How Do I Choose the Best Way to Dry Hair?

Alex Tree

Three primary methods are used to dry hair: blow drying, air drying, and towel drying. Blow drying hair makes it temporarily shinier because the hair cuticles are forced to be flatter, but heat styling is damaging to your hair. To have the healthiest hair, the best way to dry hair is to let it air dry without interference from hot air or abrasive towels. Towel drying is bad for your hair because it is too abrasive and wears out or at least roughs up the cuticle, both of which lead to less shiny hair.

Lightly towel dry your hair before blow drying it is the best way to avoid breakage.
Lightly towel dry your hair before blow drying it is the best way to avoid breakage.

Both men and women blow dry their hair to make it straighter, shinier, and have added volume. These benefits are temporary, however, and blow drying frequently makes your ends split faster due to moisture loss and heat damage. If you are particularly fond of these benefits and simply cannot give them up, make sure to use a heat-protection serum before each blow dry and get regular hair cuts to cut off split ends before they split even further up the hair shaft. Taking these actions will minimize the damage done to your hair, but you should still expect some damage, especially if you blow your hair dry every day.

While blow drying hair makes the hair temporarily shinier, heat styling is generally damaging to the hair.
While blow drying hair makes the hair temporarily shinier, heat styling is generally damaging to the hair.

Hair should be dry before brushing for the best looking results.
Hair should be dry before brushing for the best looking results.

If you are most concerned about having healthy hair, air drying is generally the best way to dry hair. The other methods are all damaging in some way, but air drying is completely natural and lets your hair dry the way it was meant to. Air drying is often recommended for people who have curly hair so as not to break the delicate curls. Applying a leave-in conditioner or serum while the hair is still wet or damp can also help the hair retain its curls and prevent frizz.

Towel drying is generally the best way to dry hair for people who need a quick solution to wet hair but do not care if their hair is not as shiny as it could be. It is possible to gently towel dry hair, but it is still not the best way to dry hair for people who want the healthiest hair. The best method of towel drying is to blot the hair with the towel rather than vigorously rubbing the towel on the hair. Sometimes, especially if you have a lot of hair, it is necessary to use more than one towel to completely dry the hair within a reasonable amount of time.

For the healthiest hair, let it dry naturally and avoid driers and towels.
For the healthiest hair, let it dry naturally and avoid driers and towels.

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Discussion Comments

anon951569

I blow dry my hair every other day. I thought air drying would be bad for your hair so I rarely do that. Is it OK to blow dry my hair every other day? (That's when I shower).

literally45

Sometimes I air dry my hair and sometimes I blow dry it. In the summer and when it's sunny, I air dry because it dries quickly. I have thick hair so it takes forever for it to air dry in winter, so I blow dry in winter because I don't want to catch a cold.

turquoise

@SarahGen-- I can't air dry my hair because I have very curly, unruly hair. If I leave it alone after showering, it will turn into a huge, crazy mess. I have to blow dry it to keep it straight and tidy.

I don't think that blow drying damages hair if one uses the low setting and applies hair protection products. I have a hair spray that protects against heat and I always use this before blow drying or before using a hair straightener.

Of course, I also towel dry my hair before I blow dry. I can't imagine that anyone would not towel dry their hair first. If hair is dripping wet, it will take a very long time to dry it with a hair dryer. And that's waste of a lot of electricity as well.

SarahGen

My Indian friend has long, healthy, beautiful hair. I asked her about it and she said that she uses hair oil once a week and never blow dries her hair. She always air dries her hair, even in winter.

I guess blow drying really is very harmful for hair. It dries out hair and makes it brittle. Air drying is best. It takes longer, but it's worth it. I've started air drying my hair as well.

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