Know Your Beauty Tools: Blow Dryers 101Blog ▸ Beauty Student Advice, Beauty Tips, How To's | November 11, 2011
Ever wonder why your hair never looks the same each day? Or why it definitely doesn’t look like it did the day you left the salon?
One reason for this is the effort put into styling, also known as finishing. Another major effect is from the tools you choose, and how you use them. Let’s discuss the biggest and most essential one- your blow dryer.
Beauty schools acknowledge the blow dryer’s importance and dedicate entire textbook chapters to it. Students need to know the craft of finishing design for their cosmetology state boards. Salon clients depend on it for their new look as the stylist dries their haircut into a flattering form. This is all because there’s more to this weapon-shaped marvel than just blowing around hot air.
Here are some tips to consider in choosing the best blow dryer for your needs:
§ Power matters. Drying your hair quickly is a good idea because it limits damage. Ideally, 1750 to 1800 watts is best, a bit more for professional dryers. Thick, curly hair needs the most; less for fine, thin hair.
§ Hit the controls. Choose a dryer with multiple heat and fan settings to control the temperature and drying time applied to your locks. Constant high heat breaks down chemical hair structure and makes it porous. Straightening requires high heat, curly hair needs lower temps with a low fan speed.
§ Ionic , ceramic or tourmaline? Simply put, these are features intended to cut down drying time, thus eliminating heat damage.
o Ionic dryers minimize frizz and lock in moisture. It enables hair cuticles to lie flat and shine.
o Ceramic dryers eliminate hot spots and have a lot of power. They keep their cool and don’t overheat.
o Tourmaline types boost ionic power to drastically cut drying time. It’s used by pros that need to repeatedly use a dryer daily.
§ Don’t be cheap. This isn’t the best area in which to be frugal. Think about the fact that you use this tool every day. It needs to last, and it needs to make you happy. Enough said.
§ Use that attachment. Pro stylists like Nick Arrojo (register for classes) suggest that the perfect blow dry is achieved by using the concentrator nozzle/diffuser properly. Who knew? I always tossed mine in the trash. Well, apparently there are entire lessons on diffusers and effects, but basically its purpose is to concentrate the air to easily achieve your desired style…whether you want to straighten, make a wave with a round brush, etc. Blowing the air around just makes a messy bed head look- while this attachment creates styles so perfectly, you may not need a curling iron afterward. Sounds good to me! Note: There are different attachments for various hair types, so be sure you get the right one. Learn all about it here: hairboutique.com
Point in the right direction.If you want body and volume, direct the airflow underneath hair.
Flip your head upside down while drying, massage the roots, and then flip back up to see really big Hollywood hair. If you want the opposite effect of sleek glam locks, then do the opposite- point the dryer downward from above the head when styling. This helps to seal the cuticle and achieve a shiny appearance.
· Cool it. Don’t ignore that nifty feature, the ‘cold shot’ button. It’s actually asetting tool to
finishand hold your style masterpiece. Use the heat to get moisture out, and then use your brush with the cold shot to set your style at the finish.
These are just basic tips so that you realize there’s more to that dryer than point and shoot. Your hairdresser is trained to do wonderful work with a hair dryer, but you can copy a chic hairstyle at home by choosing the best tool for your crowning glory.
Readers: Help us out…what dryer features are your favorites? Any that helped you achieve a great look? Share your finds and tips with us here!