Stylist Secrets: How to Blow Dry Based on Your Hair Type

blow dry curly or wavy hairThere’s nothing better than pampering yourself with a professional blowout to get a sleek, bouncy, or perfectly-curled look. But let’s face it: regular blowouts can make a dent in your wallet.

Fortunately, it’s entirely possible to get a salon-worthy blowout in the comfort of your own home — with the help of the best blowout products for your hair type and the right techniques. Oh, and time. (Sorry, ladies, a great blowout is one thing you can’t rush!)

As we run through our best blowout tips, though, it’s important to understand both your hair type and your hair goals. Are you looking for a sleek, shiny blowout? Frizz-free curls? Vivacious volume? As you blow dry your hair, you’re also shaping and setting it — so knowing your final desired look is important, as your technique should vary based on this.

But first, let’s address the question we’re all asking.

Is it Bad to Blow Dry My Hair Every Day?

Similar to how often you should wash your hair, this answer will vary depending on your hair type and the products you typically use. Also, the way you blow dry can make a difference.

If you’re blasting sopping-wet hair with high heat, without any protective barriers between the nozzle and your strands, yes — you’re setting yourself up for frizz in the short-term, and dry, damaged hair in the long-term.

But if you think air-drying instead of blow drying is the no-fail answer, think again. While air-dry hairstyles are a great way to give your strands a break every now and then, consider this: a Korean study on hair damage found that using a blow dryer (the right way) is actually healthier for your hair than letting it air dry.

Here’s why: hair that is wet swells. And when you let your hair stay wet, continuing to swell, you’re putting unnecessary pressure on the natural proteins in your hair — the proteins that normally keep your hair strong and healthy. Yikes!

How to Safely Blow Dry Hair (Without Frizz)

blow dry fine hair

The solution? Most professionals agree on a few foundational tips for how to safely blow dry your hair. And as a bonus, these tips will also help you fight frizz — and they can be used regardless of your hair type and any other hot tools you plan to use after you blow dry.

Here’s what to keep in mind, every time:

  • After you shower, let your hair air-dry naturally until it’s about 70-80% dry
  • Prep with a leave-in (or heat protectant) product
  • Work section by section
  • Use low heat, when possible
  • When using a nozzle attachment, slant it so it’s pointing down the hair shaft and keep it at least 3 inches away from your hair

Phew! Now that we’ve covered the basics of blow drying, let’s move on to the specific tips based on your hair type and desired final look.

How to Blow Dry Fine Hair

If you have fine hair, your strands are prone to breakage, so it’s important to take special care of them. Your hair may also air-dry quicker (depending on how much of it you have), so have your blow dryer at the ready shortly after stepping out of the shower.

Also, make sure any products you’re using are formulated for fine hair, so they won’t weigh down your strands as you’re styling. Our Miracle Leave-In Lite, for example, seals and protects fine hair, acting as both a leave-in conditioner and a heat protectant.

Next, consider the style you’d like to achieve.

Blow Drying Hair for Volume

Most fine-hair ladies are looking for more volume, and it’s easy to achieve with the right blow dry products and techniques. Here’s a routine to follow:

  1. After your leave-in product, select either a mousse or a volumizing spray and apply throughout your hair with a focus on the roots.
  2. Slightly rough up your hair for added texture; remove the nozzle and rough dry until about 80% dry.
  3. Put the nozzle back on and divide hair into sections.
  4. Working section-by-section, gently pull hair up and out with a round brush as you’re drying it.
  5. Let each section cool and set before you move on; let it sit on the brush or hold it in place using your hand, then gently release.
  6. Make sure to dry your hair completely — your hair should feel room temperature when you finish. If it’s still cold to the touch, there’s likely still moisture in it.
  7. Add a finishing product to your ends, like our Miracle Shine Spray.

Note: Do not blow dry your hair with your head hanging upside down, despite what you’ve heard. This just leads to tangles, especially in fine hair! Tilting your head to the side can get the desired effect without the tangles — just tousle it gently as you go.

How to Blow Dry Wavy or Curly Hair

Whether you’re rocking naturally beachy waves or tightly-wound coils, you know that sometimes curly hair can have a mind of its own. That’s why a proper blow dry is an important step to get the look you want.

Of course, the techniques you use will depend on whether you want to enhance your waves or blow dry your curls straight. Let’s take a look...

How to Blow Dry Hair for Wavy or Curly Styles

Want to enhance your curls or waves with the help of heat? A blow dryer (along with a handy diffuser) can work wonders in setting your curls and reducing frizz along the way. Here are your blow dry steps:

  1. After your leave-in product, prep with a styling potion, curl cream, or gel for added hold without the crunch.
  2. Add a diffuser attachment to your hair dryer.
  3. Working in small sections, place curls in the claw of the diffuser, then move the diffuser to your scalp, lifting hair at the root to add volume. You can also gently move the diffuser in circular motions.
  4. Keep the ends of your hair out of the diffuser to avoid over-drying.
  5. Air-dry the rest of your hair once it’s about 80% dry, OR take off the diffuser attachment and do a once-over using the “cool” button to seal the cuticle.
  6. Finish by lightly scrunching hair to shape and form curls further, and use a serum product on your ends.

How to Blow Dry Curly Hair Straight

Ok, deep breath. Blow drying curly hair straight is going to take time — and patience. Follow the steps below to achieve a sleek, straight look:

  1. After your leave-in product, apply a styling potion or smoothing balm for thicker hair.
  2. Section your hair, grab your round brush, and set your hair dryer to a medium heat.
  3. Place the round brush under one section of hair, starting at the bottom. Slowly work pull the hair down while angling your blow dryer against the brush and down the hair shaft.
  4. Make your way up to the scalp, by rolling up and pulling straight; repeat the process for the remaining sections.
  5. Make sure to dry your hair completely — your hair should feel room temperature when you finish. If it’s still cold to the touch, there’s likely still moisture in it.

Note: Make sure to brush down straight — otherwise you’ll just create new waves and bends in your hair!

How to Blow Dry Coarse Hair

If you have coarse or thick hair, your stands are more porous — meaning they can handle heavier blow dry products without getting weighed down — and don’t break as easily as your fine-haired counterparts. But that doesn’t mean you’re in the clear. With this hair type, you may be more prone to dry or frizzy conditions. Here’s how to blow dry hair that is coarse or thick:

  1. After using a leave-in product, apply a styling potion or styling cream.
  2. If you’re aiming for a straighter style, grab a paddle brush. Follow steps 2-6 in the curly-to-straight routine above, only using a higher heat setting. (Finish using a hair straightener, working slowly and in small sections.)
  3. If you’re keeping your curls intact, use a diffuser and follow the steps in the curly routine.

The key here for coarse hair is moving quickly, otherwise your hair will frizz.

How to Blow Dry Damaged Hair

So what if you have years of bad blow dry habits behind you, and the damage is already done? You’re certainly not alone. It’s smart to air dry your hair every now and then, but on the days you really need to set your style with an at-home blowout, keep these tips in mind:

  • Before you start, use a deep conditioning mask or treatment in or after your shower
  • You may also want to consider washing your hair less, as it can strip the natural oils in your hair
  • Use a quality hair dryer, and don’t forget your diffuser for curly hair
  • Be aware of temperature: fine hair can overheat and burn easily, so dry at a lower setting. Coarse or curly hair may need a higher heat to get through the strands

Best Blowout Products - Our Final Tips for Amazing Hair

It's a 10 Blow Dry Collection

As we’ve discussed, using the best products before your blowout can make a huge difference. It’s all about the foundation you’re setting! That’s why we’re excited to announce our newest collection to the It’s a 10 Haircare line: our Blow Dry Collection.

These products — including the Miracle Glossing Shampoo, Miracle Glossing Glaze Conditioner, and Miracle Blow Dry Styling Balm — are ideal to put in your hair before blow drying, featuring powerhouse ingredients to leave you with silky, shiny hair.

As a bonus, this line is great for all of the hair types listed above, restoring moisture to dry hair, protecting color-treated hair, and smoothing frizz-prone hair. Plus, the weightless formulas work for fine hair, too, so you’re never left dull or flat.

Combine these blowout products with a quality hair dryer (and diffuser, if you need one!) and a paddle or round brush, use the techniques you learned above, and you’ll be both dry and in style.

Ready to get started? Shop It’s a 10 haircare products and style away!