We’ve stumbled upon some rather alarming news for women that air-dry their hair. While you may have thought that not using a dryer was saving your strands from damage, the opposite might be true. Turns out, using a hair dryer in the right way can cause less damage than not using one at all. Yes, you read that right. Running out of the house with sopping wet hair is not good for the overall health of your strands.
A study from the Annals of Dermatology suggests that allowing your hair to be wet for longs periods of time is as harmful as drying your hair at a super high temperature. The study found that women who air-dried caused more damage to the cuticular cell membrane complex (basically, the glue that holds your hair cuticle together), than women using a dryer on a low heat setting.
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Why, you ask? Washington, D.C. dermatologist Rebecca Kazin, MD, says, “Water causes the inside of the hair follicles to swell, and that kind of swelling allows water to penetrate into the hair’s inner cortex, which can damage it.”
The study found the best way to avoid damaging the cuticle is to use a hair dryer at a distance of 15 cm with continuous motion and never to use super high heat settings. Dr. Kazin says that because persistent wetness can be damaging, you should get the water logging out so that your hair is at least partially dry before you leave the house.