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View Full Version : Which is more damaging?



psycho
September 12th, 2008, 06:28 PM
We all know how horrible blow dryers, flat irons and curling irons are on our hair, but I'm curious...which is worse for the hair, blowing it dry or going out in the cold with it wet when it's cold enough to freeze the water in the hair solid? I'm still leaning toward the blow drying being worse, but not sure.

RavennaNight
September 12th, 2008, 06:39 PM
Umm, I dont want to get sick, so if its that cold I'm not going out with a wet head. My DH & I's livelihood depends on our ability to not be sick and go to work :)

Arctic_Mama
September 12th, 2008, 06:40 PM
I'd just cover my head.

Seriously, I am up in Alaska and there is no good way to dry my hair enough before I go out if I can't airdry it, so I cover it up with wool hats I knit and keep it braided back (or I did last winter, when it was longer :)). Investing in a microfiber towel is also a good idea, it will soak up a LOT more water without frizzing your hair.

Kirin
September 12th, 2008, 06:41 PM
Though wet hair in the cold might give you the chills (but not a cold), freezing the hair solid while wet probably isn't very good for it. Exposure robs the hair of moisture, considering the low humidity of cold temperatures plus the damage of freezing.

This one would be a hard one to weigh.

Arctic_Mama
September 12th, 2008, 06:42 PM
My hair has frozen before, it's not THAT bad. Oil your hair well, that will prevent the freeze somewhat and protect it a lot.

Steph0087
September 12th, 2008, 06:46 PM
Haha I live in the south and this is a question that would never have come to my mind - it never gets even close to that cold! So I don't have an answer, sorry!

cuddledumplin
September 12th, 2008, 06:52 PM
I just tuck my hair into my coat and wear a woolen hat on top. I braid or put it in a bun a lot in winter because the wind here can be brutal. Sleet has frozen my hair too, so I always take a hat if it's cold enough to do anything.

RavennaNight, regardless of weather, colds are viral, so you have to be exposed to get one.

Arctic_Mama
September 12th, 2008, 07:03 PM
I will add, it had to be around -15 F for my hair to freeze when damp in less than ten minutes. It's not as easy to do as you'd think, actually! It's not a surface conducive to freezing. Strands can freeze *together* with some water adhering them, but that doesn't actually damage the inside of the hair. At worst it can tear the cuticle if you rip it apart and let instead of letting it melt.

Katahdin
September 12th, 2008, 07:17 PM
I'd say freezing is more damaging, by a lot.

Given that you'd probably be moving around (not just standing still), your hair would be moving around a bit too. If it were frozen together, the ice would chip whenever you move your head or neck, and damage the hair by scraping at it. Let's also take into account that the volume of water changes when it freezes, it expands. I can't image that would do the hair a whole lot of good if it's saturated with water, then frozen.

Blow-drying carefully and on the low setting would cause a little friction damage and some indirect heat damage, but it would not directly scratch/tear the cuticle, as the ice would.

psycho
September 12th, 2008, 07:27 PM
I will add, it had to be around -15 F for my hair to freeze when damp in less than ten minutes. It's not as easy to do as you'd think, actually! It's not a surface conducive to freezing. Strands can freeze *together* with some water adhering them, but that doesn't actually damage the inside of the hair. At worst it can tear the cuticle if you rip it apart and let instead of letting it melt.

Hehe...here it's around -15 to -20 most of the winter, so easy enough for me. Luckily I rarely have to worry about it now, but I used to shower in the mornings then wear my hair down to the school bus in all weathers...this was before I learned to style it....and now I cringe to think what it did to my hair doing that all the time.

The question is actually one I thought of while writing an article on blow drying vs. air drying...obviously air drying is much better, but for the sake of information I'm trying to think of scenarios where blow drying could be justified.

Low humidity in the cold is a good point...I live in Wyoming in the Bighorn Basin...I think I was 12 before I realized that % humidity CAN be double digits :p, so I'm sure winter here is pretty harsh on the hair.

longhairedfairy
October 6th, 2008, 07:01 PM
I blow dry my hair all the time when the weather gets too cold. I also wash my hair every night or two. As long as I don't have the dryer on the hottest setting and don't hold it right up against my hair I don't find it damaging. I wonder if some of it depends on hair type. My hair is fine and not very porous at all and I use camellia oil on it when it's still damp.

wintersun99
October 6th, 2008, 07:07 PM
................

Oskimosa
October 6th, 2008, 07:17 PM
I don't understand why one wouldn't wash the night before, if one knew it was going to be that cold, thereby eliminating the need to go out in the morning with wet hair? :D


I was thinking the same thing. But in the cold months, it's often too cold to sleep with wet hair, so I gently blow dry it after washing and sleep with it only slightly damp. But my hair is hardy and doesn't damage easily. I won't risk getting sick all the time rather than blowdrying my hair each winter.

twilight_faerie
October 6th, 2008, 07:23 PM
Why not just shower at night and let it dry overnight?? :confused:

But yeah, I'd say having your hair freeze would probably be pretty damaging. Think about it - water expands when it freezes. So if water seeps into your hair, and then freezes and expands - it'll cause breakage.

Magicknthenight
October 6th, 2008, 07:24 PM
Could you turn on the cold setting of the hair dryer? That way its not really applying heat. Sometimes when i want my hair to dry faster i turn my fan on it and finger comb a little. Just a thought! :)

willowcandra
October 7th, 2008, 12:57 AM
I would also reccomend using a blow frier on warm or cool.

When water freezes it expands and that would probably not be something I want going on inside my hair shafts.

brok3nwings
October 7th, 2008, 01:14 AM
Oh that must be really cold weathers!! Here in Madeira is no longer Summer but yesterday i went to the sea and the water was warm... the winter here is basicly a lot of rain :P I went recently to London and i saw people hanging around with just a peace of cloth and i was full of jackets and stuff and still freezing!! I havent developed the right fur ehehe :)

Isilme
October 7th, 2008, 01:24 AM
I think we had a thread at the old LHC about this, if, I remember correctly, we came to the conclusion that freezing hair wasn't damaging at all.

Katze
October 7th, 2008, 06:43 AM
Another supporter of warm, gentle blowdrying here...as well as night showering!

I've been swimming lately (what else do you do when you are pregnant, have a broken foot, and it's cold and wet outside?!) and using the dryer at the pool locker room to help dry my hair before going outside. It's not that I get colds from a wet head, but I do get an earache if my ears are cold/wet so I make sure to dry them very well with the dryer. I also dry my scalp hair - again, still on warm - so that the rest dries faster.

Freezing is indeed bad for your hair...!

Rain76
October 7th, 2008, 06:44 PM
Since joining LHC, I have been thinking about when the best time would be to wash my hair. From reading other posts, it isn't good to comb wet hair, and I am sure in my case it is very bad for my hair. (My hair is the finest I have ever seen on a human, and I don't mean fine as in good). But if I wash it at night, I go to bed with wet/damp hair, and that isn't good for 2 reasons: 1. It is even MORE fragile & prone to breakage while sleeping 2. I end up having a stale sort of smell to my hair in the morning. And, it just doesn't feel as clean as when I wash it in the AM. But if I wash it in the morning, I am always afraid of combing it, but I have to b/c I can't go to work with tangled hair. And I can't blow dry it AT ALL. Too fragile. So really, I guess there isn't a very good answer for me, but I would appreciate any feedback!

Bucatini
October 7th, 2008, 06:49 PM
I often think about this- is the friction/blowing of the blowfrier as bad as the heat itself? Sorry to hijack, but since we're on the topic...

GlassEyes
October 7th, 2008, 07:02 PM
I have curly hair obviously, and so I can't shower at night (maybe when it's longer), so I have gone out in the frigid cold with wet hair.

It's probably damaging, but it lived.

Speckla
October 7th, 2008, 07:31 PM
A diffuser is a wonderful thing! :cheese:
________
HONDA NX125 (http://www.cyclechaos.com/wiki/Honda_NX125)

Buddaphlyy
October 8th, 2008, 09:43 AM
I blow dry my hair all the time when the weather gets too cold. I also wash my hair every night or two. As long as I don't have the dryer on the hottest setting and don't hold it right up against my hair I don't find it damaging. I wonder if some of it depends on hair type. My hair is fine and not very porous at all and I use camellia oil on it when it's still damp.

ITA. Heated appliance are only harmful and damaging if misused and abused. I usually wash at night, but even then it's super cold, so I think blow drying on slow, low heat would be better than going out (or to sleep) with wet hair.

Chromis
October 8th, 2008, 09:58 AM
I simply wash my hair after I get home from work. I dislike washing it (or showering in general) in the morning. If I wash in the morning I a. have to get up earlier and b. then have to find a way to work wet hair into something presentable without hurting it. Washing in the evening straight off means it is only damp by the time I go to bed and I have the added bonus of being able to relax in some nice hot water and wash the stress of the work day off. Mmmm...

Also, I tried once using a blow drier with no heat (wouldn't dream of using one with!) and found that the wind the stupid thing generated even on its lowest setting caused major tangling for me. Blech! I don't get any tangles air drying or drying until damp and bunning.

danacc
October 13th, 2008, 08:47 PM
Since joining LHC, I have been thinking about when the best time would be to wash my hair. From reading other posts, it isn't good to comb wet hair, and I am sure in my case it is very bad for my hair. (My hair is the finest I have ever seen on a human, and I don't mean fine as in good). But if I wash it at night, I go to bed with wet/damp hair, and that isn't good for 2 reasons: 1. It is even MORE fragile & prone to breakage while sleeping 2. I end up having a stale sort of smell to my hair in the morning. And, it just doesn't feel as clean as when I wash it in the AM. But if I wash it in the morning, I am always afraid of combing it, but I have to b/c I can't go to work with tangled hair. And I can't blow dry it AT ALL. Too fragile. So really, I guess there isn't a very good answer for me, but I would appreciate any feedback!

I wash in the evening, early enough for it to dry before bedtime. (Although I have been known to v-e-r-y loosely braid it and go to bed with it when it's still somewhat damp. Sometimes there just aren't enough hours in the day, ya know?)

Teilani
October 16th, 2008, 02:55 AM
I'd just cover my head.

Seriously, I am up in Alaska and there is no good way to dry my hair enough before I go out if I can't airdry it, so I cover it up with wool hats I knit and keep it braided back (or I did last winter, when it was longer :)). Investing in a microfiber towel is also a good idea, it will soak up a LOT more water without frizzing your hair.

This is a thread after my own heart - or at least experience! I live in Canada's Northwest Territories, and -40 (C or F, take your pick) or colder is considered normal for at least a couple weeks a year. Having my hair freeze is a problem, as it makes mine much more prone to breaking. Lightly oiling it has helped considerably.

When it begins getting very cold, I will wash my hair early in the evenings, and it is generally dry by the subsequent mornings. If I know I'm going to be spending much time out of doors in very cold weather, it gets a heavier oiling, because I hate the feel of a braid worn underneath my winter scarves and coat, and I maintain that friction is worse for breakage than simple exposure to cold assuming it is dry.

I may wish to revisit this or similar threads in six to eight weeks. :)

Chanterelle
October 16th, 2008, 03:10 AM
I know this won't make me popular here. :)

I've been using hairdrier for years and don't see any damage. I was my hair every 4 or 5 days so maybe that's the reason. I have wavy/curly hair and I like polished look so airdring at night is not an option anyway.
There was a period of time (4 months) when I wasn't using a hairdrier as I didn't have it and I couldn't see any difference.

wendyg
October 16th, 2008, 07:05 AM
Blow-drying, by a long way. I used to walk across the Cornell campus with my hair wet in the winter fairly often. Sure I'd get ice in it. But you know what? Ice *melts* when you get back inside.

Even with fine hair it was a non-issue.

wg