What Are the Best Tips for Drying Hair?

B. Miller

Blow-drying hair with a hair dryer is a great way to get a long-lasting style. It takes some practice to get good at it, though, and to achieve the desired look. As a result, there are certain tips to keep in mind when drying hair to get the best results. The first is to begin when hair is towel-dried and damp, but not sopping wet; it will take far too long to dry hair when it is still dripping, and it also won't hold any products when it is that wet. Another important thing to keep in mind is to always aim the hair dryer down the hair shaft, which will encourage the cuticle to lie flat and help to prevent frizz.

Hair stylists recommend using a boar bristle brush on damp hair because it is gentler and will not cause breakage.
Hair stylists recommend using a boar bristle brush on damp hair because it is gentler and will not cause breakage.

To begin drying hair, most people start by scrunching the hair in a towel a few times to get out the excess moisture. Styling and protective products should then be applied depending on the style an individual wants. For instance, straightening cream will make it easier to dry the hair straight and smooth, while a curl cream might help to give extra definition to curls. Experts generally recommend then dividing the hair into sections, starting with the layers underneath, and drying them one section at a time until each is completely dry. This is much more manageable.

Gently squeezing excess water from the hair is the first step in drying it.
Gently squeezing excess water from the hair is the first step in drying it.

When drying the hair with a blow dryer, it is best to keep the hair dryer at a medium heat setting, and to point it down the hair shaft, from the scalp to the ends, to prevent frizz. Drying the hair around a brush is a frequently recommended method; a large paddle brush is great for straightening, while a round brush can help to create nice waves. Hair stylists typically recommend a boar bristle brush, which is gentler on the hair and less apt to cause breakage. When the hair is completely dry, blasting it with a shot of cool air; many hair dryers have this feature, and it can help to calm the cuticles and set the style.

Using a blow dryer on a medium heat setting is an effective way to dry hair.
Using a blow dryer on a medium heat setting is an effective way to dry hair.

As a general rule, drying hair every day with a hair dryer is not a good idea, as it can cause breakage, and make the hair very dry and brittle. Instead, air-drying hair whenever possible is a good option to keep hair healthy, and to ensure it will respond better to heat styling at other times. With practice, drying and styling the hair simultaneously will become much easier.

Vigorously rubbing the hair with a towel will lead to dry, frizzy hair.
Vigorously rubbing the hair with a towel will lead to dry, frizzy hair.

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