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Does Drying Your Hair with Cold Air Damage It?
Does Drying Your Hair with Cold Air Damage It?

Does Drying Your Hair with Cold Air Damage It?

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    Using cold air to dry your hair can offer many benefits if done correctly. This is because cold air tends to be gentler on your hair and doesn’t strip your scalp or hair of its natural moisture, which can lead to damage over time. In this blog we will discuss the many benefits of drying your hair with cold air, how it compares to hot air dryers and steps you can take to ensure your luscious locks are getting the best treatment.

    Benefits of Drying Your Hair with Cold Air

    Opting to dry your hair with cold air has numerous benefits:

    Minimises Heat Damage:

    One of the key advantages to drying your hair with cold air over hot air is it protects your hair against heat damage as it maintains your hair's natural moisture levels. Hot air, on the other hand, can weaken the structure of your hair proteins, leading to frizz and breakage.

    Seals Hair Cuticles:

    Cold air helps to seal in your hair cuticle structure, which is the outermost layer of your hair shaft. By doing so, it protects your hair from splitting and keeps your hair looking healthy and fresh.

    Reduces Frizz:

    No matter your hair type, exposing your hair to excessive heat is going to damage your hair. By using the cold air setting on your hair dryer, your hair won’t become excessively dry and prevent frizz from happening. If you are prone to frizzy hair, you can also try incorporating an anti-frizz spray to help tame any flyaways in conjunction with drying your hair on the cold air setting.

    Maintains Hair Colour:

    If you have recently colour-treated your hair, using cold air can help maintain your hair's vibrancy. This is due to exposure to high heat that can cause the pigments to fade or discolour.

    Soothes the Scalp:

    If you’re suffering from a dry or itchy scalp, using cold air will soothe and prevent further drying of your scalp.

    Can a Cold Air Hair Dryer Damage Your Hair?

    While choosing to dry your hair on a cold air setting is better than the hot setting, it is important to choose a high-quality cold-air hair dryer and use the proper techniques to achieve the best results. For example, using an improper cold air dryer could lead to uneven drying results.  Additionally, if you are using the blow dryer too closely or frequently, your hair can become tangled or damaged due to prolonged exposure. The best practices are to hold the hair dryer 20 centimetres away from your hair and move the dryer around constantly so you don’t overdry one section of hair.

    Comparing Cold Air vs Hot Air Dryers

    The pros and cons of cold air dryers versus hot air dryers:

    Cold Air Dryers


    Gentle on Hair

    Cold air dryers help reduce heat damage by maintaining moisture levels and do not cause heat damage.

    Reduces Frizz

    Lack of heat exposure helps prevent frizz.

    Protects Colour

    Colour-treated hair pigments last longer with cold air drying.


    The cold air can soothe a dry and irritated scalp.


    Takes Longer to Dry

    Opting for a cold setting means it will take longer to dry your hair.

    Less Styling Versatility

    Without heat, it is harder to style your hair and you may need to use additional styling products to get the desired results.


    @thesocialcut Should you use hot or cold air to blow dry your hair? #HeinzHalloween #PepsiApplePieChallenge #barber #menshairstyle #pomade #barbershop #haircut ♬ Roxanne - Instrumental - Califa Azul


    Hot air dryers


    Faster Drying

    Hot air dries your hair faster compared to cold.

    Styling versatility

    With hot air dryers, you can shape and style your hair more efficiently.


    Potential Heat Damage

    Excessive heat causes the hair strands to dry out and become damaged. In order to combat this, heat-protectant products need to be used to keep your hair moisturised and protected while styling.

    Increases Frizz

    Heat damages your hair strands by drying them out, leading to increased frizz and flyaways.

    Colour Fading Risks

    Hot air can cause the pigments in your colour-treated hair to fade away faster than cold air.

    How to Dry Your Hair with Cold Air Properly?

    Here is a breakdown of how to properly blow dry your hair with cold air:

    Towel Dry First

    Before you begin drying your hair, gently blow your hair in an upward motion with a microfiber towel or cotton t-shirt to remove any excess moisture.

    Use a Cold Air Hair Dryer

    To gain optimal results, opt for a cold air hair blow dryer with multiple speeds and heat settings.

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    Maintain Distance

    Keep the blow dryer about 20 centimetres from your hair to ensure your hair is being dried evenly.

    Keep Moving

    Moving your hair and dryer around will help to distribute the cold air and make sure your hair dries evenly, without overexposing one section.

    Use a Heat Protectant

    Although heat protectants are typically used when using a hot air setting, you can also use them on the cold air setting for extra protection and added moisture. Opting for one with natural heat blocking and nourishing oils, such as Pump’s heat protection, will leave your hair thanking you for it.

    heat protection spray

    Common FAQs about Drying Hair

    Here are the most commonly asked questions regarding drying your hair with cold air:

    What is the healthiest way to dry your hair?

    The best and least damaging method to drying your hair is to let it air dry. If you have the time, always opt for this option as it allows your hair to dry naturally and maintain its natural shape. This is particularly important if you have curly or wavy hair. However, if you need to dry your hair quickly, opt for a cold hair dryer or use a heat protectant before drying your hair on a hot setting.

    Does cold air make hair dry slower?

    Unfortunately, yes. However, you will notice the benefits of drying your hair with cold air as it doesn’t cause your hair to become dry or damaged.

    Is it good to sleep with your hair wet?

    Sleeping with wet hair is not recommended as when your hair is wet it is more prone to breakage when you toss and turn at night. Additionally, excessive moisture creates the perfect breeding environment for mould or fungi to grow, which could transfer over to your scalp or face. This could lead to scalp infections or ance over time. Instead, try to dry your hair thoroughly before bed. If you are doing an overnight hair treatment, use a bamboo hair towel to protect both your hair and pillow.

    Can I use a regular towel or should I use a microfiber towel or cotton t-shirt to dry my hair?

    Microfiber towels or cotton T-shirts are the better choice when it comes to drying your hair as they absorb water without causing friction. This reduces the risk of breakage or split ends, leading to happier healthier hair.

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