We talk to a lot of people who don’t know the secret powers of the blow dryer. They think that a blow dryer is only for long hair or is just used to dry hair in a hurry. Guys, in general, seem to dismiss the idea of using a blow dryer for lots of reasons, one of them being that they think it will make their hair too fluffy or fuzzy.
The truth is, a blow dryer is where hair styling should always start if you are trying to achieve a specific look. When your hair goes from wet to dry, it locks into place wherever it dries. So, if you just towel dry your hair in the morning, comb it, and walk out the door, your hair will probably be frizzy and poofy by lunchtime.
There are 3 key steps to using a blow dryer effectively:
- Use a pre-styler
- Get the settings & technique right
- Use a brush
Use a pre-styler
In our barbershops, we use our matte clay pomade as a pre-styler most of the time. The point is to get a light coat of product in the hair to protect it from heat damage and also to aid the blow dryer in sealing the hair. This also helps keep the hair from getting frizzy and it makes the final product application 10 times easier.
I recommend applying a pre-styler or a bit of the product you’re using while the hair is still damp. It’s best to let your hair air dry most of the way before you start drying. Once you have the pre-styler worked through your damp (not wet) hair, go to town with the blow dryer.
Get the settings & technique right
There are settings on your blow dryer for a reason. That’s because each hair type responds differently and heat levels affect how much the hair bends.
For thin to medium thick straight hair, stay in a mid to low heat setting. For extra coarse hair, you may need to bump it up a notch to see the results. A curly hair, use a high heat setting with low airflow or a diffuser so that the curls aren’t straightened by the airflow.
As you use the blow dryer, keep it pointed at the hair and moving consistently. It’s important you don’t stay in one place because too much heat can damage the hair. Keep drying until every strand of hair seems to separate from its neighbor. That’s how you know the cuticle is almost sealed.
Use the “cool” button. Yes, there’s actually a reason this is on your blow dryer. When you finish drying the hair, flip to the cool setting and it will lock the style into place. The cool air helps the cuticle seal which means the hair will be strong and smooth, staying exactly where you told it to go with your blow dryer.
Use a brush
If you don’t use a brush when you dry your hair, you can’t give it any direction. The result is a big bushy ball of poofy hair that doesn’t respond to product.
Grab a brush and use it to direct your hair in the direction you want it to lay. This is the simplest way to immediately improve your blow drying results.