De-mystifying certain ingredients, clarifying how to apply products, and revealing everything you’ve always wanted to know about skin types; Eliza Explains will fill you up with beauty knowledge.
For most of my life, I’ve been a minimal effort kind of girl when it comes to styling my hair.
I put this down to the fact that my teenage years happened in tandem with the peak ‘Indie sleaze’ era, where I worshipped at the altar of Alexa Chung’s perfectly imperfect choppy bob.
This, coupled with my complete lack of patience when it came to curling wands, plaiting or attending to my hair in any capacity other than just brushing it, meant that perfectly polished hair was a no-no from me.
As I edged towards my twenties, I managed to master (just about) curling my hair with a straightener, but again, I’d endeavour to make this look as dishevelled and beachy as possible.
But in more recent years, my obsession with the ‘70s has seeped into both my wardrobe and my beauty. Annoyingly for me, while the ‘70s was all about summoning the bounciest blow dry possible, I could not for the life of me figure out how to blow dry my hair at home.
Futile attempts would result in me knotting my hair around a barrel brush, and without a trust fund to allow me to get a blow dry three times a week, I figured there had to be another way.
Thankfully, my job in beauty has given me access to backstage shows at fashion week, insights from hair industry experts, and an excuse to watch countless hours of Tiktok and Instagram Reels ‘for work’ (winning).
All this has led me to learning three failsafe ways to get a full, voluminous blowout at home, and trust me, there’s something for all budgets and levels of patience here.
Below, read on for the three ways you can achieve a bouncy ‘70s blowout without having to step foot in a salon.
Heatless velcro rollers
For those that remember these the first time around, I apologise for going over old ground. However, for anybody who didn’t grow up with their mother/grandma/aunt walking around in velcro curlers (myself included) and have yet to realise their full potential, let me share with you why heatless curlers are a game changer.
Heatless curlers (also known as velcro rollers) were one of the original methods for curling your hair; we’re talking way before a pair of GHDs or a BaByliss curling wand entered the chat.
This method of getting bouncy curls doesn’t require any heat and is pretty quick to do after you’ve practiced a couple of times.
A pack of velcro rollers will normally come with three or four different sizes, with the largest curler giving the roundest curl and the smallest curler giving a tighter curl.
You’ll want to start with dry hair (whether you blowdry or straighten this first is up to you, I personally just dry with the hairdryer and brush through) and then take sections of your hair at a width a little less than the curler, wrapping it underneath the curler and bringing it up towards the face before securing it with a clip.
You’ll then want to wait at least 20 minutes (I normally wait for around an hour) before gently taking them out, being careful not to get your hair caught in the clips. If I’m pressed for time, I’ll run my hairdryer over my hair with the curlers still in to speed up the process.
If you want to ramp up the volume, flip your head over and then back again, before spraying with some firm hold hairspray to keep the curls in place. I’ve yet to find a hairspray that rivals the hold of Schwarzkopf’s got2b Happy Hour 24hr Hold Vegan Hairspray, £5, Boots.
Et voila, you should now be left with a Farrah Fawcett-worthy bouncy blowout.
The Dyson Airwrap
Truthfully, I’ve never been able to wrap my head around curling wands (no apologies for the pun).
Straighteners have always been my weapon of choice for curling my hair, but doing a full head would take me forever and a day, so when I was introduced to the Dyson Airwrap at a styling session, I couldn’t believe the results.
Without getting too into the technicalities (mostly because I don’t understand it), the Airwrap harnesses Coanda airflow to pull the hair around a barrel while heating it with hot air. It comes with two different sized barrels for looser or tighter curls.
We tested the Dyson Airwrap in the Eliza office on both short and long hair, and while it works to curl both, I’d say it’s definitely a winner for longer hair for a few reasons.
Firstly, it cut my styling time to under ten minutes, which I still can’t quite get over considering curling my hair with a straightener used to take me at least 30 minutes.
This method of styling also feels and looks like it’s doing less damage than other heated tools, and I’ve had people comment on how shiny my hair looks after I’ve used it.
Lastly, it’s a dream for travel, as it comes with six different attachments including a hair drying attachment and hot brush, so you can say goodbye to those tragic hotel room hair dryers.
In terms of the curl it gives, nothing can compare to the Dyson’s blowout ability. It’s Matilda Djerf’s go-to tool for her signature Tiktok-viral hair, which is beyond full, bouncy and fluffy, and it never disappoints on delivering the perfect curls or waves.
I do find that the curls drop within half an hour of styling, but this actually gives me the look I want, and these looser curls will stay all day if secured with a bit of hairspray. I like John Frieda’s Volume Lift Lightweight Hairspray, £5.99, Boots.
Both the hot brush and large barrel are the dream for styling a grown out ‘70s fringe too –something I’d always struggled to achieve with a barrel brush and hairdryer.
Silke’s Heatless Curl Kit
I’ll be honest, I wasn’t at all sold on the videos of people using socks and dressing gown belts to curl their hair during the lockdown. The faff of preparing the night before only for it to (knowing my luck) fall out in the middle of the night, just didn’t seem worth it.
But in the spirit of being an investigative beauty journalist, when the Silke London Heatless Curler, £42, LookFantastic landed on the Eliza desks, I decided to give it a go.
My hair is quite soft and doesn’t tend to hold a curl much without heat – much to my 8-year-old self’s dismay after braiding my hair the night before school only for it to fall flat – so I didn’t have high expectations for this.
The heatless curler works by wrapping hair on either sides of your head around it, and then sleeping on it.
Sounds simple enough, right? The application takes a few goes to get the hang of however, mainly because even when you clip the silk curler to your head it tends to move around quite a lot (especially on hair with a lot of ‘slip’).
Wrapping your hair around the curler is made easier if it’s not completely dry, and you’ll want some hair scrunchies or hair bands to secure your hair at the bottom.
The obvious benefits of a heatless curler are, to no-one’s surprise, that you avoid any heat damage to your hair.
While the tool did give an immediate curl when I took it out in the morning and one that lasted pretty well throughout the day (see the video for my curls mid-work day), I’m a huge fidgeter and I found it quite annoying to sleep in.
This is perhaps the biggest downside, but if you’re a back sleeper, curl away!