Expert Advice

Brush Up on Your Blow Out

Modern Salon | July 10, 2011 | 7:12 PM
Brush Up on Your Blow Out

Put the flatiron down. Slowly. Move away. Now, pick up your hairdryer and round brush, because Monroe Brush's Antonio Lobato has some can't-miss tips for you on doing the perfect blow out -- sans flatiron. It can be done!

Lobato admits flatirons are still a good thing, but "when you use them too much, and they can damage the hair." The telltale sign, he says, is breakage around the crown and hairline from burning the hair all the time. But you can help your clients avoid this by helping them learn the proper way to blow out their hair. If you hold brush the right way, you can get a blow out that looks like a flatironed do, too, says Lobato.

One of the biggest mistakes he sees -- by stylists and their clients alike -- is not taking the proper amount of moisture out of the hair. "You want to take 80 to 90 percent of the moisture out before you use a brush. Otherwise, you stretch the hair too much," says Lobato. " For curly hair, leave a little more in." To know when you're there, he says hair should feel dry but have a cool sensation to it, with just tiny bit of moisture.

Second tip? Use boar bristles. "No matter what you're doing, boar bristle makes a big difference," says Lobato. "You can get greater tension on the hair, plus the cut is softer and the texture is softer. Bristles are also porous, so they take oils from scalp and distribute them down the hair shaft, unlike synthetic."

One bonus to Monroe brushes is that stylists don't have to wind the brush -- which can contribute to carpal tunnel -- they can just put the brush to the scalp and pull down. Because the brushes are hourglass-shaped, it keep tension even while pulling the hair down.

Lobato also holds blow drying boot camps for his clients about once a month. Six to 10 people usually show up, and they always walk away with brushes. "It's a great way to connect with clients, so you're seeing them more than once every 6-8 weeks." Here are some tips he shares with his clients:

Tips for Clients
1. Get the proper 80 to 90 percent of moisture out beforehand.
2. Sectioning is important. Make sure to take clean even sections, don't just stick brush in there – otherwise the brush gets stuck, or it doesn't properly straighten.
3. If a client has really curly, have her start start around the hairline first. If you don't start there, you won't get the hairline straight.
4. Don't need to wind the brush. Some people are used to seeing their stylist do that, but with these brushes, don't do that.

In a large line-up of brushes for just about every hair type and any occasion, one of the newest Monroe brushes is a standout. The Latina Envy, which combines boar bristles with nylon to tame more rebellious, coarse hair is one of Monroe Brush's star players and we had associate editor Alison Shipley gave it a try -- using Lobato's tips for clients -- and she raved. "This baby's tough as nails. It really grabs onto difficult hair for a straight finish. I stuck it under my hair, lifted straight up, and not one hair fell down or slipped off the brush's grip." It's available in four sizes, for tasks large and small.

For a look at all the Monroe brushes, visit

-- Melissa Hill and Alison Shipley

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