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4 Ways to Blow Dry Natural Hair

Avatar • Feb 21, 2013

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Style Icon Natasha
If you are keen to lengthen your hair but do not have the time or patience for heatless methods such as African threading or curlformers, then blow drying will be your go to method. There are a few rules that you should follow when blow drying and these include:

- Never blow dry dripping wet hair, this water can cause bubbles to form inside your hair shaft. Damp or towel dried hair that is not dripping is fine.
— Always use a heat protectant of your choice
— To maximise movement and body of the hair, aim to use as little product as possible and focus instead on spreading thin and even layers on all the hair
— Work in sections and avoid very high heat
— Find a method of blow drying that gives you the least breakage or damage.

For this final tip, here are 4 methods of blow drying that you can study and decide which best suits your hair.

1. The Tension Method

This is the most gentle method of all the blow dry methods requiring just the dryer and your hands to create tension. If you primarily finger detangle your hair and rarely use a comb, this method is for you. In this video a concentrating nozzle was not used but do use it if you have it as it will help to focus the heat better especially if you want a lengthening effect.

2. The Modified Tension Method

In principle, this technique is nearly identical to the tension method, the only addition is using a brush to smooth the ends of the natural hair further out. Most people will use either a paddle brush or a denman brush to do this. The advantage of this method is simply a smoother result. Do not use this method, however, if your hair in general does not like brushes.

3. The Comb Attachment Method

This method involves using a comb attachment for your hair dryer and the advantage is that a much straighter result can be obtained. Again, if your hair is not happy with combing, this method is not one you should use. Your hair should be well detangled before using the comb attachment.

4. The Round Brush Method

Using a round brush takes some practice and skill to master. If your hair however is able to withstand medium to high heat, this method will be able to give you the straightest result with quite an amount of volume.

If you’re looking for a good quality blow dryer, try the Chi Rocket Hair Dryer, the BaByliss Pro Porcelain Ceramic Dryer and the Andis Ceramic Ionic Dryer.

Ladies, how do you blow dry your hair? What method do you use and how frequently do you do it?

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Candice
Candice
7 years ago

Wow, is that hair stuck in the round brush??? That can’t all be shed hair I’m guessing. I’m just not convinced that people can use heat and not damage their hair. I might be wrong, but I would just hate to risk my curls just to have straight hair for a day. If I didn’t workout seven days a week, I might consider it.

Jeanetta
Jeanetta
7 years ago
Reply to  Candice

I am with you Candice. I have worked to hard to get my hair healthy again, the risk of heat damage outweighs everything, imo.

Brihappy92
Brihappy92
7 years ago
Reply to  Candice

I don’t think it was hair in the brush. I know often brushes like that have longer bristles(the white ones) and more bristles that are shorter and usually black. I still don’t really feel comfortable with that method and because I am working out more right now, I agree with what you said about not going through all that to have it straight for that day

Jc
Jc
7 years ago
Reply to  Candice

No I did not see any hair stuck in the round brush. At 4:37 she holds up the brush to her hair and you can see that there are short black bristles on the brush. All this said, some hair simply does not take brushing or heat. My hair for example is in this category. However, many naturals can use heat with no visible damage to the hair provided they are responsible about it. For a seven day exerciser, I would say, you really cannot use heat because that would be a daily thing and that would be terrible abuse to… Read more »

Tayler
Tayler
7 years ago
Reply to  Candice

I would have to say, that at least in my case, it can be done! I almost always go to a professional who was previously natural and has AMAZING knowledge on hair, to do my blowouts and straightenings. (3 times so far) and my curls always bounce back amazingly well. You just really have to make sure when you do it, you are aware of your hair and what it can handle. No heat damage! But this is also something I don’t do often, I love my curlz!!

honeybrown1976
honeybrown1976
7 years ago

My hair is fine with either the round brush or comb attachment method; though, I do prefer the round brush method.

Pseudonym
Pseudonym
7 years ago

use as little product as possible”

I found this out recently. Sooooo true! I’d put products like coconut oil and anti-frizz serums to “protect and nourish” my hair but it just weighed my hair down and my hair would be gross after a few days. I recently straightened only using Infusium 21 leave in and a few sprays this Frizz Ease straightening spray and not only did my hair look and feel a lot better but it also took less time to dry it.

Tink
Tink
7 years ago

I haven’t had any damage from blow drying with a comb (I need the ends my hair strectched as much as possible because ssk are always waiting to pop up)..I detangle throughly. I use a leave-in and a heat protectant spray. I use a flatiron and apply coconut oil on my hair afterwards.…its soft and shiny.

Amma Mama
Amma Mama
7 years ago

I do the comb attachment method 1–2 times a month or once every other month.
It does wonders for me.

Glenda M.
Glenda M.
7 years ago

I use the tension method with a little combing at the ends. I blow dry once a year, with grapeseed oil as my heat protectant.

mangomadness
mangomadness
7 years ago

I use the tension blow-dry method. I blow-dry my once a year for my birthday.

In the future, I’ll try the modified tension method ’cause it seems to get the ends a bit smoother.

I need to find silicone-based serum to blow-dry with. Any suggestions?

stephanieb
stephanieb
7 years ago
Reply to  mangomadness

It’s a 10 leave-in keratin treatment is great to blow dry/flat iron with. My stylist uses it on my hair and it has helped it alot.

anastasia
anastasia
7 years ago

Thanks for the tips ladies =) But what I really want to say is: Wow, Natasha (style icon) and the young lady in the first vid are divine! Truly beautiful ladies!

Ugonna Wosu
Ugonna Wosu
7 years ago

I either use LOW HEAT, or HIGH “COOL” air on the dryer. Dry from the ends up using my comb carefully and gently. I do NOT completely dry my hair, just get it damp/moist, like 80–85% dry. My hair is so lush and shiny still. Just reapply my leave-in(which I already put in after my shower, along with an oil and heat protectant), and a serum to get rid of frizz and add shine, and I’m good to go!

LM
LM
7 years ago

Next time I blow dry, haven’t done so in over a year, I will try the tension method. As for the last video, some viewers inquired about shed hair in the round brush. It may be just me, but I don’t see any hair in the brush. the brush has black bristles with white tips. Maybe the black base of the bristles are being mistaken for hair. idk..

Alwina
Alwina
7 years ago

Awesome article! I blow dry my hair roughly every two weeks for my mini twists. It’s easier when my hair is dry and stretched to put in the twists. I will say less product is better, but I use my kimmaytube leave-in mix, which consists of Giovanni Direct leave-in conditioner, aloe vera juice, jojoba oil, JBCO and grapeseed oil (heat protectant). Awesome combination even though my hair is a bit oily, but have not had issues with my curl pattern returning. Last blow out I used the same mix, although considerably less and added SM Yucca & Baobad Thickening Milk… Read more »

J.Nicole
7 years ago

Great! I see this AFTER I just spent an hour blow drying my hair. Lol. I follow most of these steps anyway. I have never been able to master the round brush so I just stay far away from it so I don’t end up with my hair wrapped around it and stuck

MissJo
7 years ago

Tension method on the cool/ low heat settings with a little leave-in + heat protectant works best for me. It takes a little longer without significant heat, but I avoid the heat damage beast, and that makes it worth it.

I’m sooooo glad I found this method since African threading always left my hair feeling crunchy and curlformers are pretty expensive.

Michelle@Radiant Brown Beauty

I don’t blow dry at all anymore. I’ve had it done with the brush attachment (Dominicans!) and also with the comb attachment. Every time, there’s breakage.

I’ve actually found a way to get my hair bone straight with no heat. It may not work as well for tighter curled textures but for my 3c classified hair, it works like a charm. I’m working on a video to share it if anybody’s interested.

Patricia Kayden
Patricia Kayden
7 years ago

Yes, I would be interested in that video, although my hair is 4c.

Paballo
Paballo
7 years ago

I fight with it until it gives in well almost lol though it always gets tangled and really dry after blow drying it…

shay
shay
7 years ago

After I wash/condition my hair I put big rollers(plastic) in and sit under the dryer on low medium heat. I have alot of hair so it can take up to 2 hours to full dry. Then the next day I go to the dominican salon to have it blown out with the brush. I put grapeseed oil as my heat protectant. It’s alot of heat but my hair always curls back the next time I wash it. I do this twice a year. It doesn’t take alot of heat to get my hair straight so no curling iron etc is… Read more »

Tink
Tink
7 years ago

For you ladies that use a blow dryer with a comb attachment…what brand dryer to you use??? I have a hot n silky one but the combs keep breaking (I could see if I didn’t detangle my hair first lol). I have bought several replacement combs and I’m tired of them breaking.

Shakira
Shakira
7 years ago
Reply to  Tink

I have a Chi Rocket. I use it probably every week and my 3c hair always turns out light, bouncy, and silky. I’ve had it for almost 5 years now and the comb hasn’t once broken. It’s pricey, but well worth it in my opinion.

oldowan
oldowan
7 years ago
Reply to  Tink

I use a Salon Tech Turbo Tourmaline on low heat. It’s great. Doesn’t break or damage my hair. And the comb replacements are wonderfulll.

LuisOeryw
LuisOeryw
7 years ago

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LuisOeryw
LuisOeryw
7 years ago

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Cherise
Cherise
7 years ago

The tension method is for the birds on my hair. It doesn’t get my ends straight enough. I wind up having to use way more heat with the hot comb as a result.

Tia
Tia
7 years ago

When my hair was shorter, I used the comb attachment. Now I use the paddle brush. I blow dry once every two weeks. No damage. My hair shrinks up so much that it had no movement which does not make me happy. I blow dry using a leave in and coconut oil on damp hair in sections. After blow drying each section, I use a little advocado oil especially on the ends-my hair loves this oil! Then I flat twist sometimes using a little Shea curl enhancing smoothie-mostly on the ends. My hair is big, fluffy and full of movement… Read more »

tahirah
tahirah
7 years ago

when i was a kids my mom did the comb method. i hated it. when i grow up i tried doing with the comb. it felt like the heat was on my scalp so i would not blow dry my hair just air dry it but one day i needed to blow dry my hair to straighten it. it took so long to wash it when i went to low dry it. i part it in sections combed it through then lazily blow dried my hair using the tension method(but i never knew that what it was called) it got… Read more »

Bella
Bella
7 years ago

I use two methods: 1. Plait hair in small sections and let air dry over-night. Apply small amounts of oil {biosilk, etc} mostly at the ends of hair. I also sleep with a scarf to ensure all moisture and oil can penetrate the hair as much as possible so that I don’t have to add more product! I then straighten the hair in the sections I left it in! This method is easier to manage and the results give me the maximum volume! For less time and/or on-the-go 2. Plait hair in small sections and dry each plait with low… Read more »

Amber Nefertari
7 years ago

The comb method is awesome. If I use the tension method my hair will never dry lol

Glenda Inscore
Glenda Inscore
7 years ago

Aside from the conventional blow dryer found in most department stores, beauty supply stores have started to carry state-of-the art blow dryers and thermal styling tools that utilize ceramic and negative ionic energy to style hair and keep it healthy. A blow dryer that uses this type of energy dries your hair in half the time using less heat. The construction of the ionic blow dryer also utilizes ceramic heating elements instead of traditional metal ones to infuse moisture and health deep into the hair strand while at the same time drying it. ..^ Most current content article on our very… Read more »

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7 years ago

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Lilms-me
7 years ago

I found this information to be very insightful. I’m trying to limit the use of relaxers.

Curly Everafter
6 years ago

I blow dry my hair once every few months. First I use my denman brush to create tension on my hair and blow dry my hair on medium heat. I then follow up with quick passes on a lower heat setting. Check out this video for more details on how I do this 🙂

http://youtu.be/GlCKIv9U_Lg

Mel Stevens
Mel Stevens
6 years ago

one amazing blow dryer for all hair types is the karmin g3 salon pro =)

Abby
Abby
6 years ago

Hey, I’m thinking about going natural. And i was wondering can you use the tension method on transitioning hair? And if not which method

Greetings from Holland
xxx

rileynak
rileynak
6 years ago
Reply to  Abby

I’m currently transitioning (long term) too. I use the tension method with cold air on my new growth only using a concentrator to stretch it.

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[…] the fact it is not always recommended to blow dry the natural hair using high heat, you should still ensure the appliance you buy has more heat wattage. Why? First of […]

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