How water affects hair
A strand of hair consists of an inner layer and an outer layer. The inner layer consists of the cortex and medulla. The outer layer consists of the cuticle, which you might have heard of before.
In the hair salon industry, people talk a lot about the cuticle because it’s important to the hair’s overall appearance. When the cuticle is damaged, your hair looks dry, frizzy, and dull. A healthy hair cuticle means shiny and strong strands.
Blow drying can damage your hair by trapping water inside the inner part of your hair. When that water is exposed to extreme heat, it actually starts to boil the inside of each strand! This is incredibly damaging to your hair. It’s understandable that hairdryers have a bad reputation.
Air-drying your hair is a great way to avoid heat damage that can be caused by blow dryers, but there are some drawbacks to letting your hair dry slowly.
As you all may know, air-drying your hair can take a while. When your hair is wet, it swells. If your hair takes around two hours to fully air dry, your hair will be swelling for a long time which puts more pressure on the proteins that keep your hair intact. This pressure can result in hair breakage, which we all don’t want.
Also, when air-drying your hair, you may feel tempted to rub your hair with a towel. This abrasion will cause your hair to strip, break, and fry. To avoid this, we recommend using a t-shirt or a microfiber towel to squeeze the excess water out of your hair rather than rub it out.
We all know the struggles of having shaggy and messy hair when you air-dry. You may be tempted to brush your hair when wet, but this will cause the strands to stretch, thus causing damage and splits while your hair is at its most delicate. However, not brushing your hair and going outside will cause your hair to knot, creating even more potential for split ends. The best way to keep your hair frizz-free and tangle-free is to comb your hair in the shower and then NOT brush your hair.
When you are in a rush during the cold winter months, it is tempting to go outside with your hair still wet, but letting your hair freeze outside is terrible for your hair. When your hair freezes it can lead to major breakage. Make sure your hair is completely dry before heading outside when it’s cold out!
Let me be clear, air-drying is still a much better overall option for drying your hair.
To no surprise, blasting your hair with heat isn’t the best for your luscious locks. If you’re going to blow-dry your hair, follow our tips to do it in a way that will keep your hair healthy and shiny.
To blow-dry your hair without doing too much damage we recommend never using the high heat settings of your blow dryer. Blow drying your hair causes a “flash drying” effect that will not only remove the surface moisture, but also the water that is bound to the hair. The best way to avoid this “flash drying” effect is to gradually dry your hair rather than try roast it with high heat.
Another way to avoid roasting your hair is by keeping the hairdryer at least 6 inches away from your scalp and to keep the blow dryer moving constantly. Too much direct heat on one single spot can be extremely drying. Using a diffuser attachment is a great tool to use to have a more spread out and even air stream. Since some heat damage is inevitable. to mitigate some of the damage, we recommend using a leave-in conditioner or heat-protector spray to reduce water evaporation.
Neither just air-drying nor just blow-drying is healthy for your hair. The best way to keep your locks luscious and healthy is to do a combination of the two. It is recommended that you let your hair air-dry 70-80% of the way and then blow-dry until completely dry. This method will keep your hair healthy and keep your hair looking super sleek and styled.