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Air Drying v Low Heat Blowdrying

Hi I recently came across this article by PureWow claiming that air drying is actually bad for your hair. 
"The reason? When hair comes into contact with water, it swells. When it swells, it messes with the protein within each strand and leads to damage from the inside out. So the longer your hair is wet, the longer it swells and the greater the chance for damage."

This reminded me of something I remember reading on here a while back referring to a recent study but I can't find the post. (It must have been lost when your servers crashed.)

Basically what I would like to know is if there is enough evidence to support these claims. I have pretty fine, thin hair so I can always get away with blow drying on the lowest heat setting, but is this really less damaging than air drying? I assumed the extra tugging from brushes during blow drying could add additional damage as well. 


  • Hi Dani. The research we reported on early showed that air drying does cause some damage. There was no comparison to blow drying, however, so I don't have data to say which is worse. 

    If I had to choose, I'd say that blow drying is more damaging for 3 reasons: 

    1. You still get some fiber swelling whether your blow drying or air drying.
    2. The additional heat from blow drying can be damaging by itself. 
    3. The tugging that you described does cause additional damage. 

    I think it's interesting that air drying causes any damage at all but it's probably still better than blow drying. 
  • Letting your hair air dry versus blasting it with a blow dryer could actually cause MORE damage to your locks. the damage can be caused because the hair strand can actually swell due to constant, prolonged water exposure. If you constantly let your hair sit in wetness instead of minimizing the time you allow it to be exposed to water by blow drying it, your hair could be weakened over time.
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