Hair Skin Care Hair Drying

In their arsenal of hair styling tools, most people have a blow dryer. Blow dryers allow us to dry our hair in a fraction of the time it would take us to let our hair dry naturally. In addition, blow dryers allow us to style our hair and can make curly hair straight and add volume to straight hair.

However, if used improperly, blow dryers can cause extensive hair damage. Knowing how to properly blow dry your hair is essential to hair health.

Hair Drying and Hair Damage

Using your blow dryer improperly or too frequently can cause the hair to dry out and break. Many professionals recommend drying your hair 80 percent with a blow dryer and then allowing it to dry the rest of the way naturally. On days when it is possible, avoid using the blow dryer altogether.

How to Blow Dry Hair

To blow dry your hair, follow these basic steps:

  1. After shampooing and conditioning your hair, squeeze the excess moisture from your hair. Use a towel to gently blot away any remaining moisture.
  2. Use a wide-toothed comb to gently remove any tangles from your hair.
  3. Apply your styling products, if necessary, at this point.
  4. If you have long or medium-length hair, use hair clips to divide your hair into sections. In general, you should have four to six sections of hair to work with.
  5. Choose the proper brush for your desired style. If you are trying to straighten curly hair, use a round brush with natural bristles. This type of brush also works well to give volume to straight hair. If you are simply looking to dry straight hair, you might be able to use a paddle brush. Ask your stylist which brush is best for your hair.
  6. With your blow dryer set to medium, start with the section of hair closest to the nape of the neck. Blow dry from the roots to the tips, keeping the blow dryer about six inches from your scalp. Keep the dryer moving to avoid over-drying any one spot. Stop blow drying the section as soon as it is dry to avoid over-drying.
  7. When the first section is dry, continue drying the sections on the back of your head and then work with the sides. Finish with the front sections.

To add shine to your dried hair, apply a drop or two of smoothing lotion or shine enhancer to your palms and then use your fingers to distribute it through your hair.

Blow Drying Curly Hair

If you have naturally curly hair, you know that using a basic blow dryer on your hair can turn it into a frizzy mess. To keep your curls bouncy and shiny, you’ll need to invest in a diffuser. Diffusers distribute the blow dryer’s air flow evenly over your hair and help maintain your curl pattern. They also help to lift and enhance your curls.

To get the most of your curls, follow these blow drying steps:

  1. To keep your curl pattern and to avoid breakage, gently blot your hair with a towel when you get out of the shower.
  2. Once you have removed the excess moisture, apply a curl-enhancing lotion or cream. Pull the product through your hair and scrunch your hair from the tips to the roots to promote curl. For extra hold and definition, mix a little hair gel in with the curl cream before applying it.
  3. Once you have applied your hair products, use a diffuser to dry your hair. Set your hair dryer on its lowest speed and use the coolest temperature setting for the best results. Avoid touching your curls while they dry.
  4. Once your hair is dry, apply a shine-enhancing product to your hair.

Resources

Dobkin, Lauren (2007). A Curly Girl’s Guide to Loving Your Locks. Retrieved October 30, 2007, from the stylelist Web site: http://www.stylelist.com/photogalleries/curly-hair-care-styling- tips-tricks-techniques-by-lorraine-massey.

Wikihow.com (n.d.). How to Blow Dry Hair. Retrieved October 31, 2007, from the wikiHow.com Web site: http://www.wikihow.com/Blow-Dry-Hair.