Blow Drying Curly Hair… Ughh… Before I figured out how to style my hair, I used to think blow drying was the worst thing you could do to curly hair. I completely stayed away from any heat products and just left my hair to air dry, whilst it carried heavy products that made my hair crunchy and flat. I know now that the blow dryer is one of my best friends. However, if you don’t quite know how to do it the proper way, it can be your worst enemy.
Here’s how to blow dry your hair, the proper way:
1.) Get Yourself a Diffuser
Without this nifty tool, you’re in for your worst hair nightmare. Because I didn’t use this tool, I was shoved into this false illusion that the blow dryer was only good for making my hair frizzy for a mad scientist costume on Halloween. FALSE. The diffuser evenly disperses the heat, and air, so that your hair doesn’t look like it’s been roughly handled by a wind storm. This DevaCurl Diffuser is one of my favorites. It’s a little pricy, but it makes sure to reach sections of your head that may be hard to reach. Check to see if it fits on your regular blow dryer before you use it.
2.) Apply Product Before and During Blow Drying
This is key to keeping the curl shape all day long. About halfway through blow drying, apply more product, the same you used before or a different one, and gently glide it over the top of the curls. DON’T brush your fingers through your hair again, this will ruin the shape of the curls and cause frizz to take over. By putting product in halfway through, you are able to better seal your curls in their shape. I usually use DevaCurl SuperCream OR Shea Moisture Coconut & Hibiscus Hair Smoothie BEFORE and Cantu Moisturizing Lock & Gel DURING. I recommend doing something similar. Use a cream before and a gel during. If you put the gel on before, your curls are locked in shape too early and end up looking a lot like how they were when soaking wet.
3.) Don’t Blow Dry Soaking Wet Hair
Put your hair up in a towel, preferably microfiber or cotton, and let your hair dry for 10-20 minutes. If you are in a hurry, scrunch your hair in an upward motion with this towel to get rid of excess water. To learn how to put your hair up in a cotton t-shirt, check out this blog post I created. Blow drying your hair too soon can cause frizz, but then again most every thing does. #CurlywithaChanceofFrizz
4.) Blow Dry in a Dry Environment
I used to blow dry my hair in a steamy bathroom where all the mirrors were fogged. Please avoid this. Your hair is screaming for moisture when it is being dried and having moisture all around you is just asking for frizz. Frizz is literally your hair reaching out, searching for moisture. Try to blow dry in a spot where your hair won’t do this.
5.) Low Heat
You don’t want to blast your hair with too much heat, so sustaining a low heat the whole time will help reduce the risk of heat damage to your curly hair. It’ll also save you from any excessive frizz.
6.) Low Air in the Beginning, High Air at Very End
By using low air in the beginning, you are giving your curls a chance to take shape almost like they would while air drying. Just like blasting too much heat, too much air can cause more frizz. At the very end, a spritz of high air can help bring more volume and set the curls.
7.) Don’t Be Afraid to Treat it As a Work Out
Seriously, this is a work out. Bend over to blow dry. Bend to the right and use your leg to hold you in place. Your arms, back, legs, and neck will be exercising while you blow dry. I usually blow dry my hair bending over for the majority of the time. Towards the end I sit up straight.
8.) Don’t Move the Diffuser Around Too Much
When you blow dry, move the diffuser in an upward motion as if you are scrunching your hair. Don’t do this too much though. I used to move the diffuser around very fast thinking that it decreases drying time. Note: It does not. Move the diffuser slowly so that it doesn’t disrupt the curl shape. Again, we are trying to avoid frizz here.
9.) Blow Dry until 80% of Hair is Dry
Over-blowdrying your hair is something we must try to avoid. Let’s face it, you will never be able to completely blow dry your hair in a timely manner. It usually takes me 15-20 minutes just to get it to 80% dry. While blow drying to 80% saves you time, it also saves you from heat damage. Blow drying too much will be sure to suck all the moisture out of your hair, so 80% is a safe place to stop.
10.) Cool Air at Very End
Once you’ve reached that 80% level of dry hair, switch to cool air to finally set your curly hair. “Cool drying” your hair at the end will stop your hair from frizzing after. Most likely, your hair will feel hot. With it still being hot, it will be searching for moisture even after the blow drying process. This isn’t an absolutely necessary step as you’ve already determined by then if your hair is going to be frizzy that day or not, but if you’ve got time, follow through with it!
What diffusers/blow dryers do you use? Please tell us in the comments below!