Sound the myth busting klaxon; leaving your hair to dry naturally isn't actually better than using heat to dry it. It's actually less damaging to use a hairdryer, we learnt from Dr Tim Moore, Ghd's chief technology officer who has a PhD in Microelectronics from Cambridge University.
"Natural drying takes a long time and water causes the cuticle to swell and crack, damaging the hair," he confirms. Interesting. In Ghd's research and development lab, where they spent £140,000 last year on hair swatches to test on for experimentation, Dr Moore explained that irreversible damage occurs when you style wet hair.
So, what does this mean for your morning routine? To dry your hair without causing damage, follow these easy rules:
1. Towel dry your hair first
Essentially you want to get your hair from wet to dry quickly, but without using high temperatures. Dr Moore says, "First, you should towel dry your hair," by gently blotting, squeezing or scrunching the moisture out. Don't ruffle the hair with your towel, this in turn ruffles the cuticles which causes damage and visible frizz.
2. Don't brush your wet hair
Brushing breaks wet hair. Fact. As dry hair is stronger than wet hair, it can withstand brushing, so aim to use your brush once the hair feels touch-dry. If you need to brush wet hair, use a lubricant to provide slip, like an oil or a leave-in conditioner. If you start off without using a hairbrush and then find your hair becoming knotted, try hitting the hairdryer's cold shot and it will help to detangle hair.
3. Set your dryer to a low heat setting
Until the water is evaporated off, Dr Moore says you should use a low or medium heat. "Stop and move on to another section when you feel the hair heating up." Just because hotter equals quicker when drying your hair, it doesn't make it better. "Take it slow," he adds.
4. When the hair is dry, you can style it with heat
Styling wet hair causes damage, so you always want to style the hair when it's dry — but keep a check on the temperature. "Styling hair above 210 degrees causes permanent damage," Dr Moore asserts. Burning your hair not only causes it to weaken, but the colour can fade or change, too. Dyes are very sensitive to temperature.
From: ELLE UK