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When you are having a bad hair day it's no joke. I remember reading an brief article in Cosmopolitan back in April, 1994 about the cause of really bad hair days.
The Cosmo article mentioned that dermatologists at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine at Chapel Hill actually studied what caused a bad hair day. They came up with an interesting report.
The North Caroline dermatologists that performed the "bad hair day" study found that using a hot hair dryer or blow dryer on your hair was a major cause of bad hair days.
This is because the dermatologists discovered that a too-hot hair dryer can actually create tiny, gas-filled bubbles in the hair shaft. These tiny little bubbles will make hair strands stick together, kink and even break about halfway from the scalp.
The dermatology researchers reported that blow dryers overheat when they become clogged with hair or lint. The intense heat causes hair to undergo an "intermediate stage of combustion" in other words to just burn up.
Hair dryers are not the only culprit when it comes to burning the hair. Hot rollers, hot crimpers, hot curling irons and straightening wands can all burn the hair.
How do you avoid burning your hair with a sizzling hot blow dryer or other styling tools? There are many solutions and steps you can take.
- Let your hair air dry as often as possible. This totally prevents the danger of overheating or burning your hair while using a blow dryer.
- Use a special leave in hair conditioner like Phyto 7 or Phyto 9 that will protect your hair from the high heat of a blow dryer. A good leave in conditioner designed to protect during blow drying with help immensely by forming a solid protective barrier against any heat damage and dehydration that can be caused by thermal styling tools like blow dryers and curling wands. Many leave-in conditioners protect against harsh environmental factors such as heat from blow-dryers and any type of hair stress.
- Dry your hair on the lowest setting possible. A lot of blow dryers have cool or cold settings. Use the coldest setting possible. If you must use the hotter settings, only do so for a short period of time. You also have the option of alternating between the cooler and hotter settings. This would prevent your hair from getting too hot. If you use a bonnet type of hair dryer, make sure you sit as far away from the heat as possible and keep the setting as cool as possible. When using styling wands, be careful not to use them for too long. Avoid using styling wands except for special events. When you use the styling wands, keep them on the lowest setting.
- Blow dry your hair from the underneath. Bend over at your waist and aim the hair flow down and away from direct contact with your hair. Wave the blow dryer around and avoid concentrating all the heat in just one location of your head. This allows the hair to still dry, but avoids a blast of direct heat directed to just one spot for any long periods of time.
- Keep your blow dryer and styling tools free of lint and hair buildup. Many blow dryers have vents at the end of the dryer. Make sure that this is clean and does not have any build up of hair, fuzz or other "stuff" that can collect in the filter.
- Allow lots of time to wash, dry and style your hair. If you're in a hurry chances are you will feel the need to use the blow dryer or use it on the highest heat. The same is try for styling tools like hot curlers, curling irons or crimpers. If you are relaxed and have plenty of time to get your hair ready, you can let your hair air dry, or at least let your hair dry naturally as long as possible. A great good hair day trick is to towel blot your hair, pick it out and then wrap it into a fat bun. Decorate the bun with a gorgeous hairsticks, jeweled hairclips or pins. This allows you to instantly dress up your tresses while letting it air dry at the same time. A great option to save the hair from unnecessary blow drying.
- Never ever use a brush with wet hair and a hot blow dryer. This is a guarantee that you will break or split your hair.
Some other hair care behaviors which may cause a very bad hair day include over-processing your hair with color, tints, bleach or perms. Chemical solutions should be used as little as possible on your hair to prevent dry hair that breaks and results in bad hair days.
Trying out a new hair style at the last minute for a big event can also result in a bad hair day. If you want to try a new hair look for a special event, such as a wedding or prom, make sure to allow plenty of time to practice the new look.
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Original Publication Date: 3/1998