The best way to avoid this damage is to use little to no heat to dry your hair and use products that help protect your hair from damage.
Air dryingThe best way to avoid heat damage is to not use heat. This is where air drying comes in. I've tried air drying several times, but haven't always gotten good results. What I have found is the key to getting good results from air drying is the product you use and how much.
While I'm not an expert at air drying here are some tips I've picked up along the way
- Remove excess moisture with a t-shirt
- Use products that help reduce frizz
- Use products that provide a bit of weight and moisture to your hair
- Evenly distribute the product throughout your hair. I've found working in small sections is best
- Don't touch your hair when it's drying. I'm not sure why this works, but I would have some of my best air drying sessions when I'd put my hair up and not touch it till it was dry
Hooded dryerThis is my favorite type dryer though it's not as quick as a blow dryer. A hooded dryer is a better way to dry your hair with heat because it uses indirect heat. This means the heat doesn't make direct contact with your hair. Instead the heat evenly circulates around your head.
I have a hooded dryer I use when I have time to sit in one place for an hour or so. The dryer I have is the Gold 'N Hot Elite 1875-Watt Professional Stand Bonnet Dryer. I really like this dryer because
- It has different style settings so I'm can have it blow cool or hot air
- The stand is adjustable so I don't have to have a specific chair that I use for it
- The bonnet is large and can accommodate a head full of rollers (not sure if a head full of the really large rollers will fit though)
- Lastly the whole thing is on wheels so I can easily move it from one room to the next
To dry my hair with my hooded dryer I employ similar techniques like what I use for the blow dryer
- I let my hair air dry for at least an hour
- Then I coat my hair with my leave in conditioner. I'm currently using the SheaMoisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil Leave-in Conditioner. And then a heat protectant
- I wear my hair down in sections so the air is focused on my roots
- After I'm done drying I follow up with more leave in conditioner as needed and a finishing serum or oil
Related post: How to Prevent Hair Damage from Direct Heat
Blow dryingWhen it comes to a cause for heat damage, blow dryers are usually one of the culprits. This is because they are a direct heat tool. Blow dryers blast heat directly on your hair strands and by doing so it is pulling the moisture from your hair drying it out. So blasting the hot air from a blow dryer directly on your strands can quickly dry them, but it can also damage them.
Related post: Helen of Troy Hot Shot Tools Turbo Ionic DryerDuring the weeks when I blow dry my hair I use the Hot Shot Tools Turbo Ionic Dryer, but I'm careful with how I use it. I don't use it on sopping wet hair, without heat protection or on medium or high heat. Instead I
- Let my hair air dry for at least an hour
- Coat my hair with product. My leave in conditioner and also a heat protectant spray. The two heat protectant sprays I'm currently alternating between are the Silk Elements MegaSilk Olive Heat Protectant Spray and the Jane Carter Revitalizing Leave-in Conditioner
- I section my hair and blow dry each section on cool. I focus the blow dryer on my roots because they take the most amount of time to dry usually by the time I start blow drying my hair my ends are dry so I don't have to use the blow dryer on them
- When the section is dry I follow up with more leave in conditioner if I feel the section needs it. Then I finish the section with the cold shot on my blow dryer and finishing serum or oil
What's your preferred hair drying method?