Your blow dryer might save you crucial minutes in the morning, but it’s also causing damage.
Blow drying is an easy fix that helps to make your hair more manageable. It lets you get out the door a little sooner (and therefore gives you a couple more minutes in bed). It really is no wonder that blow dryers are so popular.
Unfortunately, using a blow dryer too much or in the wrong way can lead to frizzy, brittle hair, and a damaged scalp. In those susceptible, it can even contribute to a dandruff flare-up.
What exactly is your blow dryer doing, though?
How blow drying hurts hair
The largest problem caused by hair dryers is all about temperature. When you point a too-hot hair dryer at your scalp, a couple of things happen.
First, moisture in the hair is suddenly heated to evaporation point. As this water turns to steam, it creates high-pressure bubbles inside your hair which permanently damage its structure, leaving spots that are especially brittle and prone to breakage.
How blow drying hurts scalp
Meanwhile, your scalp can be damaged, as well. Just as hot, dry air from a blow dryer removes water from your hair, it can remove water from your skin. That is a problem for people who are prone to dry, flaky scalp.
And for some people, that’s only the beginning.
Blow drying with dandruff
For dandruff sufferers, things can get a lot worse. When skin is healthy, it helps keep us properly hydrated, by regulating the amount of moisture that evaporates into the air.
Dandruff skin is unhealthy – it happens when your skin cells are produced and shed too rapidly, causing visible flakes of skin to appear. Research shows that dandruff skin is especially “leaky,” allowing too much water to escape from our skin and leading to dryness.
This makes dandruff sufferers especially vulnerable to the effects of blow drying, further drying out their skin and leading to a flaking flare-up.
Blow drying safely
In order to avoid a flaky scalp situation, you don’t need to avoid your blow dryer completely. Just be smart when you use it:
- Before blow drying, remove excess water with a towel, to shorten time using the dryer
- Keep your dryer at a lower heat setting. It should feel comfortable on the back of your hand
- Avoid drying on one spot too much, as this builds up heat
- Use a heat protectant on your hair before blow drying
Along with this, you can use products to keep your scalp in good condition, to help minimise the possible damage even further.
A good dry scalp shampoo will help keep your scalp healthy and moisturized. Alternatively, if you’re worried about weak hair, you can try a shampoo formulated to strengthen your hair against breakage.