all hair types How to Rough Dry Your Hair

It may sound aggressive, but this basic technique can be beneficial to your strands.

April 15, 2022
How To Rough Dry Hair

When it comes to hair care, you may be surprised how much your hair drying method can have an effect on your tresses. Of course, anytime you apply hot tools to your hair you run the risk of heat damage, but there is a drying technique that uses heat that can be beneficial to your hair: Rough drying. 

Don’t worry, it’s a lot less painful than it sounds and it’s been proven to be tried and true for years. If you’re not sure what rough drying is but you want to know more and possibly give it a try, keep reading as we explain what you need to know about rough drying. Plus, L’Oréal Paris creative director of style and color, Jonathan Colombini, provides three easy steps on how to rough dry your hair at home. 

What Is Rough Drying?

Per Colombini, rough drying is removing excess moisture from the hair with a blow dryer and your hand before introducing a brush or other hairstyling tools. Essentially, you’re using your fingers to comb through your hair as you blow it out. 

For those with frizzy hair this can be especially beneficial — it’s an alternative to towel drying, which can increase frizz and flyaways and create tangles. When you use your fingers to comb through your hair, you can gently detangle knots in a way that a brush or comb cannot. And since your hair is its most fragile when wet, this is key since you’re also applying heat at the same time.

Is Rough Drying Bad For Your Hair?

Since rough drying is a way to quickly dry your hair, you’re not blowing heat into your strands for a very long time — which is in itself a benefit. Curlier textures may not be the best candidates for the rough drying technique, according to Colombini. 

If you insist on rough drying your curls you’ll want to stop when you get to about 50 percent dry. Other hair textures will typically rough dry until about 80 percent of the moisture is gone — this will help prevent any thermal damage that can come from overdrying the hair.

No matter your hair type or texture, heat protectant is an absolute must before you apply hot air to your mane. While rough drying is not bad for your hair, per se, any heat can cause hair damage when applied in excess or if you skip heat protectant. So reach for the L’Oréal Paris EverPure Sulfate-Free Weightless Blow Dry Primer, Heat Protectant before you begin rough drying.

How to Rough Dry Hair

After you’ve washed your hair with the L’Oréal Paris EverPure Sulfate-Free Bond Strengthening Color Care Shampoo and L’Oréal Paris EverPure Sulfate-Free Bond Strengthening Conditioner, apply your heat protectant of choice then follow the simple steps below for a quick dry in as little as five minutes. 

Step 1. Prep Your Dryer

Before you begin drying your hair you want to make sure your blow dryer has the right attachment. Colombini says, “Use the attachment provided on your blow dryer called a concentrator, which delivers the air flow in a more precise direction and also keeps the heat of the dryer from directly touching your hair.” 

Step 2. Blow Dry Your Hair

Move the dryer in a continuous flow while shaking the hair out with your hands. According to Colombini, this will help prevent heat pockets of steam forming at your roots and potentially burning your scalp. We can all agree that we’d like to avoid any form of scalp burn.

Step 3. Brush Through Your Hair

Once you’ve removed 50 to 80 percent of the moisture from your hair (depending on your hair texture) use your hair brush of choice to work out any additional knots and smooth the hair out. If you’re going for a blowout hairstyle then section off your hair,  grab your round brush and move on to the rest of your styling. 

Next: How to Make Your Blowout Last Overnight, According to an Expert

Written by: Shalwah Evans, Photo Credit: Jasmine Burnside