A hairdryer is a heat styling tool that is used worldwide to dry your wet hair or to style them. Heat styling can transform your sleek strands into bouncy waves and curls, depending upon how you use it. The drawback is that these hairstyling tools can cause severe hair damage such as roughness, dryness, thinning and even loss of hair color.
While you can’t always avoid using these hairstyling tools— because let’s face it, we all want to look good— you can take precautions to avoid heat damage. Many of us throw out our hairdryer once it starts overheating, but we can’t always throw it out and buy a new one.
Here’s a guide to help you figure out why your hairdryer heats up and how to prevent your hair from falling prey to heat damage.
Will Using a Hairdryer Damage My Hair?
Hairdryers definitely cause damage to the hair, like other heat styling tools. Using a hairdryer puts pressure on the hair shafts, weakens hair strands and results in broken and frizzy hair that has split ends.
Even the best tourmaline or ceramic hairdryers still emit heat. Using a fancy hairdryer might cut the heat damage and the strain on your hair, but it doesn’t protect your hair from damage completely.
How to Reduce Heat Damage from a Hairdryer
While you can’t avoid heat damage to your hair from a hairdryer, you can ensure to take certain steps to reduce the damage.
Limit Heat Usage
The general rule is to set your hairdryer at the lowest possible temperature to achieve your look. Many experts suggest setting the temperature below or at 410°F. At a temperature above this, the heat starts melting out the keratin in your hair. Also, try to limit the contact of the hairdryer with your hair. Don’t hold it up directly against your hair.
Use a Heat Protectant
A heat-protectant spray is a lifesaver. Before using any heating tool on your hair, make sure to use a heat-protectant spray or serum. These heat-resistant products slow down the heat conduction from the hairdryer to your hair. They won’t spare your hair from damage completely, but they are helpful.
Don’t Blow-dry Dripping Wet Hair
If you use hot hair tools on wet hair, you’re basically frying your hair. Wet or damp hair is a lot more fragile than normal dry hair. Yes, we’re aware that hairdryers are used to dry hair, but if you use them right after a shower, it can cause significant damage to your hair.
The best way to dry your hair quickly is to wrap it in a super-absorbent towel for a few minutes and then air-dry it. After that, you can use your dryer on medium heat and keep it at a distance from your hair. Don’t forget to use a heat protectant!
How to Prevent Your Hairdryer from Overheating
Every now and then, your hairdryer requires maintenance, especially if it’s overheating. Often times, the clogged pores of the dryer cause it to overheat. If that’s the case, then you should use a makeup sponge on the grate by rubbing it in circular motions to clean up the hair from it.
If you use your dryer for too long at a stretch, it may overheat and automatically shut down. In this case, you should unplug your hairdryer and let it cool down for a couple of minutes.
There can be a buildup of hair in the tunnel that holds the heater element or around the fan spindle. Make sure you clean that up to prevent your hairdryer from overheating.
You can follow these steps to prevent your dryer from overheating. If these steps don’t work, it’s better to get rid of your current hairdryer and get a new one before it becomes a fire hazard.
Frequently Asked Questions
My hairdryer gets really hot to the touch, what should I do?
Some hairdryers tend to overheat, make sure you’re not using a very cheap one. However, oftentimes, the air hole clogs up due to the accumulation of dust and hair, which causes overheating. You should clean it up at least twice a week to maintain your hairdryer.
You can use a paperclip to scrape out the little holes to clean out the dust. Cleaning up the hairdryer grate is a must. Don’t use cotton swabs or tissues as they can leave lint behind. The best hack is to use a clean makeup sponge by rubbing it in circular motions on the grate.
In case your hairdryer overheats even after cleaning up the vent, you should definitely replace it before it becomes a fire hazard.
What temperature should I use my hairdryer on?
Different hair types need different temperatures for drying and styling. If you have fine hair, make sure that your hairdryer’s heat setting isn’t above medium. All hairdryers have adjustable temperatures, but in case yours doesn’t, you should consider purchasing a new one. The rule of thumb is to never use your hairdryer at a temperature that may be too hot for the palm of your hand.
Which hairdryer causes minimal heat damage?
Like other technologies, the science behind hairdryers is also constantly evolving. A few newer technologies are offering options with gentler heat. You can get either a ceramic or a tourmaline hairdryer.
A ceramic hairdryer has an extra-special internal layer that makes the distribution of heat more even. Unlike regular hairdryers, ceramic dryers emit non-damaging infrared heat. They also regulate heat, making them safer to use for your hair.
Tourmaline hairdryers are another great option to cut heat damage to your hair. They use infrared heat to dry hair strands from the inside to avoid damage to the cuticle. If you blow-dry your hair often, you should definitely get one of these hairdryers to minimize heat damage.
Heat damage from using hairdryers is all but inevitable. However, you can correct your blow-drying technique, use protectants and/or get a new hairdryer as precautionary measures. The best way to prevent hair damage and breakage is to avoid drying your hair daily. But, if you still need to blow-dry every day, make sure you take these precautions to save your hair from heat damage!