Why does our hair look great after a beauty salon, but it’s impossible to repeat this wow effect at home, no matter how you spy on the stylist’s actions? It’s all about the drying technique and, of course, the hair dryer. In this material, we tell you how to properly dry your hair, what you need for this and why a hair dryer is a complete benefit for your hair, and not a harm at all.
Why blow dry your hair at all?
There is a huge amount of prejudice around thermal styling appliances. According to many people, hair deteriorates from exposure to high temperatures, becomes brittle, dry, and split ends appear. In this article , we have collected the most popular hair dryer myths. Believe me, most of them are not related to reality! If with regard to irons and flat irons that operate at high temperatures of 150–200 C o , the accusations are still justified, then hair dryers fell under distribution completely unfairly. However, ardent adherents of caring for natural beauty keep styling devices away and cautiously take them out only on holidays. At the same time, blow-drying your hair is not only possible, but necessary!
Many – especially those with porous and light hair – may have noticed that after drying naturally in the air, the hair looks strange. They are lifeless, stuck together and as if even dirty. But after the hair dryer, shine, elasticity and friability appear. The fact is that water actually affects the hair badly. The cortex – the main part of the hair – swells and becomes very brittle. The cuticle – the scales of the hair that cover its main structure – fully opens under the pressure of the enlarged cortex, stretches and deforms.
In porous hair, moisture literally gets stuck, and therefore the hair – even when completely dry at first glance – in fact, it still remains damp and looks like you washed it a long time ago, and not just now.
Natural drying is a test for your hair.
Especially if you diligently rub your hair after a shower with a towel, go to bed with a wet head, or even twist pigtails on wet hair. The more mechanical impact wet hair experiences, the more they are injured. And, of course, these destructions cannot be corrected later by any balms and masks. Much better – immediately after washing, dry your hair with a hairdryer. It’s not as bad as it might seem if done right.
A good hair dryer is the key to the result
Not every hair dryer is capable of drying without consequences. Conventionally, hair dryers can be divided into three categories: ultra-budget models, middle price segment and professional devices . Hair dryers for 300-500 rubles should be used only in emergency cases, but not for permanent care. Non-professional hair dryers from trusted manufacturers may well deserve a place in the house, but they take longer to dry and not all hair can be styled beautifully.
Hair dryer Philips DryCare BHD272/00 black/blue 2 799 *
It is best to use devices of professional brands even at home. And it’s not that more expensive – a priori better. The main and most important indicator for high-quality drying is the air flow rate. Budget hair dryers equipped with weak engines are not able to give out a powerful jet of air, and in them this disadvantage is often compensated by a high blowing temperature.
Hair dryer BaByliss Pro Caruso BAB6510 black 6 199 *
High temperatures in the region of 100-120 C o and low speed will make drying slow and traumatic. Instead of drying out, your hair will overheat. If you lower the temperature to medium, then you will dry your hair for a very long time, although it is safe. This is especially true for owners of long hair, dense and thick, or, on the contrary, porous, from which it is not so easy to expel moisture in principle. Professional hair dryers with high airflow are able to dry your head quickly even at medium or low temperatures. The procedure is both gentle and not so long.
Hair dryer Valera Swiss SILENT JET 7500 Light Ionic D black
In addition, when it comes not just about drying, but also about styling, then only professional hair dryers with a clear temperature regime and the same high speed can make styling durable and literally polish the hair cuticle to make the hairstyle look shiny. With capricious porous hair, all other devices will not cope at all and after 10 minutes there will be no trace of styling. This is the main secret of that very durable styling from the salon – a good hair dryer. And, of course, a little technical knowledge.
Classically, it is believed that the temperature scale in a hair dryer is used as follows: hot air for styling, cold air for fixing the strand in the desired position, warm air for drying. If you do not use thermal protection cosmetics before the hair dryer at all, then this rule is really better to stick to.
However, if you add indelible care or light styling products with thermal protection (sprays, creams, mousses), then you can safely dry in hot air – the temperature of the hair dryer is two times lower than that of a curling iron, and with thermal protection it will not harm your hair.
At the end of drying, be sure to use cold air for at least a couple of minutes to fix the hair cuticle in the desired position, which softens from exposure to high temperatures.
Choosing the Right Nozzles
Basically, most hair dryers have two nozzles: a narrow concentrator nozzle and a diffuser – a large disk or bowl with spiked fingers. Individual brands also have specific nozzles such as combs, narrower or wider concentrators, spinning nozzles for creating curls, and so on.
The diffuser is a must-have for those with naturally curly or wavy hair.
It delivers separated and concentrated air flows through the fingers, which do not blow the strands in all directions, but, on the contrary, help to fix and maintain the shape of the curl. The diffuser does not need to be waved in different directions, as we usually do. But it is not necessary and even undesirable to lay hair in a bowl, otherwise the thinner ends of the hair may dry out, while the roots remain wet. Only those strands that you do not curl enough are laid in the bowl. Otherwise, with a diffuser, even curly hair is dried at the same distance as straight hair with a regular nozzle.
Another function of the diffuser is to create a light root volume. This is less convenient than a concentrator with a comb, but will help if brushing is not at hand. To do this, use a diffuser to beat the hair at the roots and dry, lightly massaging the head. Maintain a comfortable temperature so as not to overheat the skin.
The concentrator is a narrow nozzle designed to form the styling.
Provides a narrow directional airflow that is needed to dry the strands in a specific direction or position. Due to its shape, the concentrator blows locally, without messing up the rest of the hair mass and without spoiling the hairstyle already done in other areas.
How to dry
While your head is still completely wet and water is dripping from it, you can use a hair dryer without a nozzle at all for faster drying.
It is important to remember two rules. To preserve volume, at the roots we direct the hair dryer against the natural growth of hair, but only at the roots – for example, we distribute the strands to the forehead or lift it up with a flat brush. And so that the main length is brilliant, on the contrary – we blow strictly down, along the hair growth. No chaotic movements a la rock star and wind in the face – this way you get a bird’s nest on your head instead of a beautiful hairstyle. Drying your hair upside down is also not necessary.
This is how you don’t dry your hair! Even if it’s a lot of fun
It is best to dry the root zone first, and then, dividing the hair into zones, dry the main length in a row from top to bottom. Why is it important? As we mentioned above, heat lifts the cuticle. By directing the air flow along its growth, we do not allow the scales to bristle unnecessarily and, as it were, force them to lie down in their natural position.
In addition, with just one blow dryer and a styling brush, you can achieve perfect smoothness without the use of ironing. To do this, you will need a concentrator nozzle. First, dry the bulk of the hair by 80-90% – to a state of light moisture. The hair must be practically dry, otherwise the hard brushing bristles will injure it. Then we connect the hub, select a separate strand, put the brush at the roots under the strand and slowly go through the top with a hair dryer.
It is important that the nozzle of the concentrator is directed not perpendicularly into the comb, but at an angle – onto the main hair sheet. Round brushes are hollow, hot air is concentrated inside them and the main body of the comb along with the bristles heats up. It turns out a kind of hair dryer brush. If you direct the hair dryer strictly into the comb, it will overheat unnecessarily, and the polishing effect will be lower.
With this method, you can ideally stretch your hair at a low temperature and without the use of other styling devices. The hair will be perfectly smooth, shiny and will last until the next wash. Especially if, after hot air, again, go cold again to fix the cuticle.
At first glance, ordinary blow-drying looks like some kind of mysterious witchcraft. However, it is really a matter of practice. To achieve the same effect as after the salon, you need a professional hair dryer, a couple of styling combs for different needs and remember that the main body of hair is dried strictly from top to bottom. And if you add a good caring cosmetic product to your routine care, the result will be even better!