For years, we have been trying to get our hair to that coveted, baby-soft finish by cutting back on heat styling as much as possible. That means making it a habit to air dry our hair often, rather than frequently shocking it with a blow dryer after washing. But now, a new study done by the Korean Dermatological Association and Korean Society for Investigative Dermatology suggests that constantly air drying your hair is worse for its health in the long run. Say what?
Six researches who put together this study found that your hair shafts can bounce back from damage quicker when residual moisture is dried up faster. They tested situations here hair dried under different temperatures, and found that leaving water in your hair not only can cause extra breakage on your ends, but it can make your color dye fade more rapidly. Plus, researchers found that the added friction of towel-drying adds additional damage to your routine.
This all may help explain why our split ends seem more noticeable when we air dry, rather than when we heat style. Even if it sounds counter-intuitive.
So what does this mean for our haircare routines? The study concluded that “although using a hair dryer causes more surface damage than natural drying, using a hair dryer at a distance of 15 cm with continuous motion causes less damage than drying hair naturally.”
Unfortunately, the research team hasn’t yet discovered a completely damage-free way of drying your tresses. Using heat on your hair still causes the surface damage you always thought it did. But you can reduce that harm by just avoiding direct contact with the heat source. It’s certainly worth a try – especially if you’re sick of always air drying!— Scarlett Price