Study Shows That Blow Drying Is Healthier Than Air Drying: Should We Be Concerned?

Study chart air drying vs blow drying

Sample 01. Received no treatment {controlled group}

Sample 02: Shampooed and air dried (68 degrees F)

Sample 03: Shampooed and blow dried for 60 seconds while holding the dryer 6 inches from hair at  116.6 degrees F (cool air)

Sample 04: Shampooed and blow dried for 30 seconds while holding the dryer 4 inches from hair at 142 degrees F

Sample 05: Shampooed an blow dried for 15 seconds while holding the dryer 2 inches from hair at 203 degrees F

Basically, surface damage of the hair was observed in the experiment. It was found that the CMC (cell membrane complex)- which is the natural glue of lipids, fatty acids and proteins – buckles under the weight from the length of time water is held in the hair.


This could be because evaporation of the moisture takes a bit of time (especially in thick hair) and tends to suck moisture from the hair so much that the strain created on the strands makes the CMC loses its effectiveness.

Generally, the hair is damaged more from use of dryers on a warm to hot setting than it would have in air drying; however, the experiment revealed that the hair’s protective buffer, which is the cuticle tends to suffer more damage from air drying than it would if dried with a hand held dryer blowing cool air from 6″ away onto the hair.

How Come?

When the hair becomes wet, it expands to allow the hair to accommodate the moisture. While each strand swells to accommodate the water, the delicate protein bonds which hold the cuticle together are weakened for however long it takes to dry the hair.

In essence, the length of the drying time actually puts a strain on the protective buffer – the cuticle- and compromises its ability to do the job of protecting the cortex from damage.

The danger then, is that if the cuticle is constantly eroded then eventually there will be no defense for the cortex against mechanical wear and tear in particular and friction in general.

Originally posted 2014-01-27 15:00:44.

About Marsha Buchanan


As a Jamaican girl raised in a devout church family headed by my mother, I have always had my natural hair, no chemical processing. After years of mistreating it , often ignorant of that fact, I began my healthy hair journey in January 2013 in fact, I have seen to it that my entire household falls in line where this is concerned. When I am not poring over some hair blog or forum I spend my time teaching English to rowdy high school students (ok maybe I have some little sweethearts in the mix), mothering the most adorable two year old on this globe, or rushing to meet the deadline for a writing project on Elance. In my spare time I enjoy a stroll along the beach with my doting husband.

About Marsha Buchanan


As a Jamaican girl raised in a devout church family headed by my mother, I have always had my natural hair, no chemical processing. After years of mistreating it , often ignorant of that fact, I began my healthy hair journey in January 2013 in fact, I have seen to it that my entire household falls in line where this is concerned. When I am not poring over some hair blog or forum I spend my time teaching English to rowdy high school students (ok maybe I have some little sweethearts in the mix), mothering the most adorable two year old on this globe, or rushing to meet the deadline for a writing project on Elance. In my spare time I enjoy a stroll along the beach with my doting husband.

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Chelsea Crouch

what a load of rubbish

Peruvian Hair Guangdong

im with you on this one .

Sabrina Richmond Perkins

Well the study did not specify if our hair was was a part of the study so no changes over here!! Air drying fro me.

Matt Angelique Zimmer

That’s bullcrap all that heat on hair is not healthier than air drying.. They are only saying that so you can damage your hair and buy their products that will only do more damage!! Smh

Brandy Askew

How is heat better than air?

Luvmy Newworld

U get better results with air dry..my hair is more silkier with air than heat…..#AIRDRY!!

Neshia Wheeler

I never use heat on my hair!!!!

Jenny JackJack

Yeah right! The blow dryer is the devil.

Chauncey Wilson-Hall

The lies they tell

Ameenya German

I don’t care what this article says, my hair response well to air drying.. Not going to stop because this rubbish says other wise.. 🙂

BlackHairInformation.com

Actually the article’s conclusion was that there were too many holes in the study and honestly they didn’t really look at black afro hair so we can’t really take their findings at face value. lol

Mary Iyices Merlott

I agree…Air drying does WONDERS

Nwajei Nneka

What’s the difference between air drying and blow drying?

Asanda Gosa Brown

How do u air dry?

Ameenya German

Hi Nwajei the difference between air drying and blow drying is that you’re not using direct heat on your hair to dry it which has been known to cause heat damage to the hair. When you air dry you just let your hair dry naturally on its own adding no heat just letting Mother Nature dry it…. And hello Asanda.. I do nothing special to my hair when air drying it. I just co-wash my hair, apply my leave-ins, braid my hair and my hair dry on it’s own.. I have not used heat on my hair in over almost two years since my big chop and my hair is flourishing and very healthly. 🙂

Chanelle Wilkerson

I blow dry mine and that’s the way it’s staying. Ain’t nobody got time for all that work that my hair requires after air drying.

Kimberly Nelms

No way,it always better to air dry.

Regina Taylor

If blow drying was healthier it would be in the The Holy Bible. Lol!

Chuqie Jones

Blow dry for me to much work after air drying

Mieshel Jett

Air dry for me!

Nickey Topnerd

Blow dryer sales must be dropping for them to pull this out of there asses lol.

Yvette Martin

I can’t work with my hair after air drying! I HAVE TO blow dry if I want to “style” it! If I air dry the ONLY thing I can do with it, is, moisturize it, and, put a FABRIC headband on! THAT’S IT! Even then, it doesn’t look right, so, it’s either blow dry it, or throw a wig on it!

Valarie Collins

Air dry

Vicki Steverson

Have a blow dryer I never used, still not going to use it. Should have re gifted when I got it 😉

Retta Williams-allen

Don’t believe everything you read, be your own critic.

Crystal Baggett

bs

Natasha Allen

To be honest, I can actually agree with this to some degree. Before I started my hair journey, I had

Natasha Allen

I used the blow dryer and had no tangles. I stopped using it, and had soo many tangles after starting my hair journey (note that this was done while improving practices on my hair). Last night was my wash day, and I succumbed to the hair dryer, and my hair is tangle free and it feels like silk! This is just my personal experience of course

Sunny Vibes

Air dry is the healthiest option on her. Gives hair chance to grow than applying heat consistently

Sunny Vibes

Hair*

Rierie Monroe

Smh not true I love to air dry my hair…

Timetre Pratcher

Less heat is healthier for your hair so AirDry is better even though it takes longer

Lalis LaMoi

Air dry! Don’t have the time but it is worth saving my hair from the heat damage.

Briana Thomas

Nope air dry is better

Tia Smith

This article is hogwash for those with afro textured hair. First of all…. we do not wash every day so excessive water is not our enemy. However, excessive dryness is. Second, if the article was read…It talks about drying hair for just a few minutes. Really… what black woman can blow dry their hair in 6 minutes??? The risk for heat damage is toooo high due to the length of time it takes to dry. If heat is used… it should be indirect via a hood dryer with blow drying done infrequently. #thatisall

BlackHairInformation.com

True, nobody dries their hair in 6 mins, more like 30! I think the fact that us with afro textured hair also use oils with ceramides regularly also makes a huge difference because those oils protect the cuticle layer from damage.

Ashley Sy

UGH! so many conflicting “studies”.

Xzantha Au Langkamp

Don’t believe everything read!!!

Fayretta Braggs

Blow dry

LaKeasha Thompson-Harris

Its better to air dry your hair to me less heat damage because most of us use a flatiron at some point less heat is best but for those of you that find it hard to manage your hair after air drying after you moisturize your hair put it up in plats(braids) like4/5 put a scarfe on and go to bed by morning hair is dry unbraid and style it will be soft no tangles and makes flatironing a lot quicker and your hair will be smother and straighter

Phyllis Cunningham

Everybody says it is best to stay away from heat while transitioning, but I always been blow drying my hair, (on a low setting) because my hair responds well to being & looks better blow dried than being air dried. And my hair is just fine.

Jane Owens-Perry

Bull – AIR DRYING BLACK HAIR IS THE BEST. WE AIN’T SPENDING NO MORE MONEY ON PHONY BLOW DRYING! SISTA’S SPEAK ON! ONCE EVERY 6 MONTHS I MIGHT BLOW DRY – BUT I INDEED WILL STICK TO AIR DRYING.

Bri Y. Harris

I have a ceramic blow dryer which my hair does better v/s air drying the ends makes it better and less breakage if I flat iron my hair.

Caramel Kimmie

#Air drying is better

Fanchon Hill

I blow dry on a low setting after I part my hair into four sections. I don’t use hot settings. Air drying make hair tangled

Terri Fletcher

I air dry. I have a blow dryer…somewhere. .. I think.

Khea Greenidge

Obviously this is fukrey lol heat is never better

Jada Blake

False…

Netti Taylor

Who paid for the study?

Goddessweaves Virgin Hair Bundle Deals

Cant believe everything you read:) got to pick sense out of nonsense…

Vihan Singh

Hair dray

Ebony -Shorty Stacks- Benford

FIRST “you” tell us that too much heat is bad for your hair and to air dry because its better … NOW “you” say, “Hey, wait a minute, scratch that, it’s wrong, go ahead and blow dry” … STOP PLAYING !!!! I (like MILLIONS of other black women) take hair care VERY serious and tend to rely on the tips i read about so please, STOP PLAYING !!!!!

BlackHairInformation.com

Why not read the post Ebony -Shorty Stacks- Benford you will see in our conclusions the advise essentially remains the same. We didn’t conduct the study, just reported it.

Makia Collins

Air dry.

Latonya D Rhodes

I’ll stick with air drying…my hair comes out less brittle and stiff feeling…no matter what product I use to aid in drying and I have thin, tightly coiled hair…

Hollyann Ohziyah France

So how was hair dried before the blow dryer was invented?? Hogwash!!!….you people would stop at nothing to damage the black womans beauty smfh…black women love your natural hair and treat it well!

Frankye Campbell

Good information!!!