How To Blow Dry Hair | Styling Tips for Different Types of Hair

While there are many ways how to blow dry hair, all of them are designed to provide numerous benefits. These include drying hair in preparation for hairstyling while minimizing the risk of thermal damage, especially for fine hair. Blow drying can also be first step in a blowout designed to maintain the healthy, gorgeous and lustrous appearance of hair.

Both blow drying and blowout services are available in hair salons and spas. Professional services are highly recommended if you struggle with the texture and/or thickness of your hair. But with enough practice, you can achieve great results at home using a good quality blow dryer and hair products!

What Is a Hair Blowout?

A hair blowout can maintain, even enhance, the beautiful appearance of your hair between hair treatments, such as a haircut and/or hair coloring.  Many of the typical pieces of equipment required in a blowout are the same as those needed for blow drying, such as a blow dryer, a boar bristle brush and a detangling brush, and a round bristle brush. Many of the hair care products are also used in both treatments, such as a clarifying shampoo, a thermal protectant shampoo, and a heat protectant.

Indeed, it’s a natural progression from learning the techniques of blow drying your hair to learning the ways of getting a great blowout at home!

When done properly, the results of a blowout can last between three and five days depending on your hair’s texture and thickness.

General Tips on How to Blow Out Hair

No matter the hairstyle that you want from your DIY blowout, keep these tips in mind for great results.

  • Wash your hair with shampoo and conditioner first to remove dirt, dust and excess oil that makes your tresses appear dull and dry.
  • Use a microfiber towel or a cotton shirt to remove excess moisture from your hair. Avoid twisting and tossing, much less rubbing, your hair with a towel since these can worsen tangles. Instead, pat dry your hair or tie a towel around your hair since it absorbs plenty of moisture.
  • Use a wide-toothed comb to gently detangle your hair. Blot dry with a towel – start at the scalp and work your way toward the ends. Less friction means less damage so no rubbing your strands!
  • Rough dry your hair – point the nozzle downwards and shake the blow dryer back and forth vigorously over your head – until it’s about 70% to 80% dry.  Be sure to apply a prep spray before rough drying; the prep spray will provide heat protection, hydration, and volumizing benefits.
  • Don’t use thermal brushes since these can become too hot and, thus, cause frizz, worsen tangles, and increase heat damage. Use a 100% boar bristle brush or a brush with a mix of boar bristles and soft synthetic bristles.
  • Choose a low to medium setting on the blow dryer.  
  • For straight hair, use a flat brush or a paddle brush. For styles with waves and curls, use a round brush.  

Technique matters, too, especially when you want Gwyneth Paltrow’s style. Brush your hair forward toward your face and follow the action with your blow dryer; do it for a few passes. Brush it toward the back of your head while following with your blow dryer.

Then, dry your hair straight toward perpendicular to the floor. You should be able to remove the waves, cowlicks and kinks so that your hair lies completely flat.  

How to Do A Blowout

You can follow the steps of a professional blowout at home. Again, you should have the right hair equipment and products since these will make a difference in the results. You should also practice the basic techniques.

  • Wash your hair with a sulfate-free shampoo and conditioner.  Use cool water since hot water can damage the strands. Rinse well and pat dry.
  • While hair is still damp, apply a small squeeze of hair serum and use a boar bristle brush to evenly distribute it.  
  • Rough dry your hair until it’s 80% dry.
  • Divide your hair into horizontal sections starting with the front.
  • Hold the front two inches of a section in front of your face, place the brush at your hairline, and pull it outwards while pointing the nozzle at it. Roll the brush under as it gets toward the ends of the section. Set the bounce by wrapping it backwards around your fingers before pinning it up.
  • Do these steps until all the sections have been blow dried and styled.
  • Take out the pins or clips, run your hands through your hair, and brush out your hair to loosen the curls. Finish with another application of hair serum.

If you’re finding it challenging to achieve the right results on your first time, you need not worry as it takes practice. Do it again after a few days.


How to Blow Dry Hair

Yes, blow drying your hair can eventually lead to damage  including split ends, dry and brittle hair, and breakage.  But don’t let that discourage you from using a blow dryer because there are several ways to minimize the risk of damage.

  • Use an ionic dryer or a dryer with ceramic or tourmaline plates.
  • Always pat dry your hair regardless of its type and texture with a microfiber towel or an old cotton shirt or sweatshirt. Never rub it with a rough towel since the friction can damage the strands.  
  • Apply a heat protectant to your hair before subjecting it to heat.  
  • Keep the nozzle a safe distance away from your hair; about 6 inches is sufficient.
  • Choose a low to medium heat setting.
  • Work as quickly as possible. The less time your hair is subjected to heat, the less damage that can be done.

Most important, never subject your hair to the heat of a blow dryer when it’s still wet from the shower!

How to Blow Dry Natural Hair

The best blow dryer for natural hair is designed to deal with the curl patterns characteristic of Afro-American hair. Care is necessary to ensure that there’s as little breakage as possible.  

  • Apply a quarter-sized amount of either leave-in conditioner or hair oil into your nearly completely dry hair from the roots to the ends. Let it seep and let your air hair dry completely; sit under a hooded dryer for 10-60 minutes, if you want.
  • Part your dry hair into six to eight sections. Apply a dime-sized amount of heat protectant to every section and then twist each section with a large plastic butter clip.
  • Attach a diffuser to the blow dryer and set it on low or medium setting. Release the hair section at the back of your head, place the diffuser onto the scalp, and blow dry your hair.
  • Repeat until all the sections have been dried. Finish with a spritz of serum or shine spray. 

How to Blow Dry Hair Straight

  • Apply a heat protectant or a hair mist to your roots. Apply hair oil to the dry ends, if needed.
  • While in an upside down position, rough dry your hair with either your fingers or a brush. Once your hair is 80% dry, flip it back up.
  • Separate your hair into as many sections as necessary. The thicker the hair, the more sections needed. Clip the sections that will not be blow dried yet.
  • Using a round brush for more volume, blow dry each section until it’s completely dry as well as glossy and gorgeous with added volume while still lying flat against your head.
  • Apply a medium-hold spray to hold the style.

How to Blow Dry Curly Hair

Be sure to use the best blow dryer for curly hair since it comes with the right attachments for the job.

  • Apply a quarter-sized leave-in conditioner to keep your nearly dry curls moisturized; apply it from near the roots to the ends. Let it sit for a few minutes and follow with a hair gel or mousse from roots to ends. Shake your hair out.
  • Attach the diffuser to the blow dryer and set it to low or medium setting depending on your hair’s texture.
  • Flip your head over and direct the diffuser to the roots of the hair at the nape of your neck. Move the diffuser in circular motions. Dry your hair until it’s 80% dry and let your curls air dry the rest of the way.  
  • Once your hair is completely dry, apply a quarter-sized hair serum for the finishing touch.

How to Blow Dry Hair Wavy

Getting wavy hair dry involves many of the steps as drying curly hair.

  • Apply a curl-enhancing product to your damp hair and let it air dry for several minutes. Use a mousse that will give your hair hold without making its crunchy to the touch.
  • Use a diffuser to maintain and hold your hair’s natural wavy pattern.  Hold it right up to the ends of your hair while pushing it up toward the roots while blow drying.
  • Divide your hair into sections, if necessary, and hold up the sections not yet being blow dried with butterfly clips.
  • Hold your head to the side or upside down, whichever is most comfortable for you, while blow drying to add extra bounce. Plus, it prevents your strands from getting weighed down while it’s drying.  
  • Apply a finishing product for extra hold and shine. Shake out your waves to accentuate them.

How to Blow Dry Long Hair

Use the best blow dryer for thick hair since it has the features for making quick work of drying long hair. Remember that you have to work quickly to blow dry your hair to minimize thermal damage and sore arms.  

  • Rake your fingers through your hair and lift it into small sections until your hair is 70% dry.
  • Apply a hair product that will protect your hair from the heat and provide more lift and volume.
  • Use a paddle brush for straight, long hair. Use a round brush for curly, long hair. Place the brush at the root area and lift the root before rolling the brush down until the ends; go back up and repeat the process. The technique will create a natural lift and volume.
  • Let your hair cool down as you blow dry it. Let the section of hair sit around the brush and let it cool for a few seconds; better yet, blast the hair section with cold air.
  • Use the nozzle to make your hair smoother. Direct the nozzle down on the hair shaft as you blow dry.
  • Spritz hairspray to your hair as the finishing touch. Flip your head upside down and lightly spray at the back of your head. Flip upright again and spray lightly – and from a good distance – around your head.  

How to Blow Dry Short Hair

Obviously, blow drying short hair is faster and easier but it still requires time and effort.

  • Let your hair air dry for several minutes.

  • Apply a thermal protectant on your hair from the roots to the ends.

  • Use a paddle brush in detangling your hair.

  • Blow dry your hair using a nozzle until it’s completely dry.

  • Apply hair mousse from the roots to the tips for added shine.  

How to Blow Dry Hair for Volume

Even if you have fine hair, you can still achieve volume and bounce.

  • Remove the nozzle from the blow dryer.
  • Rough dry your hair without using a brush. Do so until your hair is about 80% dry.
  • Apply a styling product, such as a mousse, that will add extra volume. Apply it from back to front so that your hair doesn’t look weighed down.
  • Blow dry with the blow dryer’s nozzle attached. Set the volume in the crown area using a round brush.  Add shine and polish by using a straightening iron on the ends.
  • Finish with a light spraying of hair spray to hold the style and volume.

How to Blow Dry Bangs

Don’t get dated “bubble bangs” and “mall bangs” by following these tips.

  • Use only either a paddle brush or a flat brush when blow drying your bangs.
  • Hold the blow dryer nozzle above your bangs so that the air blasts downwards; choose a low setting.  Sweep your bangs with a brush over to one side and then over the other until the hair is completely dry.
  • Apply just a small amount of styling or volumizing spray; otherwise, it will weigh down your hair. Spray it on the hair first and then comb it through.

How to Blow Dry Men's Hair

Men should ideally blow dry their hair, too, since it lays the groundwork for styling. You will find it easier to style your hair with a hair paste or pomade after blow drying it since these products adhere better to hair when it’s completely dry. Plus, blow drying short men’s hair will take less than a minute!  

  • Spray your nearly dry hair with a heat protectant spray.
  • Shape your hair in the direction you want; use a brush for doing so.
  • Point the nozzle of the blow dryer over your hair and continue brushing it until it’s completely dry.
  • Apply your preferred hair products and style your hair.

When blow drying men’s hair, choose the low setting to minimize damage. Blast your hair with cold air, too, which will set your hair and add extra volume.