Can a hair-styling CLASS really help you perfect your at-home blowout?

Out of sheer laziness and lack of skill, I hit up my local Dry Bar more often than not. The pros do a great job taming my frizzy mane, but the time and money it requires can be draining on my schedule and wallet.

So when the opportunity to take a class on how to style my hair presented itself, I couldn’t pass it up.

Stylists at New York City’s Antonio Prieto Salon offer personalized, one-on-one consultations to help clients learn how to create their desired look at home. The invitation read: ‘No matter your skill set, you’ll leave with practical knowledge and product recommendations that will make your life easier and your hair better.’


Read on for what the class entails and what tips our writer learned.

Can you really learn how to a salon-quality blowout at home? Stylists at New York City’s Antonio Prieto Salon swear by their Style Like a Pro service

When I booked my appointment, I was told to bring all the hair tools and products and I regularly use, so I showed up on a rainy afternoon with two brushes, a heat protectant spray and a blow-dryer in tow.


Brian Zinno, the education director for salon, sat down with me for a consult before sending me off to get shampooed.

First, we talked about my skill level (or what I thought my skill level was), the style I wanted to learn how to achieve and the items I had brought with me.

‘I’m actually pretty decent at a round-brush blowout,’ I told Brian. ‘But my arms do get tired while doing it and I’d love to know how to create more volume, especially toward the crown.’


Brian nodded and then pulled out my styling tools. He gave my Ghd Air Hairdryer two thumbs up and said my Harry Josh Pro Tools Wooden Paddle Brush was good but maybe not the best for my slightly damaged hair. He suggested a brush that had a combination of boar and nylon bristles (like this one) instead of my nylon-only pick.

And then we got to my round brush…The good news was that it was the right size (about an inch-and-a-half around) and the right type (ceramic, vented). The bad news? It needed to be cleaned, badly. I would soon learn why that step was so important.


Blowout 101: Antonio Prieto education director Brian Zinno gave Daily Mail beauty director Lindsey Unterberger suggestions for products (left) and a map for sectioning her hair (right)

As for styling products, he suggested the Kerastase Discipline Keratine Thermique for frizz control and heat protection, coupled with the brand’s Elixir Ultime Bi-Phase Spray Oil for added fullness and shine. 


After a quick shampoo and delightful scalp massage, I was whisked back over to Brian’s chair for the hands-on portion of the class. 

‘I want you to rough-dry your hair until it’s about 90-percent dry,’ he instructed. He handed me his dryer because mine had a concentrating nozzle on it that he said we didn’t need, and told me to flip my hair over and hold the dryer by the top part, not the handle. 

For better control, hold the blowdryer by the nozzle, not the handle
Dura CHI Handshot Dryer ($145,

Get a grip! For better control, hold the blowdryer by the nozzle, not the handle (left). Or try the handle-less Dura CHI Handshot Dryer at right ($145,

‘Say what?’ I said.

‘It’ll give you more control and help you direct the heat where you need it to go,’ he explained.

I did as I was told and held the top of the blow-dryer in my hand while using nothing but my fingers to dry my strands. It felt incredibly awkward, and I didn’t get the benefit at the time, but I was there to learn new tricks, so I obliged.

Once I finished rough-drying to Brian’s standards, he showed me how to section my hair into five pieces.  

Section, section, section: The key to a good blowout is separating hair into five neat sections and working on them one at a time

Section, section, section: The key to a good blowout is separating hair into five neat sections and working on them one at a time

I made the first section by taking the hair in between where the the middle of each eyebrow was and took it as far back as the top of the crown. The second and third sections were taken diagonally from the top of the ear down each side. The rest of the hair in the back of my head was split down the middle to create sections four and five.

Blow-Drying Mistakes

1. Using the wrong products and tools for your hair type or desired style

2.  Standing up to blow-dry your hair. Sitting lets you put your tools down easily and conserve energy

3. Trying to dry or style too big of sections

4. Blasting hair with the hottest temperature on the dryer. You want to use mid-level heat on full velocity 

5. Pointing the nozzle of the dryer up the cuticle, which creates frizz

6. Not switching the arm you hold the blow-dryer with. It should always go in the hand of the side of the head you’re working on

7. Holding the dryer by the handle. Holding it by the top let’s you get closer to the hair and gives you more control 

 And now is when things got interesting. 

‘I know you’re used to standing up when you blow-dry,’ Brian said, ‘but I want you to try it sitting in a chair with your round brush and blow-dryer in your lap. You’re going to switch the hand you hold the dryer in depending on which side you’re blowing out.’

For example, when I blow-dried any of the hairs on the right side of my head, I was supposed to hold the dryer in my right hand and the brush in my left. 

‘This will cut down on your arm getting tired because it won’t have to reach across the body,’ Brian explained.

He first had me sub-section the closest section to my face on the right side of my head into three smaller sections. Next, with the dryer off and resting in my lap, he told me to brush through one of the sub-sections and then gently wrap it around the round brush. At that point I picked up the dryer – again holding it at the top not handle – and pointed the nozzle down while pulling the brush through the hair several times until it was dry. (Note: If your brush is clogged with hair, like mine, you’ll have a much harder time getting the brush through it without your hair getting caught.)

That's a wrap: For hair that looks modern, wrap sections loosely around the brush, leaving out the ends, before brushing through and blowing dry

That’s a wrap: For hair that looks modern, wrap sections loosely around the brush, leaving out the ends, before brushing through and blowing dry

I repeated the process until the initial larger section was dry. It felt awkward at first, but once I got to the end of the section, I was feeling much more confident.

‘You can always turn the dryer off, set it down, and regroup,’ Brian said anytime he saw me get flustered.

The process was exactly the same on the left side, except everything was opposite. I felt like I was back in ballet as a small child when the whole class would go one way and I would go the other. I just couldn’t seem to grasp the opposite-hand concept.

Like most things, though, practice makes perfect and by the time I got to the last section on the left side, it felt like I had been blowing out my hair that way my whole life. 

The top section was a bit different, though. I still created three subsections, but instead of wrapping the hair under and around the brush, Brian told me to wrap it over the brush and toward the back of my hair. He then had me hold the dryer (by the handle, for once!) and blow upward as I brushed the hair out. 

‘This will give you that volume you want,’ he said.

The result was incredible. My hair had body, shine and practically no-frizz – and that was without a single pass of a curling wand or flat iron. The best part? All afternoon, when people asked if I got a blowout, I got to say, ‘No, I did it myself.’

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