It’s hard to beat the convenience of blow drying, but are you protecting your hair from the damage it can cause?
Blow drying is a great way to style your hair quickly, but it does have its downsides.
Done wrong, it could damage your hair and cause problems in the long run.
That doesn’t mean you need to stop doing it. But being aware of what damage you can do, and how to avoid it, will keep your hair healthy and strong while looking good.
How does heat damage hair?
Heat in general makes your hair stretchier, but also more likely to break. Hair that’s being blow-dried can break with just half the force needed to break hair at room temperature (most blow driers have a max temperature of 140 degrees Fahrenheit to prevent skin burns).
Another problem with blow drying is mostly in the way it’s done. Your hair strands are covered in a protective layer known as cuticles, like shingles protecting a roof. When warm, damp hair is combed during blow-drying, it stretches.
Unfortunately, the stretching can cause the cuticle edges to lift up and crack. Even if the fiber stretches back, the cuticle can stay lifted, making your hair feel rough and damaged.
Finally, if very damp hair is overheated, the heat can even boil the water within the hair and cause permanent damage often known as ‘bubble hair’, because of the shape of the blisters that form.
The blisters are extremely fragile; the hair is likely to break in that spot in the future.
How to avoid heat damage
There are a couple of ways you can minimize the heat damage caused by blow drying:
- Use a heat protectant spray or leave-in conditioner
- Use your dryer on a lower heat setting – ideally, the flow of air should feel comfortable on your hand
- Keep your hairdryer moving. By avoiding focussing on one spot for too long, you’ll be able to minimise the amount of heat that is concentrated on any one part of your hair at once.
For best effects, you should combine these measures with the right shampoo. That’s one that locks in moisture and helps keep irritation and further damage away.
Try our Dry Scalp Care with Almond Oil Shampoo – it’s designed to deliver extra moisturization to treat dry scalp.
Or there’s our Nourishing Hair & Scalp Care Anti-dandruff 2-in-1 – not only does it nourish both your scalp and your hair with moisture, but also keeps your cuticles protected while protecting your from dandruff. Read more hair care tips and advice for healthier-looking hair.