Hot or Cold? Using A Blow Dryer The Right Way

. 6 min read

In our busy lives, hair dryers come in handy - they are quick and easy to use and can dry hair in a short amount of time. Yes, it is convenient and efficient but most people don’t realize that they in fact cause hair damage when used on the hot air setting. Although, most do know that heat can cause damage, they attribute it to heat styling products or appliances such as hair straighteners or curling irons - hair dryers are not thought of as something that can cause damage most of the time.

The fact is that blow drying your hair can cause damage and dry hair out. That is obviously bad, but how bad is it really? The heat that is emitted from hair dryers is extreme, causing the water from the cuticles (the outermost layer of your hair) to form bubbles resulting in stress to hair strands causing breakage. What you see as a result is dry and brittle hair that has a ton of split ends.

It does not matter the amount of times in a week that you use a blow dryer, the fact of the matter is that every time you do use it, it is going to cause some damage. So simply speaking, try to avoid blow drying your hair as much as possible. Now, if there is an absolute need that you must use one, there are right ways to do so. The least you can do for your hair is reduce the amount of damage you cause to it using heat appliances.

It sounds easy right - a blow dryer blasting heat dries hair quicker and gives you the perfect beach waves. Although, that sounds amazing for when you have little time to get ready, your hair suffers the consequences each time. You might be making simple mistakes during your drying routine, so we are here to let you know how to use a blow dryer (if you have to) the right way - with minimal hair damage.

Using the right blow dryer:
Your hair is something you should invest in, considering you are stuck with it for the rest of your life. Try to use a high quality hair dryer especially if you have a lot of hair and use it often. Thick hair can be damaged when using a cheap blow dryer, investing in a great one protects your hair. Yes, we do understand that quality blow dryers are not cheap, but their features allows for the maintenance of healthy hair.

Features such as high power, multiple heat and cool settings, and ionic hair technology keeps hair damage at bay as much as possible. Ionic blow dryers help with frizz along with adding shine and reducing the duration of use. Let’s explain an ionic blow dryer as simply as possible: its technology helps break down the molecules of water faster resulting in dry hair quicker. So doing the math, the less time your hair is under extreme heat, and the more control you have over the drying temperature, the less damage is done.

Towel-ing it up:
Women (who use blow dryers more than men do), tend to wrap their hair in a towel for longer that required before using a blow dryer. When a cotton towel is used, there is increased friction on your hair making the strands vulnerable to damage and breakage. If getting rid of excess water before using a blow dryer is your goal, then try to use a ‘microfiber towel’ or an old clean t-shirt. The ideal time for keeping your wet hair in a towel is a maximum of ten minutes.

For maintaining healthy hair though, the best thing to do is letting your hair air dry before using a blow dryer on it. Your hair is in its most vulnerable state when it is wet, that’s why air drying is the best option.

Texture also matters when it comes to air drying before using a blow dryer. If you have fine to medium hair, you can air-dry for longer compared to if you have thick hair. If you have thick hair, make sure it is at least 50 percent dry before blow-drying.

Using a brush too soon:
Most people use a blow dryer not just to dry hair rather also to style it. One of the biggest mistakes is using a round brush to soaking wet hair. Do not walk straight out of the shower, and use a blow dryer with a brush immediately. If you don’t have time to air dry your hair, use the blow dryer to roughly dry your hair first by setting it to medium heat with low speed. If you use high speed on very wet hair, you're blowing it around too much causing split ends, tangles and for curly hair, frizz.

The rule is when your hair is at least 80 percent dry - whether through air drying, or low heat, low speed blow drying - then you can start to style it.

Spraying heat protectant skips your mind:
When you use any drying or styling appliance, no one's hair is used to it, no matter how many times you do it. Your hair always needs protection from extreme conditions - extreme heat definitely makes the top of that list. Using a the right product before you blow dry your hair can help save it from breaking not to mention allows your style to last longer - but you do have to apply it in the right way.

The advice we can give you is - part your hair by creating different sections and apply the heat protectant product (usually a serum) from the mid section of your hair strands all the way to the end. If you are in a hurry, use your fingers and comb the product through your hair. The reason we say this is because most people use the product just at the top of their hair, forgetting the ends and the back of their hair. Sectioning your hair and then using the product protects all ends of your hair from the heat damage caused by blow-dryers.

Did you know there is a concentrator nozzle on your blow dryer?
If you didn’t, no worries most people ignore it too! It has its benefits though, so hopefully you start paying more attention to it. The little nozzle helps in concentrating the air in a more controlled manner, and so protects your hair for excess unneeded heat - this is better for both styling and health of your hair.

The nozzle is used by hairdressers for a smooth finish, because it increases the distance from your hair and the lip of the dryer which is the hottest part. It further helps in causing less tangles and keeping split ends at bay.

Do you start drying your hair from the back of your head?
We hope you answered no to that question, and here is why. It’s better to start drying your hair with a blow dryer from the temples then to the hairline, crown and then backwards to the nape of your neck. If you start at the back and then get to the top and your hairline, your hair is already dried mostly at that point making it quite hard to become smooth as the frizz level increases mercilessly.

If you blow dry your hair correctly with these tips, you are likely to cause the least amount of damage to your hair strands. Here is a quick summary to the basic rules of blow drying your hair:

Use a microfiber towel to remove excess moisture from your hair - do not rub your hair harshly using a cotton towel as this creates more tangles and damages your hair cuticles. Gently remove tangles either with your fingers or a wide-toothed comb - start at the ends then work your way up.

Use a quality blow dryer where you can control the temperature and the speed - this well help lower the chances of over drying and damage to hair strands. When using the blow dryer, keep it at least 15 centimeters away from your hair. The heat emitted should be higher (not too high) then should be reduced as hair is drying.

It is a common misnomer that hair dryers are good for your hair; in fact, heat can cause damage to your hair strands. Although, the basic rule is that any hair dryer that blows cool air is what is recommended for maintaining healthy hair. The use of a hair dryer should be kept to a minimum - air drying is generally advised for healthy hair.

For more tips about hair care, visit our website. A dermatologist through Remedico can provide you a treatment plan customized for your hair. Remedico is the fastest and easiest way you can consult with a certified dermatologist. Fill a 5 minute questionnaire and we will send you a personalised treatment plan within 24 hours! Consult our doctors now: