Top hair dryer styling hacks from our editors!

There's more to your trusty blowdryer than you think...  

Everyone knows how to use a hair dryer, right? Or so, you’d think. It may come as a surprise, but it’s more than likely we’ve not been using it quite as effectively as we could be.

Indeed, there are many known methods and misconceptions about how to use a blowdryer “the right way”. But fret not: we’ve made an effort to hunt down and collect the best practices so that your next blowout is top notch and less likely to damage your mane.

black woman with curly hair blow-drying her hair
Our top tips for blow-drying your hair

Preparation is everything

After washing, instead of using a towel to dry your hair, try using a T-shirt. We know, it sounds strange, but the smooth texture of cotton will cause less friction than traditional towels.

But what does this have to do with blow-drying? Not only is this technique effective for absorbing water and to help ward off frizz, but using a hair dryer on damp hair will be more effective – and less damaging – than when it’s dripping wet, too.

Use the right brush

It’s important to use the right tools in conjunction with your hair dryer to get the results you desire and minimise damage. So carefully consider the hairbrush you’re using to blowdry with. In our experience, it’s best to opt for a round barrel brush, and, if you can, invest in a boar-bristled version.

This natural material can help to distribute the hair’s natural oils, fight frizz and is extra gentle, so it’s less likely to induce breakages. In terms of materials used for the body of the brush, it’s wise to steer clear from metal, as it’s a brilliant conductor and will rapidly heat up, which can be dangerous, not to mention severely damaging for the strands.

Instead, look out for brushes made from ceramic or tourmaline, as they will be kinder on your fragile tresses. Want to know which brush is best suited to your hair type? Find out more here.

dark-haired woman blow-drying her hair with a round brush
Choosing the right brush is key to a good blowdry

Don’t forget products!

We’re not suggesting you give up heated styling tools altogether, but it’s no news that excessive heat can cause damage to your locks. However, you can help shield your hair from harsh temperatures by using heat protectants before blow-drying.

It may also be a good idea to consider using a moisturising leave-in conditioner and/or serum to counter the drying effects heat has on hair. The TIGI Catwalk Blow Out Balm is a great option if a multi-functional solution is what you’re after.

It helps to protect your hair from temperatures up to 230℃, while also helping to smooth flyaways and boost shine.

Use your attachments

It’s more than likely that your hair dryer came with a few attachments, but the real question is: do you use them? Like most of us, we’re guessing you unwrapped your new dryer, then cast aside the extras without so much as a second look. But the truth is, you should be making those diffusers and nozzles your BFFs. They can help you get the best blowout by directing the hot air on the hair, rather than just blowing it about.

If you have frizz-prone or curly locks, diffusers are a great saviour. Fit the attachment to your hair dryer and use it at medium setting. Keep it close to the roots, so that the prongs help massage the scalp.

The concentrator nozzle is ideal for general styling or getting a sleek, straight ’do. Like the name suggests, it helps concentrate the air, providing more control over the direction of the heat.

And last, but not least: the pick nozzle. This attachment is amazing at providing volume and lift, so it’s great if you’re after a full-bodied style, or just want to boost the thickness of those locks.

model backstage with blonde wavy hair and dark roots
Wavy blonde hair with dark roots. Credit: indigitalimages.com

It’s all in the wrist…

We know it’s not quite professional tennis, but your wrist action is important when it comes to blowdrying your mane. Start by sectioning your hair into manageable sections; take your round brush in one hand and your hair dryer in another. Using your brush, lift the hair at the root and twist outwards and down.

Following the brush, direct the hair dryer downwards, working from root to tip. These two actions in tandem will help smooth the hair cuticle and get rid of any excess moisture. Repeat this action, working your way around, until all your hair is completely dry.

Finish the right way

Now you’ve blow-dried your hair, it’s time for the all-important finishing touches. Blast your hair with cool air for a minute to set your blowout and then apply a finishing product like the VO5 Tame & Shine Spray to help boost that smooth, healthy sheen.