The perfect blowdry according to Phyto founder Patrick Ales

The history

In the mid 1960s Patrick Ales, hairdresser to the stars and founder of botanical haircare brand Phyto, broke the hairstyling mould by inventing and patenting Le Brushing, the original blowdry technique. His styling defined an era – hairstyles went from the structured and overstyled ’50s coiffure to the more natural trends of the swinging ’60s; Patrick’s own client Brigitte Bardot became a poster girl for the new look.

The look I wanted to create would reflect the new, liberated feel of the ’60s but still have a groomed finish. Brigitte Bardot, one of my clients, was a bastion for the new emancipated woman and loved my new styling technique. – Patrick Ales

The specific products for the perfect blowdry were created by Patrick Ales and gained celebrity acclaim almost immediately… Janine Alleaux, a very influential beauty editor from Marie France magazine (who had really frizzy hair) told him, “I will believe in your new products the day I look like Veronica Lake.”  Patrick Ales customised a formula to smooth her curly rebellious hair with botanical ingredients. She loved it so much she covered it in the magazine. Fast forward to today… PhytoDefrisant is now in the Allure Hall of Fame.

Ales’ blowdry was taking the world by storm and his products were in almost every professional hairdresser’s blowdry kit. To achieve a sleek look and smooth hair that still had the volume that was de rigeur, a product was needed to add density to hair while increasing and maintaining volume from the root. Phytovolume Actif was born.

Once Le Brushing was complete, it needed to be held in place. Other companies had begun to make hairsprays, but at the time these were made using adhesives from the auto industry! PhytoLaque Soie was the first natural hairspray, made with a natural resin from the phytolacca americana plant. It soon became the number one haircare product in France.

The perfect Phyto blowdry

1. Separate your hair into sections.

The bigger the section the longer it will take to dry. It’s best to go for 4-6 sections, but make sure nothing is tangled. If you have thick or longer hair try using clips to help. If your hair is a bit too short, you may want to just part it into 2 sections.

Apply Phytovolume Actif spray to the roots and PhytoDefrisant Botanical Straightening Balm evenly through the hair.

2. Start drying at the top/roots, about six inches away from your scalp.

Maintain this distance throughout so nothing burns. Never dry in an upwards motion as this causes more damage. Plus, by drying the hair on your scalp, it prevents moisture from soaking the rest of your hair.

3. Work your way down, and remember to move the dryer around, again, so nothing burns.

If you simply focus the dryer on one spot for too long it will dry out and burn the hair, rather than simply drying it gently.

4. Leave your hair a little bit damp.

Don’t ever dry until your whole head is completely dry – you need to leave in some moisture so your hair won’t dry out and become frizzy or damaged. Leave it tolerably damp, not so it soaks your clothes, but so it will dry naturally in about 5-10 minutes.

5. Finish with a blast of cold air to lock in shine.

Brush through your hair gently, or de-tangle it with your fingers. For a long-lasting hold, without the usual stickiness of hairspray, use PhytoLaque Soie to complete your perfect blowdry finish.

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