Properly Using a Hair Dryer

by Amy Pusey
(last updated May 6, 2009)

Salon stylists make hair care look so easy. While they seem to cut and color with agility and grace, it is their efficient blow drying techniques that are impressive. A professionally done blow out, whether to straighten, enhance waves, or preserve curls, always looks to much better than when done at home. Grant it, they do these processes repeatedly on a daily basis, so their skills are far and above the likes of yours and mine. Obviously, to get the best blow outs you need to begin with the right styling products before you even turn on your hair dryer. But, there must be something special applied to a stylist's hair drying process to get that perfect result every time.

Stylists do not often reveal secrets of their trade, but here are some Dos and Don'ts from celebrity stylists for proper use of a hair dryer in order to achieve an amazing blow out at home.

The Dos

  • Blow dry hair down the hair shaft working in the direction from the roots to the ends. The hard part is holding the hair dryer 6-inches above the head pointed straight down. You should use a hair dryer that has a nozzle at the end to concentrate the air on the location to which it is directed.
  • Part your hair into several sections and dry one section at a time, with the other sections clipped out of the way.
  • Practice coordinating use of the hair dryer and a brush at the same time. Use the brush to anchor the section of hair being worked with and dry it from root to end. The best way to master this effort is to simply practice.
  • Allow time to properly blow dry your hair into the style you want. Stylists accomplish a perfect blow out so quickly because they are consistently in the best position and they see several clients a day and constantly repeat the cycle. If you force a quick blow dry, you will most likely end up with a frizzy or disheveled style. So, take your time and do it right the first time.
  • Prepare your tresses before you even begin using the hair dryer. The right products for your hair type will help seal in moisture, prevent frizz, and help with styling. Use products according to your hair's texture and condition, such as lighter mousses and gels for fine and thin hair, or extra strength gels, creams, and waxes for thick and coarse hair.

If you use a hair dryer, flat or curling irons on a daily basis, you should use a heat protectant product on your tresses before using the tool. Excessive exposure to the extreme temperatures emitted from styling tools can damage hair and make it dry and brittle over time.

Seal in the style while blow drying by first starting with medium heat, which opens the hair cuticle allowing you to manipulate the hair, and then when the section is fully dry switch to cool air to close the hair cuticle preserving the style.

The Don'ts

  • Stop waving the hair dryer back and forth when drying your hair. It does not offer any benefit to your hair, and may actually create frizz.
  • While blow drying, keep heat and air speed on medium, since too much heat and air at the same moment can overwork the style.
  • If you can avoid it, try not to blow dry your hair every day. Give your hair a rest from continuous exposure to the heat emitted by the hair dryer.

Author Bio

Amy Pusey

With over 18 years experience in operations and human-resource management, Amy Pusey uses her skills in her consulting and freelance writing activities. She is a freelance writer for, as well as a resume writer for ...


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