View Full Version : Blow Drying Damage

July 23rd, 2015, 06:19 AM
I wash my hair every day and use a hairdryer to dry.
I was getting frustrated at the lack of growth so I stopped cutting it for nearly a year now. BUT the ends are very wispy and my hair is broken off at all different lengths.
I had thought that I'd reached terminal length but actually it is still growing so now I'm wondering if the hair dryer has been damaging it.
Would appreciate opinions.....shall I chop a bit off just now ...or leave it alone....and try to let it dry naturally to see if it makes any difference.
Does anyone simply not wash their hair at all.....I can't bear to have unwashed hair it feels so limp and no life in it.

July 23rd, 2015, 06:48 AM
The hair dryer is almost definitely the cause. Heat damage accumulates, and using it on your hair every single day makes it accumulate that much faster. It's up to you whether you want to trim up the bottom all at once to even the hemline, microtrim regularly (take 1/4 or 1/2 inch off every month, for example), S&D out the worst of the damage regularly, or all of the above.

Hair dryers CAN be used safely, but you need one that has a temperature setting that you can blow on your hand without pain. If it's cool enough for your skin, it's safe to use on your hair. Or, you could just let your hair air dry. That's how most of us do it. It takes longer, but as long as you don't let your hair get caught on anything while it's down, it's much safer than all the manipulation it goes through for blowdrying.

July 23rd, 2015, 07:04 AM
I blow dry my hair after every wash, which is every other day, and my hair is growing just fine so i dont think it is always necessarily damaging. Like Nique1202 pointed out though, i only use low heat comfortable enough that my hand can stay in the stream of air without burning. Your hair obviously may be different from mine though - you dont mention if you have fine thin hair or if you have a lot of damage you are dealing with. Those things can make a huge difference in how your hair responds to blow drying.

July 23rd, 2015, 07:23 AM
It's not just the blow dryer, it's the mechanics too. You might brush pretty violently when you blow dry, or comb, or whatever it is you do, that may be adding to the damage level. But blow dryers are hot and can definitely cause damage by themselves depending on how long you leave the heat in one spot and how hot it is.
People do go without washing, but maybe try blow drying on a cooler setting with gentler brushing technique? :)

July 23rd, 2015, 07:41 AM
If you blow dry too hot, it *could* be causing this, yes. A blow dryer should be used on cool/warm. You need to be able to hold your hand in the airstream without it burning your skin. If it doesn't burn the skin, it will do NO damage to the hair.

My hair is almost classic length and I have been using a blow dryer on it weekly (diffuser) ever since it was short. I have no white dots and no split ends. And my hair is in great condition still.

July 23rd, 2015, 07:50 AM
I had the same problem a while back and I was able to save my ends. I now only blow dry on cool with the very rare exception on warm. After doing so and a light Henna treatment on the ends, they are now silk smooth. I will sometimes only wash the top portion of my hair. This helps me prevent over dryness on the ends as well.

July 23rd, 2015, 09:24 AM
ok thanks...I think I have been using the dryer on too high a heat setting from what you are all saying

I towel dry my hair first and then I comb through with a brush so my next question is maybe the brush is damaging too. Do you brush your hair whilst wet and before drying ...I think you would have to if you are drying with a dryer otherwise it would become too tangled....and what kind of brushes do people use.
Or if I let it dry natural should I then brush after it is dry and again what kind of brush is recommended.
I have quite an expensive Mason and Pearson brush which my grandmother gave to me it says it is boar bristle and nylon mix.
Thanks all of you. x

July 23rd, 2015, 10:10 AM
You should always detangle with a wide toothed comb before using any kind of brush on your hair, and on the rare occasion I use the thing I blow dry using my fingers (because the heat isn't so high that it burns them!) to comb the hair out instead of a brush anyway. Brushing through tangles will definitely cause added damage.

Bristle brushes can be useful depending on hair type. Most people use them to move the natural oils down the hair between washes, or to help straighten out wavy or curly hair, but they can also cause a lot of damage (from the friction of the bristles against your hair) to some hair types, and on some other hair types they do absolutely nothing.

July 23rd, 2015, 10:26 AM
Wet hair is at its weakest, which is why you shouldn't brush it through, especially not with a dense BBB (Boar Bristle Brush). Try a paddle brush or a vent brush for blow drying your hair - if you must (after detangling it very carefully with a wide tooth comb).

This all doesn't go for curlies who naturally comb/brush while hair is soaking and full of conditioner (but that's an exception).

I think you've been ripping through your hair and you have been applying too much heat - can't be good!

Is there any reason why you do this *daily*? Is your hair so oily that you must wash every day?

July 23rd, 2015, 10:35 AM
When I used to use a hair dryer daily on my length, I definitely noticed thinning, breakage, and basically just more damage in general, so I would say that's definitely the cause of your problems. If you can let your hair air dry, I would suggest trying it since I know it can make such a huge difference. It's really up to you, though, if you want to lose the length you have. My hair was damaged as a result of a bleach wash to remove dye that was too dark, but I babied my ends until I felt comfortable finally cutting everything off. It can be done, you just have to be cautious and if you see a split, trim it immediately. Microtrimming would probably be beneficial to you if you don't want to commit to a huge cut right now, but again, it depends what you're most comfortable with.

July 23rd, 2015, 03:04 PM
I have the same Mason Pearson brush! Love love love. It should not be very damaging but I would recommend coming through first.

July 23rd, 2015, 03:10 PM
I am having issues editing my post. I use my MP brush mostly when my hair is dry. I would recommend combing through first while wet then using a paddle brush when blow-drying.

July 23rd, 2015, 03:31 PM
I towel dry my hair first and then I comb through with a brush so my next question is maybe the brush is damaging too. Do you brush your hair whilst wet and before drying ...I think you would have to if you are drying with a dryer otherwise it would become too tangled....and what kind of brushes do people use.

Well, this is pretty important. I would certainly suggest not brushing wet hair - that can cause damage: split ends, white dots, breakage, etc. Some people can't brush hair at all. Finger-combing and a seamless wide-tooth comb/rake may be all that you need, depending on your hair texture. Hair can be brushed once it's fully detangled, but a brush is not really a detangling tool.
I used to think that if I don't detangle my hair while it's still wet (or very damp), I will never get to detangle it... but honestly, try waiting once until your hair is fully dry and start detangling at that point. You might be pleasantly surprised. I saw many LHCers report the same. When hair is wet, it tends to stick to itself, so if you detangle when wet, you may still need to do it again when it's dry. This doesn't apply to curlies though, as you want to encourage curl clumping, so detangling is recommended in the shower when the hair is soaking wet and full of conditioner.

About blow-drying: if you don't do this for too long, and at temperature below 50 C and holding blow-dryer at a good distance from hair, your hair is probably safe. Alternatively, you could look into floor fans or air-drying hair next to a heater.
However, the very act of washing and drying hair daily, wet manipulation, hygral fatigue (from hair cuticle swelling and de-swelling)... all of this adds a bit of wear and tear... if possible, I'd suggest trying to cut down a bit on how frequently you do this. :flower: