How To Achieve A Party-Worthy Blowout At Home, According To A Celebrity Stylist

By Ashleigh Cometti
Wendy Iles has worked with countless Hollywood A-listers over the last four decades she’s spent in the hair industry.

Bouncy, voluminous curls at home coming right up — no hairspray required.

Wendy Iles is in the business of making people feel good.

For four decades, the globally renowned hairstylist has delivered smooth-as-silk tresses from Tasmania to the world, with her coterie of haircare products that restore hair to its

She’s been entrusted with styling the likes of Marion Cotillard, Cate Blanchett, Chloe Sevigny, Hilary Swank, Kate Hudson, Rita Ora (and countless others), worked on campaigns for Chanel, Hermès, Louis Vuitton, and Christian Dior, featured in international editions of Vogue, Elle, Vanity Fair and Harper’s Bazaar, and worked alongside esteemed fashion photographers Ellen von Unwerth, Rankin and more.

What started as a collection of private formulas to be used on shoots or her exclusive clientele, quickly became what Wendy was known for. After being asked repeatedly on set for her Iles Formulas, Wendy adopted the name and so, in 2016, Iles Formula was born.

“It was never part of my plan to launch a haircare brand. I was raised on a poppy farm in Tasmania, so from a young age I was acutely aware of the medicinal powers of plants and herbs,” she says.

“I began harnessing my intuitive sense of product formulation and my knowledge of plant-based ingredients by partnering with chemists to create private, bespoke formulas to treat the tortured A-list celebrity hair that I often encountered in my chair on the global hair campaigns and red carpet looks I was entrusted to deliver.”

Iles (pronounced Isles) Formula received rave reviews from industry insiders, salons, retailers and their clientele, which served to highlight how disruptive her formulas would become.

“Iles Formula has become the new benchmark in treating hair breakage and is a true revolution in haircare,” she says.

In collaboration with her chemist (who’s been with her since the beginning), Wendy continues to innovate in the luxury haircare space and is meticulous in her formulation approach.

Key ingredients in the range are sourced sustainably from the Amazonian forest floor, before undergoing a manufacturing process that takes up to 14 hours.

“A process that takes each ingredient and wakes it up to its full potential to repair hair. After that, a bottle of product is sent to me wherever I am in the world, and I test it and sign it off. Only then does the formula get bottled for consumer use,” Wendy says.

“I don’t think there is a haircare on planet Earth that does the kind of quality control the way we do.”

Her signature bouncy blowout is in hot demand with her celebrity clientele throughout awards season, as seen here on Izabel Goulart at the Cannes Film Festival.

Below, Wendy shares her step-by-step guide to recreating voluminous waves from home.

Model Izabel Goulart and fiance, German soccer player Kevin Trapp. Photo / Getty Images
Model Izabel Goulart and fiance, German soccer player Kevin Trapp. Photo / Getty Images

The Prep

For Wendy, prepping hair for a blowout is simple. “It’s as quick as a shampoo and condition in Iles Formula. No downtime, the result is immediate and spectacular, delivering soft, sumptuous, repaired hair,” she says.

The Toolkit

  1. Signature collection Iles Formula Shampoo, $72, and Conditioner, $88.
  2. Iles Formula Finishing Serum, $92, on every single layer as I dry, starting underneath and moving to the last sections on top.
  3. My favourite brush is Olivia Garden Ionic Round Brush, $22.
  4. Dyson Supersonic Hairdryer, $699.
  5. BabyLiss Pro Ceramic Black Conical Wand, $130.
  6. I always clip any curl or wave movement until cold with Denman Sectioning Clips 4pk, $18.
  7. I finish every head with the Iles Formula Wide Tooth Comb, $20. Because I use the Iles products the hair is super fluid and snag-free. This comb is the cherry on the cake, giving the most spectacular texture lines within the lustrous hair I’ve just delivered.

Note the absence of hairspray, which Wendy says blocks the memory of the hair and makes it feel stiff or sticky.

A Note On Texture

The way you blow dry your hair should vary depending on your hair texture and the style you want to achieve, Wendy says. “If we are speaking about a soft, smooth blowout, the technique is the same, but the brush size would change,” she explains.

“For example, lots of curl would need a larger barrel brush to stretch out the curl to a smoother, straightened state, whereas straight hair would need a smaller brush to deliver a stronger movement and good root support.”

Wendy recommends a quick hair shake to revive this voluminous style throughout the day or night. Photo / Getty Images
Wendy recommends a quick hair shake to revive this voluminous style throughout the day or night. Photo / Getty Images

The Steps

  1. “Start by applying Iles Formula Finishing Serum to damp hair to protect the hair from the heated tools and humidity.
  2. Use a round brush and Dyson hairdryer to create smoothness and build volume into the hair. This step is very important, as it sets up the foundation for the hairstyle.
  3. Next, use a medium-sized barrel curling tong, and curl the hair taking vertical sections from the face toward the centre back.
  4. Using long sectioning clips, clip each section up in an invisible roller shape and allow it to sit until the hair is cooled. This will ensure a long-lasting effect and great bounce to the style.
  5. Once hair has cooled, break down the curl to make it look more “easy”. This method is so simple yet it works its magic while you are finishing your makeup or getting dressed. It only needs to sit for 10 minutes. To do this, section the hair into two sides, turning the hair all together towards the centre back, and into a long sausage shape.
  6. After you have done that, use the sectioning clips to attach those sausage sections on top of the head for about 10 minutes.
  7. Finally, drop the hair down and shake it into place. Don’t brush it, just leave it to fall into an abundance of waves with the right amount of volume.
  8. Apply a little bit of the Finishing Serum over the outer surface of the hair. This will help settle fluffy hairs and protect the hair from humidity. If one’s base is perfect, then this hairstyle is very low-maintenance, just shake and go. No brushing and no hairspray. It’s like a dream.”

From go-to gadgets to treatments to try.

Is This New Facial The Secret To Glossy, Healthy Hair? There’s a new treatment in town that’s geared towards your scalp. We tried it.

Salon Etiquette: 5 Things Your Hairdresser Wants You To Stop Doing. The must-dos and please-don’ts, plus how to ask for a silent appointment.

What Hair Tool Should You Buy? A Guide To The Latest, Greatest Gadgets. Straighteners, curlers, dryers, and our thoughts on the Dyson Airwrap.

How Do You Care For Your Curls? 6 People With Luscious, Curly Locks Share Their Game-Changing Tips. We asked for detailed descriptions. The result: concise curl CliffsNotes.

Unlock this article and all our Viva Premium content by subscribing to 

Share this article: