Dry bars and blowout-only salons have been popping up everywhere over the last few years. While it can be tempting to make fun of this latest fad, every woman who’s ever wielded a blow dryer knows why these beauty havens are so popular: no matter how hard we try, we just can’t seem to recreate that just-left-the-salon-after-a-haircut look. Even when we come close, it’s usually in double or triple the time it took the stylist, and that’s after contorting our arms into some crazy positions to achieve the perfect blow-dried look. What we all need is a crash course in hair care, and thankfully, Country Outfitter is happy to provide. It turns out it actually IS totally possible to get salon-worthy hair at home without damaging your follicles or taking tons of time. There’s just seven things we need to learn and remember:

  1. Let the air do part of the work.

  2. Do you aim a dryer at your tresses as soon as you step out of the shower? Stop it! You’re not saving time, just increasing the amount of time spent blow-drying. Towel dry after showering, then move on to other parts of your routine and let the air get your hair to about half-way dry before you turn on the dryer. You’ll save your hair from extra damaging heat, save your arms extra minutes holding the dryer, and save yourself some time.

  3. Protect your hair from the heat.

  4. Waiting until half-dry status isn’t the only step you should take to protect your follicles from potentially damaging heat. You should also be using a heat protectant, too! You’ve surely noticed your hair stylist adding one before styling your hair, so ask for a recommendation and find the perfect one for your hair type! And speaking of heat . . .

  5. Turn down the heat setting.

  6. That “high” setting on your hair dryer? It’s intended for those of us with coarse and/or thick hair. If you don’t fall in that category – or if your hair is only slightly damp – use the “low” setting. Ladies of all hair types can also lock-in their look with that “cool shot” button, which seals the hair follicle.

  7. Know your dryer types and choose carefully.

  8. While all hair dryers typically have those three heat settings, not all hair dryers use the same type of heat. Grab a ceramic dryer for non-damaging infrared heat; a tourmaline dryer for one that uses negative ions on top of infrared heat for shiny, frizz-free hair; or an ionic dryer for traditional heat and forceful, fast drying.

  9. Use the right tools.

  10. The dryer itself isn’t the only tool to choose carefully. Did you know that the larger your hairbrush is, the smoother your hair will be? And that the heat from a dryer basically turns metal brushes into flat irons, with all the potential damage that entails? Now you do.

  11. Don’t forget your attachments.

  12. Your hair stylist definitely uses them, so why are yours languishing under your bathroom sink? Dust them off and attach them to your dryer! If you have curly hair, use that diffuser, and if you’re prone to frizz, direct the heat with the concentrator.

  13. Save time by starting right.

  14. Always start with your roots, then roll your brush down to the ends of your hair. Your hair will look great and you’ll finish more quickly than if you started at the ends.

So there you go— no tricks here, just styling smarts for salon-worthy hair. Did any of these tips surprise you, or have you heard them all before? What would you add to this list?