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Step away from that blow dryer. Yes, it's true, you must go cold turkey from daily hot air styling to minimize ongoing damage and distress to your tresses.

Depending on which hair expert you talk to you may be advised to discontinue blow drying your hair on a regular basis to minimize ongoing damage.

Hair most likely to suffer from daily blow drying includes tresses that have been chemically treated with bleach, hair color or chemical texturizers such as perms or relaxers.

If you just don't have the heart to tuck your trusty blow dryer into the bottom drawer in your bathroom but still want to minimize damage, there are a few secret tricks you can try.

Consider the following hair saving drying tips:

1. Avoid using drying shampoo products when you clean your hair. Always utilize moisturizing shampoo options to add back moisture to stress strands.

If your hair is chemically treated with bleach, color, perms or relaxers, consider using products designed to add back moisture.

For extra TLC, consider washing your hair less often or 1-2x a week instead of every day. Another option is to use a diluted shampoo (DS) formula. Consider mixing 1 teaspoon of shampoo in one quart of warm water and gently splashing suds over strands rather than rubbing or scrubbin.

Another option is to skip drying shampoo and wash with conditioner only (C.O.).

2. Prep hair for after-shampoo blow dryer time by utilizing hot oil pre-wash treatments, rinse out conditioners, leave-in conditioners and detanglers.

3. Consider a clear water finishing rinse that is cool/cold to close cuticles and help protect cuticle from environmental factors.

4. Utilize thermal protection products or utilize cream based leave-in conditioners which block excessive heat penetration into the hair shaft from the blow dryer.

5. Skip styling products that encourage dryness and thus encourage additional damage. Avoid products with a high concentration of alcohol which is naturally drying. Avoid heavy gels or styling products with a high level of silicone that might cause damage due to build-up.

6. Blow dry on lowest heat settings at slowest speeds. This minimizes potential for hair to sustain heat damage.

7. Reduce potential hair damage by positioning the blow dryer at least six to ten inches from your tresses. Avoid holding nozzle of the dryer on the same spot longer than a few seconds. Gentle move the dryer back and forth to evenly distribute heat.

8. Minimize blow dryer time by first blotting excess moisture with absorbent towel and either wrapping hair into a "wet bun" or "plopping" hair into a towel to enhance natural curls and waves. Once hair has air-dried 75% of the way, finish with your blow dry.

9. Only blow dry for special hair events. This guarantees precious strands will sustain minimal blow dryer related damage. When possible avoid blow drying to save strands.

10. Consider drying hair by sitting under a hood dryer or soft bonnet dryer. These types of dryers distribute heat more evenly minimizing hair drying damage.

11. Invest in the best blow dryer you can afford that offers multiple features such as a variety of hot and cold settings, speeds and attachments, such as diffusers which provide a more gentle drying option.

12. Minimize use of hot air concentrator which will concentrate and direct hot air directly towards the tresses.

13. Investigate ionic and/or ceramic dryers designed to minimize heat drying side effects.

14. When possible, give tresses a break by letting hair completely air dry on weekends or in warm weather.

15. Avoid using any type of brush when blow drying. This adds stress since hair is more prone to breakage when used on wet strands.

16. Ditch any metal hair brushes that act as conduit for hot air and can potentially burn damaged strands.

17. Prevent blow drying related frizz by utilizing a defrisant product.

18. If volume is desired, utilize soft hair rollers applied to damp strands before sitting under a hood style dryer.


Hair dryers are tempting hair tools. Not only do they offer a speedy way to remove moisture from the hair, they can be used to help set in texture. However, hair dryers can be very dangerous when used on hair that is damaged from a variety of factors ranging from chemical treatments to environmental factors.

Consider following the tips above to achieve dried hair with minimal impact.

If you want to talk more about this or other hair care articles on or anywhere else, please post a message on's Hair Talk Forums.

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