No, we're not kidding. 

By Southern Living Editors
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I blow dry my hair every morning. But before you write me off as some glutton for punishment, let me say that I would not indeed add this to my already hectic morning routine unless I had honed my process into one so efficient and trustworthy that I could do it all in 15 minutes or less. I see you rolling your eyes in disbelief, Karen.

For some reason, the keepers and disseminators of hair information from magazines to cosmetics companies and hair stylists have tricked us all into thinking that a great blowout takes an entire afternoon filled with clips, sprays, sectioning, and such. Yes, if you wave your hair dryer haphazardly at your head for 15 minutes, you aren't going to achieve much more than dryness and a half-baked bedhead look, but my technique involves a minimal amount of strategy for maximum results.

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A little bit of context: I have naturally wavy hair that ends a little past my shoulders, but I've found that this technique also worked when my hair was shorter too.

1. Towel-drying is non-negotiable

One of the most important steps to my method is soaking up as much water as possible before I apply product. I use the Aquis Microfiber Hair Towel, which is gentler on my hair since regular towels can damage your texture and make you feel like you're carrying a fruit basket on your head like the Chiquita Banana lady. It is the closest thing to a sponge you can wrap around your hair, and more than worth its $20 price tag.

2. Pick protectant product

It's important to me that I use product that has thermal-protecting properties since I want my hair to look like Farrah Fawcett, not a pack of raffia paper glued to my scalp. I've tried just about everything humankind has created (which you can read about here), but my go-to is Shu Uemera's Wonder Worker sprayed on the roots of my hair down to mid-shaft. I then take a hair oil (I also love Shu Uemera's Essence Absolue) and put a pump or two on the ends. Both of these product types take about a minute tops to apply.

3. Turn it upside down

Next, I take a round brush and blow dry my hair from the mid-shaft down with my head turned upside down. I don't employ much precision at all with this portion. My goal is to make sure the bottom half of my hair is dry and rounded out from the brush.

4. Pick it up

Without turning my hair dryer off, I take my Yves Durif's Vented Paddle Brush (you can also find versions of this brush at big box stores), and use it to pick up the roots of my hair while I blast them with the hairdryer. When I feel like it's almost completely dry, I switch out the brush for my hand, physically grabbing and lifting pieces of my hair until I feel my scalp is totally arid.

5. Brush it out

Once I've returned to my normal posture, I brush out my hair so it lays a bit flatter. It's also at this point that I stick my bangs in the sink, dampen them, and blow dry them into submission for a minute or two.

6. Polish it up

If my ends need it, I'll put a smidge more oil in them and twist them so they have separation and shape. Occasionally if I feel like I want a bit more wave, I'll twist my still-warm strands into a low bun and secure with an Invisibobble for a minute or two.

7. Go on about your life

Gather compliments like so many wildflowers because your hair looks fabulous.