The choice between getting instant, blow dried straight hair and having damage-free, moisturized hair is quite a hard one. If you have long hair, then this is surely one of your biggest everyday struggles. We have always been told that blow drying causes our hair to get damaged quicker – which is quite true. Regular exposure to direct heat makes your hair dry, breaks down cuticles, and often makes the hair frizzy and straw-like in the long term.
But is there no way around it? Blow drying is an unavoidable part of the day for many people: students and employees who cannot afford the time to dry their hair naturally, frequent sufferers of headaches, people who are prone to catch a cold quickly, and so on. Fortunately, there are ways to blow dry your hair without causing too much damage, and ensuring that your hair stays healthy and moisturized even after blow drying.
Here are some must follow techniques for blow drying your hair straight without causing much considerable damage.
Remove excess water before starting to blow dry
For healthiest results, around 75% of your hair should already be dry before you start blowing it. Dry your hair with a towel and make sure water does not drip from the ends. The more wet the hair, the more time it will need under the dryer – which increases the amount of exposure to heat that your cuticles get, resulting in higher damage.
Hold the dryer at least 6 inches away from hair
Holding the hair dryer closer means applying direct heat to your hair, and that is the main cause of dryness and damage. Holding it 6 to 8 inches away (15 to 20 cm) prevent your hair from a direct heat burst and minimizes the breaking down of hair follicles.
Blow at intervals
Blowing at a stretch can be severely harmful to your hair. Make sure you take a few seconds of a gap after every 30-40 seconds of blow drying. It is also a good idea to alternate between hot air and cool air or to give a quick blast of cold air a few times during blow drying. The “cool” option on your dryer is there for a reason; make use of it!
Dry your hair part by part
Drying all of your hair together takes an extremely long amount of time compared to drying it section by section. Use a comb to separate sections and blow them dry one by one. You can also use clips to hold dry and wet sections apart.
Hold the dryer vertically
This prevents frizzing and tangling up of hair. Do not hold the dryer at an angle: this causes the individual hair strands to curl up, making your hair frizzy and rough throughout the day. Direct the dryer at the top of your head and gradually work downwards along each section, keeping the dryer vertical. This will seal the cuticles and retain the smoothness in your hair.
End with cold air
Start with hot air and gradually lower the temperature to “warm”, and then finally finish off with “cool”. Concluding with a cold blast helps to prevent split-ends and keeps your follicles sealed, preventing continuous damage after you stop blow drying.
Do not dry completely, leave in a bit of moisture
After you stop blow-drying, your hair will continue to dry naturally. So blow drying it all the way will cause over-drying and dryness. Leave it slightly damp.
By following these simple techniques on a regular basis, you can minimize harm to your hair and prevent too much loss of moisture. Additionally, here are a few things you should stay careful about if you happen to regularly blow dry your hair straight:
- Do not dry your hair in a ponytail or bun. It might seriously damage the hair.
- Curly hair is more prone to cuticle damage from blow drying. If you have curly hair, try to depend more on natural air-drying.
- In case of regular drying, combine air-drying and blow-drying. Dry partially by blowing and the rest of it naturally.
- If the dryer comes with an extra nozzle, do not throw it away. Attaching the nozzle with the dryer during blow drying reduces spreading of heat all over the place.
- Use a moisturizing shampoo and other products (e.g. oil, conditioner) regularly to make sure your hair gets to lock up enough moisture.
Hopefully, now you can blow dry your hair straight without having to worry about the horrors of having frizzy hair throughout the day, or having hair breakage too often!
- AMY LEWIS, These Genius Blow-Dry Hacks Actually Make It Super Easy, DEC 6, 2017
- Katherine Martinko, 6 ways to straighten your hair naturally, December 11, 2014
- DANICA LO, 7 Professional Secrets to Straightening Your Hair Without Using Heat, MAY 8, 2017