How To Blow-Dry Afro Hair
With the delicate make up of Black women’s hair, there is a certain amount of care required to blow-dry afro hair. Here is a blow-by-blow account to get the best results without ruining your crowning glory.
Do Not Blow-dry Afro Hair When Soaking Wet
Pat the hair dry before you unleash your hairdryer. Do not rub as this fluffs up the cuticles. Comb the hair to eliminate tangles. Place a nozzle on the hair dryer to direct the air flow. Holding the hairdryer at least six inches away from the hair, blow dry from the roots to the ends.
Start from the back of the head if you have long hair as it takes longer to dry, and work around the head. Point the hair dryer down the hair shaft in order to force the hair cuticles downwards resulting in a smoother finish. Make sure that the roots are dry before starting on the next section.
If you are using a brush, do not wrap too much hair around it because the hair underneath will not dry.
How Often Should You Blow-dry Afro Hair?
Afro hair in good condition can be washed and blow dried once a week, but if it is dry or damaged, limit to once a fortnight or dry with a hood dryer. Try to keep your hair heat-free for as long as possible to allow it to regain its natural PH balance.
Overuse Will Damage Your Hair
Heated styling appliances exhaust all hair textures and dries the scalp. It is overheating, rather than the actual process of blow-drying, that causes damage.
Holding your hairdryer on one spot for too long will scald your scalp and singe your hair, resulting in frizziness and split ends. Keep the dryer moving while styling your hair. Extreme overuse can also cause you to lose your hair.
Should You Blow-dry Dry Hair?
It can be tempting to blow-dry your hair every day to achieve the desired results however it is not advisable as it has drying and damaging effects. But if you must, coat the hair with thermal protective products or styling lotions.
Use The Lower Setting
The lower setting should be used to finish the look. It helps to set and finish the style after blow-drying. Apply sheen and hairspray and blow-dry, without attachments, to lock in the style. To control a wayward fringe, for example, hold it down flat with your hand and blast it at the roots. Turn off the heat and hold until the hair has cooled.
Use A Hotter Setting On Virgin Hair
If the hair is thick, remove most of the moisture before blow-drying at high speed.
Diffusers On Afro Hair
A diffuser can be used to create curls with volume and softness. It works by reducing the air volume, allowing only diffused air to pass through. The air is gently dispersed over a wider area so the hair dries in place without frizzing it.
When using the diffuser on frizzy hair do not brush or handle the hair too much and avoid scrunch drying. Flip your head upside down and concentrate the heat at the roots, ensuring that the hot air is flowing in the direction in which the hair falls to avoid damage to the follicle. Use the diffuser attachments if your hair hangs in loose curls when wet, or if you wear a curly weave or plaited extensions.