For those of you who’ve blowdryed (blowdried? blowdrew? blewdryed?) their hair, you know that sometimes (or maybe all times?) you don’t get the results you were going for.
Whether it’s more volume you want, less volume, more moisture, or less, a lot of the times we’re just not doing it right. I mean, when’s the last time you sat in front of the mirror and had thirty minutes to spare for your hair? Oh, that was yesterday for you? I stand corrected. For the rest of us, (that’s all of us here at Very Good Light), whenever we do take out the blowdryer (which is mostly never), we use it for a good 3 seconds before hitting the door.
What if there was a better way than being so awkward with a hot air blowing gun to your head? And what exactly is the proper way of blow drying your hair? What have we been doing all wrong? We talked to hair expert to the stars, Niko Weddle (@nikoweddle), who’s worked with Jamie Chung, Abigail Breslin, Adrian Grenier, Reese Witherspoon, among others, about how to properly use a blowdryer.
You’re not using your blowdryer the right way.
According to Niko, there’s a right and wrong way to use a blowdryer. And using it the correct way has everything to do with your hair type. “The cuticle of your hair is shingled like a pine cone,” he says. “People with curly or chemically treated hair tend to have a raised cuticle. This is what makes the hair look dry and feel rough.
If you’re smoothing your hair you want to keep the direction of your blowdryer’s airflow working down the shaft. This seals those shingles down and leaves the hair glossy.
If it’s body you’re after you want the airflow going up the strand to raise your cuticle and add texture. Blast your hair around focusing at the roots. Finish with brushwork to add additional curl or volume.”
You’re not using products when drying.
Common mistake: drying your hair with nothing in it. But according to Niko, products are your friends. “Heat temporarily helps to change the structure of your hair but if you want it to last you must use product!” He suggests smoothing balms and oils to calm unruly hair types or mousse and salt sprays to add texture and to add some life to limp hair.
You’re not towel drying.
Are you so much in a rush that you’re not toweling off your hair after you shower? Common mistake. If you want to prevent your hair from being damaged, let it dry to 65% by letting it air dry or by drying with a towel. Once it’s damp, get to the blowdryer.
You’re leaving your hair too wet.
This is mostly all of us who simply turn on the blow dryer and rush out the door. But by leaving your hair too moist, you run the risk of your pomades not working to is full potential. Clay-based products work best on dry hair and will be left in clumps in your hair if it’s a little too wet. Water-based pomades will slide right off of your slippery hair if it isn’t dry enough. A good gauge is to pat your hair 30 seconds after you’ve stopped blowdrying. You’ll be able to feel if it’s too wet or completely dry. The perfect amount of moisture should be on the drier side.
You’re leaving your hair too dry.
[aesop_image imgwidth=”40%” img=”/content/images/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/Edit2.jpg” credit=”Photo by Carolyne Teston/Very Good Light” alt=”Blowdry” align=”center” lightbox=”on” caption=”Sad hair? Could be from your blowdrying methods.” captionposition=”left” revealfx=”inplace”]
“If you want to smoothen your hair, you need your hair to be a little damp to slightly wet depending on your texture,” says Niko. “Damp hair is more elastic and stretches, allowing the hair to be pulled smooth.” Meaning, if you want shiny, awesome, cooperative hair, leave a little moisture in so you can brush it out.
Your blowdryer is too weak.
It’s true. If you’re using a blowdryer that’s not powerful enough, you could be making your hair extra frizzy, or destroying it in general. “If you are trying to remove frizz or curl, make sure you have a professional grade blowdryer,” says Niko. “I’d say 1850 watts or above. You need high heat to seal the cuticle and make the hair smooth and shiny.” This way, it’ll make sure your hair gets the best chance being styled exactly how you want it.
You’re not pulling your hair at the roots.
If you’re looking for volume, simply combing or brushing your hair to the side won’t do much. Instead, you’ll need to pull your hair from the roots upwards. For the best method, follow the nozzle of your blowdryer to your roots, and with your comb or brush lead it upwards. It’ll give you that nice volume you’re looking for.
You’re using the wrong brush.
“All brushes aren’t equal. Painter’s use different brushes for different effects. Same with hairstylists,” says Niko. “If you are trying to smoothen the hair, tension is key. Boar bristle brushes provide superior tension for straightening. Metal round brushes with plastic bristles heat up which makes them better for adding volume and curl. You might need more than one depending on what effect you are going for or if you want to try different styles.”
Still not getting the results your want? Your blowdryer might be the problem.
If you’re not getting the results you want, maybe it’s actually the type of blowdryer you have. “Buy a blowdryer with a nozzle, the skinnier the better,” says Niko. “It helps to concentrate the airflow and make your work more precise whether you are smoothing hair or adding body.” Niko likens a blowdryer without a nozzle like “writing with a ballpoint pen versus a felt tip marker.” According to him, precision definitely matters. “Without the nozzle the air is blowing all over the place and you will spend more time for half of the result.”
Now go, Master Blowdryer. Be one with the colors of the wind.
[aesop_image imgwidth=”70%” img=”/content/images/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/EDIT.jpg” credit=”Photo by Carolyne Teston/Very Good Light” alt=”Blow dry” align=”center” lightbox=”on” caption=”The face of a master blowdrying champ. ” captionposition=”left” revealfx=”inplace”]in Hair, blowdry, cutler, hairstyle, quick grooming guide