A smooth and glossy blow dry doesn't just have to happen at the hairdresser - you can do it at home yourself with a good hairdryer and hair brush. Whether thick, fine, long or short hair, a polished blow dry is easy to achieve with the right tools and technique.


At The Recommended, we’ve put together a helpful step-by-step guide on how to properly blow dry your hair into a sleek straight style for the ultimate salon-quality results. We’ve also spoken to top haircare experts for their blow drying tips and included dos and don’t for the perfect finish.

Read on for all the tips and tricks, and leave your hair silky smooth and perfectly straight.

Our blow dry experts

Jonathan Andrew, Luke Benson
Our expert hair stylists, Jonathan Andrew and Luke Benson

Jonathan Andrew is a celebrity hairstylist and Global Ambassador at haircare brand Fudge Professional. He has worked with celebrities including Lottie Moss, Olly Murs and Little Mix, styled at iconic media events including the BAFTAs, NTAs and BRIT Awards, and for TV shows such as This Morning and CelebrityJuice. Earlier on in his career, he worked with brands including L’Oreal, ghd and Schwarzkopf, and most recently launched his brand new podcast ‘This is Not What I Asked For’ on Global Player.

Luke Benson is a celebrity hairdresser with more than 20 years of experience. His famous A-list clients include Billie Eilish, Liam Payne, Michelle Keegan, Anna Friel, and Roman Kemp. He has styled iconic hair moments at events such as the BRITS and Bond premiere, as well as being a top stylist for brands Tom Ford, Charlotte Tilbury and Hugo Boss. He has won awards for his cutting, styling and grooming talent, such as the Session Stylist of The Year Finalist for the 2022 Fellowship for British Hairdressing Awards.

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How to blow dry your hair straight: a step-by-step guide

Woman using hair dryer

Follow this step-by-step guide for the ultimate straight-defined finish:

Step 1: Prep hair

Before blow drying, make sure your hair is clean and washed. Gently towel dry hair to remove excess moisture, then use your hairdryer until hair is about 80% dry. Our expert Jonathan recommends that you ‘always prep the hair with a heat protector’ - apply a heat protector spray to shield your hair from heat damage and achieve optimum results. If you don't have a heat protector spray, our hair expert Jonathan likes the Fudge Professional Blow-Dry Aqua Primer.

Step 2: Divide hair into sections

Section out your hair using clips or hair ties into manageable parts. This will ensure even heat distribution and a more manageable and time-efficient process.

Step 3: Use a brush to blow dry hair

Working through the different sections one at a time, start blow drying your hair with your hairdryer and brush. Celebrity hairstylist Luke explains the importance of ‘making sure the airflow is down the hair shaft for a smoother, straighter finish.’ Taking your time, direct the hairdryer downwards alongside your brush to create tension and straighten out your hair.

Luke suggests using a paddle brush ‘to smooth the root and mid lengths’. If you don't have a paddle brush, we like the Aveda Large Wood Paddle Brush. Luke also recommends that you ‘finish with a large barrel brush for extra smoothness and shine’. If you don't have a large barrel brush, we like the Moroccanoil Ceramic Round Brush. He also recommends ‘stretching the roots so the blow dry lasts longer and has enough lift and the sections sit in the direction desired.’

Step 4: Finishing touches

Finish off each section of hair with a cool shot to lock your style in place. Switch to the cooling setting and aim at each section - this will also add extra shine to your hair. Add in a small amount of styling product, whether serum or oil, to tame any flyaways, enhance sleekness and keep the salon-finished style lasting for longer. We like John Frieda’s Frizz Ease All-in-1 Serum.

What type of brush is best for blow drying your hair straight?

Using hair brush to style blow dry

When blowdrying your hair, the type of hair brush you use can make all the difference to its finish. It’s important to choose a brush with heat-resistant bristles to withstand the hairdryer's heat and prevent damage. Experiment with different brush sizes and styles to find the perfect type for your hair length, thickness and desired style.

For long, straight hair, try using a paddle brush with a wide, flat surface, as it helps to distribute the heat to hair evenly and create a smooth and sleek style. We’re a big fan of the Aveda Large Wood Paddle Brush, which has a cushioned design that reduces stress to your hair and scalp during blow-drying and styling to help avoid unwanted breakage and flyaways.

For shorter or layered hair, opt for a round brush- this will provide a better grip and control while creating sleeky volume. We like the Moroccanoil Ceramic Round Brush, which promotes hair health and shine, and reduces static on the hair for super-smooth results.

What temperature should you use when blow drying your hair straight?

Temperature is very important when it comes to blow drying your hair - too much heat exposure can cause hair to become dry and prone to breakages. For a straight-style look, use a medium heat throughout your blow dry to avoid excessive heat exposure.

Remember also to keep a safe distance of six to eight inches between your hair and the hairdryer. Expert Jonathan Andrew stresses ‘protection, protection, protection’ - ‘don’t hold the dryer too close to your hair – you wouldn’t do it with your skin, so you shouldn’t do it with your hair.

Always finish your blow dry with a cool shot of air (most hair dryers have this setting). This will help set the style and add extra shine. For fine or damaged hair, it’s advised to use a lower heat setting when blow drying to prevent any further unnecessary damage to your hair.

The dos and don’ts of blow drying your hair straight

Blow drying hair
Blow drying hair

When blowdrying your hair and styling it into a straight style, make sure to follow these dos and don’ts to ensure a successful result and maintain healthy, shiny locks.


  • Use heat protector: spritz your hair with a heat protectant before blow drying to protect hair from heat damage.
  • Section your hair: Divide hair into sections for a more efficient and quick blow dry.
  • Make sure your hair is completely dry: expert Jonathan Andrew explains that ‘achieving the perfect at-home blow-dry, the finish is always everything. It must be dried from start to end. If the hair is damp, you’ll lose volume, and if your hair is naturally wavy and isn’t fully dry, then when you step outside, the air will shrink your hair back into waves or frizz.’
  • Use cool air mode: Finish with a cool shot of air to lock in your style and add extra shine.
  • Apply product: use a styling serum or oil to tame flyaways. We like John Frieda’s Frizz Ease All-in-1 Serum, which provides up to 72-hour frizz protection while hydrating and adding instant shine to hair.


  • Overdo the heat: use a medium heat setting to avoid heat damage to your hair.
  • Hold the hair dryer too close to your hair: make sure to maintain a distance of six to eight inches.
  • Forget to clean hair dryer: a clean and well-maintained dryer filter ensures its best results.

How to add volume while blow drying your hair straight

Blow drying hair upside down

Want to add some volume to your straight blow dry? Follow these top tips for an extra smooth and bouncy hairdo:

  1. Use volumizing hair products: From shampoo and conditioner to serums and sprays, use volumizing hair care products before blow-drying your hair to give it an added lift. Try Moroccanoil's Extra Volume shampoo and conditioner duo for longer lasting body and lift.
  2. Blow dry upside down: Try turning your head upside down while blow drying - this will lift hair at the roots to create extra volume.
  3. Finish with rollers: Once finished blow drying, place your hair in velcro rollers at the crown of your head. Leave in for a couple of minutes before removing, and watch the volume appear to your straight style.

How to maintain a straight blow dry

Woman with straight hair

Once you’ve blow-dried your hair straight, you’ll want to keep it that way. Here are some tips to maintain your style for as long as possible.

  • Avoid touching hair: Minimise how much you touch or run your fingers through your hair, as this can lead to frizz and affect the straight style.
  • Use a silk pillowcase: Sleep on a silk or satin pillowcase to reduce friction on your hair and stop it from becoming frizzy overnight.
  • Use dry shampoo: Apply dry shampoo in between washes if your hair is prone to greasiness. It will absorb excess oil and maintain a fresh look. For a highly popular but budget-friendly option, try Batiste Dry Shampoo - guaranteed to replenish hair and add volume, getting rid of oily roots in seconds.
  • Protect hair from humid conditions: In humid climates, use an anti-humidity spray or serum to prevent frizz and protect your straight locks.
  • Touch-up with straighteners: If you have a few flyaways or notice a few areas that need a touch-up, use straighteners to smooth out any kinks or waves.

Looking for more expert-recommended round-ups and hair product guides? Check out our Haircare and Cosmetics page, where you’ll find more more on beauty recommendations, including the best hairdryers, the best hair straighteners, and the best shampoos, recommended by experts.


Cordelia AspinallDigital Writer

Cordelia Aspinall is a Digital Writer for Immediate Media, working across brands including The Recommended, RadioTimes.com, MadeForMums and BBC Gardeners’ World. She has previously worked and written for digital publications including Condé Nast Traveller, The Evening Standard, Cosmopolitan, and several other lifestyle brands.