One question you might ask yourself: should I blow-dry or air-dry my wet hair? With all the information out there, warnings about heat-damage as well as how brittle wet hair is, it can be difficult to know which one is better.
The truth is, both have pro’s and con’s and you will have to decide which option works best for your preferred style, hair type and even lifestyle. The real answer to this predicament is simply washing your hair less and thus minimizing the con’s of either option.
If you’re trying to determine if you should air-dry or blow-dry, we’ve got some advice that will help you weigh up the pros and cons and make a final decision.
The Con’s of Air-Drying Your Hair
A new research study in the “The Annals of Dermatology” determined that damage to hair strands can increase if the strands are exposed to frequent and prolonged wetness. For example, if you sleep with wet hair or braid your hair in hopes of getting those beach waves, you might actually be better off blow-drying your hair to minimize the time your hair is exposed to water.
This study suggested that blow-dried hair on low heating settings actually had less damage than hair left to air-dry.
Also, when your hair is wet it is at its most delicate state. It can easily become tangled and become torn or ripped when you lay down, throw a towel around it or try to detangle those wet knots.
It’s not always practical to blow-dry your hair because you don’t have the time, patience or even desire to blow dry your hair. Some times, blow-drying just isn’t for you but perhaps you should add a partial blow-dry to your hair routine occasionally.
Safely Air-Dry Your Hair
To cut down on time that your hair is soaked with water, invest in an absorbent micro-fiber towel. Rather than rubbing or blotting your wet hair, use your fingertips to just try the roots. This will increase airflow and add volume to your air-drying hair.
Use anti-frizz serums or oils such as coconut or argon oil to prevent your hair from frizzing or becoming tangled. When brushing your hair, use a wide-toothed comb to detangle and prevent damage.
The Con’s of Blow-Drying Your Hair
We have all heard that heat is bad for your hair. This is because heat breaks down the hair cuticle, the layers of protein over each strand, and this makes your hair rough, dry, flat and susceptible to damage.
Heat can also cause your hair to lose moisture leaving it brittle causing split-ends, frizz and unmanageable tresses.
Excessive heat, especially if you also use hair straighteners or curling irons, can cause your hair to lose out on essential oils, which causes not only your hair but also your scalp to become dry.
Safely Blow-Dry Your Hair
Blow-drying your hair can be done safely and effectively. Our first tip is to never use the high-heat options on your hair dryer. Keep the heat low to prevent excessive heat-damage.
Don’t throw away the diffuser that comes with your blow dryer. Although it might take a little extra time, it will prevent overheating. If you have the time, let your hair air-dry a little before blow-drying or let it finish drying by air-drying to prevent too much heat exposure.
Always use a heat-protection product any time that you are using heat on your hair and avoid keeping your blow dryer on one section for too long.
You need to decide what’s best for your hair and your style. Overall, washing and drying your hair only a few times per week will keep damage to a minimal and it will also give you more time on days that you need to dry your hair. If you are going to blow-dry, keep heat exposure minimal and use heat products. If you choose to air-dry, try to prevent prolonged water exposure and use products that protect your hair from tangling.