The Perils of the Blow Dryer


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Must you blow dry your hair?

If you have a style that can be scrunched or left to dry natural, a blow dryer isn't even necessary. A good towel drying (wrap the hair in a towel and leave it alone till most water is absorbed) may be all that is necessary. Then untangle gently with fingers and tousle with a light gel. Often those who think they have no natural wave in their hair will be pleasantly surprised. At this point after fingering the layers into place, often a styling spritz is all that is needed to keep hair in place and nicely shaped!

Before you start

Get most of the water out by gently squeezing hair with a terry towel. Frantic towel drying can cause damage too (but that's another article. ) Then finger through hair and get remaining snarls out with a large tooth comb beginning at the ends and working up to the scalp.

Use a cool or low setting

Heat damages hair. It blows the cuticle open causing frizziness, tangles and lack of light reflection (i. e. no shine. ) Heat from blow drying is one thing that causes the mechanical damage we hairstylists see most frequently so use a cool or the lowest setting possible. If you have sufficiently absorbed excess water with your towel, it won't take that much longer on a cool setting. You'll have less static problems with a cool dryer too! Beginning to blowdry dripping wet hair is a waste of time. . . wait till it is 80% dry before beginning and hair will take shape even better!

How are you holding your blow dryer?

Aim the blowdryer's airflow down the hair shaft holding it no close than 4-6" from the hair shaft. You want to dry vertically with the grain of the hair cuticle. . . not up! If you brush while blowdrying, then use a large bristle brush and keep the dryer moving. You never want to hold the dryer in one place for more than 3 seconds (let cool for a bit when you take it away) as this again can damage the cuticle layer of your hair.

Styling tips

For volume, blow dry upside down and do the ends last. They will dry quicker anyway and don't usually don't need the added friction or heat as they are the quickest to show damage. When using a brush and styling with the blowdryer, use a nozzle to force the airflow in the direction you need. Simple bobby pins strategically placed can give volume and waves with a cool blowdryer.

For Children

Young children rarely need the use of a blowdryer unless it's cold outside and they are just out of the bath. This fragile hair at the most only needs a quick 2 minute fluffing over well towel dried hair. If a special occasion warrants the curling iron, make sure to wash hair 24 hours in advance.

Jodi Beckmann is a beauty care expert with - Spiral Haircase for Discount Beauty Products


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