The biggest mistakes you make when drying your hair


Sometimes it feels like it
takes forever to painstakingly blow dry your hair. If you’re getting
lackluster, lifeless results after all that work, you might be wondering what
you did wrong. There are a number of techniques that will help you get the
luscious locks you desire. Read on for tips that will help you fix your
Your hair is too wet

While not every expert agrees
on how dry your hair should be, they do agree that you shouldn’t go into the
process with a sopping wet mop. As Drybar founder Alli Webb told InStyle, if
your hair is too wet, it will take much too long to dry. If your blow out takes
too long, all the extra heat will damage your hair. Try to get your hair mostly
dry with your towel before using a blow dryer, but do so gently. If your
tousling is too tough, it can create a slew of split ends. If your hair is
still getting damaged, beauty guru Michelle Phan suggests using one of your
T-shirts to dry your hair. For damaged or fine hair, the fibers in towels may
simply be too rough. A nice cotton T-shirt will have a much gentler effect.
Your sections are too large

A great way to make sure that
your blowout is speedy is to section out your hair. Sectioning your hair is
good for two things: drying and styling. If your sections are too big and your
dryer isn’t reaching all the hair, you’ll just be creating frizz due to the
hair that is still wet. Bottom line: damage. Make sure that your sections are
thin enough that you can quickly dry them and get on with your day.
Another helpful tip when
sectioning out your hair: start from the bottom up. Clipping your hair up is easy
and makes it clear which sections are dry and which are wet. If you start from
the top down, the dry part of your hair may be more prone to mix in with the
wet. Plus, clipping it back right after blowdrying before it’s completely
cooled off will leave kinks in the sections you already dried.
You’re not using heat

Even though you might not
think of your hair dryer as a hot tool, it can get fiery pretty quick.
Schwarzkopf Professional suggests that you never brandish a hot tool without
first applying a protective product to your. This will not only prevent the
hair from getting those nasty split ends we work so hard to cut off, but it
will also help the hot tool perform to its fullest potential. Styling can be
rough, but certain gels that double as protectant can actually help hold your
perfectly placed flips and curls. Even better, a lot of heat protectants are in
a spray form. This makes it easy to evenly distribute the product. No more
greasy hair days because you were a little too heavy-handed.
You’re using the wrong heat

Another great way to prevent
frying your hair is simply by… not frying your hair. Your hair dryer has
different heat settings for a reason — not all hair is created equal. Josue
Perez, a professional hairstylist, told Huffington Post, “The high heat is
available for really thick or coarse hair […]. The low setting is perfect for
thin or fragile hair.” If you’re still not convinced that too much heat is
a problem, you may be on your way to dull hair, or worse. Dr. Jeff Donovan, a
Canadian dermatologist, explains, “Individuals with hair damage note that
hair is easily broken. The hair loses its shine. The hair becomes less
manageable. In some cases, hair shaft damage may even lead to hair loss.”
All of these catastrophes happen when you use too much heat on your hair. When
detecting hair damage, one of Dr. Donovan’s first tips to clients is to use
their dryer on a lower heat setting.
Wondering what the heck the
cool setting is for? It’s actually to make sure that your luscious locks come
away shiny, sleek, and styled. After your hair is completely dry, you can blast
it with cool air to keep the style stuck in place.
You’re holding the dryer too

Back up that hair dryer. Sam Villa,
hair extraordinaire, suggests: “Point the nozzle diagonally down the hair
strand to concentrate airflow on the head to reduce drying time.” But if
you get those heat-filled fumes too close to your hair, it will create some
severe damage. Schwarzkopf Professional elaborates: “Holding the dryer too
close for too long can literally fry the hair and burn the scalp, potentially
causing permanent damage to the hair follicles, resulting in hair loss and bald
patches.” Clearly, it’s better for your hair health (and your overall
temperature) to avoid pointing the stream of air directly at the hair you’re
drying. If you’re not sure how close to hold it, Webb suggests that, “You
want the dryer pretty darn close to the hair, but not actually touching it.”
You’re using the wrong brush

In case I haven’t said it
enough already, too much heat is a huge problem when drying your hair. This
makes using a metal brush that heats up rapidly a big no-no. If you’ve ever
forgotten to take off a metal necklace before turning the air on, you know it
can quickly go from cute to painfully hot. Try a boar bristle brush instead.
Boar bristles give you the shine you’ve been searching for, and, if it’s a
round brush, it can also vamp up your volume. If you’re having a hard time
finding one, you can always opt for a brush with a combination of boar and
nylon bristles.
You’re not cleaning your blow

Just like you need to wash
your hair, you need to clean out your blow dryer. All those icky particles of
dust that are collecting in your dryer’s filter are doing nothing but giving
you frizzies. If your dryer is all gunked up, it can’t produce the amount of
power that it needs to provide perfect tresses. Instead, it will make your
drying process longer, and nobody has time for that. Make sure that you’re not
keeping your dryer around longer than its life expectancy (600-800 hours,
according to Webb) and that you’re maintaining its filter.
You’re throwing away your

Those dang attachments that
come with your dryer take up a lot of space, but they’re super important! Next
time you’re about to throw out your diffuser or your concentrator, think twice.
The concentrator makes sure that your mane stays nice and sleek, while the
diffuser makes sure that your curls stay airy, not crispy. Both tools can also
be used on different hair types — your hair doesn’t have to be chock full of
curls to use the diffuser, and it doesn’t have to be stick straight to use the
concentrator. The attachment you reach for will depend on the look you’re going
for that day. Professional stylists swear by both tools, so you’d be doing your
hair no favors by throwing them out.
You’re using the wrong hair

With fancy words like ionic,
tourmaline, and ceramic thrown around on the hair drying market, which is the
best for your hair? Almost all the dryers on the market claim to be ionic.
Ionic dryers help your hair get dryer faster without having an increase in
damage. According to ScienceLine, ions essentially eliminate static
electricity, which causes frizz. The site also mentions that it doesn’t have
too much of an effect because the static electricity doesn’t cause frizz
long-term, and by the end of your blow out it would have disappeared anyway.
Ionic dryers are good for
almost everyone since they have adjustable heat settings and evade the damage
(plus, the market is saturated with them). Looking for an even more gentle
approach? Try a ceramic dryer that relies on infrared heat. If your hair is
already a little damaged and you’re starting to feel as though it resembles
straw more than hair, this may be a good choice for you. Finally, if you’re
still not satisfied, the tourmaline dryers will help give your hair enviable
Be smart about your hair health

Remember that a hotter setting
does not guarantee your hair will dry faster. Instead, reach for a specific
type of dryer that will help wipe out all that water from your tresses. Have
some extra time? Make sure to let your hair partially air dry before going all
out with the heat. If you’re always making sure to use protectant and you’re
cleaning out your dryer regularly, you’re well on your way to a fabulous mane.

Kayode Ojo
Kayode Emmanuel Ojo is the Co-Founder and Managing Director at SHEFFA Limited. He is presently studying Computer Science at the National Open University, Victoria Island, Lagos.