Blow-Drying Basics

By Katie Faulkner
Do you ever feel like your blow-drying results are less than beautiful? Here are seven tips and tricks that can help you harness a healthier hairstyle and better blow-dry!



Invest in the Best

Owning a quality, powerful hair dryer can make all the difference. Look for one with a higher wattage, which dries hair faster and lessens the time your hair is exposed to heat. This reduces frizz, dehydration, and breakage.

Don’t Throw in the Towel

Unless it’s a microfiber towel or soft t-shirt, avoid using cloth on your hair. A normal cotton towel can cause friction on your hair, and the longer you leave your hair wrapped up (or spend time toweling it dry), the more damage you may be causing. Ideally, you would use a microfiber option to gently squeeze out excess water, only leaving your hair wrapped in cloth for a few minutes.

Break Before Brushing

Maybe you don’t leave your hair in a towel too long – perhaps you’re all too eager to pick up the brush. But don’t hit sopping wet hair with a brush right away! Just as wet hair is vulnerable to damage from a towel, it’s also at risk of breakage from your brush.

Air It Out

Allowing your hair to air-dry anywhere from 50 to 80% is very beneficial. Remember that hair is the most pliable and vulnerable when it’s wet, so allowing this natural process to assist your drying efforts protects hair from heat, friction, pulling, or breakage.

Brush Up on Brushes

Even though your hair should be partially dry before you introduce a brush into the equation, using the right brush is important. Vented brushes are wonderful to use while drying because they don’t hinder airflow. Know the results you want, and that will help you select the best tool. For voluminous, curly, or wavy hair, choose from round brushes. For smooth hair, look for ceramic or boar bristle brushes.

Give It Some Space

When you’re ready to begin blow-drying, be sure to hold the blow dryer at least six inches away from your hair. This helps provide an appropriate buffer between your hair and the damaging intensity of the heat.

Keep Your Cool

While drying your hair, be sure to take advantage of the cool blast button. This change in temperature helps to set your style and add shine to your strands. That’s because the heat makes hair follicles more pliable, but being cooled by the cool button helps close the follicles and seal your style in place.


 


Seamless brushes that have been dipped or are formed from a continuous piece of wood, metal, or plastic are excellent to reduce breakage. Seams and overlays on brushes catch hair strands, breaking them off as you brush through.

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