Southern Beauty Secrets: Miss Texas's Big Blowout
Reigning Miss Texas Ashley Melnick and her hair stylist Jessica Weckherlin show how to transform tresses from flat to fabulous in four simple steps.
Hair Fit for a Beauty Queen
“Come on, this is Texas. There’s nothing my clients love more than a great blowout,” says Jessica Weckherlin, hair stylist at the Burt Grant Salon (an Aveda concept salon) in Arlington. As the pageant’s chief stylist, she coifs the manes of contestants, the organization’s directors, and Miss Texas herself, Ashley Melnick. Ashley turns to Jessica when she wants her curly hair straight, shiny, and tiara ready for a Miss Texas appearance.
For those of us who don’t have a hair stylist at our beck and call, Jessica suggests an easy home regimen. “You can give yourself a head start before you even step out of the shower,” she says. “Never apply conditioner to your roots. It will just weigh down the hair. Instead, rub a quarter-size amount through the ends only.”
Step 1: Protect Hair from Heat
Resist the urge to jump right in with straightening, Jessica cautions. First focus on removing moisture. Run a heat protective product through hair and blow-dry until roots are barely damp and no excess water can be rung from ends.
Editor’s pick: Heat Protection & Shine Spray by Pantene; drugstore.com
Step 2: Straighten Hair
Beginning at the base of the neck and working your way up, blow-dry brush-width sections of hair until it is completely dry. (Try a 1-inch brush for maximum volume.) To create the actual straightening effect, keep hair taut as you pull brush away from scalp.
Editor’s pick: Tuxedo Pro Hair Brush; marilynbrush.com.
Step 3: Add Volume
Apply a volumizing spray or foam to roots and then back comb—a fancy term for teasing—at the crown. “Don’t worry, it doesn’t have to result in big 80s hair,” Jessica says. “It just adds subtle, pretty height and will keep your blowout from falling flat later in the day."
Editor’s pick: Full Root Lifting Spray; livingproof.com.
Step 4: Lock in Your Look
Spritz your comb with hair spray to avoid flyaways and lock in your look. “Some women shy away from this step because they think it will cause a stiff, unnatural appearance,” Jessica says. “But applying the spray with a comb avoids the dreaded ‘helmet hair.’ ”
Editor’s pick: Control Force Hair Spray; aveda.com.
Hair-Dryers Worth the Splurge?
Yes! One with an ionic charge produces negative ions that help prevent frizz. But you don't have to go all out. Jessica loves this mid-priced model. Titanium Ionic Professional Hair Dryer by Hot Tools; ulta.com.