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Tips for a DIY salon-style blowout 

Insider tips and tricks for a perfect 'do

Part of a new haircut's appeal is the expert styling job that accompanies it, resulting in silky, bouncy tresses that smell like a botanical garden. I've never successfully recreated that look at home, and the rise of blow-dry bars indicates I'm not alone.

  Last month, Just Blow Dry, a blow-dry bar in H2O Salon & Spa (441 Metairie Road, Metairie, 504-835-4377; www.h2osalon-spa.com ), celebrated its grand opening. "We do anything from an updo to a flat iron set to a loopy curl set," says owner Holli Gaspard.

  Blowouts cost $35, and Gaspard says, "If the hair is dried correctly, blowouts can last three to four days."

  Here's her step-by-step (and surprisingly technical) advice on how to achieve a professional-looking blowout in your own bathroom.

Start by pre-drying freshly shampooed hair. You can flip your head over and blow-dry hair for 4-8 minutes, or you can let it air-dry. "It depends on what time factor you're working in," Gaspard says. "I'm big on letting hair air-dry, because this climate gives you a sexy natural wave." It's important to remove moisture before you begin styling, because if hair is too wet, styling products can't penetrate it.

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