Blow drying sounds simple, but few men really know what they’re doing. Ideally, you’d avoid heat tools altogether to ensure healthier locks and an improved scalp environment; but even we occasionally pull out the blow dryer. Blow drying your hair is perfect for men who want a boost in volume, or don’t have time to let it air dry before heading out into winter weather.
So for those that want to master the tool & maximize their hair (literally) with minimal damage, read on.
Step 1: Wash & T-Shirt Dry
The products you applied to your hair yesterday don’t simply disappear, and you definitely don’t want to re-style your strands with product buildup. Give your hair a head start on volume by washing with a product that’s designed to develop thicker and denser-looking hair, like this Stimulating Shampoo.
Follow up with a deeply nourishing conditioner that’s designed to replenish the moisture you’ll lose while drying your hair. Don’t skip this (and no, “2-in-1” products don’t work). Then rinse gently with the coolest water you can stand to seal your hair cuticles.
Your goal is to limit the period of time your hair is exposed to the styling tool, so remove as much water from your hair in advance of blow drying. Grab a t-shirt and gently squeeze your strands. Whenever possible, avoid using a towel, as its rough fabric will just cause more frizz down the road.
Step 2: Apply Product
Now’s the time to apply your favorite styling paste or cream hair product. Since the main concern related to blow drying your hair is heat damage, it’s also important to apply a product that defends against heat and UV damage (typically labeled a “Heat Protectant”).
Step 3: Select Your Blow Dryer
Heat strength isn’t actually the most important factor when it comes to drying your hair quickly. Instead, look for a dryer that boasts power in the form of watts. Your ideal tool with has 1800 watts (we definitely don’t recommend you use anything weaker than 1200 watts). The higher the power on your dryer, the lower you can set the heat (think cool wind).
For those willing to invest in a more expensive tool, opt for an ionic dryer, since it works faster than most dryers - - - but buyers, beware! It’s easy to over dry our hair using this kind of tool, so turn off the machine every 30 seconds and run your hand through your hair to determine whether or not it’s actually dry. Never rely on determining if your hair is dry enough while actually using the dryer, since the heat of the tool can mislead you.
Step 4: Blow Dry
Here’s where technique matters. Never just point the dryer at one spot on your scalp and blast, since it will actually significantly (and sometimes permanently) damage your strands and follicles. Instead, keep your blow dryer moving constantly, and hold it at least six inches away from your scalp. Direct the style of your hair as you’re blow drying, which helps to actually set your hair into place for the entire day..
For those who want a boost in volume on their front strands, blow dry the hair in an upward motion in front of your hair. Use a round brush to shape the strands, and coach your hair into its ideal style by grabbing a wide tooth comb and combing into position. In under five minutes, you’ll have perfectly dry, voluminous hair.