When you use your blow dryer at home, does it sometimes feel like it takes forever? Ugh, we’ve been there. And when your hair is finally dry, does it lack that post-salon, voluminous look? How disappointing. Believe it or not, your blow-drying technique might be to blame. Want a beautiful blowout that looks like you just left the salon? It is possible, if you have the right hair dryer know-how. You’ll want to brush up on the right way to use a blow dryer not only for a better-looking final result but also to make sure that you aren’t causing any damage along the way. Here are 12 of the most common hair dryer mistakes to avoid the next time you dry your hair at home.
BLOW-DRYER MISTAKE #1: YOU START DRYING YOUR HAIR WHEN IT’S SOPPING WET
If you try to blow-dry your strands as soon as you hop out of the shower, you’re going to be blow-drying for a really long time—and that’s not good! Not only will your blowout take forever, but blowing hot air on your strands for such a long period of time can cause damage. So, the next time you towel off, allow your hair to air-dry about 80 percent of the way before reaching for your blow-dryer. Believe us; your strands will thank you!
BLOW-DRYER MISTAKE #2: YOU DON’T DRY YOUR HAIR IN SECTIONS
Do you pick up your blow-dryer and aim it at your head haphazardly, blowing every which way until everything dries? This is another reason why it could be taking you so much time to dry your hair. The most efficient way to dry your hair is actually by taking the time to go section by section—when you don’t do this, your hair dryer can’t get to all of your strands. If you practice and do it the right way, sectioning off your hair every time you blow-dry isn’t as time-consuming as you’d think. To do so, simply section your hair off and work your way from the bottom up. So, start with your hair in a half-up style, blow-dry the bottom half, and then let the top half down and continue drying. In order to focus on one section at a time, use hair clips to keep the rest of your hair out of the way.
BLOW-DRYER MISTAKE #3: YOU SKIP USING HEAT PROTECTANT
Using heat tools without applying a heat protectant beforehand could potentially cause damage. That’s why you should always spritz on a heat protectant spray or hair primer, such as the L’Oréal Paris Advanced Hairstyle BLOW DRY IT Quick Dry Primer Spray, before you pick up your hot tools. Not only will this spray protect your strands against heat damage, but it will also help minimize your overall blowout time. What’s not to love? To use, simply spray an even coating onto damp, freshly cleansed hair. Work in sections, holding the bottle six to eight inches away from your head, then blow-dry as usual.
BLOW-DRYER MISTAKE #4: YOU USE THE WRONG HEAT SETTINGS
Surely you’ve noticed the different heat settings on your blow-dryer, but do you really put them to use? When it comes deciding which one to use, it’s all about your hair type. If you have thicker hair, you may need to use a higher heat setting to dry your hair in a reasonable amount of time. On the other hand, if you have fine or thin hair, a lower heat setting might be enough to get the job done. Of course, the less heat you put on your hair, the better, so experiment to see what works best for you. The overall rule of thumb here is to use the lowest effective heat setting.
BLOW-DRYER MISTAKE #5: YOU DON’T BLAST YOUR STRANDS WITH A COOL SHOT
Ooh, the mysterious cool shot button on your blow dryer—what does it do? Well, it turns out it’s there to help cool down your strands and keep your blowout looking shiny. That’s why you should consider using it once your hair is completely dry. Who knew? All you have to do is give each section a shot of cool air after you’re done drying.
BLOW-DRYER MISTAKE #6: YOU GET TOO CLOSE
We’ve all been there: You want to dry your hair as quickly as possible, and it seems like the only way to do so is to cram your blow dryer deep into your tresses. However, this is not the answer to speeding up your blowout! Holding it too close could cause heat damage, so move that blow dryer back!
BLOW-DRYER MISTAKE #7: YOU DON’T CLEAN YOUR BLOW DRYER
The same way you need to clean your makeup brushes in order for them to work to their fullest potential, your blow dryer needs similar attention. That’s because every time you use it, hair product particles and dust collect in the filter, which can lead to your blow dryer not being able to work as well. As it turns out, your blow dryer isn’t the only tool that needs regular cleaning, either. Here’s How to Clean Your Hot Tools.
BLOW-DRYER MISTAKE #8: YOU TOSS YOUR BLOW-DRYER ATTACHMENTS ASIDE
Who has the space or the time to figure out what those added gadgets do, right? They are worth using, though. Depending on the look you’re going for, diffusers can amp up curl definition, while concentrators can help you get super-sleek tresses, so be sure to keep them and use them when necessary. The diffuser specifically, can be super helpful if you need to blow-dry curly hair.
BLOW-DRYER MISTAKE #9: YOU AREN’T USING THE RIGHT BLOW DRYER
Nope, not all blow dryers are the same. If you have dry hair, consider using a ceramic blow dryer. If you’re looking for the quickest drying time, pick up an ionic blow dryer. Meanwhile, if a sleek finish is what you’re after, try a tourmaline blow dryer.
BLOW-DRYER MISTAKE #10: YOU AREN’T USING THE RIGHT TYPE OF BRUSH
Are you attempting to blow-dry your hair with a regular old flat brush? While it will work, it’s definitely not the most effective way to go about your at-home blowout. Instead, reach for a barreled brush that suits your hair length and thickness. If you have long, thick hair, reach for a large-barrel brush. Conversely, if you have short or thin hair, use one that has a smaller barrel. Think about all the in-salon blowouts you’ve had or seen; They were almost certainly done using a round brush. To optimize your at-home blowout, you should do the very same!
BLOW-DRYER MISTAKE #11: YOU DON’T USE LEAVE-IN HAIR STYLING PRODUCT BEFORE YOU BEGIN
Do you typically notice frizzy hair right after you blow-dry? If so, consider using a small amount of leave-in hair styling product, such as a hair serum, before you dry. Not only can the right product help tame frizz, but it can also help keep your locks hydrated and healthy. Try a few drops of the L’Oréal Paris Elvive Extraordinary Oil Treatment, which you should apply onto the lengths and ends of your hair. You can use the serum treatment on damp strands before you dry, or apply it on dry strands as a finishing touch.
BLOW-DRYER MISTAKE #12: YOU DON’T PRESERVE YOUR BLOWOUT
Does your blowout look amazing for a brief while, then seem to fall apart? There are a few steps you should be taking to preserve all the work you’ve put in. First, when you finish with your blow-dryer, make sure to give your ‘do a good spritz of hairspray. (We’re fans of the L’Oréal Paris Elnett Satin Extra Strong Hold Hairspray.) Beyond that, if you’re planning to sleep on your hair post-blowout, you’ll want to wrap your strands in a silk scarf to ensure they don’t get disturbed while you snooze. Finally, if your strands quickly look greasy, a bit of dry shampoo will take care of that.