We all want to achieve gorgeous-looking hair that looks like we just walked out of a hair salon, all in the comfort of our own home. However, with our fast-paced lifestyles of today, we usually resort to using the hair dryer to speed up the hair drying process.
Heat helps to remove the excess moisture from our hair and create the style we want. Excessive heat, on the other hand, will damage the hair cuticle and result in dry, dull, brittle, and coarse hair.
In this article, we provide ten tips to up your hair drying game and create beautiful tresses with your hair dryer, even when you’re rushing for time.
1. Your hair is too wet
If your hair is dripping wet when you begin blow drying, there is a higher probability of you damaging your hair.
Because of all that water in your hair, most of us will be tempted to use the highest heat settings to blow dry our hair as fast as possible. Even if you can resist that temptation and use medium heat instead, you’d still be spending a considerable amount of time blowing heat at your hair. This will make the hair more dry and brittle as heat damages the cuticles of the hair.
Solution: Rather, towel dry your hair as much as possible first before picking up the blow dryer. When towel drying, do not use rubbing motions as the friction will cause cuticle damage and make the hair coarse and rough. Use squeezing motions instead to wring out as much moisture.
2. Your hair dryer is set at too high a temperature
Because we live in a fast-paced society, we do not really have the luxury of time (nor the patience) to let our hair air dry naturally. Using the highest heat setting on the blow dryer is the quickest method to get our hair dry, but this comes at a cost of damaging our hair.
Using heat will remove the surface moisture, which is the whole purpose of blow drying our hair, but this will also remove the internal moisture of the hair, resulting in hair that is dry, coarse, and brittle.
Solution: You can start the hair drying process with the highest heat setting. As the majority of the moisture is removed, immediately reduce the heat setting and gradually transition to using warm, then cool air to remove the remaining moisture.
For thicker and coarser hair, opt to start with a high fan and heat setting, while those with thin and fine hair should use warm and low fan setting.
3. You’re not using a heat protectant
According to Lab Muffin, heat protectants uses ingredients to ensure that heat is distributed evenly along the hair, that the cuticle is sealed to reduce excessive moisture loss, and that hair health and shine is maintained.
While heat protection is only 50% effective, they nonetheless provide some protection against the aggressive damage of heat styling and blow drying.
Solution: There are so many heat protectant sprays out there on the market now that you don’t have an excuse for not using one, especially if you blow dry or heat-style your hair frequently. Some products available at Sephora include Living Proof Restore Smooth Blowout Concentrate, Vernon Francois Light Weight Styling Serum, and Ouai Memory Mist.
4. You don’t end your blow drying with cold air
Applying heat opens the cuticles of the hair. Over time, the open cuticles will cause your hair to lose crucial moisture from the inside out, making it appear dull and damaged.
Solution: After you are satisfied with the level of dryness for your hair, end your blowout with cold air. Cold air will help close the cuticles, lock in shine, and set the hairstyle into the shape you want.
5. You’re blow drying your hair in the wrong sequence
When drying your hair, we often focus more on the hair lengths to remove as much moisture as possible. However, this method does not aid with hair styling nor help you achieve voluminous hair.
Solution: Focus on drying the roots of the hair first as the roots are the most difficult place to dry. Another added benefit of drying the roots first is that you can be sure your hair will not be weighed down by the moisture later.
6. You’re not sectioning your hair
Sectioning the hair might seem like an extra and unnecessary step to take when drying your hair.
However, by sectioning the hair into smaller and more manageable portions, you can ensure that the hair is properly dried in the shortest time. At the same time, you have a higher control over the volume and style that you want!
Solution: Section the hair into four parts and blow them separately before ending it all with cold air.
7. You’re blow drying in the wrong direction
We get it, blow drying can be a tiring business, so many of us rest our arms on our chairs while blow drying our hair upwards. This is actually strongly discouraged by many hair stylists!
Solution: You should be blowing your hair downwards because it follows the natural direction of your cuticles, helping to keep them close, rather than making them flap open.
To get even greater volume when blow drying your hair, an additional tip is to blow the hair in the opposite direction of the eventual style. Flip your hair to the opposite side, dry the roots first, then the hair lengths, flip your hair back, and end it with cold air to set and style the hair.
8. You’re blow drying until your hair is completely dry
Unless you are using a heat styling tool (like a curling wand or straightening iron) after blow drying your hair, it is not advisable to dry your hair completely with the hair dryer.
By completely removing the moisture, you run the risk of applying too much heat and causing excessive damage to the hair.
Solution: Dry your hair to about 90% and then let it air dry completely. You can also apply your favourite leave-on hair treatment while it’s still a little damp after blow drying.
9. You’re not using a comb
Most of us often dry our hairs using our hands as a comb. This is wholly inadequate and we generally need a proper comb to help remove any tangles and kinks so that the hair will dry properly without knotting up.
Metal brushes also conduct heat, so they might not be the most useful if you have thicken hair that needs more time to blow dry. Opt for a ceramic or plastic brush instead.
Solution: Use a round brush to help you get more volume while also straightening the hair as you dry it. You can also use a vented brush that helps air circulate so you can dry your tresses quicker. To comb out wet hair, use a wide tooth comb like Wet Brush to smoothen hair before drying.
10. You’re not fully maximising that nozzle attachment
When you buy a hair dryer, you may find various nozzle attachments that can be fixed to the hair dryer. These are not white elephants and actually do serve a purpose!
Solution: Using a nozzle will help to make sure that the hair does not fly everywhere, and won’t create static and frizz. The funnel-like nozzle will help direct air in a more precise manner and helps to dry the roots of the hair in less time.
The diffuser attachment is especially important for people with wavy and curly hair as it helps maintain the natural shape and body of the hair.