The healthiest way to dry your hair

According to a new study, in some cases, a blow dryer actually isn't as bad for your hair as you thought.


By Nina Elias for

preventionPop quiz: What’s the healthiest way to dry your hair? If you said, “air-drying, obviously,” you’d be mistaken. With the right technique, using a blow-dryer is actually better for your mane’s health than letting it air-dry, according to a recent study from Korea.

How can that be? First, a little hair anatomy: Each strand of your hair is essentially a tube with an inner cortex and a protective outer layer (called a cuticle) held together by delicate proteins.

“When the cuticle layer is perfectly intact, then hair is very shiny and doesn’t tend to break,” says Jeff Donovan, MD, a board-certified dermatologist and hair restoration physician with Hair Club Medical Group in Toronto. Too much heat can damage the cuticle by trapping water inside the cortex and actually causing the water to boil (yikes).

Sounds like a case for air-drying, but get this: The study found that while the heat of a dryer can cause more damage than not using one, using a hair-dryer at the right distance and temperature can actually cause less damage than letting hair air-dry.

Keep reading to find out why…

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