We all know that blow drying hair can be a lifesaver when you're running late, but how bad is it for your hair? We talked to a hairstylist and cosmetic dermatologist to get the lowdown on whether you should avoid this convenient styling method altogether or if there are ways to make it work for you.
Best Practices for Drying Hair
Before you even reach for your blow dryer, there are a few things you should do to minimize potential damage. First, gently squeeze your wet hair to remove excess water before towel drying with a microfiber towel. Then, make sure your hair is only slightly wet when you start blow drying.
"One should blow dry their hair when it is [slightly] wet. Blow drying dry hair causes brittleness, breakage and dryness," explained a hairstylist. Using an ionic dryer, a good round brush, and proper heat protectant are also important.
How to Blow Dry Your Hair
When you're actually using your blow dryer, make sure to be as efficient as possible. The shorter the amount of time you apply heat to your hair, the less heat damage you'll accrue.
Regardless of your hair type, you should part your hair in small sections and focus on each section at a time to ensure your hair does not overheat.
The position of your hair dryer and the heat setting also make a huge difference. While it might be tempting to blast hot air at your strands, it's often better to use medium heat to minimize damage.
How Frequently Should You Use a Blow Dryer?
Just like washing your hair too frequently, blow drying too often can also create dryness and cause damage to your hair. The less often you are air-drying hair, the better.
If you're someone who is blow drying your hair frequently, it's even more important to take good care of your hair during the in-between times and on your wash days to reduce the likelihood of damaged hair. Using high-quality shampoo and conditioner that nurtures the hair shaft, hair follicles, and scalp by adding moisture can make all the difference.
Why You Should Avoid Blow Drying Your Hair
Blow drying hair on the highest heat setting should be reserved for healthy hair that can handle heat exposure better than damaged hair. If you're dealing with hair conditions like dry hair, hair loss, or hair that has been damaged from chemicals or heat, it might be wise to stick to air drying.
While blow drying your hair might not be the best thing for your hair, following the above tips can help you minimize potential damage.