Why air drying can be more harmful to hair than blow drying
Blow-drying is bad, letting your hair air-dry is good – at least that’s what we thought for years. But a study found something completely different: Isn’t blow drying as harmful as we thought?
We disciplined ourselves again and again to leave the hairdryer and the straightening iron (at least sometimes …) and let our hair air dry naturally – and now that’s supposed to be even more harmful? A group of scientists from South Korea has one study conducted on the subject of drying hair and gained amazing insights.
For their study, the researchers divided the subjects into different groups, who were to dry their hair in different ways after washing. The first group should let their hair dry completely in the air at a room temperature of 20 degrees. The next group was assigned to blow dry their hair 6 inches apart with 120 degree air for 60 seconds, while another group used the blow dryer 4 inches apart at 61 degrees for 30 seconds. Another group blow-dried their hair at 95 degrees for 15 seconds with just two inches apart.
Study shows that blow-drying is less damaging to hair than air-drying
The surprising result of the study: The doctors from Korea generally confirm the thesis that blow drying causes more superficial damage than air drying – especially if we keep a small distance and set the temperature high. But our hair seems to suffer less when we dry it six inches apart and with regular blow drying than when we let it air dry completely.
But why is it that blow-drying is supposed to be less harmful than the natural variant? After all, our hair is sensitive to heat. That’s true, but according to the study authors, this surprising effect is related to our hair structure. Because when it is wet, a lot of pressure is exerted on our hair. The longer they are wet, the more pressure they have to withstand and the longer they are in this delicate state. The risk of hair breakage is actually greater than with a cold blow-dry with a corresponding distance.
The optimal method: This is the gentlest way to blow-dry your hair
In fact, according to the researchers, there is an optimal way to dry our hair that causes as little potential damage as possible. To do this, you should first let your hair air dry until it is just damp. Then you blow dry it on a cold temperature setting and with said distance of 15 centimeters. It may take a little longer than blow-drying straight after washing, but it’s definitely gentler this way, and hopefully you’ll be rewarded for your effort with a strong, healthy mane!
Sources used: bustle.com, researchgate.net