It’s a question that has been debated for years – does cool blow drying damage hair? Some say it does, while others maintain that it doesn’t. So what’s the truth? Let’s take a closer look at the science behind blow drying and find out.
Well, simply put: blow dryers use heat to dry hair, and this heat can cause damage to the hair shaft. The higher the heat setting on the blow dryer, the more damage it will cause. Blow drying can also cause moisture loss in the hair, which can lead to frizziness and split ends.
Heat affects the hair in several ways. For one, it can cause the hair shaft to swell. This, in turn, can lead to the cuticle (the outermost layer of the hair) lifting up and away from the shaft. When this happens, the hair becomes more susceptible to damage.
Heat can also break down the proteins that give hair its strength and structure. It does that by changing the shape of the keratin (protein) strands, which makes your hair weaker and more prone to damage.
If you have curly hair, it can also cause your natural hair texture to change. High levels of heat can literally melt the keratin in your hair. If that happens, your hair can maintain that new shape on a molecular level and it is not reversible.
So, does this mean that you should never use a blow dryer? Not necessarily. As with all styling tools, there are certain steps you can take in order to minimize damage.
The short answer is that yes, cool blow drying can damage your hair. But before you go and throw out your hairdryer, it’s important to understand how and why this happens.
So as we mentioned before, when you blow dry your hair, the heat from the hairdryer breaks down the protein bonds that give your hair its structure. This makes your hair weaker and more susceptible to damage.
Cool blow drying does the same thing, but to a lesser extent. The cooler temperature means that the protein bonds don’t break down as much, so there is less damage to your hair. However, over time, this can still add up and lead to weaker, damaged hair.
When it comes to blow drying, it’s all about finding a balance between preventing damage and getting the job done quickly. So, if you can, let your hair air dry whenever possible.
But when you do need to use a blow dryer, there are certain things you can do in order to protect your hair. By following these tips, you can help to minimize the damage caused by blow drying:
Use a heat protectant spray: A heat protectant spray will help to seal the hair shaft and protect it from the heat of the dryer.
Avoid using high heat settings: If you can, avoid using the high heat setting on your blow dryer. The lower the heat, the less damage it will cause.
Invest in a good quality blow dryer: A good quality blow dryer will have ceramic or ionic technology, which helps to minimize damage. Something like this GHD Hair dryer, which is both powerful, but gentle on your hair.
Another thing to keep in mind is that healthy hair can take a lot more heat than hair that is already dry or damaged, so if you intend to blow dry your hair regularly, make sure to invest in good hair care products.
Find something that will keep your hair hydrated and nourished, and – we cannot stress this enough – invest in a good heat protectant!
A heat protectant is a product that you apply to your hair before blow-drying or using any other heat styling tools. It works by creating a barrier between your hair and the heat, which helps to protect your hair from damage.
When choosing a heat protectant spray, look for one that contains ingredients like silicone or dimethicone. These ingredients help to seal the hair shaft and prevent moisture loss.
You should also look for a heat protectant spray that contains natural oils, like argan oil. These oils help to nourish and hydrate the hair, which can prevent damage caused by heat styling. The Kevin Murphy Heated Defense Treatment is a great option there, as it is protectant and treatment in one.
Finally, make sure to choose a heat protectant spray that is suitable for your hair type. If you have fine hair, look for a lightweight spray that won’t weigh your hair down. If you have thicker hair, you can choose a heavier spray that will provide more protection.
So what’s the takeaway here, should you be blowdrying your hair, and should you be doing it on a cold setting? The answer is – it depends.
If your hair is already compromised, you should probably cut down on the heat for a while. If that is not an option for you, then you should be turning the heat lower, as that will indeed be less damaging to your hair.
But if your hair is in good condition, then you can probably get away with it. Just make sure to use a heat protectant spray, and try not to use the high heat setting too often.