Blowing Out Hair At Home Really... Blows

Apparently, the economy has led to an upswing in "blow-drying seminars" at upscale salons. To those of us who can't handle a round brush, it'll take more than that.

Blow-drying hair to a perfect, satiny sheen has always fallen into the category of "girl skills" some of us seem to have been born without, like eyeliner application, or flirting. From the age of 12, some women seem to have the knack for producing effortless sleekness on a daily basis. On those rare occasions when I've unearthed my neglected arsenal of potions and tools and tried to tame my curls before venturing out into frigid air or to an especially grown-up interview, the results have looked like a result between Bob Ross and Katherine Graham on a really bad day. How can hands that can competently sketch or knead dough become so inept and useless when asked to coordinate a round brush and a blowdryer?

It's reassuring that others are as incompetent as I - or at least so privileged that they've never needed the skill set. The Times describes the pedagogical phenomenon thusly:

There we were - eight young women who had signed up for the Blowout Lessons and Bellinis class - fumbling with round brushes, hair dryers and rollers. With instruction from professionals, including Mr. Blandi - whose clients include Faith Hill, Jennifer Garner and Jessica Alba - our options ranged from learning how to get a beachy tousled look to '50s pinup curls. The classes last "as long as it takes for you to understand," Mr. Blandi said. The Bellinis are offered as a source of both inspiration and fortification.

While being drunk has never particularly helped my hand-eye coordination, I defer to the pros here: the author/guinea pig ends up with a fairly professional-looking blowout and some of the fellow students manage to replicate complex stuff involving rollers. Which is, I guess, great for anyone who has the money and inclination. But I'd much rather see the recession result in a permanent end to the tyranny of the blowout. Why must "well-groomed" equate to "expensive?" Because after all, what these classes are aiming for is the semblance of professionalism, and not all of us want to look like we've stepped out of a salon. Beyond the larger implications of the curly-straight debate, I resent that something to asinine - and incredibly difficult - is considered part of the essential Life Skillset. It makes me feel bad, and if I'm going to feel bad, I'd rather it were about something legitimate. I'm fine with blowouts staying the purview of the pros, because that shows they're a)hard and b)not an everyday necessity. I have to go paint some lovely little clouds now, and then break Watergate. If you'll excuse me.

My Hair? I Did It Myself. My Stylist Taught Me. [NY Times]