Bring out your hair’s natural shine and lock in moisture
Many people use styling products and leave-in treatments after washing or treating their hair at home. It’s important to be careful when using heat on your hair, whether you are blow-drying or styling. Blow-drying is often thought to cause damage to hair, but if done properly it can bring out your hair’s shine and lock in moisture.
When your hair is wet, its cuticles are open and unstable. Drying it stabilises the bonds within the hair and closes the hair’s cuticles properly. When hair is only part-dry or has dried naturally, it may look dry but the cuticles will not be properly closed making the hair feel coarse.
First, here are some examples of how not to dry your hair.
- Drying your hair by rubbing it roughly with a towel. This also damages the delicate skin on your scalp.
- Using the hot and strong airflow setting on your hairdryer directed onto the outer layer of your hair from many different directions. Drying only the outer layer of hair means that the inner layers will not be dried properly. In addition, the cuticles will close in different directions, meaning that the hair will not appear shiny.
- Brushing your hair roughly while blow-drying.
The heat from the hairdryer will not be evenly distributed. Keeping the hot air close to your head and directed on one spot raises your hair’s temperature considerably. Using a brush to bring out your hair’s shine will make it seem shiny at first, but done on a daily basis it will chip away at the cuticles and leave your hair damaged.
Here is the best way to dry your hair.
- Remove excess water from your hair by pressing, not rubbing, with a towel. Rubbing will also remove any treatment you have left in your hair.
- Clip your hair into sections and dry it starting from the innermost layer. Do not over-dry the outer layer.
- When drying your hair the airflow should always be directed from your scalp to the ends of your hair. The cuticles will close properly, bringing out your hair’s shine.
- Even if your hair is short and you don’t dry it in sections, you should pay attention to the heat and direction of airflow when drying your hair. If your hair is permed or coloured it shouldn’t be dried using too hot a setting. Hair that has been treated with chemicals is more susceptible to its proteins being modified when heated, causing discolouring or fading. In this case, hair will become less responsive to being coloured or permed.
- Gather the ends of your hair together and dry it on a medium heat.
- Finally, use the cool setting to remove excess heat and stabilise your hair to help hold its shape and enhance its shine.
Many people use oil-based hair products before using their hairdryer. The oil causes hair to heat up very quickly so I recommend using the minimum amount possible of this kind of product.