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Blissful337
June 9th, 2016, 06:27 AM
I gave up heat styling a month ago in hopes that it will help my hair grow longer in a healthy way. I was also just sick of using heat tools and figured it's so much easier to get ready without having to use a blow drier. I started noticing some heat damage too. I'm also just trying to embrace my hair type (which I'm still trying to figure out what it is). I just read 2 articles that stated that fully letting your hair air dry could be more damaging than partially blow drying on cool setting after your hair has dried to about 70%. The article claims that the longer your hair stays wet the longer it swells and then it puts pressure on the proteins in your hair which can lead to damage. The article suggests letting hair air dry 70-80% of the way and then blow drying on the coolest setting making sure to keep the dryer about 6 inches away from hair. Did anyone else ever hear of this claim about air drying? I really hope there isn't much truth to it because it's so much easier to just let my hair air dry. I really don't have time for a longer routine like that. So really I'm wondering if any of you that only air dry were able to grow long healthy hair with no real issues.

Stepo_NiNha
June 9th, 2016, 06:38 AM
I 've already found an article regarding partial heat vs. Heatless routine claiming that partial heat like you've mentioned could bring more benefits to your hair and scalp. I doubt about this being true though. I tried both and what works best for me is completely heatless routine. If your hair is fine you'll find that even low heat can bring some little damage. Or not, it depends. However heat doesnt do any good to my scalp, it gets oily pretty quickly if I blow dry my hair.

ChloeDharma
June 9th, 2016, 06:58 AM
I have heard of this and it has been talked about here in a few threads. I think it's discussed in the science thread which is REALLY interesting. It does make sense to me but I imagine is less of an issue for people who wash less frequently. You could also try a coconut oil pre wash soak to reduce hygral fatigue to somewhat compensate for the longer drying time if you really want to stick with the air drying with no heat. To be honest, I grew my hair to tailbone just air drying and the condition seemed fine except on the last bits of chemical damage that I had left. I do always heavily oil before a wash though, usually with coconut oil at least included on the length.
These days I blow dry carefully but mainly for convenience, plus it dries less tangly that way for me.

pailin
June 9th, 2016, 07:04 AM
Hopefully Meteor will be along soon with the link. There was a study that showed blow drying on COOL might be less damaging than air drying. I believe it showed it in more of a theoretical way than an applied one, though. And it was not studying hair on people's heads.
I don't worry about it myself because I'm totally unwilling to use the blowdryer- that's one of the great benefits of long hair! Also, if you get it dry in a reasonable amount of time with air drying, I don't think it's that big a deal.

Blissful337
June 9th, 2016, 07:07 AM
Interesting. I'll have to check out the science thread. Thanks! I do have fine hair but now my concern is that I do wet it in the shower every morning. My slept on hair sticks out in all different directions so if I don't wet it every day I will need a blow dryer or flat iron to manipulate it into looking halfway decent. It's too short and too layered to do any sort of updos. Although I wet it every day I have only been shampooing 2-3x a week. I use a gentle conditioner on the ends only every day but on shampoo days I use my gentle conditioner on my whole head. This seems to be working well for me and I've thought my hair looks pretty decent but now I'm concerned that it's spending about 2 hours air drying every single day. I blot it dry every day with a cotton t shirt and use a wide tooth comb and finger brush the rest of the day. 1-2x a week I've been sleeping with coconut oil in my hair. Seems like my fine hair is really liking the coconut oil. My hair doesn't tangle much because it's still short. I imagine that once it gets longer I won't need to wet it every day. At least I hope I won't. Then maybe I could do more protective up dos or sleep in a gentle braid. I have a long way to go though.

Robot Ninja
June 9th, 2016, 07:08 AM
It's called hydral fatigue and yes, it is a possible thing if you leave your hair wet for too long. But as ChloeDharma said, it probably won't be an issue if you wash less frequently, and we have members who damp bun so their hair is damp for much longer than it would take to air dry after a wash, and they still manage to have long, healthy hair, so you should be fine with just air drying.

Inga-Marjukka
June 9th, 2016, 07:27 AM
I'm a bit worried about this because I wash my hair A LOT because it's definitely one of my favourite activities on the face of the earth. I try to compensate by scrunching my hair with a soft t-shirt and headbanging furiously when there's no one to witness it... I've been air drying for so long now that digging up the old hairdryer and actually doing something with it is a less appealing thought than just leaving my hair be.

Curly276mom
June 9th, 2016, 07:44 AM
What is your length of time to air dry? Some curlies with product can get to three or more hours for drying times. But if you are drying pretty quickly, that is a different story.

Chromis
June 9th, 2016, 07:49 AM
It sounds pretty psuedo-science to me. I would have a lot more mechanical damage if I tried to blowdry even on the cool setting from all the tangling!

Blissful337
June 9th, 2016, 08:05 AM
What is your length of time to air dry? Some curlies with product can get to three or more hours for drying times. But if you are drying pretty quickly, that is a different story.

I have short fine straight-ish hair. I think I'm either 1b or 1c (Hard to tell at this length). And it takes about 1 1/2 to 2 hours to fully air dry.

Nique1202
June 9th, 2016, 08:06 AM
If your final goal is only BSL/midback, then chances are you could probably blow dry on full heat every time you need to wet your hair and you might not show a single split hair or frizzy end by the time you get there. If you think you might want to grow much longer, then you might want to consider planning ahead early and play it a little safer.

That being said I think that, when it comes to everyday practice and not just in a laboratory, hygral fatigue is not worth the worry. Everything from detangling to styling causes *SOME* infinitesimally tiny amount of damage to hair, too. Maybe it does cause some damage over time, but the manipulation of blow drying regularly (even at a non-damaging temperature) would likely bring it at least even if not still be more damaging to the hair in the long run.

That's not to say that I never use my hair dryer. I came to rely on it often throughout last winter when my hair took 5 hours to dry on its own and I didn't want it to freeze and crack off in the chill if I went outside. So if you do want to blow-dry, it's not the end of the world. Around here we usually recommend choosing a dryer that has a low heat setting. If your hand can sit in the air stream at the same distance your hair would without feeling uncomfortably hot then it's not a damaging heat. Sure, the manipulation might add up over time but it'll still be less than on full heat, and like I said, if you have a fairly short goal then you can probably take it, no problem.

pailin
June 9th, 2016, 08:19 AM
I think the real issue with hygral fatigue is how much you manipulate the hair while it's wet. It will be more susceptible to damage when wet. But if you handle it carefully while wet, I don't think there's any need to obsess.

TatsuOni
June 9th, 2016, 08:20 AM
I have short fine straight-ish hair. I think I'm either 1b or 1c (Hard to tell at this length). And it takes about 1 1/2 to 2 hours to fully air dry.

Two hours is nothing! It takes my hair six hours to air dry. I can't put it up or go to sleep with wet hair recause then it pretty much wont dry at all.

I only wash my hair every other week, but I used to wash it more often. My hair has dried this slow ever since around APL. I haven't had any problem with it, but my hair got dry from just once a year with a hairdryer years ago. I had to take extra care of it to get it back to normal.

I don't think that you have to worry about air drying your hair:)

lapushka
June 9th, 2016, 08:37 AM
That's how I do it.

- hair in a t-shirt towel for 40-45 min.
- airdry 2-4H
- diffuse for 4/5 min.

That's it, and it works. I am 2 inches beyond classic without so much as a split or white dot.

Arctic
June 9th, 2016, 08:50 AM
I wouldn't worry about this. Before anyone had heared of hygral fatigue, we have had tons of members with super lengths who washed often, always air dried, and damp bunned. Not to mention population outside LHC.

Hair is incredible strong. For example when bog bodies are found, hair is usually still there dispite marinating in wet conditions for thousands of years.

Cg
June 9th, 2016, 09:15 AM
I air-dry in summer, but in winter I do a cool blow after hair has partially dried. My hair is almost never completely dry by the time I go to bed, and sometimes is still damp in the morning too. Doesn't cause any problems. I do WO once a week, so maybe because it isn't a daily routine makes it undamaging...?

Blissful337
June 9th, 2016, 09:21 AM
Thank you all for all of this great info, input and thoughts on the matter. I don't know if I will go longer than BSL. I'll evaluate when I hit that goal. The longest I would probably consider going is waist..just my personal preference. I definitely have been preferring air drying my hair. Especially now that it's summer and I don't have central air. In past summers I sweat under the blow dryer and a couple of times I shorted out a circuit in our house due to having the ac unit on while blow drying. Lol. Air drying has saved me so much time in the morning and I actually like the way my hair looks better now. When I used to blow dry it felt dry and lifeless and would get tangled more and frizz more. Now that I'm air drying it feels softer, has much more shine and doesn't seem to tangle as much so I'm kinda partial to air drying now :)

meteor
June 9th, 2016, 11:16 AM
I gave up heat styling a month ago in hopes that it will help my hair grow longer in a healthy way. I was also just sick of using heat tools and figured it's so much easier to get ready without having to use a blow drier. I started noticing some heat damage too. I'm also just trying to embrace my hair type (which I'm still trying to figure out what it is). I just read 2 articles that stated that fully letting your hair air dry could be more damaging than partially blow drying on cool setting after your hair has dried to about 70%. The article claims that the longer your hair stays wet the longer it swells and then it puts pressure on the proteins in your hair which can lead to damage. The article suggests letting hair air dry 70-80% of the way and then blow drying on the coolest setting making sure to keep the dryer about 6 inches away from hair. Did anyone else ever hear of this claim about air drying? I really hope there isn't much truth to it because it's so much easier to just let my hair air dry. I really don't have time for a longer routine like that. So really I'm wondering if any of you that only air dry were able to grow long healthy hair with no real issues.

Interesting stuff. :) Do you have a link, by any chance? :)

I think ideally, hair should be dried both fast and heat-free (maybe with a floor fan or in a warm room next to a heater, or aerating, moving hair around, or with a blow-dryer on cool setting...). Regular, hot blow-drying causes cuticle damage (the higher the heat, the longer the exposure and the shorter the distance, the more damaging it is). But leaving hair "water-logged" for too long showed damage to the CMC (cell-membrane-complex) in deeper layers in a study... I think we need further studies to understand what happens there.

Hair Shaft Damage from Heat and Drying Time of Hair Dryer: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3229938/

Only the naturally dried group exhibited the bulging in the intercellular lipid layers of the cell-membrane-complex (that is the sign of damaged CMC, pictures: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3229938/figure/F5/), possibly due to being water-logged for a long time (2 hours in this study), while the blow-dried tresses didn't show any of this CMC damage, though they all exhibited cuticle damage instead.


"This result was quite unexpected, because increased temperatures generally led to more hair damage. It took over 2 h to dry the hair tress completely under ambient conditions. The hair shaft swells when in contact with water, as does the delta-layer of the CMC. The delta-layer is the sole route through which water diffuses into hair, and so we speculate that the CMC could be damaged when it is in contact with water for prolonged periods. Longer contact with water might be more harmful to the CMC compared to temperature of hair drying. Moisture content decreased in all treated groups (with and without the hair dryer) compared to the untreated control group. However, the differences between the groups were not statistically significant. The methods used to dry wet hair might not affect moisture content. With regard to color, the hair became lighter after repeated shampooing and drying. Drying under ambient temperatures and at 95℃ resulted in earlier changes in hair color (after just 10 treatments). The reason why the hair color is brighter after repeated shampooing and drying is unknown. On TEM examination, no decrease of melanin granules was found. However, after repeated shampooing and drying, definite damage to hair cuticle was evident on SEM examination. Therefore, we assume that the hair color change might be because of the damage to hair.
[...]
damage to the CMC was noted only in the naturally dried group and earlier changes in hair color were seen in this group and the 95℃ group. This effect of natural drying has not seen studied or described before. It is conceivable that a long lasting wet stage is as harmful as a high drying temperature (and may be even more dangerous to the CMC).
Further evaluation about contact time with water or wet environment and hair damage is needed.
Although using a hair dryer caused more surface damage than natural drying, the results of this study suggest that using a hair dryer at a distance of 15 cm with continuous motion causes less damage than drying hair naturally."

So, interestingly, wetting hair and shampooing it actually reduces water content (whether one air-dries or not!). Here's a graph on this from the study: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3229938/figure/F6/

Color changes were also observed (hair got lighter, which is likely indicative of damage): http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3229938/table/T1/
"Drying under the ambient and 95℃ conditions appeared to change hair color, especially into lightness, after just 10 treatments. In all treated groups, the hair was brighter than its original condition after 30 repeated cycles."

The hair that was simply left alone was preserved in the best condition, obviously. I think this is good argument for stretching washes or for throwing in scalp-only washes (to satisfy an oily scalp without adding too much wear & tear to hair).

Please note that the study was done on *tresses*, not hair still attached to scalp. The tresses were not conditioned or oiled or anything, just washed and dried every day for 30 days. This is important, because I'm sure that hair still attached to scalp would actually get a chance to get oily thanks to sebum, etc, and most people wash hair when it's somewhat dirty, not clean and many tend to condition hair, so washing wouldn't be as problematic in that case, IMHO. Whereas washing (with using 1% (w/w) sodium dodecyl sulfate cleanser, in this case) and drying already clean tresses every day is just like washing and drying a clean wig or extensions every day - it's just not ideal for preserving them in good condition.

littlestarface
June 9th, 2016, 11:30 AM
I'm fingertip length and I only ever air dry, I first use a turbie towel and then put my hair over my pillow and sleep wake up to dry hair. I never ever use any heat or diffuser or any device to dry my hair. Nothing wrong with my hair.

lazuliblue
June 9th, 2016, 11:38 AM
I wouldn't worry about this. Before anyone had heared of hygral fatigue, we have had tons of members with super lengths who washed often, always air dried, and damp bunned. Not to mention population outside LHC.

Hair is incredible strong. For example when bog bodies are found, hair is usually still there dispite marinating in wet conditions for thousands of years.

I never would have thought about the bog body thing - that is a very good point!

I've been air-drying my hair for 2-3 years and it's been fine. It doesn't take too long to dry, about 2 hours and I wash every 4-5 days. Occasionally I might break out the diffuser but that's only if I want my hair to look a bit fuller.

Chromis
June 9th, 2016, 11:45 AM
Wellllll, there is a bit more to the bog bodies. They are indeed underwater, but they are also not exposed to oxygen and the water of full of tannins which help in preserving.

Blissful337
June 9th, 2016, 01:04 PM
Interesting stuff. :) Do you have a link, by any chance? :)


Wow..great info!

This was the article I saw earlier. It was a simple article...not much too it. I came across it when I googled "is it really better to air dry hair." I'm a google questions fanatic! Lol
But I also realize you can't believe everything you read on the internet lol.

http://www.prevention.com/beauty/hair/healthiest-way-dry-your-hair

lithostoic
June 9th, 2016, 01:05 PM
Hair dryers take forever and give me bad tangles as well as a disheveled texture. Air dry only since I was little except rare occasions.

Frankenstein
June 9th, 2016, 01:26 PM
I air-dried only for about 7 years up until recently, when I started using the blow dryer on a cool setting. I've yet to notice any damage from it.

Adorkable One
June 9th, 2016, 02:48 PM
I don't really like using hair driers because they mess up any texture in my hair. Even on the cool setting, it just makes me poofy. So, I only use a hair dryer if I plan on also styling my hair a certain way. Even still, I let it air dry most of the way, and then hit it with the hair drier in the parts that take forever to dry.

yahirwaO.o
June 9th, 2016, 04:09 PM
I wash mine pretty much every single day and let my hair air dry without any issues. Im rather short lenght (BSL) but mine behaved the same when it was hip and such. I like blow drying but it kinda annoys me to do it every single day (besides it's not that great). The cold bottom is a great option of u have patience and such.

Groovy Granny
June 9th, 2016, 04:15 PM
I saw that report last Winter on the news and disagree in my case.
Until 4 years ago I blow dried my hair 100% in Winter and in Summer air dried 100%

My hair is fine and has had no damage from air or blow drying.

Now in cold weather I may diffuse my scalp for a minute; the rest is air dried....and 100% air dried in Summer unless in a rush for an appt. then I do my scalp.

luxurioushair
June 9th, 2016, 04:30 PM
In my experience the longer my hair stays wet the more it grows. So I have no idea what they mean.

meteor
June 9th, 2016, 05:41 PM
Wellllll, there is a bit more to the bog bodies. They are indeed underwater, but they are also not exposed to oxygen and the water of full of tannins which help in preserving.

I agree. :agree: It would also be important to get some SEM images or something and to see if the hair is still easy to manipulate/style, as damage can be invisible but easy to "feel" by normal handling.

Plus, there is the issue of comparing this hair to other hair that survived for thousands of years - but in other conditions...

For example, we have not only a ton of hair (mostly wigs and extensions) preserved in great condition in super-dry Egyptian pyramids, but even their hairstyles are mostly intact! No doubt hair can survive *a lot*... But the question would be which is better: leaving hair wet or dry (assuming no exposure to the elements and especially no mechanical damage like wind, etc)? My hunch is dry conditions would be better for preservation.

It would be fun to do an experiment just storing hair in dry and wet conditions (all other things being equal) for a few years and then comparing the two, especially their tensile strength, elasticity, etc etc... ;)


Wow..great info!

This was the article I saw earlier. It was a simple article...not much too it. I came across it when I googled "is it really better to air dry hair." I'm a google questions fanatic! Lol
But I also realize you can't believe everything you read on the internet lol.

http://www.prevention.com/beauty/hair/healthiest-way-dry-your-hair

Thanks! That's great! :D I'm pretty sure they are referring to the same Korean study there that I've linked up-thread. I just found it intriguing that they recommend air-drying first and blow-drying later... :hmm: Any reason for that specific order? I would imagine, if one blow-dries wet hair at very high temperature, one could make water's temperature go up significantly causing so-called "bubble hair" ( * ) as water is trying to escape, but outside of that scenario, I don't know if there is anything behind that specific order... wouldn't hair that's already almost dry develop more cracked cuticles if it's exposed to hot blowing air, for example? :hmm: I don't know...

* More on "bubble hair":
- Bubble hair. Case caused by an overheating hair dryer and reproducibility in normal hair with heat: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8277032
- Bubble hair: a cosmetic abnormality caused by brief, focal heating of damp hair fibres: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7857849
- Bubble hair: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1474196

EdG
June 9th, 2016, 09:04 PM
Yes, the problem with hair dryers is that the temperatures are too high.

One can speed up air drying with a box fan (in the summer) or an electric fan-heater (in the winter). I sit at least five feet away. My hair will dry within an hour.

http://www.edgrochowski.com/articles1/fan1.jpg

http://www.edgrochowski.com/articles1/heater1.jpg

Ed

Deborah
June 9th, 2016, 09:53 PM
Sounds like nonsense to me. I think this idea is probably promoted by those selling hair dryers or other products.

Decoy24601
June 9th, 2016, 10:07 PM
I have air dried my hair literally my whole life. Since I was a kid I hated having my hair blow dried. Up until the past year, I have showered in the evenings and let my hair air dry before I sleep. I have issues with my hair looking frizzy after I shower (even with water only) and I find that my hair has usually calmed down by the time I wake up and get on with my day. Every time I have to blow dry my hair, it looks very poofy and frizzy and I swear it creates so much damage to my hair.

Now that I'm living in a much more humid town and apartment, I air dry my hair in front of a fan. I have very thick hair that retains a lot of water and I can still normally air dry my hair in under an hour this way.

brickworld13
June 10th, 2016, 07:43 AM
My hair stays wet for about 12 hours after washing it. It dries faster when it's loose, BUT I don't always have the time to leave it loose so it can dry. I rarely use my hair dryer. It generates a lot of tangles and just overall makes my hair feel really rough and parched. If I have to go out shortly after washing when it is cold outside, I will use the dryer to get the roots dry and make the length damp. I then go out with a big floppy hat so my hair doesn't freeze. Mostly though, I just sit around and wait for my hair to dry on it's own. Sometimes I wrap it up in a tshirt to speed it along and sometimes not. I usually wash it right when I get home and leave it loose for the evening so that I don't have really wet hair when it's time to go to sleep.

01
June 10th, 2016, 08:12 AM
I always air dried and got to classic...

MINAKO
June 10th, 2016, 08:28 AM
I don't think i even wet my hair often enough for that to make a difference, but i damlen it slightly to style so it's probably only 90-95% dry when it goes up into the bun. I just don't use blowdryers cause i either need to put them all the way on high or it hardly makes a difference. I'm also too lazy i guess.

Hairkay
June 10th, 2016, 10:55 AM
I grew up washing my hair daily with no problem. Even switching from a tropical climate to temperate climate didn't cause that much difference with drying times. That's because in cold times my hair would be left to dry indoors. In warm days I'll leave it to dry outside. The few times i did attempt to use a hair dryer my hair didn't look that great. Besides my skin can't take the heat of a hair dryer and even on the lowest setting it may risk drying out my skin as well as the hair. My hair looks best after being washed and left to air dry. I can even wash my hair overnight, go to bed at midnight with a satin bonnet and wake up with hair that's been dry awhile at 6am. All I need to do is make sure that it is not all in one large plait/braid or bun when it's wet because that will take more than a night to dry in that way.

I'd question who is behind finding out if using a hairdryer is the most beneficial way for everyone to dry hair.

The only thing that had affect length retention for me was overmanipulation and not using protective styling/putting up my hair off of my back and shoulders.

ShDiHa
June 10th, 2016, 12:00 PM
I have air dried my whole life. I forget how often I used to wash my hair when I was younger, but in my teens, I would wash every other day. Nowadays, I wash my hair twice a week. As it has gotten longer, drying time adds up. I recently bought a hair dryer, intending to use it only when I'm in a hurry. I prefer to shower at night, and I usually work the night shift at my job, so I didn't want to spend hours just waiting for my hair to dry. I seldom use the blow dryer. I even bought blow drying balm...I'm just too lazy and impatient to use the blow dryer.

browneyedsusan
June 10th, 2016, 01:16 PM
I always air dry mine.
Ya, I don't have the thickest, nicest hair in the world, but what I have is in pretty good shape. I usually wash it at night, put it on top of my head in a damp (wet) bun, and go to sleep. It dries a little in my sleep, and doesn't take too long to finish up when I let it down in the morning.

I think it's highly individual, though. Everyone's hair is different and reacts to environmental things differently. :)

lilin
June 10th, 2016, 02:45 PM
I gave up heat styling a month ago in hopes that it will help my hair grow longer in a healthy way. I was also just sick of using heat tools and figured it's so much easier to get ready without having to use a blow drier. I started noticing some heat damage too. I'm also just trying to embrace my hair type (which I'm still trying to figure out what it is). I just read 2 articles that stated that fully letting your hair air dry could be more damaging than partially blow drying on cool setting after your hair has dried to about 70%. The article claims that the longer your hair stays wet the longer it swells and then it puts pressure on the proteins in your hair which can lead to damage. The article suggests letting hair air dry 70-80% of the way and then blow drying on the coolest setting making sure to keep the dryer about 6 inches away from hair. Did anyone else ever hear of this claim about air drying? I really hope there isn't much truth to it because it's so much easier to just let my hair air dry. I really don't have time for a longer routine like that. So really I'm wondering if any of you that only air dry were able to grow long healthy hair with no real issues.

Yup, I've seen it. Here's where I got to with it:

This is a really useful piece of information. However, they don't test the hair under all the various routines and porosities that actually exist. So, we have to combine this information with other things we know.

Damage to hair is not 100% preventable. Hair's dead, and every little thing it encounters imparts a little teenie tiny bit of damage. Long hair care is about minimizing that damage, not totally eliminating it -- that's impossible.

Air drying may cause more damage to the core of the hair. Blow drying, at any temp, may cause more damage to the outer cuticle. Either one (if you're blow drying on cool) are pretty low-damage and make sense in a long hair routine... depending on the long hair.

We know that some surfactants cause more swelling, and some reduce swelling even far below water alone (SLES actually reduces swelling a lot, but SLS causes more). So what you're washing with probably makes a difference in how your hair might benefit from air drying versus blow drying.

We know fine or porous hair reacts very differently to water too. So, same applies.

My take-away?

Either one is a good, low-damage routine, for someone. Which is better for you will depend on lots of factors.

I personally have typically air-dried. My hair is short right now, but when it's long again, I will probably try blow drying on cool with a diffuser, given the following:

- My routine, which is CO, can cause my hair to take longer to air dry, thus possibly more swelling. This is a point for blow drying.
- My hair is fine and curly. This is a point against blow drying, but it MIGHT be mitigated by using a diffuser. I'd have to try it to know for sure.
- My hair is porous. It probably swells more than average, no matter what my routine. Point for blow drying.

Therefore, I think it'll worth a shot for me, once it's long enough to be worth bothering with that.

I don't think there's a right or wrong answer, really. Combining all the things we know about hair science, and that you know about your own hair, different people might come to different conclusions. It's not straight-forward the way that, say, teasing causing more damage is straight-forward.

MlleMC
June 10th, 2016, 03:32 PM
I've air-dried for at least half my life, and my hair is pretty healthy even if it takes around 12 hours to fully dry. The only damaged part is the very ends (last 6 inches or so) because they were flat-ironed regularly when I had short hair. Other than that, blow drying, even on cool, tangles my hair much more than air drying.

Lavendersugar
June 10th, 2016, 03:58 PM
I would think a lot depends on the hair type and what's happening when your hair is wet. I like to use a 100% cotton t-shirt as a turbie then use that that remove excess wetness. My hair dries faster and I find it isn't as rough on my hair as a towel. When I remove the excess water I don't rub the hair. I just gently squeeze.
I can't leave it up long because then my hair will dry weird and I can't part my hair. It's the kind of hair that once there is a dent in it then I have wash it or the dent stays. Just wetting it won't work.

I've tried scalp only washes and hair hates it. Oh the tiny tangles!!!

Heat damage is no friend to any head of hair. Using your dryer on cool should be similar to a fan depending on the dryer.
My thought is that if you remove enough excess water than the hair is not soaking while air drying and allows the hair to fully dry. I know one study found the core stayed wet longer when air dried causing damaging. Well in the study they left the hair soaking wet.

I'm quoting below because I had a great convo with Meteor and Angie on this subject IIRC in the SMT thread.
I think it's worth reading if you are still conflicted on air drying.

Also, science for what ever reason rarely considers what we do with our hair in real life. Real hair has natural oils and not many just shampoo. Most don't drip dry. There's a lot of factors including using heat protection when blow drying.
While the test are interesting I like to look at the evidence of those with long hair and what they do.




Interesting stuff. :) Do you have a link, by any chance? :)

I think ideally, hair should be dried both fast and heat-free (maybe with a floor fan or in a warm room next to a heater, or aerating, moving hair around, or with a blow-dryer on cool setting...). Regular, hot blow-drying causes cuticle damage (the higher the heat, the longer the exposure and the shorter the distance, the more damaging it is). But leaving hair "water-logged" for too long showed damage to the CMC (cell-membrane-complex) in deeper layers in a study... I think we need further studies to understand what happens there.

Hair Shaft Damage from Heat and Drying Time of Hair Dryer: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3229938/

Only the naturally dried group exhibited the bulging in the intercellular lipid layers of the cell-membrane-complex (that is the sign of damaged CMC, pictures: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3229938/figure/F5/), possibly due to being water-logged for a long time (2 hours in this study), while the blow-dried tresses didn't show any of this CMC damage, though they all exhibited cuticle damage instead.



So, interestingly, wetting hair and shampooing it actually reduces water content (whether one air-dries or not!). Here's a graph on this from the study: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3229938/figure/F6/

Color changes were also observed (hair got lighter, which is likely indicative of damage): http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3229938/table/T1/
"Drying under the ambient and 95℃ conditions appeared to change hair color, especially into lightness, after just 10 treatments. In all treated groups, the hair was brighter than its original condition after 30 repeated cycles."

The hair that was simply left alone was preserved in the best condition, obviously. I think this is good argument for stretching washes or for throwing in scalp-only washes (to satisfy an oily scalp without adding too much wear & tear to hair).

Please note that the study was done on *tresses*, not hair still attached to scalp. The tresses were not conditioned or oiled or anything, just washed and dried every day for 30 days. This is important, because I'm sure that hair still attached to scalp would actually get a chance to get oily thanks to sebum, etc, and most people wash hair when it's somewhat dirty, not clean and many tend to condition hair, so washing wouldn't be as problematic in that case, IMHO. Whereas washing (with using 1% (w/w) sodium dodecyl sulfate cleanser, in this case) and drying already clean tresses every day is just like washing and drying a clean wig or extensions every day - it's just not ideal for preserving them in good condition.