Is there anything simpler than blow-drying and styling your hair after taking a shower? It might seem simple, but it turns out this process has its tricks as well. Things like the distance between the blow-dryer and the hair, the temperature, and even the direction of the airflow matter.
Bright Side dove into the science of hair drying and extracted the most widespread mistakes out of it that you can go ahead and stop repeating after reading this article.
1. Blow-drying hair with hot air only
Almost all hair driers have a cold air flow mode and it’s not a manufacturer’s mistake. Switch the button to the cold mode in order to fix the results of your styling. Cool air will slow down the evaporation of moisture, which means that the curls will last longer. By the way, it’s a good preventative method for the appearance of split ends.
2. Choosing an incorrect airflow direction
Blow-dry your hair from roots to ends, in the direction of the hair growth. Otherwise, the scales that make up the cuticle will open up, which will result in the frizzing of the hair and will make it tangle easier. If you blow-dry your hair from roots to ends, the scales, on the contrary, will join together and add a natural shine to your hair.
3. Holding the blow-dryer incorrectly
Holding a blow-dryer with your dominant hand seems to be pretty natural — that’s what many people do. But it’s wrong because you need the strength and dexterity of this hand for styling and distributing the strands of hair. It will help you to control the process better, to work with the comb more efficiently, and to spend less effort overall.
4. Pulling the hair downward
Brushing and blowing your hair downward when blow-drying zaps any potential for volume. Instead, pull your hand up, grab the tips of your hair with a comb and direct the stream of warm air to the strands. That will help you have a voluminous, “lively,” and smooth hairdo.
5. Holding the blow-dryer too close to your head
If you keep the blow-dryer close to your head, not only will you make your hair more brittle, but you could also burn the skin on your head. 12 inches is the recommended distance you should keep between the blow-dryer and your head. How can you measure it? Just hold the dryer at the distance of your stretched out arm.
6. Not sectioning the hair
Oftentimes, we blow-dry the whole bunch of hair by just moving the blow-dryer back and forth. The process will be faster and more effective if you section the hair into 4-5 zones and fix each of them with duckbill clips. Try making 2 partings — a vertical one (from forehead to the neck) and a horizontal one (from one ear to the other one).
7. Keeping hair wrapped in a towel for too long
Don’t dry your hair with a towel for more than 30 minutes, especially if it’s made of cotton. The particles of this fabric create the effect of friction and make hair more vulnerable during the subsequent drying with a blow-dryer. Opt for a softer towel made of microfiber and keep your hair wrapped in it no longer than 10 minutes. An important nuance: thick and dense hair should be about half dry before using a blow-dryer, while the hair of thin or medium thickness should be about 80% dry.
8. Forgetting about thermal protection
This tip will be extremely useful to those who use a blow-dryer at least once a week or even more often. Apply thermal protection to your hair in order to protect it from possible damage when exposed to hot air. This kind of product can be part of your wash routine or one that you put on after you wash your hair, that stays on the hair. The first group includes shampoos and hair conditioners with thermoprotective properties, the second group includes sprays, creams, and oils.
Opt for thermal protection that is suitable for your hair. It’s better to avoid alcohol-based products if you have dry hair. If you have oily or normal hair, don’t go for oil-based products.
9. Not using the concentrator nozzle
We are talking about that flat nozzle piece that came with your blow-dryer. This piece helps to direct the airflow to a certain section of hair. As a result, you’ll have fewer tangles and split ends and your hair will be protected from overheating too. Also, if you direct the flow to the roots, it will give extra volume to your hair.
10. Going outside too soon
After you finish blow-drying your hair, try to stay inside for a little while. A drastic change in temperature will negatively affect not only your hair’s volume, but can also damage the skin on your head.
11. Starting blow-drying with a diffuser
This doubles the chances of getting split ends and frizzy hair because wet hair is more brittle and the chances of traumatizing it at a more intense blow-drying speed are higher. Start with the normal nozzle at a low speed and at an average temperature. After some time, you can shift to the diffuser.
12. Not paying attention to the nozzles
Blow-dryer nozzles can be made of metal, ceramic, or plastic. The first group helps you with more accurate styling, however metal tends to heat up faster and it becomes an additional factor that can damage hair. That is why it’s better to use a metal nozzle for special occasions and opt for a plastic or ceramic nozzle for everyday blow-drying. Moreover, they are great at untangling hair and heating up the hair evenly.
13. Not cleaning the blow-dryer
Have you ever cleaned the blow-dryer’s net? It’s high time you did this because, not only does dirt harm the device, but it can harm your hair as well. The vents get filled with dirt, dust, sticky hair products, particles, etc. All of these slow down the airflow, which results in an increase of the temperature inside the dryer. Eventually, it can catch fire or simply break down.
It’s vital to clean the blow-dryer from dirt regularly. If you use it once a week, clean it once a month. If you use it more often, clean it once every 2 weeks.
14. Drying hair at the maximum temperature
This is one of the main mistakes because your hair gets overdried and becomes more brittle. Max temperature will speed up the process a bit which is why you should set this temperature only in exceptional cases — for example, if you have curls that are difficult to straighten or you decide to do a complicated style. Opt for an average temperature in all other cases.
15. Holding the blow-dryer in one position
This mistake seems to be obvious, but some people dry their hair by keeping the dryer in one position. The device should actually be constantly moving, changing angles, and rotating around the head. It will help you get clean and dry hair or a beautiful style much faster.
What other life hacks for using a blow-dryer do you use? We would be glad to hear from you in the comments!
Illustrated by Alena Tsarkova for BrightSide.me