This Is the Secret to Great Hair

And you'll get to bond with your wife, too.
IMAGE Esquire UK

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 blow dryers—they can feel cheesy, vain, girlie—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, like anal sex, 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 blow dryer in high school "to mitigate extreme frizziness" but always felt embarrassed by it.

Bereft of real advice, I saw a professional. At Drybar in Lower Manhattan, a blowatrix named Emma gave my locks the soaring lift of Santiago Calatrava's nearby Oculus building. 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."

Blow dryers 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 ten-minute chore to five.

By Thursday, I felt as comfortable with my blow dryer as Gene Autry with a Colt revolver. 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 savor my morning coffee.

Here are some other tools to try.

Baby Buttercup

If you're committed enough to travel with a blow dryer, this 13- ounce dynamo puts hotel models to shame.

Elchim 3900 Healthy Ionic

Lightweight, with a manly black-and-chrome finish, the Elchim uses far infrared heat—meaning it'll dry your hair, not fry it.

Dyson Supersonic

Dyson invested $71 million to design a device that's whisper-quiet and turbo-powered. Plus, it kind of looks like a ray gun.

This story originally appeared on

* Minor edits have been made by the editors.

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Ross Kenneth Urken
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