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Your blow dryer can be your best friend–one that is committed to helping you achieve soft, shiny locks–or your worst enemy if you’re not using it right. One of the biggest blow drying mistakes you could be making? How you’re positioning–or not positioning–your dryer. “People tend to put the blow dryer directly against the hair because they think that’s the way to get it super straight,” says George Gonzalez, owner of George the Salon Chicago. “That can do real damage, especially with a metal brush. If it’s not too bad, you can repair the damage with conditioners. But once your hair is over-stressed and dried out from heat, there’s nothing to do but cut it and let new hair grow in.”
The solution is simple: “Pull the dryer a bit away from the brush and don’t let it touch the hair directly,” Gonzalez says. Once you’ve moved your dryer several inches away from your hair, make sure it’s not on the highest heat setting possible, which can burn hair and result in frizz, and keep movement consistent, says celebrity hairstylist Vanessa Mitchell at Fabio Scalia Salon in New York City. “With blow drying in general, it is important to keep the dryer moving while blowing through your locks,” Mitchell says. “It is also important to apply leave-in conditioners and treatments to your hair about twice a month if you blow dry often. The treatments will help protect your hair from the heat, as well as make it soft and shiny.”
While we’re on the subject of heat protection, every hair expert on the planet seems to be in agreement about two “musts” when it comes to blow drying your hair. First, “blow drying your hair without using a round brush or any heat protectant will result in a frizzy, unmanageable mess,” says celebrity hairstylist Michael Sparks, co-owner of Cie Sparks Salon in California. “Always remember to apply the product first through clean, damp hair, and smooth out your hair with a boar bristle brush–roots to ends. Failure to use this technique can result in damage. My personal favorite product that I use on all my clients before styling them is Oribe’s Royal Blowout Spray. It’s fantastic.”
For more beauty tips and news, check out how to blow dry your hair in half the time and 12 not-so-obvious hair dryer hacks to get a perfect blowout.
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