How To Avoid Heat Damage When Drying Relaxed Hair

I think the longest part of my wash days and the part I dislike the most is drying my relaxed hair. It can also be the most damaging part of washing your hair. Particularly if you use heat.

Using heat to dry your hair not only removes the water but can also burn your hair and remove all the moisture making your hair dry, dull, and frizzy. This can lead to split ends and breakage and undo all the good you've done using sulfate-free shampoos and deep conditioning.

The best way to avoid heat damage is to use little to no heat to dry your relaxed hair and use products that help protect your hair from damage.

Avoiding heat damage when drying relaxed hair | A Relaxed Gal
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Air drying

The 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 have only sometimes 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 didn't touch it till it was dry

Hooded dryer

This is my favorite type of 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 hooded dryer I have is no longer sold but it's similar to this one on Amazon. I really like this dryer because
  • It has different style settings so I 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 to what I use for the blow dryer

Blow drying

When it comes to the cause of 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.

During the weeks when I blow dry my hair, I'm careful with how I use it. I don't use it on sopping wet hair or without heat protection. I also don't use the highest heat settings. Instead I
  • First coat my hair with the product. My leave-in conditioner, a hair serum, and also a heat protectant spray. Some heat protectant sprays I've used and like are Silk Elements MegaSilk Olive Heat Protectant Spray and the Mielle Mongongo Oil Thermal & Heat Protectant Spray
  • Let my hair air dry for at least an hour or two. If air drying isn't possible I will do a rough dry with the blow dryer to remove as much water from my hair as possible
  • 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 a cream leave-in conditioner if I feel the section needs it. Then I finish the section with the cold shot on my blow dryer and a finishing serum or natural oil
Check out the video below to see how I blow out my relaxed hair.

What's your preferred method to dry your hair?


  1. Really helpful tips! Also i am sharing my review about the blow dryers for natural hair here
    Thanks and keep writing nice post

  2. Pretty good post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say that I have really enjoyed reading your blog posts. Any way I'll be subscribing to your feed and I hope you post again soon. Big thanks for the useful info. Best Babyliss Hair Dryers

  3. In winter it is almost impossible not to use the blow dryer especially with long hair so I towel dry first then set and use the blow dryer once a week


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