We’ve all heard about the dangers of heat styling: dries out your hair, creates frizz, and promotes breakage.  While a lot of this is true, a big problem is user error–many people dont know how to use heat styling products and devices.  They either over do it or under do it, and fail to use heat protection sprays and products that counteract some of the effects of heat damage.  Today, I’m going to give you some much needed blow-drying tips!

I’ll start with a product rec: Thermal Creations Heat Protection Spray by Tres Semme--this is affordable, simple, non-gunky, mild aerosol that you spritz on towel dried hair before blow drying or on dry hair before heat styling.  There are tons of pricier products on the scene but this one will do the trick.  The difference is subtle, but the main benefit I’ve observed is that my hair feels silky, not dried out, even after a blow dry.  Do not douse your hair–a light spritz is sufficient to bond the hair follicles together and defend against heat induced breakage.

no, it's not just your vacuum cleaner that comes with multi-purpose attachments...

1. Heat: I almost never use my high heat setting.  If you want a stronger blast, consider alternating between cold & hot (most dryers will have a “cold” button).  A majority of drying can be done w/ the low setting, and certainly all of the styling should be done this way, as high air flow settings will chaotically throw your hair around making styling all the more difficult.

2.Attachments: So, what are these things that stick onto my dryer and do I need them?  Well, the diffuser is useful if your hair is fine, thin or curly (yes i know, unexpected range, but read on).  Diffusers redirect heat distribution in an indirect and gentle way.  Drying may take longer, but it also decreases the likelihood of frizz & breakage, as well as destruction of curls.  Here are some tips on how to use a diffuser, via hdryers.com.  My hair does not fall into this category, so I usually use my dryer as is, or with a styling nozzle, like this one.  Nozzles are sometimes called concentrators and they do exactly what you think–concentrate the air at a specific point.  Useful for straightening or focused styling, and allows for more control since your hair isn’t blowing all over the place.  If you’re using these guys, you can point them closer to your hair (but point in the direction of growth!).  Occasionally you may encounter this comb pick thingamabob, which I find really difficult to work with.  These babies are your round brush & hair dryer in one, and they add volume and lift, if you’re willing to operate the entire device, which I find totally tedious.

3.Last and perhaps most important, Movement: Do not point at any one spot for long; shake your wrist, move it around regularly, and NEVER

see how this lovely lady is pointing her hair dryer DOWN?

point it directly at your hair.  Next time you go to the hair salon, notice what your stylist does: he or she will mostly likely direct the blow dryer to spray air parallel to your hair, pointing outward in the direction of growth.  This minimizes breakage by not pressuring hair to go against itself, that is, in the opposite direction it normally grows.  As an analogy, think about when you shave your legs–you always shave against the grain becuase that breaks the flow of growth.  Shaving downward in the direction of growth doesn’t break the hair.  The same applies on your head–while blow drying is not as aggressive as shaving, you still run the risk of going against the grain and breaking the follicles.  Point your blower dryer down or out, and try to direct the blast along the side of your hair, not against it.

Those are some basic blow-drying tips, and hopefully some of those crazy hair dryer attachments de-mystified.  Happy drying, without drying out!

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