Strands Hairdressing

The art of hair drying: Tips for healthier, happier hair

Did you know that hair is at its most vulnerable when it’s wet? It needs careful handling to avoid damage, especially when drying. 

Harper shows you how you can protect your locks during the drying process to reduce breakage and damage.

Gently does it

When the hair is wet, and the cuticle is lifted, it becomes more vulnerable to mechanical damage such as breakage and splitting, especially when we try to detangle or style it, explains Harper.

Incorrect drying techniques can lead to heat damage, breakage, and a frizzy, unmanageable mane. It’s all about minimising stress on your hair with gentle handling, protective products and patience in our hair care routines to maintain healthy, strong locks.

Handle hair with care

Over brushing or rough handling of wet hair can lead to breakage.

Use a wide-tooth comb or a wet brush for gentle detangling. Avoid tight hairstyles that can pull and damage wet strands – they can also leave unwanted kinks once your hair has dried. So, leave hair loose and down while wet.

Towel drying your hair

After washing, gently blot your hair with a towel to remove excess water. Avoid rubbing, as it causes friction, leading to frizz and breakage.

Microfiber towels are excellent for this task,  they’re gentle and highly absorbent, helping you dry your hair quickly and without damage.

Air drying for healthy hair

Air drying is the gentlest way to dry your hair, explains Harper. It preserves your hair’s natural texture and health and gives hair a much-needed break from heat styling.

But just because you’re air-drying doesn’t mean you should skip on product. “After towel blotting, apply a leave-in conditioner or a detangling product. For those with curly or wavy hair, a light scrunch can enhance your natural texture too.”

To allow any tangles to be removed easily and to reduce breakage, apply One United, then detangle your hair starting with the ends and slowly work up the hair shaft towards the roots.

Harper’s top tip: If you’re air drying, ensure your hair is fully dry before you go to bed. When you move in the night, your hair rubs on the pillow, creating friction and breakages. This damage is worse if your hair is damp as wet hair is more susceptible to damage and breakage.

Minimise the heat when blow drying

While air drying is ideal, it’s certainly not always practical, and you may need to use the hairdryer. Preparation is crucial, says Harper.

Ideally, gently towel dry or air dry so hair is around 85% dry. But if you’re in a dash, spritz a heat protectant such as Acidic Colour Gloss leave in treatment, then either use a diffuser or hold your dryer a good distance from your head to get hair 85% dry before you start blow-drying. This reduces the amount and length of heat, and limits potential damage.

Hold the dryer at least 6 inches away from your hair. Keep the dryer moving to distribute heat evenly and avoid overheating any single area. And remember, directing the airflow down the shaft helps avoid roughing up the cuticle and causing frizz.

Diffusers for curls

For curly or textured hair, diffusers are a game-changer, distributing heat evenly and enhancing your natural curls. Always apply a heat protectant, Acidic Bonding Concentrate leave in treatment is our go to.

HARPER’S top tip: Diffusers aren’t just for curly hair – use the cool setting to gently dry straight hair without heat damage.

Maintaining healthy hair

By following these tips, you can minimise damage and keep your hair healthy and looking its best, says Harper. Remember, the right techniques and products make all the difference, as do regular trims.

Have a question? Your stylist would love to help. Just ask at your next visit, or email or DM us. We’re here to help you achieve your beautiful hair goals.