- Hair is too wet: Hair should be 60-65% dry before you pick-up a brush. Towel dry, then blow dry using only your hands for a bit at medium heat and low speed — and then use a brush from the roots out.
- Not absorbing enough with the towel: You want to get rid of excess water before using any other tool. Scrunch and squeeze, don’t fluff and rub.
- Not getting enough lift: For lift and volume, use your hands to comb your roots up and blow-dry (note that the diameter of a brush won't allow you to get too close to the roots).
- Starting in the wrong place: Put your round brush in at the roots, roll the brush down to the ends then take it back up to the roots, concentrating your blowdryer on that area and your hairline first. By the time your roots and your hair midway down is dry, your ends should be pretty close. Then start to roll the ends on the brush and finish drying.
- Not using products: Of course the goal is to use products sparingly, in the right way, and in the right place. If you're going for volume, you want to concentrate product at the roots. Use hairspray from a distance which allows for even distribution. Blow-dry serum leaves your hair looking silky and smooth, while also protecting it from the heat of the dryer. Mousse is great for when you want your hair to have body, but don’t want it to feel heavy. Gels, crepes, mattes, and waxes helps you control your texture.
- Not using the right brush: The bigger the brush, the smoother the hair. Remember that brushes with metal cores provide a smoother look—but they also heats up like an iron, so remember to keep drying time to a minimum since it is more damaging. If you have coarse hair or are prone to flyaways, use a traditional boar or nylon bristle brush, as the ones with metal tend to not have as many bristles and therefore don't provide as much tension for a smooth pull. For women with straight hair who want movement, ceramics are fantastic.
- Forgetting to section: Gather the hair on top of your crown and secure it with a clip. Begin drying the lower layers with a brush, using more heat. Point the dryer’s nozzle downward to help smooth hair and create shine.
- Not letting your hair “set”: Letting your hair cool down on the brush before moving on to the next section will make your style longer lasting. Heat makes a curl, coolness sets it.
- Ignoring the concentrator nozzle: The concentrator attachments help concentrate air in a more precise way, protecting hair from excess heat. A nozzle is a must for a smooth finish.
- Ignoring cowlicks in your fringe: Start to comb the fringe area with the fine teeth of a comb from right to left – down toward your face, following with the nozzle of the blow dryer. Be sure to comb the hair directly at the hair line in the cowlick area. Repeat this 2-3 times and then switch the direction from left to right, again working down toward your face. You will discover that you are creating an “X” pattern. The motion and repetitiveness of the “X” pattern will confuse the hair as to which way it should lay, disrupting the growth pattern and allowing it to lay the way you like it.
TYPES OF DRYERS
- Tourmaline: Tourmaline is known for quicker drying and healthier hair. They are more expensive dryers, as tourmaline is a semi-precious mineral known for its ability to emit negative ions. Negative ions break down positively charged water molecules in a similar way to ionic hairdryers. Tourmaline is said to reduce drying time by up to 40%. Heat can be incredibly damaging to hair, weakening the hair shaft so it’s prone to breakage. Tourmaline dryers are not good for oily or limp hair.
- Ionic: Ionic hairdryers produce millions of negatively charged ions, which break down the positively charged water molecules. Negative ions don’t open up the hair shafts, so the hair remains smooth and sleek. With these dryers, you can use a lower temperature to dry your hair, curl definition is preserved, and you'll see less frizz. However, it's easier to over-dry your hair, which is particularly damaging to fine hair.
- Ceramic: A ceramic hairdryer is beneficial to nearly all hair types. The inside is coated to help distribute heat evenly by automatically sensing the room temperature and adjusting accordingly. At the beginning of a blow-dry, the air flowing out of your dryer is hotter. The air then cools gradually. Your hair will dry faster and incur less damage in the process. Ceramic hairdryers are slightly more expensive than traditional hairdryers, but the added benefits make it worthwhile. Ceramic models do release some negative ions to help control frizz.
Look for at least 1,800 watts and multiple heat and air settings
TYPES OF BRUSHES
- A round boar-bristle brush is ideal to create a straight and sleek look. These types of bristles are great for a smooth, shiny look, but will also give you volume and fullness. One helpful tip when using this brush is to brush your hair in the opposite direction because it will help give you height at the root. For longer hair, choose a round brush that is three inches or more in diameter. If your hair is thinning or especially fragile, look for a softer cut of bristle.
- A wide paddle brush is perfect for taming unruly hair of any length. Use it to blow dry your hair out quicker by sectioning and running the dryer over the brush root to end. You can use it for detangling as well—wet or dry.
- A nylon bristle brush moves through hair easily and quickly since the sparse bristles create less tension than their boar counterparts. The metal base heats up like an iron, which means this brush helps to tame thick hair. It takes the bulk out of thick hair and makes it smooth.
- A cushion brush is great for when you have thick hair, it sometimes feels like nothing can fully get through your mane and remove every tangle. It can help smooth and shape hair because of its curved shape and flexible base. It comes in three different sizes — try the nine-row version if you have longer hair.