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How To Dry Your Hair With out Damaging It, In line with Stylists

Towel-drying, air-drying, and blow-drying moist hair every include distinctive perks, however there’s one factor all of them have in frequent: The potential to trigger harm when approached incorrectly. As professional hairstylist Gabi Lopez explains, “hair is in its most fragile state when moist.”

Whereas there are not any proper or fallacious strategies for drying your hair (your alternative will rely on elements together with your hair sort and your styling targets), there are methods to optimize your approach—and we requested Lopez {and professional} hairstylist Raven Hurtado to share them. Hold studying for a full breakdown of find out how to towel dry, air dry, and blow dry hair correctly.

Meet the Knowledgeable

  • Gabi Lopez is a star hairstylist whose purchasers embody Becky G and Janet Mock.
  • Raven Hurtado is a hair stylist at Maxine Salon in Chicago.

Towel-Drying Methods

Towel drying is a superb choice for hair varieties that lean on the dry aspect or do not retain moisture for lengthy, maybe because of having a finer density or an present colour remedy. Towel drying can also be a most well-liked technique for individuals who need assistance getting their hair dry in a shorter window of time. So, how does one strategy towel drying appropriately?

Squeeze, Do not Rub

“You need to gently squeeze out the surplus water as an alternative of rubbing vigorously,” says Hurtado. “For those who rub the hair, it could trigger [it] to interrupt or get pulled out.” Our hair, regardless of its form, size, or density, “is in its most susceptible and fragile state when it is moist,” re-emphasizes Lopez.

Select Absorbent Supplies

Utilizing no matter bathtub towel that is accessible may very well be the reason for lingering frizz. As an alternative, have a devoted hair towel made with an absorbent materials, like microfibers. “The good thing about utilizing a microfiber towel as an alternative of an everyday towel is [that it will] soak up water extra shortly,” Hurtado says, noting that these supplies can work particularly nicely for thicker hair varieties that are inclined to retain extra moisture.

In case your hair does not retain as a lot moisture, cotton t-shirts will even safely soak up the surplus. “T-shirts have a flat floor,” Hurtado factors out, and that lack of added texture in opposition to your strands “will not tough up the hair.” 

Byrdie Tip

Curly textures can apply their favourite merchandise and twist their hair in sections, utilizing a microfiber towel or t-shirt to soak up any extra. Straight hair textures can use lotions or salt sprays to fine-tune their desired motion as soon as dry and gently squeeze it in with their arms or hair towels as an alternative of rubbing.

Air-Drying Methods

Air drying could also be your technique of alternative if your hair wants a break from warmth styling or different interventions. It may be a necessity primarily based on the calls for of your time. And whereas it may appear tough to get the bottom upkeep drying choice “fallacious,” there are issues you are able to do to provide your hair a greater probability of air drying each effectively and successfully.

Shake It Out

Giving your hair a fast shake can go a great distance when air drying, particularly earlier than and after making use of styling merchandise that intensify your hair sort. “Shaking the hair out permits air to get by means of, and that air flow all through the hair prompts sooner drying,” Hurtado explains. (As a mother to 2 younger kids and somebody who has thick, wavy hair, the shake-out technique—which I do by flipping my head the wrong way up a few instances—is my private favourite.)

Hurtado factors out that utilizing a warmth protectant right here can nonetheless forestall breakage and supply a smooth, nourishing end to air-dried hair. She recommends Kérastase’s Nectar Thermique ($45).

Use a Extensive-Tooth Comb

“Extensive-toothed combs are a terrific choice as a result of they do not trigger an excessive amount of pressure on moist, fragile hair,” says Lopez. Just like the shake-out approach, a wide-tooth comb helps with air flow. “Through the use of a wide-tooth comb, hair dries sooner,” says Hurtado. “It is because the wide-spaced tooth of your comb enable air to circulation by means of.” In case your desire is to air dry, however you continue to have some tangles to get by means of, that is the strategy to take. Additional tremendous hair that is excessive in quantity (which means, there’s numerous it) would possibly even must think about using a leave-in detangler spray earlier than combing by means of.

Byrdie Tip

When detangling, start on the ends and slowly work your approach up the hair shaft towards the roots. This may enable any tangles to maneuver down and out with ease, particularly with moist hair being extra susceptible to breakage.

Blow-Drying Methods

With warmth concerned, it is no shock that blow-drying methods require warning and care. Warmth is usually a supply of significant harm to the hair, particularly with extended use or excessive or frequent publicity. However the advantages of a great blowout are arduous to refuse, and when completed appropriately, provide a desired coiffure and look that would final for as much as every week.

Earlier than we dive into particular methods that can enable you keep good hair well being with this strategy, Lopez walks us by means of the 5 primary steps to take for a wholesome blow dry.

  1. Start with semi-dry hair: Use one of many above methods to get your hair 60-70 % dry. “[This] will considerably cut back the… warmth wanted to dry the hair,” she explains. “Much less time equals much less warmth and harm.”
  2. Detangle and defend: Lopez suggests utilizing a detangler or warmth protectant. “I really like UNITE’s 7SECONDS Detangler ($38) as a result of it is the right light-weight base for any fashion,” she says. “Paddle brushes are additionally designed for detangling.”
  3. Apply styling merchandise: “Use merchandise that coincide together with your finish aim,” she tells us; suppose curl cream or volumizing mousse. “Selecting the best merchandise might help you remove the necessity for styling irons after blow drying,” she provides.
  4. Part the hair: To carry out an environment friendly blow dry, work in sections the identical measurement as your brush to keep away from tangling.
  5. Seize your instruments: Lopez recommends utilizing a blow dryer with destructive ion expertise, your most well-liked dryer attachment (nozzle, comb, or diffuser), and the comb of your alternative.

Forward, Lopez outlines the significance of those concerns for attaining correct blow-dry methods.

Directing Airflow

Heated coils and compelled sizzling air can go away the hair broken, Lopez tells us, so directing the airflow out of your blow dryer is a crucial approach to grasp if you wish to keep good hair well being, decrease your time spent blow drying, and obtain your required styling targets. “Concentrating the airflow works to seal the cuticle layer and leaves you with silky easy hair, with out the harm,” says Lopez.

After detangling, Lopez suggests directing your airflow in the identical path your hair grows. “This may maintain you from roughing up the cuticle, which may trigger frizz,” she says. Utilizing an attachment is completely obligatory for guiding a concentrated airflow. Your chosen attachment will rely in your targets: A nozzle can be utilized for primary drying or spherical brushing, a comb will assist easy out kinky curls, and a diffuser will improve waves or curls.

“Your nozzle does not want to the touch the hair [for] it to work,” Lopez notes. It is a frequent mistake that the majority typically occurs with nozzles and spherical brushes. “The nearer the nozzle is to the hair, the extra damaging it may be.” For those who search quantity, direct the hair and airflow up and away from the roots. For those who’re on the lookout for smoother outcomes, she says rigidity is vital. For curly hair varieties with child hairs, she suggests beginning “on the hairline, so you may easy out these child hairs that all the time appear to get frizzy first.”


Diffusing requires a particular approach that is not as simple as a nozzle or comb attachment.

  • Semi-dry utilizing the “plop” technique: Once more, the aim with this primary step is to cut back how a lot warmth you are placing in your curls. “Mainly, you may flip your head the wrong way up, ‘plop’ your hair right into a cotton t-shirt or microfiber towel, and tie or wrap it round your head,” says Lopez. This towel-dry technique helps curls discover their form and spring earlier than setting with warmth.
  • Diffuse the hair the wrong way up: Utilizing a low-to-medium warmth setting, “begin beneath the hair on the nape by flipping your head over,” says Lopez. The aim with low warmth is to reduce frizz, and diffusing the wrong way up will assist “focus on the root, all the time pointing down the hair shaft,” she explains.
  • Apply ending product. As soon as your curls are dry, Lopez recommends making use of a ending oil for additional shine and frizz taming.

“Be affected person!” Lopez reminds us. “This [diffusing] course of takes time, however the low warmth and low airflow settings make for the bounciest, shiniest curls.”

Managing Warmth

It doesn’t matter what attachment or approach you are utilizing to blow dry your hair, managing the supply of your warmth and its ranges will make or break your hair’s well being throughout a blow dry. “First issues first: Select a blow dryer that makes use of destructive ion expertise,” says Lopez. “Unfavorable ions break the water molecules in moist hair, changing them to microparticles [and] making it simpler and sooner to dry.”

For those who use the towel-drying or air-drying strategies above to get the hair 60-70 % dry, you can begin your blow dry on a low-medium warmth setting and nonetheless get lasting outcomes. In case you have skinny, dry, or broken hair, Lopez recommends staying between 200-300 levels. For medium textured hair, she says, “do not exceed 350 levels.” Very thick and coarse hair may have a warmth setting between 350-400 levels, so these hair varieties, specifically, ought to by no means begin with totally damp hair.

As soon as all of the moisture has been eliminated, do not forget to make use of your cool shot. This may cool the hair down and assist to set it in its new form and texture. Do not forget that warmth adjustments and manipulates the hair, so we have to remove the warmth for that susceptibility to vary to halt.

Byrdie Tip

Do not try and reshape dry hair. If one thing is not sitting proper, re-wet the part and check out once more.

The Closing Takeaway

Moist hair is fragile hair. So in case you decide to towel, gently squeeze with an absorbent materials, and in case you air dry, propel air flow to expedite the method. And relating to safely utilizing warmth for a non-damaging blow dry, you might want to start with semi-dry hair, use destructive ion expertise, direct the airflow, and choose the bottom warmth temps doable in your hair sort.

In relation to drying your hair, it is all within the particulars. Belief us: These seemingly small changes can have a big impact in the long term.

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