Avoiding Hair Damage — Using a Hair Dryer Correctly 

Avoiding Hair Damage — Using a Hair Dryer Correctly 

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Drying your hair is an easy thing to do. But, there are ways that you can get your hair dry without avoiding hair dryer side effects. Since whenever you use a dryer on your hair, you will damage it a bit. But there are ways to minimize that damage. Doing so will not only make your hair look better, feel smoother, but it will make you feel great. Good hair can equal confidence.  

What Is the Use of a Hair Dryer?

While the primary use of a hair dryer is, well, to make your hair dry. However, using a hair dryer can also help style your hair, stop it being fuzzy, and add volume. But there are other ways that you can use this secretly handy device. That is, if you are feeling creative or end up in a pickle. 

Common Hair Dryer Uses and Effects

  • Warms up adhesive on stickers and bandages making them easier to remove
  • Makes it easier to remove products that are wax-based such as candles 
  • Able to remove crayons from the walls (good for parents)
  • Use it to warm up items like bedsheets (so you no longer have to get into a cold bed) 
  • Use it to heat up your pet’s fur
  • You can use it to blow the dust off shelves (handy if your shelves are filled with little souvenirs) 
  • Reshape the arms of your reading glasses if they feel too tight on your head. Just warm up the arms a bit and gently bend them according to your preferences
  • Add volume to your eyelashes by heating your eyelash curler (just be careful not to overdo it)
  • Remove wrinkles from clothes in a quick fix
  • Heat cold butter or unstick frozen meat
  • Make your cake look fancy by heating the icing until it shines and then leaving it to cool
  • Clean out the last bit in salt and pepper shakers from the hard to reach the bottom of the tube
  • Speed up the drying process of paint or to fix up little mistakes of paint 
  • Remove watermarks from wood-based tables 

The above are only some of the other things that you can use your hair dryer for. These are quick and easy fixes. 

How Hair Dryer Damages the Hair

Hair dryer use should not be overdone. When you have to do it, do it in a way that will minimize the damage done to the hair. 

Sometimes, blow-drying your hair is unavoidable (such as in cold weather and if your hair is long). Since blow dryers emit air at high temperatures, not using them properly or drying your hair often can cause damage. That, in turn, may lead to hair loss. Think of hair loss as a thing that has no target so it can happen regardless if you have fine hair or curly hair. Certain sections of hair can show the damage more compared to other parts. But, as we all know, any sort of damage is not healthy.  

Hot air with a lot of force behind it blowing on your wet hair can cause an effect known as “flash drying.” That means that you will lose the surface oils on your hair, as well as the moisture. Flash drying causes your hair cuticles to become breakable and dry. Therefore, when your hair bends, it causes the hair cuticles to break, damaging your hair. 

Curling irons can also cause heat damage. What that entails depends on whether you use the irons on ‘straight out of the shower’ or ‘never seen water’ hair. Using a curling iron on wet hair can cause tiny explosions of steam since water is evaporating. That, in return, causes tiny hair blisters due to the buckling and bubbling of the hair cuticles. Concerning dry hair, the cuticles can crack on the edges making the hair chip. These types of damages can lead to split ends as well as breakages.    

The Proper Way of Drying Your Hair

The proper way of drying your hair is a simple task to do that may require a bit more time but worth it in the long run. You can start by briefly and gently rubbing your hair with a fluffy towel and then brushing it with a wide brush to get it untangled. 

Before you start using a blow dryer, make sure that you apply a heat protectant of sorts to your hair. That will add a protective layer between your hair cuticles and the heat. Other hair products can detangle your hair as well as decrease the moisture loss stage when drying. 

You can set your hair dryer on either medium or low temperatures instead of going full blast. The stream of heat should feel good on your hand (at the back) if you wish to test the temperature. Try and keep the distance the same at about 8 inches (20 cm) as not to burn your head and hair. 

Aim to dry individual layers of the hair and try not to redo parts. Go the full length from the top of your head to the end of your hair. You should start at the side and the back and leave the top and front for last. Using hair clips can be a great tool to make sure that you know which part of your hair is dry so as not to go over it again. 

Letting It Hang Loose (Drying Naturally)

What if it is a beautiful, hot day, and you do not mind leaving your hair wet when you have the chance to let it dry naturally? That may not be as healthy when compared to blowing at medium/low air temperature on your hair since there are a few downsides.

Combing your hair a lot while it is wet can cause the strand to stretch, which may end up in split ends. Plus, the wind can create knots, which is always a bother. The main issue, though, is that your hair stays wet for longer, which makes it swell and causes the cuticles to crack. 

The Results of Studies Regarding the Use of Hair Dryers

A study by Ann Dermatol in November 2011 called “Hair Shaft Damage From Heat and Drying Time of Hair Dryer” came to several conclusions with regards to using a hair dryer. 

One of Dermatol’s points was that the hair surface becomes damaged due to the use of high temperatures. She compared different strands of hairs that dried at 47, 61, and 95 degrees Celsius. The more heat she applied to the hair, the more cracks, holes, and damage done to the cuticles she saw. With regards to the cortex, there were no damages noted in any of the tests, meaning that the surface protects the cortex and that damage may be done if the hair surface is broken. 

Plus, the group that had ten turns of hair drying at 95 degrees Celsius, as well as the untreated group (no use of dryers), noticed that their hair color faded to a lighter color. 

There was also a note that naturally letting your hair dry damages the cell membrane complex (that is what makes the cuticles not crack.) The change in color may be the result of the damage to the hair, but further study is needed. 

However, hair that stays wet for a prolonged period does swell, causing the cell membrane complex to expand as well. That causes damage to the cuticles. We can gather that leaving your hair to dry naturally is as damaging as drying it on the highest heat when it comes to the cuticles in particular.

The study suggests that keeping your hair dryer at a distance and moving it in continuous motion can decrease the chances of damaging your hair. Plus, natural hair drying may not be the go-to as people once believed. 

Final Send-Off 

A hair dryer is a great tool not only for your hair but items around the house too. However, to maintain your luscious locks, you should blow dry them with medium heat. 

Make sure that you take the time and effort to do it right as not to damage your hair too much. Plus, your hair has its natural moisture that you should not blow away. 

Therefore, avoid overdoing the whole drying process. Also, use a heat protectant to be extra safe and be sure not to wash and dry your hair too regularly. It is best to speak to your hairdresser on how often you should do it since every type of hair is different. 


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