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How To Blow Dry Hair: 7 Mistakes You Need To Avoid

March 2, 2021

6 Min read

Trying to give your hair the blow-out treatment, but you keep ending up with a frizzy, tangled mess? You could be making some key blow drying mistakes that are keeping you from the hair of your dreams. After all, a blow dryer is a heat tool and can actually cause hair damage if used incorrectly. Today, we will cover everything you need to know to blow dry like a pro.

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Common blow drying mistakes

We get it. We’ve all been there. It can be frustrating to put all the time and effort into blow drying your gorgeous locks, only to end up with a frizzy, tangled mess. Fortunately, there are several common mistakes that can easily be avoided.

1. Your hair is too wet

If you are starting your blow dry with sopping wet hair straight out of the shower, put down the blow dryer! Your hair should be 65% dry when you begin blow drying with a brush. Try towel drying or air drying before you begin to blow dry. This will minimize frizz as well as heat damage

Letting your hair dry a bit before you blow dry is also a great way to reduce the amount of time the actual blow drying takes. So, if you are finding that your arms are sore from long blow drying sessions, you may be starting with hair that’s too wet.

2. You’re not blow drying from root to tip

When blow drying your hair, it is best to start from root to tip. Many people tend to start at the ends and work their way up, but this approach will actually leave your hair frizzy and flat. You should also avoid wrapping your hair around the brush and blasting it with direct heat. This will take more time to dry all over and can damage your hair in the long run. 

You should start at the front of your hairline and use the brush to lift your hair up from root to tip. Follow your hairbrush with the dryer, repeating strokes from the root to the tip until the section is dry.

3. You’re not sectioning your hair

If you try to dry all your hair at once, you will likely end up tangling your hair or ending up with knots. To get the salon blowout of your dreams, section your hair off into three or four rows (depending on how thick of a mane you have). If you work with one section at a time, you’ll get better results.

4. Your blow dryer is on too hot of a setting

While blow drying your hair on the hottest setting may get the job done faster, it’s not good for your hair. Using too hot of a setting will likely damage your hair with frequent use. You should adjust your heat setting and airflow setting depending on your hair type. 

For fine or thin hair, a low to medium heat and airflow setting is ideal. Thicker hair can withstand a bit more heat and a lower airflow setting. No matter what heat setting you use, be sure to finish off with a blast of cool air.

5. You’re using the wrong brush

Surprisingly, the round brush used by many is not the best option for smooth, glossy results. A round brush creates a lot of tension for your hair strands, which can cause damage if your hair is wet. Many round brushes also have metal cores that heat up from the blow dryer and can cause even more damage. 

For silky smooth results, use a brush with a lot of surface area. A big brush will give your hair room to dry while still brushing sections out smoothly. Opt for a traditional boar bristle brush or a nylon bristle brush. This tip is especially useful if you are prone to flyaways.

6. You’re moving too fast

If you are a speedy blow dryer, you may be cutting your blowout’s life short. If you allow your hair to cool on the brush a bit before moving on to the next section, all your hard work will last longer. Allowing your hair to set a bit will keep your smooth, shiny blowout fresh for up to two days.

7. You’re not using a nozzle

The attachments that came with your blow dryer weren’t just novelty additions. They actually help you achieve specific blow drying effects. When you don’t use a nozzle, you are spraying hot air all over instead of concentrating the airflow to exactly where you want. 

So, dig out the nozzles from under your bathroom sink and use them to help you achieve the perfect blow dried hair. The right nozzle for you will depend on your hair type.

How to blow dry like a pro

Now that we’ve covered what not to do, it’s time to go over some tips for success. After reading this section, you will be blow drying like a pro in no time!

Let your hair dry a bit first

It is best to let your hair dry a bit first. Dry your hair gently with a towel and then let it air dry until it is about 65% dry, then you are ready to get out your blow dryer.

Heat protectant spray

Hair dryers use heat, so it is important to protect your hair with a heat protectant spray before blow drying to prevent any damage. If you have curly hair, scrunch the heat protectant into your hair to begin lifting your curls.

Section your hair

Divide your hair into three or more sections, depending on how much hair you have. You will start in the front near your hairline and work your way back.

Choose your nozzle

If you have straight or wavy hair and are trying to achieve a smooth look, then the concentrator nozzle is the choice for you. This will help you direct the air to the specific section you’re drying and minimize flyaways. 

If you have curly hair and you’re looking to emphasize and define your curls, then use the diffuser attachment to spread the hot air out and preserve your bounce without causing frizz.

Start blow drying

Start in the front and work your way back, brushing your hair from root to tip with each section until the section is dry. For added volume, lift your hair up while blow drying. Be patient—this process could take anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour, depending on how much hair you have.

Finish off with some dry shampoo

Finish off your blow drying masterpiece with some dry shampoo near the roots. This will help keep your hair clean longer as well as add a bit of blow-out volume near the roots. Feel free to repeat dry shampoo the next day to further preserve your hard work.

And that’s a wrap

Now you know the ins and outs of blow drying dos and don’ts. With these expert tips, you will be able to skip the salon and get gorgeous blow drying results at home. Don’t forget to give your hair breaks from blow drying, as the heat can still damage your hair. Reserve blow drying for days when you want to look extra fabulous, and follow these handy tips for success.


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The Prose Staff is here to share the best hair tips and tricks to help you achieve all your hair goals with custom hair care, breakthrough innovation and more

Comments [3]

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  1. Very nice tips but blow drying your hair for an hour every time… You guys are delusional lol. Unless your job is to look pretty, nobody has time for that.

    1. Hi there! We hear you. The time it takes to blow dry your hair really depends on how wet it is when you start and how thick your hair is. If you allow your hair to air-dry for longer, it will take much less time than that.

      Keely, Prose Community Manager

  2. Thank you so much! This was so helpful because I actually do a lot of these mistakes. I love the writing style, relatable and understandable.