Attorney Julie Garber of Fort Myers, armed with a round brush in one hand and a blow-dryer in the other, focused on her reflection in the mirror as her stylist Emily Hart coached from the side on a recent Friday evening at Salon Adrian in Gulf Coast Town Center.

“When Emily does my hair, it’s much different,” Garber said. “It never looks the same when I do it.”

Once women like Garber walk out the salon door, many struggle to recreate their stylist done looks in their own homes. That’s why Jeri Church, owner of Salon Adrian, recently held a blow-dry boot camp to teach women how to blow-dry and curl their hair like professional stylists.

“After our stylists will do their hair women will say, ‘Oh, this looks so good, but this will be the last time it will look this way because I can’t do this at home,'” Church said. 

“That’s not what we want to hear and that’s not what we want to see. If I meet you in the street I want you to have some resemblance of what you had done here.” 

Hart walked Garber through the best ways to approach blow-drying her hair, such as starting with her bangs and clipping her hair to avoid a bump at the back of her head.

“I try to watch her when she’s doing my hair, but to have her work with me while she’s doing it is much more helpful,” Garber said.

Hart explained to Garber that it’s important to get as much moisture out as possible before you ever use a brush on your hair.

“People try to get it done fast to save time, but it doesn’t work,” Hart said.

At another mirror in the salon, Glynnis Rogero worked with Salon Adrian stylist Amanda Gissel on what products are best for her hair and how to use them. 

“I need boot camp,” Rogero said. “I need help. I just can’t look in the mirror and do it right.” 

Gissel taught Rogero to form a claw with her hand and use it to flip up the edges of her hair to get the messy look she wants. She also demonstrated how to spread mouse or hair creams all over your hands before adding it to your hair, which will help spread the product more than just putting it on the tips of your fingers. 

“Get it 80 percent dry or more before you put the brush or any product in,” Gissel said. “If you use mousse when your hair is wet, you’re diluting all of this product.”

Salon Adrian stylists also taught guests how to properly curl their hair, like Amanda Tetreault, who wanted to vary from what she said is usually her regular blow-dryed, straight hair style. 

“I’ve never been able to curl my own hair, so just learning how to section it right is helpful,” Tetreault said. 

Stylist Elizabeth Aburto said the best way to achieve messy, wavy curls is to not worry about perfection. Aburto suggests sectioning your hair, leaving a one inch piece outside of the iron and curling forward from the back.

You can also pin your curls close to your scalp once they’ve cooled. Wait to the end, once everything has set, to brush through your hair with your fingers, Aburto said. 

Church was pleased to see women beaming as they walked out of Salon Adrian with hairstyles they had done themselves. 

“I want to educate my clients,” Church said. “I want anyone that comes in here to be educated because when they feel educated, they feel better about themselves.”

Blow-drying tips from Salon Adrian

  • Dry your hair well with a towel before you even pick up a blow-dryer. Salon Adrian owner Jeri Church said the number one mistake everyone makes is blow-drying their hair when it’s too wet.
  • Next, use a blow-dryer and your fingers to “rough dry” your hair. The goal is to get your hair about 85 percent dry. You can also lift sections of your hair to dry it and start to create volume. 
  • Once your hair is 85 percent dry, it’s time to put your products in. If you put product in when your hair is wet, the moisture will dilute it’s power. 
  • Church suggests spreading product through your hands to warm and activate it before you distribute it in your hair. 
  • For women with long hair, it can help to blow-dry at the root and let your hair air dry the rest of the way down. 
  • No matter what length your hair is, it’s about the amount of moisture you have in your hair when you start to dry it. “If you leave it too wet, you’re fighting moisture and the water,” Church said. “The water always wins.”