The Ultimate Guide to Blow-Drying Hair

The Ultimate Guide to Blow-Drying Hair

Blow-drying hair is a more complicated subject than a lot of people realize as there’s much more to it than just blowing some warm air to help dry your hair faster. There are lots of question that needs to be answered, especially when it comes to different types of hair. What does blow drying your hair do to it and its health? How to blow dry natural hair straight in a safe manner? What are the best ways to effectively blow drying natural hair for volume?

We’ll go over these and some other major questions in our ultimate guide to blow-drying hair.

How to blow dry hair straight?

This is a multi-step process that can vary a bit depending on what you want to do but the general steps to keep in mind are as follows:

  1. Wash your hair. How you do this depends on your type of hair but we’re not here to talk about that so just wash it as you normally do.
  2. Towel-dry your hair. You’ll need to make sure that your hair isn’t dripping water before you start blow-drying it. The goal of the blow-dryer is to dry damp hair not soaking wet hair. The better you towel-dry your hair, the easier and quicker you’ll be able to blow-dry it afterward.
  3. Use a heat protectant and any other hair product that’s applicable before blow-drying. Heat protectants are great for sensitive hair that’s vulnerable to heat as you don’t want to cause damage while blow-drying. As for any other product such as leave-in conditioner, styling mousses, shine creams, hair sprays, straightening creams, and others, always check their label to see if they can withstand heat or not. Some products can and should be applied before blow-drying as they can not only take it but protect your hair from the heat, while others definitely shouldn’t be heated – it depends on the specific brand and model fo the product rather than on its type.
  4. Brush your hair. Remove all tangles from your hair while it’s still damp and before you start blow-drying it.
  5. Separate your hair into sections using hair clips. This is especially useful for people with lush and hard-to-manage hair. Separating it into sections at the top of your head and then releasing these sections one by one while blow-drying it can streamline the whole process quite a bit.
  6. Start blowing your hair one section at a time. It’s up to you what hair dryer you’re going to use and at what setting you’re going to set it but we’d generally recommend drying your hair at medium and low settings only if you don’t want to damage it. To blow-dry your hair, simply start releasing the clipped sections of your hair one by one and blow them dry from a close distance while holding each strand of hair with a wide-tooth brush. The goal of the brush is to make sure each strand of hair is properly dried and doesn’t get entangled again.
  7. Once you’ve gone through each section of your hair, brush it all again and give it a tussle for some volume. After that, you can add whatever styling products you want.

How to blow dry hair for volume?

If you have extra thin hair and you want to add more volume to it, the basic blow-drying steps are the same but there are a few notes you might want to keep in mind:

  • Use quality products that moisturize and nourish the hair. Blow-drying can be quite tiring for the hair even when it doesn’t damage it directly so you’ll need to make sure that your hair is in as good a condition as possible. Everyone’s hair is different so we won’t throw some random recommendations at you but whichever your product of choice is it must of suitable for your hair and of a high enough quality.
  • Blow-dry your hair directly at the root and the scalp, and do it against the direction the hair will lay. This is crucial for a couple of different reasons –
    1. by not blow-drying the hair strands directly you minimize the negative effects of the blow-dryer and
    2. by blowing your hair against its direction you help it stand straight rather than fall directly against the scalp.

To do that for every section of your hair, including the roots at the nape of your neck you can bend over and blow-dry your hair directly upside down.

  • When combing your hair’s parting line make it more of a zig-zag than a straight line. This is a small tip but it also helps to disguise sparsity.
  • Separating your hair into sections is even more important if you want volume. We mentioned it above but a lot of people like skipping this part regardless. If you do want to increase your hair’s volume, however, make sure to blow-dry your hair one section at a time at a low setting.
  • Use volume styling products after you’re done. Again, each hair is different so we can’t know which product will be best for your particular case, however, a good nourishing hair oil can do wonders for your hair’s look and volume, as would a nice pomade.

Blow drying men’s hair – what’s different?

Knowing how to blow dry men’s hair is not too complicated and it follows most of the same steps as above. There are a few minor differences between drying short and long hair, however, which is mainly what we’re talking about – men with long hair can follow the guide above instead.

  • Blow-dry your hair from a distance. Men’s short hair doesn’t need to be blown directly at the roots. Instead, you should blow-dry it from about 6 to 8 inches (15-20 cm).
  • No need to separate your hair strands. Another benefit of having short hair is that it’s much more manageable and there’s no need to separate it with hair clips.
  • Blow-dry your hair at the direction of its flow and help distribute the air to your roots by combing your hair with your fingers.
  • Flip your hair by bending down and blow-dry it from underneath as well.
  • Style your hair with whatever product you want after you’re done.

How to blow dry baby hair safely and effectively?

Blow-drying a baby’s hair is something a lot of parents are hesitant to do but it’s perfectly doable as long as you do it right. There are only a few safety precautions that need to be taken but they are all very simple:

  • Blow-dry your baby’s hair from a distance of between 6 and 8 inches to as a baby’s hair and scalp are very soft and gentle and need to be protected.
  • Use cool or low settings only – you don’t want to use hot air for a baby’s soft hair or you’ll risk ruining it pretty quickly.
  • Use a comb or a brush to detangle the baby’s hair both before and while drying it.
  • Try to make it fun – babies can get scared from the blow-dryer so if they view it as a game the whole experience will be much more fun for both of you.
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