How many myths are associated with the beauty of hair? Today, in this article, we will talk about how to properly dry your hair and consider all sides related to this process. Is drying your hair naturally beneficial and does frequent blow-drying and daily styling harm your hair? We will cover all the pros and cons of each method.
But, before we start, it is important to understand the structure of the hair. The main structural element of hair is a protein - keratin, which is also the basic element of nails. The outside of the hair is covered with a protective layer, as localized as the hair cuticle, which is calcified keratin and consists of overlapping scales. The hair cuticle has a protective function. Under the cuticle is the cortex, which is also made of keratin and gives the hair strength and elasticity. In addition, the cortex contains a pigment - melanin, which determines hair color. In the center of the hair is the medulla, which consists of soft keratin cells and air granules. In addition, hair contains a complex of cell membranes, which is, in fact, an intercellular substance. The function of this complex is to stick together the cells that make up the hair. So, for example, there are different varieties of the complex of cell membranes, such as cuticle-cuticle, cuticle-cortex and cortex-cortex.
For a long time, natural hair drying was considered a safer and more gentle method than using hairdryers and drying hair at high temperatures. Indeed, numerous studies confirm that exposure to high temperatures can lead to denaturation of alpha-keratin and damage the structure of the hair cuticle. Visually, the hair becomes brittle. Moreover, extensively hot stream of air causes moisture to evaporate from the scalp quickly, which can lead to flaking and increased dandruff formation. On the other hand, using a hairdryer greatly facilitates and speeds up hair drying, especially for those who are used to washing their hair every day or in the morning before going to work. In this case, there is simply no time to dry your hair naturally.
A 2011 study conducted at the Institute of Hair and Cosmetic Medicine in Korea assessed the structural changes in hair morphology, moisture content and pigment saturation after repeated washing of hair with shampoo and its further natural drying, as well as drying with a hairdryer at various temperatures. Scientists noted that the degree of hair damage was associated with the exposure to high temperatures. The higher the temperature - the more degree of the hair damage was observed. Interestingly, the complex of cell membranes was damaged by the natural drying of the hair. This is due to prolonged contact with water. Thus, depending on the length of the hair, on average it takes about two hours to dry naturally. The degree of hair moisture does not change with the choice of hair drying method and depends more on their condition. In terms of pigmentation, more frequent shampooing and blow-drying resulted in the lightening of the hair. However, more research is required to understand the cause of this phenomenon.
How to dry your hair then?
After shampooing, gently dry your hair with a towel with blotting movements. TRESemme experts recommend avoiding brushing damp hair whenever possible, as this can additionally injure it and lead to its fragility. GHD (Good Hair Day) professionals also do not recommend going to bed with a wet or even damp head. Since the hair can also be damaged during sleep. Another important rule is to use irons and curling or straightening irons only on dry hair. The fact is that when they are used on damp or wet hair, water evaporates, which, in turn, can injure the hair structure.
Using a hairdryer should be at least 15-20 cm away from the hair. Use a comfortable temperature setting and avoid hot airflow. Schwarzkopf.com recommends using thermal hair protectors, using a flat brush when combing, a large hair clip, and using a hairdryer diffuser when drying. Drying your hair properly will preserve its natural beauty, health and shine.
Written by: Angela Kravchenko