Drying your hair may seem like the no-brainer part of your hair care routine—hopping out of the shower and reaching for your towel or blow dryer are basically second nature. What you might not know is that this simple part of your beauty routine may be the reason for your dull, damaged hair. Are you guilty of making these mistakes when drying your hair? Read on to find out.
Hair drying mistakes you may be making
1. Aggressive towel drying
We see this all the time in TV shows and movies; the actress steps out of the shower or pool and starts drying her hair by quickly rubbing a towel against her hair between the palms of her hand. Avoid doing this at all costs! Using a standard bath towel over a prolonged period of time coupled with this aggressive motion is rough on wet hair strands, and can actually play a big part in breakage, causing damage and frizz.
2. Leaving your wet hair wrapped in a towel for a prolonged amount of time
Hopping out of the shower and wrapping your hair in a towel to absorb some water is totally fine, however, leaving your hair wrapped in a regular bath towel while you lounge around will accelerate damage without you even realizing it. In general, pulling wet hair up and away from the scalp whether it’s in a towel or tied with an elastic) contributes to breakage and even hair loss over time.
3. Using a regular bath towel
The fibers in a regular bath towel are totally fine for your skin, but surprisingly, can wreak havoc on your beautiful tresses. A bath towel may appear to be doing its job by absorbing excess moisture, but what you may not realize is the rough texture can cause damage to your hair. Because bath towels are specifically created with larger loops in the fabric to aid in moisture absorption, these loops can get caught within the hair strands, causing hard-to-control frizz.
4. Not using (the right) heat protectant products.
When styling your hair, it is important to keep in mind the condition and health of your hair. Everyone wants that sleek and polished look achieved from flat ironing or blow drying hair, however that shouldn’t come at the expense of healthy, shiny tresses. Directly exposing hair to hot tools without first applying a heat protectant spray or cream will accelerate damage to your hair, drying the hair out. That doesn't mean all heat protectants are right for your hair, though. A silicone-based heat protectant can be just as damaging to your hair as no heat protectant at all. It’s time to sift through all of your hair products, if they contain silicones, ditch them! Silicone is essentially a type of rubber or plastic, which coats the hair giving it that artificial gloss and shine. Products containing this ingredient can build up on the hair over time resulting is weighed-down, lifeless hair and can even contribute to breakage and hair loss. Instead, nourish your hair from within to achieve that high-def shine naturally.
5. Heat styling wet or damp hair
Making sure hair is fully dried before heat styling is a fundamental rule of hair styling. Never, under any circumstance, apply a hot tool to wet or even damp hair! When you bring wet hair into contact with a hot tool that is hundreds of degrees you are literally frying it. This may seem obvious to some of you, but trust us, it happens more often than you‘d think. Whether it’s not having enough time to dry your hair, not being thorough enough, or absentmindedly missing a few damp spots it’s important to know how to keep hot tools and moist hair from coming into contact.
How to avoid hair drying mistakes
Now that we have covered the don't's, let’s get into the do's of how to blow dry your hair.
1. Get your hands on a microfiber towel
Microfiber fabric towels have finer threads than regular towels, which glides easily over hair, reducing strain. Microfiber towels also absorb more moisture in the hair in less time than a regular cotton towel, cutting down drying time. While using a microfiber hair towel be sure to gently squeeze the towel on your hair in an upward motion to use the least amount of force and friction as possible in order to keep your hair soft and frizz-free.
2. Let your hair air dry
One of the best things you can do for your hair is to just leave it alone. Think of it as a vacation for your scalp and hair—the less processing, pulling, tugging, and external force it goes through, the better. That means stronger, shinier, healthier looking hair, achieved with minimal effort! A quick tip, when air drying your hair, throw it into loose braids. Undo the braids after a few hours and enjoy easy, heatless mermaid waves.
3. Use the right styling products
If you don't have the time to wait around for your hair to air dry, be sure to use a heat protectant before blow drying or coming into contact with any curling wand or hair straightener. We also recommend getting your hands on a blow dry spray, like the Kenra blow dry spray, which dramatically cuts down drying time while providing heat protection. The benefit? Not only do you gain a few extra minutes in the morning, but less time spent under a hot blow dryer also equals less damage to your hair strands.
4. Use the correct styling tools
Ever notice how your hair has bounce and volume when you leave the hair salon? It seems that the salon blowout is something many women spend years trying to perfect at home, and we've got the scoop for you to do just that. The trick to a salon blowout is in the hair brush.
A round brush is best for blow drying hair and the bigger the brush, the more volume you will get. Use a natural boar brush, which distributes oils from your scalp throughout your hair strands to help you get that smooth salon-quality finish.
Metal barrel hair brush
On the other hand, round brushes with perforated metal barrels cut drying time down by heating up the hair and distributing airflow to other areas.
4. Use the nozzle
The small but mighty hair dryer nozzle is an important component to getting the perfect blowout. The nozzle helps to direct airflow to a concentrated area of your hair, to smooth down the hair cuticle and help lock in shine. Stylists will argue that the nozzle needs to be attached facing a certain direction but as long as you can comfortably hold the blow dryer so that the widest part of the nozzle is horizontal and parallel to each piece of hair, the nozzle will work for you. To achieve a sleek and shiny look with plenty of volume, point the blow dryer at a downward angle while you use a round brush to smooth it out.
5. Completely dry hair and section it off when drying
Blow drying hair yourself is never as easy as being pampered in a chair at a salon while your stylist works her magic—mastering a salon blowout takes practice! To make blow drying your hair at home significantly easier (especially for your arms) dry your entire head until about 80% dry, using just the blow dryer. Flip your head upside down to get every angle possible so that your ends and hard-to-reach roots are almost fully dry. Remember, hair styles best from damp to dry, not wet to dry.
Next take a fine tooth comb and section off your hair into several parts depending on how fine or thick your hair is, focussing on individual pieces at a time. Be sure that each section is perfect before moving on to the next, and ensure that no moisture is left behind.
Seal the deal with a shine-boosting serum or a drop or two of hail oil, and you're done!
Have you been making hair drying or blow drying mistakes at home? Will you be changing up your hair drying routine? Let us know in the comments below.
Written by: Nadia Matar