Our daily dealings with hair such as combing, drying, using chemicals or simply giving it the exposure to the elements in the atmosphere, or the pollution in our environment can cause damage to our hair. Caring for your hair properly is therefore essential. Alongside taking the other important steps like, conditioning them, nourishing them with oil and using hair masks to reduce damage, it is important to get a hair dryer that will facilitate the process. Since hair dryers are used on a daily basis, looking for features that make hair drying a healthy process is important. This article will provide you with important information regarding hair damage and how a good hair dryer can help you get healthier hair.
To understand hair damage, you need to know about your hair first. Your hair is an interesting part of your body. It is made of keratin protein and is basically a grown out collection of a thread like dead protein cells. It grows from the glands of the dermis and is nourished by naturally secreted oils from follicles in the skin. Although hair is basically dead protein cells, its roots are alive and provide nourishment. The roots which are implanted in the skin keep growing protein tissues and above the scalp, they grow out thread like a collection of those proteins. The hair threads have three layers of cells that are the medulla, the cortex, and the cuticle. Your hair is considered damaged when the cuticle layer loses its integrity.
If your hair has a smooth texture and shiny outlook and does not break that easily, it is what generally healthy hair should be like. Also, your hair should have elasticity and should repel water. But there’s more to healthy hair than these few qualities. How your hair responds to humidity is important. If your hair is healthy, humidity would not be able to visibly make changes to the shape of your hair. On the other hand, damaged hair will let moisture pass through the broken cuticles and thus your hair will tend to become more non-linear in shape. Thus, curly hair will get untamable, straight hair will get limper or have slight waves. But healthier hair stays the way it naturally is in humid conditions as well.
What are the signs of damaged hair?
Just like healthy hair is pleasant to look at, it is the opposite of damaged hair. To know whether your hair is damaged, look for the signs.
Your hair is dry!
Damaged hair has damaged cuticles. As a result, the moisture is able to exist through the open ends of the cuticles and leaves your hair dry.
Your hair is frizzy!
Your hair as a result of using products, exposure to certain weather conditions and pollution can get frizzy. This happens because of the cuticles getting chipped.
Your hair feels rough!
Because of the damaged cuticles of your hair and the dryness occurring because of lack of moisture, your hair feels rather rough and loses its natural smoothness.
Your Hair is porous and sinks in water
Severely damaged hair sinks in the water test. You can do this porosity test by putting a hair strand in a glass of water. Because of the pores in your hair, the water gets absorbed by the hair thread and thus, it sinks at the bottom. Healthy hair has strong resistance to water and thus floats or stays in the middle of the glass.
The color of your hair has faded!
If your hair is exposed too much to sunlight and pollution, your natural hair color fades. For artificial colors, pigment stays in the cortex layer of hair and they reflect through the transparent cuticle layer. Shampooing your hair makes the hair cells swell and as a result color pigment get washed away slowly resulting in the faded hair.
You are struggling with tangled hair!
Your hair can get tangled because they are too rough and porous and do not have a good moisture balance. Tangled hair can increase shedding of hair and make split ends and more frizz. It can also increase hair fall. Your hair breaks easily!
Your scalp is affected by dandruff!
A healthy scalp is necessary for great hair. Although dandruff in medical terms can happen due to several reasons, the most common of all reasons is a dry scalp. It is basically small pieces of dead skin in the scalp that gets spread in the hair too. The dry and dehydrated scalp is malnourished and needs oils to keep it healthy so that it can keep the hair healthy too.
You are suffering from hair fall!
When hair follicles become dead, they fall out. Hair fall has several reasons and is connected with overall health conditions. But you can prevent hair fall by eating healthy and keeping your scalp healthy.
Which hair type gets damaged the most?
Your hair can be fine, thick, curly or ethnic in the category. Although all hair types can get damaged if not cared for properly, thin or fine hair because of its delicate composure, gets damaged easily. Thin hair has narrow and thin hair follicles while thick hair has wider and thicker hair follicles. Structure-wise, thin hair has a thin or often absent medulla, thinner cortex and cuticle are and its keratin protein bonds are weaker compared to thick hair. So, thin hair is more vulnerable being exposed to heat and the atmosphere and is more prone to damage.
The curly and ethnic hair, on the other hand, can be thick and voluminous, but because of its nonlinear shape, it has more cross-sectional points that make it prone to breakage. And thus, curls and waves need proper handling to prevent breakage, frizz and hair damage.
There are both natural and artificial causes of hair damage. In the midst of our busy schedules and all the styling and setting, hair damage is inevitable. However, knowing the probably causes can help us prevent it as much as we can. Following are the popular causes of hair damage.
Exposure to the sun and UV rays
UV rays from the sun can directly interfere with the chemical composure of the hair shaft. Prolonged exposure to UV rays disperse the melanin in the cortex and thus your natural color is no longer the same and it fades. This can happen with both natural pigment of hair and artificial dye.
Heat and Humidity levels in the air
Hair is sensitive to heat and humidity and thus we use liquid hair styling products and heat from irons or dryers to set and style our hair. When you have perfectly set your hair on a hot and humid day, the humidity present in the air will interfere with the side bonds of hair and bring it back to its natural shape. Breaking the bonds, again and again, will make your hair change its shape simultaneously and create frizz and let the moisture pass through the broken cuticles.
When the weather is too hot, or when you apply too much heat to your hair, it can dry up all the moisture in your hair and make it dehydrated. And thus your hair loses its smoothness and becomes rough.
Scalp Oil deprivation
The scalp of your head naturally secretes oil to keep the roots of your hair hydrated, but it is not sufficient to moisturize the entire hair shaft. Therefore hair still remains malnourished and dehydrated and needs further conditioning.
Overusing shampoos and doing it too often can loosen the bonds of your hair and just wash away pigment from the cortex and cause your hair to fade. Also, it can over dry your hair.
Using a shampoo with higher pH
Products that are highly alkaline can cause breakage and thus lead to frizz. Shampoos that have higher pH level are also more alkaline and thus, it can be damaging to your hair.
Using hair sprays and gels
Not all hairsprays are damaging to hair, but some hairsprays can be damaging. Also, using hairsprays too often can make your hair look dull because of the repeated coating of polymer. Hairsprays usually contain alcohol. Hairsprays that have ethanol can severely damage your hair by drying it out. It can also cause scalp irritation and lead to allergic reactions.
Gels, on the other hand, can disrupt the moisture and pH balance of hair and interfere with the bonds in hair and cause breakage and split ends.
Lengthy drying time and heat styling
The hairdryers, flat irons and curlers you are using can temporarily give solutions to your drying and styling hurdles every day. However, if your hair dryer is taking too much time to dry your hair, your hair is exposed to more heat and thus, your hair can get dry, dehydrated and damaged. Also, if you are straightening or curling your hair with irons too often, you are overheating the strands of your hair and causing them to burn or lose moisture. Technologies that dry your hair and conditions it at the same time can be a solution to such problems.
Strangely, a good hair dryer can ease your struggles with damaged hair to a great extent. Initially, hair dryers were designed to simply dry your wet strands. But with evolving technologies hair dryer can now condition your hair and dry it alongside. A good hair dryer means a dryer that gives you multiple benefits at the same time, including less drying time and retaining the moisture balance of your hair. While you need to use conditioning oils and other products to for healthy scalp and inner nutrition of your hair, a good hair dryer can do its job on the exterior cuticles and give it a healthier outlook but keeping the integrity of the hair cells.
What features in your hair dryer is essential to minimize hair damage?
Your hair dryer needs to have a number of features to make it suitable for damaged hair. Following are the essential features your hair dryer should have to be able to fight and reduce damage.
A technology that conditions and smoothens hair and dries hair fast
Your blow dryer should have a suitable technology that delicately deals with your hair. Among the many technologies available, we have picked the three best technologies that have great results with damaged hair.
Tourmaline technology is proven to be great for all hair types. For damaged hair, it can especially be therapeutic. Tourmaline is a crystal boron silicate compound mineral which works as a natural conditioner and smoothening agent for damaged hair. It is used in hair dryers in powdered form and coats internal components of the dryer. Tourmaline is gentle in heating because of its far-infrared emissions. Your damaged hair is too weak to be able to resist strong heat, and it needs delicate heating. Interestingly, the far infrared heating is gentle but not weak. It still is strong enough to dry your hair 40-50% faster than conventional blow dryers. Lesser drying time means your damaged hair is being saved from overheating and further damage. Tourmaline is also great for sealing the breakage in your hair and giving it the smoothness and healthy shine it really needs.
Bio-ionic technology is another healthy hair drying technology that can help your damaged hair get back to healthier form. It claims to retain the necessary moisture balance by putting back micronized water molecules back into the hair shaft using nano-ionic mineral technology. These nano ionic minerals are extracted from volcanic rocks with special and natural healing properties. It emits negative ions just like any ionic dryer, but its Nano-ionic minerals break water droplets into extra micro-sized water molecules and blow them away with airflow while putting necessary amounts back into the hair to hydrate it. Therefore, it dries hair fast but at the same time, there is minimal chance for your hair to lose moisture and get over dried.
Pearl-Ceramic technology has the perfect blend of pearl and ceramic which dries and conditions hair at the same time. Pearl naturally rejuvenates damaged hair and thus many pearl products are available in the market are used to treat damaged hair. Ceramic, on the other hand, creates gentle infrared heating perfect for hair that lacks integrity. Pearl and ceramic tag teams to gently dry your hair by smoothening and healing the damaged cuticles to create a healthy, lustrous and wholesome outlook.
Low or medium wattage to create gentle airflow
Conventional hair dryers have the wattage of 1875 or above to create a strong airflow and minimize drying time. However, it is important to find a hair dryer with wattage ranged from 1000 to 1875 for damaged hair. It is challenging to find hair dryers that have a low wattage, yet provides minimal drying time. However, there are dryers available with medium wattage (1600 to 1875 watts) which also has other essential features for damaged hair. It is important to understand, it is not only the airflow that dries hair faster, it is the materials used that can accelerate the process. For hair that is damaged, stronger airflow does not do any benefit, rather can be harsh on already weak bonds of the hair. Therefore, lower wattage can give the perfect airflow needed to dry your vulnerable hair.
Heat and Speed Control
Most hairdryers come with variable heat and speed control settings. For damaged hair, low heat and low-speed settings can give maximum benefits.
Diffuser to control frizz
Diffuser attachment is essential if your hair has curls and is prone to frizz. It will decrease the velocity of the air and make your curls softer and reduce frizz noticeably. If your hair dryer does not come with a diffuser, you might want to purchase a diffuser for best results with curls. Try Hairzone Universal Hair diffuser for best results.
Taking the essential features into consideration and their effectiveness in improving damaged hair, we have chosen 3 best hair dryers.
1. Remington AC2015PP Pearl Pro Ceramic Dryer: Best Ceramic dryer great for damaged fine hair
This Remington hair dryer will stay with you longer than other dryers to care for your damaged hair. The durability of this dryer is more than conventional dryers because of the longevity of its AC motor that has the lifespan of 4 to 6 years. It also has a limited warranty of 2 to 3 years.
For damage control, this dryer is infused with pearl and ceramic technology. Pearl naturally rejuvenates damaged hair and brings back the long lost luster and shine. Ceramic, on the other hand, creates the perfect delicate infrared heating that will gently dry your damaged fine hair and prevent overheating. Ionic conditioning will ensure faster drying by releasing plenty of negative ions into your hair.
It has 1875 watts AC motor that balances perfectly with the gentle heating of ceramic to create the perfect temperature for your damaged hair. Variable heat and speed settings allow you to choose the convenient temperature and airflow.
2. BIO IONIC 10x Ultralight Speed Dryer: Most Durable dryer for retaining moisture in the damaged curly hair
This BIO IONIC hair dryer is not just any ionic hair dryer. It is eco-friendly and great for damaged hair for its natural ionic technology. This technology is healthy for your hair for its unique blend of refined Nano-ionic minerals extracted from volcanic rocks. These tiny mineral extracts ionize the airflow and dry hair in 10 minutes or less. Less drying time means, lesser chance to damage your hair. The ions also make the hair absorb necessary amounts of water molecules and prevents it from getting over-dried. As a result, your hair has the perfect moisture balance.
This dryer is 1800 watts but is carefully engineered to consume 75% less electricity and produces mild airflow to dry damaged hair with care. Although the heat can seem intense, it balances out with the ions emitted from the volcanic mineral extracts is a great tool for straightening and styling your curly hair.
Its powerful motor will last for 10 years! That is a big claim this hair dryer makes, and thus, this is the most durable hair dryer.
3. Remington D3190A: Best Tourmaline-Ceramic dryer for damage control in all types of hair
Remington D3190A has the combination of Ceramic, Tourmaline, and Ionic technology altogether to create the perfect heating, conditioning, and airflow for damaged hair of any type. The grill of this dryer is infused with ceramic coated micro conditioners that release into the airflow to closely condition your damaged hair. The internal component molded with tourmaline and ceramic combined protects the hair cuticles and produce gentle far-infrared heating perfect for damaged hair.
This dryer has 1875 watts which are powerful but not overpowering for damaged hair. Because of the infusion of ceramic and tourmaline combined in its components, the heating, and the airflow is neutralized to fit perfectly for damaged hair.
It also has controllable heat and speed to help you choose the correct temperature and airflow that is convenient. High heat and speed can worsen damaged hair. You can use is dryer low heat and speed setting for great results.
Its concentrator and diffuser attachment allows you to care for your damaged curls as well.
It is true that a good hair dryer can do a great job in getting your damaged hair back into shape. However, it is not sufficient to do the job entirely. It is important to use oils to nourish your scalp and hair strands. If you tend to shampoo your hair frequently choose a shampoo that has lower pH to protect your hair from excess alkaline reactions. You need to remember to deep condition your hair every few weeks to hydrate the shaft. Also, there are hair balms and serums available especially for treating damaged hair. You can try the following products to care for your damaged hair on a regular basis.
- Recommended hair oil: Poppy Austin Pure Argan Oil
- Recommended shampoo: TREE TO TUB SOAPBERRY FOR HAIR SHAMPOO
- Recommended conditioner for regular use: CHI Keratin Conditioner
- Recommended deep conditioner: L’Oreal Total Repair 5 Damage Erasing Balm
The proper combination of a good hair dryer and other hair care products can solve your hair damage problems pretty much. However, it is important to eat healthy proteins to keep the health of your hair in check. Because, hair is basically a protein build-up and without consuming enough protein, it will not be able to grow better. Therefore, know your hair and choose your food, hair care products, and hair dryers wisely.
- Stuart Phillips, Does hairspray damage your hair?, January 12, 2011
- Essence, Found in Transition: Chime Edwards on Hair Porosity
- Shruti Goenka, 4 Side Effects Of Hair Gels You Should Be Aware Of, September 19, 2017
- Kristin Collins Jackson, The 6 Best Hair Dryers For Dry, Damaged Hair, Dec 28, 2017