Blow drying your hair can give you the benefit of creating a variety of different styles for great looking hair. But getting it wrong can have exactly the opposite effect. Here are 10 common mistakes that people make when blow-drying their own hair that you can avoid to get the greatest benefit and put those bad hair days behind you.
1. Too Hot
The most common error is drying hair on too high a heat setting. The belief is that it will dry the hair faster and have greater styling impact. Not so. A hair dryer that is too hot will simply burn and damage the hair leaving it looking dry, dull and frizzy. Medium heat is ideal for styling even though it may take a little longer to get the desired effect. Even if your hair is thick, try to avoid the highest heat setting. Section your hair instead.
2. Too Cold
On the other hand, a cold blow dry will simply dry the hair without styling it in any way. But there is a place for that cold setting on your blow dryer. After applying heat, use the cooler setting to lower the temperature faster and set that style in place for longer.
3. Too Close
Holding the blow dryer too close to the hair, especially when using heat, will result in the hair frizzing and breaking and can cause burns to the scalp. Most blow dryer manufacturers recommend a distance of 30cm from the head. This is a little too far to get the maximum styling benefits of a blow dry. About a hand width from the head is ideal unless you are using the cold setting.
4. Too Wet
Hair that is too wet will take longer to style than dry hair. It is best to allow hair to air dry or use your hair dryer to dry the hair before using a brush or curlers to begin styling the hair. Slightly damp hair is ideal for styling with a blow dryer and brush to minimize potential damage.
5. Too Fast
Styling hair with a blow dryer takes time and it is important not to rush the process. Depending on the length and thickness of the hair, the process can take anywhere from 30 minutes to 3 hours to complete to your satisfaction. Make sure that you put the ideal amount of time aside to blow dry your hair so that you aren’t tempted to use a higher heat setting to speed up the process and damage the hair.
6. Too Much (Hair)
Many people make the mistake of trying to dry and style large amounts of hair in one go. It is best to dry the hair in small sections, starting with the hair at the nape of your neck and ending at the top of the head. Use clips or elastics to section the hair allowing you to dry and style one portion at a time.
7. Too Cheap
Cheap hair dryers with low wattage are more likely to do damage to your hair than give you the look you desire. Invest in an expensive hair dryer (preferably ionic) which will dry the hair faster without the damage. Pay attention to the size of the nozzle – it shouldn’t be too wide or too narrow to direct the flow of air to maximize styling.
8. Too Hard
Blow drying your hair should be a slow, gentle process. Don’t pull the hair taut or use quick, rough strokes with the brush. This will break and damage the hair and could even pull the hair out at the follicle. Rather use long, slow strokes with your brush to get the best effect. Remember that it is brush you are using and allow the bristles to brush through the hair as you blow dry each section.
9. Too Much Product
Ideally, you shouldn’t use hair gel, spray or other products on the hair before or while blow drying. Hair products contain chemicals that can damage the hair when heated and could also dull the hair. It is best to use these products to keep the style in place after drying. However, some products are designed to be used with heat and can protect the hair shaft during the drying process. If your hair tends to frizz, it is advisable to use a heat protective product before drying your hair.
10. Too Stationary
Holding your hair dryer in the same position for long periods of time will not dry the hair faster and only burn or damage it. Your hair dryer should constantly be on the move and never stationary. The angle of your hair dryer is also important. Try to keep it as horizontal (parallel to the floor) as possible while moving it around the head.
Practice makes perfect and the more often you blow-dry your hair, the less likely you are to make these common mistakes.