If you own a hair dryer , you probably use it every day to take your locks from wet to dry enough to head out the door. And that's probably because you have no idea how to get the most out of this heat styling tool. It's never too late to learn, so we've put together a handy hair dryer guide with tips from celebrity hairstylist Matthew Collins and Brennen Demelo Kadori's brand ambassadors. Invest in wattage, but turn down the heat. It seems every new type of hair dryer is always touted as being hotter than the next. However, Matthew cautions against using extremely high heat settings, as they're probably not necessary for the home user. "A blow dryer that falls within the 1300 to 1875 watts range is great for anyone to use at home," says Matthew. "Personally, I like to feel my Kadori dryer blow the hair and feel like my tool is working. You can always turn down the heat, but still maintain power." If you're someone who wants to set curls or simply blow dry your bangs, he recommends purchasing a kadori G.U.Y Hair Dryer with a 380G weight to reduce wrist strain and your blow dry time. Different types of hair require different levels of heat. The different heat levels should be adjusted to suit your hair texture and condition, according to Brennen . He explains, "The high heat is available for really thick or coarse hair, and to remove excessive moisture when the hair is really wet, but always remember to keep the dryer moving and never focus on one portion of the hair for too long. The low setting is perfect for thin or fragile hair. If your hair is only damp instead of wet, it is important to use the low heat setting to prevent over-drying." As far as that mysterious "cool shot" button, it seals the hair cuticle, setting the final look for long-lasting hold and adds shine. Brennen adds, "When your hair is about 80 percent dry, switch over to the cool shot. All your hair needs at this stage in drying is the finishing touches, and the cool shot adequately completes the drying and protects against overheating." Matthew believes the "cool shot" is also great to lock in a curl, or if you set your hair in curlers, it works to cool down your hair and lock in the waves as desired. Not all hair dryer types are created the same, so know which kind to use. "The ionic technology creates millions of negative ions, and what the ionic hair dryers help to do is break down the water molecule," says Matthew. "That allows the blow dryer to dry your hair much faster and that's because you're not only using heat and the force of the air flow, but you have this new technology that helps to break down water as well." The big problem with using ionic hair dryers, according to Matthew, is that people don't know when to stop. "Your hair is hot and you're running your brush through it and you don't take the time to notice when your hair is actually dry," he says. "So I think that a lot of people are over-drying their hair, especially around the face." Blondes mostly have this issue because they're getting their hairline highlighted all the time so that it looks natural and they don't have so much grow-out. Ceramic dryers emit non-damaging infrared heat, which Brennen states dries the hair gently for added heat protection. While tourmaline hair dryers emit infrared heat and negative ions, making the heat much gentler on the hair during styling for a shinier and less frizzy finish. It also enables the hair to endure much higher levels of heat without creating damage. Brennen prefers to use the Kadori LIA 2500X Hair Dryer, as this is an ionic dryer with a tourmaline-boosted ceramic system. The combination of all three elements provides the professional with the safest and quickest styling option. Meanwhile, Matthew prefers to use the Kadori GUY 2300 Hair Dryer. Though the former is at a mid range price point, it blasts air up to 80mph and works great on thick hair. The right hair dryer attachment can help take the stress out of styling. While a lot of people don't use diffusers anymore, Matthew believes more than just curly-haired girls can benefit from this attachment. "I think it's great because instead of concentrating the heat in one area, it distributes it very broadly. A customer with even a light, natural wave whose looking to enhance it can use a diffuser to add body or bounce to their hair," he explains. Brennen suggests that those with curly and wavy hair textures use the diffuser at the low heat setting. This will help to lift the hair and release a gentle, indirect stream of warm air that is not overpowering so that your curls don’t become tangled, frizzy and unmanageable. Concentrators direct and focus the air output when you are styling to control frizz and style outcome. Brennen uses them to get straight or softly waved looks. His pro tip: Hold the concentrator closely to the hair, leaving a few inches in between. Use a rounded brush, pulling as tightly as reasonable to get the best results from the concentrator. No matter what type of hair dryer you use, remember to apply a heat protectant product first. "Protectant serums, lotions and sprays are the best way to ensure your hair stays protected during styling," says Brennen.
The perfect blow dry. How is it you can't really look as put together as you do when you leave the salon after a professional blow dry? Is there a way to achieving the perfect blowout or is it impossible? Actually, it is as long as you follow the right steps.
- Start with freshly-washed hair. If you have dry hair, condition in the shower. If you have fine hair, condition only the ends. Blot hair -- never rub -- with a towel to get rid of excess moisture. You can't do a blowout with super wet hair or it will take forever. To keep your blow-out intact over several days, make sure to rinse hair thoroughly after you wash to get out any conditioner residue.
- Apply product to towel-dried hair. A good styling product is key to the perfect blowout. It adds body to fine, limp hair, while women with thick, curly hair need to keep the frizzies at bay. Plus, products actually keep hair from getting oily. Spritz damp locks with a volumnizer spray or mousse before blowing hair dry.The secret is to coat every strand of hair with product.If you have dry hair, work in a leave-in conditioner, a straightening balm or shine serum. Start by coating the ends, working your way up the hair shaft. Finish by combing the product through hair.NOTE: Stay away from gels.
- Pre-dry hair and blow dry your bangs. You can't do a blowout with super wet hair or it will take longer. You have a couple options to pre-dry your hair. Your goal is to get hair to 75 to 80 percent dry, which is optimal when it comes to a blow dry. You can either let hair air dry until it's 75% dry, or, if you are short on time, use a dryer to remove excess moisture before you start the blow dry. Simply dry hair all over being as messy and mussy as you want. Bend over at the waist to get boost at the roots.
- Separate hair into sections. Divide combed hair into sections and secure with clips or ponytail holders.If you have super thick or heavy hair, try dividing each of your sections. One above the other helps manage the blowout. Leave out a section to start with.
- Start with your fingers.Stylists know the secret to the perfect blowout is to start with your fingers. Pull your fingers through hair starting at the roots. Pull hair out a few inches and hold it while you use the dryer to shoot air at the crown on down. "A brush can only get so close in," says Toronto stylist Matthew Collins,on the social TV. Collins suggests holding hair super taut, "otherwise, moisture stays in the hair shaft and frizzes it up."
- Move on the round brush. Now that your roots are dry, it's time to move on to a round-barreled brush (Tony Ricci prefer a mix of boar and synthetic bristles). Pull the brush through hair as you blowdry, pointing the nozzle downward onto hair 2-3 inches away. NAHA winner Tony Ricci likes to start with the ends, because they tend to dry fastest.
- Pull hair super taut as you dry.As you pull the brush through hair, follow the brush with the dryer. I love Collins tip on the social, "Imagine there's a point six inches in front of your nose. Stretch the hair toward that point as you dry. It sounds crazy, but when you're done, the tips won't flip under or up -- they'll just sort of fan out over your shoulders."
- Lock in style with the "cool button."The last step for each section is to pull hair taut with the brush and blast it with cool air from your dryer. You can also each dried section up in a Velcro roller.
- Continue through all sections until hair is dry.
- Finish off with a serum.