9 Ways You're Using Your Blow-Dryer Wrong—and How to Fix It

woman getting hair blow dried


There are a ton of mundane everyday activities that secretly put the health of your hair in jeopardy. For example, ever notice your hair is slightly shorter on one side? And, is that the same side you wear your tote on? That may be the culprit. Similarly, you may be blow-drying your hair incorrectly—opening up the possibility of unnecessary breakage, dryness, damage, and greasiness.

To find out exactly what you may be doing wrong and how to best remedy it, we reached out to Dhiran Mistry, a go-to stylist at Spoke & Weal in New York City. Below, he outlines the many (easy-to-fix) missteps you may be making.

1. Your shampoo isn't rinsed properly

Rahua Classic Shampoo
Rahua Classic Shampoo $34.00

"It all starts with shampooing. If your shampoo and conditioner are not rinsed properly, this will cause a buildup and make your hair flatter and greasier much more quickly. Make sure to thoroughly rinse always, and your blowout will look better because of it."

2. Don't tug

Leonor Greyl Sérum de Soie Sublimateur Protecting and Nourishing Serum
Leonor Greyl Sérum de Soie Sublimateur Protecting and Nourishing Serum $46.00

"Detangle your hair post-shower with a soft brush, starting at the ends and working your way up to the root. Often, people really tug and pull as they brush and detangle their hair, and this will break the ends and cause unnecessary damage."

FYI: This is called the "Bottoms-Up" method.

3. Apply products in the correct places

Shu Uemura Essence Absolue Nourishing Protective Hair Oil
Shu Uemura Essence Absolue Nourishing Protective Hair Oil $69.00

"Adding product to your lengths and ends with help prevent damage. Product on the root can help volume, but, again, applying too much will shorten the length of time your blowout will last, as it can make your hair greasy too quickly."

4. Use the right brush

Mason Pearson Handy Boar Bristle Hair Brush
Mason Pearson Handy Boar Bristle Hair Brush $275.00

"Every hair type is so different, so using the correct brush for you specifically helps with the overall outcome. To prevent heat damage, do not use a ceramic or metal brush. They can get very hot, and constant overuse will burn the hair shaft. Boar-bristle brushes are great. If your hair is very thick or curly, though, a ceramic brush will help achieve a smoother finish. It's best to always check with your stylist to figure out which brush suits you best."

5. Invest in a good hair dryer

Dyson Supersonic Hair Dryer
Dyson Supersonic Hair Dryer $400.00

"In my opinion, the best on the market for blow-drying your own hair is the Dyson—it doesn't get too hot, and the diffuser attachment for curly hair is really where it excels. For thicker hair, I'm not quite convinced it will make it smooth enough, so I'd recommend the Twin Turbo 3500. It's lightweight and very powerful. Always make sure to use the smaller nozzle to smooth your hair, and concentrate the heat from the hair dryer to the section you're working on."

6. Make sure to rough-dry

Aquis Lisse Luxe Hair Turban
Aquis Lisse Luxe Hair Turban $30.00

"Begin to rough-dry your hair before even using a brush. With thinner, finer hair, doing this will prevent damage and breakage—you can rough-dry a lot before starting your blowout. On thicker hair, rough-dry slightly less so you can still smooth it out (and the hair shaft will get that nice shine) but without any added damage. Once curly hair starts to dry too much, it begins to set and will ultimately take more effort and cause more dryness and damage."

7. Don't touch the nozzle to your brush

"You brush and hair dryer placement is important. The biggest mistake is to touch the nozzle of the hair dryer with your brush, sandwiching your hair in between. This will not only burn your hair but it'll also ruin your brush."

8. Always use clean sections

Salon Hairdressing Sectioning Clamp Clips
Anself Sectioning Clamp Clips $7.00

"Always split your hair into clean sections. This will prevent the overlap of too much heat on your hair. Plus, overworking your hair in that way will make it all the more staticky."

9. Clean your brushes

Olivia Garden Brush Cleaner
Olivia Garden Brush Cleaner $14.00

"Remember to clean your brushes, as the buildup of hair is both unhygienic, and over time, the hair will start to burn and melt onto the brush."

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