Have you ever wondered if it is healthier to blow dry or air dry hair? Well, look no further because, in this comprehensive guide, we have broken down all the benefits and setbacks of blow drying versus air drying. Discover the best way to keep your hair protected and healthy whilst incorporating these methods into your hair care routine.
Hair drying plays a key role in keeping your hair luscious and healthy as it is a crucial component of any hair care routine. Whilst there are pros and cons to every method, having a comprehensive understanding of each method and its benefits will help you make an informed decision about how and when to include each method in your hair care routine.
Blow Dry vs Air Dry Comparison
Blow drying is using a diffuser or hairdryer to quickly evaporate water from your hair. There are numerous benefits such as being able to style and achieve a specific look in a short amount of time. However, if the right precautions are not taken or if this method is frequently used it can lead to split ends and breakage. Meaning, it can leave your hair vulnerable and weakened over time.
Air drying, on the other hand, is letting your hair dry naturally without using heat styling tools to speed up the process. This method is the best thing for your hair as it doesn't expose it to heat. However, many people may not choose this method as it is slower and you may not be able to get the desired hairstyle. If you want tips on how to speed up the air-drying process we have broken down how to dry hair quickly in this guide.
@abbets Replying to @Emma 💕 🫂 which one is your preference?! #airdryinghair #blowdryinghair #blowdryingtips #hairhelp ♬ original sound - ABBEY 🤍🕊️
The Safe Way to Blow Dry Your Hair and Avoid Damages
While it is always best to leave your hair to air dry if you want to protect your hair from heat damage, there are several steps you can take to protect your hair and minimise damage if you do want to blow dry:
Use Heat Protection:
Spraying a heat protection spray evenly throughout your hair before blow drying protects your hair by creating a barrier between your hair shaft and hot air, thus reducing the risk of damage. It is best to choose one that doubles as a moisturiser to give your hair added protection.
Adjust Heat Settings:
Although it can be tempting to dry your hair on a high heat setting if you are in a rush to dry your hair quickly, opting for a lower heat setting will have your hair thanking you. On a cooler setting you can still dry your hair without exposing it to excessive heat, so when you can, choose the cold air setting.
Always keep the hair dryer at a good distance (a little less than a metre) to make sure your hair is not exposed directly to concentrated heat and reduce its likelihood of heat damage.
Pre-Dry with Microfiber Towel:
After washing your hair, gently towel dry your hair to remove excess water with a microfibre towel or cotton t-shirt. This can help reduce drying time as well as be gentler on your natural hair pattern. Alternatively, you can pop your hair into a bamboo towel wrap for it to absorb excess water while you get ready before you style your hair.
Use a Diffuser:
If you have curly to wavy hair, using a diffuser can go a long way to maintain your natural curl pattern. Simply add it to your hair dryer to give an evenly distributed air flow, reducing frizz and damage.
When drying your hair, make sure to move your hair around quickly as well as the hair dryer to not focus on one section too long. By continuously moving the dryer and your hair around, you will distribute the heat evenly and be able to blow dry your hair without excessive heat damage.
Finish with Cold Blast:
When your hair is almost dry, swap the setting to cold and finish with a cold blast. This will help seal in the hair cuticles and set the style.
Here are some additional considerations when deciding which method to include in your hair care routine:
Hair Type Matters:
Depending on your hair type, your hair may be more or less susceptible to blow drying. Additionally, your hair may benefit more from air drying if you want to achieve a specific look. For example, if you have thicker or coarser hair, your hair is more resistant to blow drying. Whereas if you have fine hair, your hair is quite delicate and will benefit more from air drying methods.
Frequency of Use:
How often you do each method can also make a difference in your hair's health. Although it is best to air dry, alternating between blow drying and air drying is a sufficient solution to give your hair a break from heat exposure while still being able to get the desired look.
Making sure your hair is sufficiently moisturised and hydrated can also strengthen your hair and make it less prone to heat damage. Using a hair mask once a week or applying a leave-in conditioner post-wash can keep your hair follicles protected and moisturised.