. Volume for days, but messy.
Could I harness this power? I planned to answer that question in a weeklong experiment. Most men avoid hairdryers —they can feel cheesy, vain, girly — but experts swear by them. “It’s great for volume, control, and frizz,” Julien Farel, stylist to guys like Roger Federer, told me. Was he full of hot air?
I asked around. My actor friend from North Dakota lays on the American Crew pomade extra thick, but the blow dryer is a whole new frontier. “I’m 37 and from the Midwest,” he texted. “I wouldn’t know what to do.” My best bud said he used a hairdryer in high school “to mitigate extreme frizziness” but always felt embarrassed by it.
Bereft of real advice, I went to see a professional. At Drybar in Lower Manhattan, a blowatrix named Emma gave my locks a soaring lift to rival that of the Burj Khalifa. She taught me how to give my hair an overall dry and then control it: sweeping back the hair on the sides and using the nozzle to tousle the hair on my nape. The results earned me a workplace nickname: “Rossi with the Good Hair.”
Hairdryers being something of a power tool, people took an interest in my hardware. “Bro, did you get the Dyson?” everyone seemed to ask. The Dyson Supersonic has Maserati-level power that frightened me. Instead, I used a T3 Featherweight Luxe 2i. Its fast-drying tech cuts a 10-minute chore to five.
By Thursday, I felt as comfortable with my blow dryer as Harry Callahan with a .44 Magnum. That morning, my wife and I blow-dried our hair side by side. “This is kind of weird,” she said. Come Friday, I was back to my unruly look. I may have lost style points, but at least I gained enough time to savour my morning coffee.