Before stepping out for the day, blow-drying your hair might be one of the things you do during your morning routine. Are you blow drying correctly and in the most efficient way? There is a considerable chance that your daily routine might be damaging your hair over time.
Like all heat styling products, blow dryers do have some damaging side effects if not used properly. The following 12 mistakes are pretty common among blow dryer users. These mistakes can severely damage your strands.
1) Using a Blow Dryer While Your Hair is Dripping Wet
This practice will leave your hair brittle and rough. The scientific reason behind this is while your hair is wet, it absorbs the moisture. After absorbing enough water, the cells start swelling. Applying immense heat directly will make the water evaporate at a faster rate. The water inside the cells evaporates and contracting of the outermost layer of hair cells occurs. The swelling and rapid contraction of cuticles (outer cell membrane of hair) will cause damage to your hair.
Make sure to use a towel to get rid of some moisture yourself. You can also allow your hair to air dry while doing your makeup routine and then while hair is mildly wet, start your blow drying routine.
2) Over Drying
It’s common sense. Applying more heat then your hair can handle will leave it severely damaged and brittle. Over drying regularly can even cause permanent damage. You don’t want that so, make sure to take a break from your blow dryer every now and then!
3) Using Your Towel to Dry Your Hair the Wrong Way
Most people out there don’t realize that they are using a towel incorrectly. People usually think that vigorously rubbing the cloth with tremendous friction will help the hair get dry faster. While this may be true, they are also wreaking havoc on their hair. Rubbing hair with a rough towel can cause serious damage. (In fact, the American Academy of Dermatology named it a top ten hair “don’t”)
The right way is to press the towel against your head and wait for it to absorb the water. You can even squeeze gently with placid and calm hand movements.
Use a microfiber towel instead of a regular one as it has finer fibers that will glide smoothly over your hair without the friction of a regular towel.
4) Using the Wrong Blow Dryer
Cheap blow dryers are devoid of heat setting buttons. These buttons help you to control the drying process. Beware as uncontrolled heat can burn your strands and cause more damage over time.
Better blow dryers have multiple heat setting options. Owning one with multiple options will give you complete control over your blow drying. You will be able to select the heat output that is best for your hair type and texture.
5) Drying the Hair All at Once
This is a common mistake. You might wonder what is wrong with drying all the hair together at once, in one section. By drying all of your hair together at one time, you will be transporting moisture from wet strands to nearby strands that have already been dried. This will cause you to dry the same strands multiple times causing more damage. It is best if you section your hair into smaller sections and dry those groups individually. This way you are minimizing the time your hair is spending under the dryer.
6) Not Using Heat Protectant Products
Without a heat resistive layer on your hair, your hair will be subject to more damage. If you don’t want that, then you might want to purchase some heat protectant products. Spray them directly onto hair and comb through or disperse with your fingers, making sure all strands are covered. This will save you from ruining your hair-health. Otherwise, without the heat protection, it will deteriorate over time.
7) Always Using the Maximum Heat Output
Undoubtedly, the maximum heat setting on your dryer will make the moisture go away faster. But it is also causing more damage to your hair. Go easy on your beautiful tresses. Use the minimum heat option always, especially if you are not in a hurry. Low heat will reduce the chances of breakage allowing you to grow longer, stronger hair. Remember it is always better to air dry if you can!
8) Not Giving Your Hair Breaks During Drying
Blowing hot air continuously for a long period of time is like driving in a hot desert uncovered. It can be catastrophic for your hair. This is the main reason of hair-loss during heat styling. It can also cause your hair to lose smoothness permanently. The shine will be gone and you will have dull, broken and dried-out hair.
It is best to take breaks during your blow drying routine. Taking small breaks will reduce the chance of breakage.
9) Holding the Blow Dryer Close to Your Hair
When you are in a hurry, and you want to get rid of the moisture on your head as quickly as possible, you may be tempted to hold the blow dryer closer to your hair in order for it to dry faster. While this removes the water faster you will eventually pay the price for the hastiness in the form of heat-damaged hair.
You may even burn your scalp in the process if you get too close for too long. Keep a safe distance and take your time while using a blow dryer.
10) Using the Wrong Brush While Blow Drying
Using the right brush is as crucial as blow-drying the correct way. If you are using the wrong type of brush, you are prone to breaking your hair and you could even lose hair during the drying process. To avoid that, use a comb or a suitable wide-toothed brush.
11) Drying Multiple Times a Day
Blowing hot, dry air on your head multiple times a day will always have adverse effects. By doing so, you are not giving your hair the time to recover from previous heat exposure. It will make hair not only weak but also more dry and brittle.
Heating one time a day is plenty. If you do it more than that, then remember you could seriously be testing your hair.
12) Blow Drying in the Wrong Direction
You don’t want to put any more strain on your hair than is necessary. The water collects more in the roots of your hair. So, you might want to start blow drying from the roots and then move towards the ends in the direction of the hair growth. Keep working downward gently.
The fundamental trick here is to keep the hot-air flow in the same direction of your hair growth. This will help you get rid of the moisture faster, while keeping the cuticle of the hair smooth.