30 mins to blow dry. 1 min to frizz!!
I know how it feels to spend half an hour blow drying your hair only to have it turn into a frizzy, flyaway mess by the time you’re done.
I’ve tried every trick in the book. Bought the most expensive hair dryer (Dyson supersonic), tried a nozzle attachment, and used heat protectants and blow-dry creams, but aargh!
I still ended up with flyaways sticking out in every direction.
Luckily, with my hairstylist’s help, I found a few products that can tame even the wildest of frizz after my hair is blow-dried.
So what’s the secret to fixing frizz after blow drying?
Anti-frizz creams and leave-in conditioners.
They are the best post-blow dry frizz fixers. Period.
In this article, I’ll show you how to fix frizzy hair after blow drying by using these products to ensure your blow-dried hair stays smooth, frizz-free, and manageable.
So here goes …
In this article:
- Best Ways to Fix Frizzy Hair After Blow Drying
- Why Do You Get Frizzy Hair When Blow Drying
- How to Not Have Frizzy Hair After Blow Drying
- Best Products for Blow Drying Hair Without Frizz
How to Fix Frizzy Hair After Blow Drying
The best way to keep your blow dry frizz-free is to use the right products that can tame frizz and flyaways to keep them under control.
Use An Anti-Frizz Styling Product
An anti-frizz cream is an excellent post-styling hair product that can instantly tame surface frizz to make your hair look smooth, neat, and on point. Besides toning down the frizzies, it also helps camouflage unruly split ends that can appear after blow drying or straightening. The product works across all hair types and can be used before or after blow drying and for frequent touch-ups on the go.
Simply apply a small pea-size dab to damp or dry hair in the targeted areas of need and smother into your hair properly to eliminate frizz.
Here are the best products I recommend:
The John Frieda Touch-up creme is a multi-use styling cream that instantly banishes frizz and provides 24hr styling hold and humidity protection to keep your hair healthy and manageable.
The Virtue Un-Frizz cream is a leave-in treatment that aims to improve the hair’s texture by conditioning and smoothing it. Clinically proven to reduce frizz after styling, this is an excellent product you can rely on to keep your hair from getting frizzy after blow drying.
The Redken Frizz Dismiss Instant deflate serum provides reliable frizz control, humidity protection, enhanced shine, and smoothness to keep your hairstyles on point all day long. Use it on blow-dried hair for a smooth, frizz-free finish.
This unique, lightweight spray is made with a blend of polymers and keratin protein that combine to eliminate frizz and smooth each strand for a gleaming salon-quality look. Use it after heat styling or to keep your hair looking sleek and straight in between shampoos. You’ll be delighted with the results either way.
Use a Boar Bristle Brush
A boar bristle brush helps to smoothen the hair cuticles raised due to heat styling. It’s excellent for people with thick and coarse hair because the bristles have the right amount of tension required to relax and flatten the cuticle layer for a sleek and smooth finish. A boar bristle brush also works to condition the hair by moving its natural oils through the length of each strand, also known as sebum coating.
The Denman Boar Bristle Brush is the perfect tool for reducing frizz, gently detangling, straightening, and adding shine and volume to your hair. The natural boar bristles work to reset your style and bring out your hair’s natural oils and smooth the cuticle for a healthier, shinier look.
Use a Flat or Curling Iron
Using a flat iron after blow drying can help polish your strands, especially if you have straight hair. If you have curly hair, a curling iron will help define your curls and tame the unruly layers and flyaways that refuse to blend in.
This innovative styler is the world’s first smart hair straightener that can predict your hair’s needs and give you the desired results. With smart heat sensors that prevent heat damage, the GHD Platinum is the perfect choice for those with thicker, longer hair that tends to frizz up when using heat.
This versatile styler can create voluminous curls or waves, thanks to its Airwrap barrels. The soft smoothing brush is great for gently aligning and smoothing your hair after blow drying, while the round volumizing brush is perfect for adding extra volume and shape to flat hair.
So there you have it. The best products to help you keep frizz under control after washing and blow drying your hair.
Now that you know how to fix the problem, a better understanding of why your hair gets frizzy after blow drying will help you prevent the problem and keep your hair healthy by reducing your dependency on multiple hair styling products.
Let me explain the mistakes that may be causing your frizzy hair woes.
Why Does Hair Get Frizzy After Blow Drying?
Hair gets frizzy after blow drying because of a combination of factors like:
- Drying on wet hair
- High heat
- Your technique
- Or delicate hair
which can all come into play.
But at the core of the problem is the surface layer of the hair, also known as the cuticle layer, which takes the direct hit.
Blow Drying Disrupts the Hair’s Cuticle Layer
Heat from the blow dryer expands the outermost layer of the hair, causing the cuticle cells to lift and become uneven. Blow drying also makes the hair cuticles dry, rigid, and brittle, resulting in cracks and damaged ends . As a result, individual hair strands start to snag onto each other, causing frizz.
Many women start drying their hair right out of the shower when it’s sopping wet. Heat from the blow dryer causes excess water to evaporate fast, contracting and swelling the outer layer of the hair. Because of that, the cuticle cells lift and overlap instead of lying flat. Multiply this occurrence over a whole head of hair, you end up with a cloud of frizzy hair.
Start by towel drying your hair first, then air dry for a bit until your hair is at least 50-80% dry before exposing it to heat.
You Leave Your Hair in the Towel for Too Long
Leaving your hair wrapped in a towel for too long causes friction on their hair, that is, if you’re using a cotton towel. Invest in a microfiber towel. Microfiber has a smoother surface compared to cotton, which doesn’t generate friction. It also absorbs excess water faster from the hair, reducing the need to rub or squeeze. For best results, it’s recommended to keep your hair in the towel for around 10 minutes before releasing it to air dry.
You’re Brushing Too Soon
Brushing your hair while it’s still soaking wet is the leading cause of split ends, tangles, and frizz . Blow drying it at the same time is a surefire way to create problems.
The ideal method to dry your hair is to use a blow dryer on medium heat at a low speed to rough dry it. After the hair has been roughly dried for 80%, you can section it and style it with a round brush while blow drying with a cooler setting.
Rough Drying is Not for you
Rough drying means using your fingers instead of a brush to move your hair around as you dry. If done correctly, it can give you big bouncy hair. But it does not always work for everyone. Those with fine hair may find that rough drying makes their hair look fluffy, while those with curly hair may find that it doesn’t provide enough definition. If rough-dry doesn’t work for you, experiment with different techniques and see what works.
Your Hairdryer Is Too Close
Heat is damaging to the hair. So keep your dryer’s nozzle at a safe distance to avoid direct contact.
It’s recommended to hold your hair dryer at these distances :
- 8 – 10 inches away when you’re drying your hair
- 4 – 6 inches away when styling
You should also avoid holding it in one place for too long. Move it around to avoid heat concentrating on one area.
You’re Blow Drying in the Wrong Direction
Blow drying against the direction of the hair cuticles will cause them to lift causing frizz. Use a nozzle attachment to direct the airflow down the hair shaft, i.e. from roots to ends, to smooth the cuticles in their natural direction. This will also ensure a super glossy finish.
“Direct the air from the blow dryer towards the hair in the same direction that it grows out of your scalp. Doing the opposite causes the air to push the cuticles that surround the hair up and away from the rest of the hair, which ends up creating a frizzy look.” Michelle Cleveland
Hairstylist and Salon Owner - Hello Giggles
You’re Not Using a Nozzle
A concentrator attachment nozzle at the end of your hairdryer is designed to concentrate airflow in a natural direction and shield the hair from excess heat.
Without a nozzle, the hot air will disperse unevenly, causing frizz in patches.
Here are some of the benefits of using a concentrator nozzle:
- Provides a safe distance from the blow dryer to your hair.
- Minimizes the risk of heat damage.
- Prevents over-drying
- Reduces frizziness
You Start Styling Too Soon
Hair is fragile when wet , so if you start styling with a round brush while blow drying, you risk frizziness, breakage, and damage.
Wait until your hair is 80% dry before you start brushing, sculpting, and carving out your waves. At this stage, the heat will help set the style perfectly. Don’t forget to finish with a blast of cold air to stabilize your hair.
You’re Using Too Much Heat
High heat can be tempting when it comes to blow drying your hair. After all, who doesn’t want to save time by quickly drying their hair?
However, high heat can hurt your hair, causing it to become dry, brittle, and prone to breakage. In fact, the high temperatures produced by a blow dryer can remove moisture from the hair shaft, leaving your hair feeling dry and frizzy.
The best way to blow dry your hair safely is to start at medium heat (using a nozzle), and as your hair gets dryer, dial down to a lower temperature to finish off.
You Have Damaged Hair
If you already have symptoms of hair damage, blow drying will inevitably worsen the condition by exploding it into a frizzy mess.
To minimize further damage, protect your hair from high heat by using a heat-protectant spray.
Your Hair Dryer Is Too Old
If your hair looks a little frizzier than usual, it might be time to upgrade your hair dryer. Older hair dryers can cause frizz by not evenly distributing heat, or worse overheating.
Ionic hair dryers are a great option because they help seal moisture and protect your hair from heat damage. Plus, they emit negative ions that help to reduce frizz and leave your hair looking shiny and healthy.
So if you’re in the market for a new hair dryer, consider an ionic dryer to help keep your hair looking its best.
How to Prevent Frizzy Hair When Blow Drying
You know the saying, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure?”
When it comes to frizzy hair, that ringing bit of advice has never been more true. In other words: It’s easier to prevent your hair from becoming frizzy in the first place than trying to fix it after.
Of course, that’s not to say eliminating frizz altogether is easy – especially if you have dry, damaged, or chemically treated hair. But by following a few simple tips when you blow dry, you can definitely minimize the amount of frizz.
Here’s how …
Clarify Your Hair First
Always start with freshly clean strands. This seems like common sense, but it’s crucial. Any dirt, oil, or product buildup in your hair will make it harder for heat to break through. As a result, you’ll end up exposing your hair to heat for a longer period, or worse, use higher heat to get the job done out of frustration.
I recommend washing your hair with a clarifying shampoo once a week to purge buildup and residues, making your hair a clean slate.
Avoid Shampoos That Contain Sulfates
Blow drying your hair can cause frizz in two ways.
First, the heat from the blow dryer lifts the cuticle or outer layer of the hair shaft. Once the cuticle is lifted, the hair shaft absorbs more moisture from the environment, causing it to swell and frizz.
Secondly, blow drying can also cause frizz by weakening the hair shaft, making it more susceptible to damage from brushing and styling.
If you already have frizzy hair, avoid shampoos that contain sulfates, as these detergents can further strip away moisture and exacerbate frizz. Instead, look for a moisturizing shampoo formulated for dry or damaged hair. It will help replenish moisture and smooth the hair shaft, leading to softer, more manageable locks.
Follow up with a good anti-frizz moisturizing conditioner to smooth the cuticle layer.
Make Sure Your Hair is Properly Detangled in The Shower
Use a wide-tooth comb to untangle your hair after applying enough moisturizing conditioner. This will help your hair dry faster while reducing friction between the strands, thus minimizing frizz.
Properly detangled hair also allows for easy sectioning for blow drying.
Finish Washing With a Cold Rinse
Cold water may not be the most pleasant way to finish off your hair washing routine, but it does have its benefits. For one, cold water helps to close the cuticle, which in turn makes hair appear shinier and healthier. It can also help to reduce frizz and static, as well as seal in moisture. So next time you’re in the shower, make sure to finish with a cold water rinse before you reach for your blow dryer.
Never Blow Dry Soaking Wet Hair
When your hair is soaking wet, it is in its weakest state. This is because the hair shaft is expanded, and the cuticle is lifted, making it more susceptible to damage. So when you use a hair dryer on soaking wet hair, you’re essentially frying your hair.
Not only will this cause frizz and flyaways, but it can also lead to long-term damage like split ends, breakage, and bubble hair.
Squeeze out excess water with a towel, and then let your hair air dry for a bit. You can start with slightly damp hair on a medium heat setting and lower the heat further as your hair dries.
Soak Up Excess Moisture With a Microfiber Towel
If you’re looking for a way to cut down on frizz when blow drying your hair, try using a microfiber towel. Microfiber towels are great at absorbing excess moisture, which can help to prevent frizz when you’re blow drying your hair.
Using a microfiber towel, gently squeeze your hair after washing it, and then use the towel to blot it dry. Be sure to squeeze the towel rather than rubbing it, as rubbing causes friction. Once you’ve blotted your hair dry with the towel, you can proceed with blow drying as usual.
Consider Air Drying Before Using a Blow Dryer
Air drying your hair before you begin can help prevent the hair from becoming too dry and frizzy. Air drying also allows ample time to apply blow-dry butter or cream to prep your hair effectively before you start blow drying.
Related: How to air dry hair without frizz
Use a Heat Protection Spray
A heat protectant spray creates a barrier between your hair and the heat source, in this case, your blow-dryer. It helps prevent heat damage and leaves your locks looking shiny and smooth (aka not frizzy).
So how do you actually use a heat protectant?
First, section your clean, damp hair into quadrants. Second, spritz each section with a heat protectant from about 6 inches away. Make sure to saturate your strands—a little goes a long way. Third, comb through each section to distribute the heat protectant evenly before beginning to blow-dry. Now you’re ready to style as usual – just be sure not to go overboard with the heat!
Don’t Use Too Much Oil
Oil-based products consisting of argan oil or coconut oil are often used as heat protectants before using hot tools like hairdryers.
But did you know that oil can cause your hair to heat up quicker than it would otherwise?
This is because oil is a good conductor of heat, which means it can fry your hair.
Read: Why oil doesn’t work as a heat protectant
So, if you’re looking to prevent frizz and maintain healthy hair, be sure to use only the minimum amount of oil-based product necessary before using your hairdryer.
You can also help protect your hair by using the lowest heat setting possible and by keeping the dryer moving so that it doesn’t focus on any one area for too long. Taking these precautions will help ensure you get the best results from your oil-based hair product and help prevent frizz.
Section Your Hair for Better Coverage
Trying to blow-dry your hair all at once is a surefire way to end up with frizzy, undefined strands. The key to achieving a smooth, sleek finish is in the prep work – sectioning your hair before you start blow-drying. This simple step allows for better coverage and helps lessen frizz by giving each section of hair ample time to dry fully. Plus, it helps you avoid accidentally missing any spots (which can lead to unwanted flyaways). So next time you reach for your blow-dryer, take a few minutes to section your hair first – you’ll be glad you did.
Don’t Hold Your Hairdryer Too Close
The next time you reach for your hair dryer, hold it 8-10 inches away from your head and keep it moving. According to trichologist Anabel Kingsley: Holding the dryer too close to your hair can cause irreparable heat damage.
The heat must be intense enough to do something but not so intense that it burns. When you hold the dryer 8-10 inches away from your head, you’re able to evenly distribute heat without risking any damage. But even if you’re using the right amount of heat, it’s still important to start with the back and sides of your head and work your way up to the crown and front. Starting at the back, you can avoid potential heat damage in more delicate areas. And while you might be tempted to blast your hair with all the power your dryer offers, it’s better to use a lower setting and give your hair a little extra time to dry.
It might take a bit longer, but it will produce less frizz.
Blow Dry from Roots to Ends
Celebrity hairstylist Kimberly Kimble, who boasts A-list clients like Beyoncé, says blow drying from root to tip is the best way forward unless your hair is damaged.
She also adds:
“Blow dry hair from root to ends, going slow and using heat and tension in order to seal the cuticle. However, if your hair is weak or over-processed, start blow drying at the ends.” Kimberly Kimble
Celebrity Hairstylist - Stylist UK
Use a Concentrator Nozzle
When it comes to hair dryers, the concentrator nozzle is often overlooked. This attachment is key for directing airflow to exactly where you want it. When you don’t use a concentrator nozzle, the hot air from your hair dryer is dispersed unevenly, which can lead to frizzy patches. The concentrator nozzle helps to direct air flow and shield your hair from heat by maintaining a safe distance too.
Always Point The Nozzle Downwards
The direction of air flow is super important when blow drying. If the airflow goes against the hair cuticles, they will lift and cause the outer layer of the hair to become rough and ragged. When the airflow goes along the same direction that lays the cuticle flat, it will result in smoother hair.
Pointing the nozzle downwards helps concentrate the airflow towards flattening the hair cuticle layer.
“When you’re rough drying, don’t blow your hair upwards, or sidewards, direct your hairdryer downwards to really seal the cuticle. An easy way to do this is to use the nozzle on your hairdryer which will help the cuticles lie flatter.” Liam Curran
Hairstylist speaking to Elle.com - Elle
Consider a Diffuser Attachment
If you have curly or wavy hair, you know that diffusers are a game-changer when it comes to achieving frizz-free, defined curls. But if you’re new to the diffuser game, the attachment can seem a little confusing at first. Here’s a quick guide to diffuser attachments for hair dryers and how to use them for gorgeous, bouncy curls.
Diffuser attachments typically have a series of prongs or finger-like extensions that help to evenly distribute heat and diffused airflow throughout your hair. When used with a hair dryer, diffusers can help tame frizz, enhance natural curl definition, and add volume and body to your hair. Diffusers are ideal for people with curly or wavy hair types, as they can help minimize the risk of heat damage and enhance your curls’ overall health and appearance.
To use a diffuser attachment, attach the diffuser to your hair dryer and then turn the dryer on to your desired heat setting. Hold the diffuser close to your head and slowly move it around your head as you dry your hair. Avoid using too much heat and focus on slowly drying your hair for the best results.
Get a Proper Brush
Most of us have been guilty of using a metal brush on our hair at some point. And while it may seem harmless enough, these brushes can do a lot of damage to your locks. For example, round brushes with metal cores can heat up and can snag and tear your hair, leading to split ends and frizz. Plus, they can also cause static and make your hair harder to style. If you’re looking to avoid these potential problems, opt for a wet brush or round brush instead. Both of these options are much gentler on your hair and will help to prevent frizz when you’re styling or blow drying.
Use the Correct Technique for Your Hair Type
Your hair drying technique may differ depending on your hair type. For curly hair, the goal is to create definition and reduce frizz. To do this, you’ll want to use a diffuser attachment and keep the hair dryer on a low heat setting. You may also scrunch your hair with your hands as you dry to set your curls.
For wavy hair, you’ll want to focus on creating volume and movement. To do this, you’ll want to use a paddle brush and keep the hair dryer on a medium heat setting.
And for straight hair, you’ll want to create smooth, sleek styles. To achieve this, you’ll want to use a flat iron to give your hair a quick going over.
Use the Cool Air Shot to Set Your Style in Place
The cool air shot helps remove excess heat, stabilize your hair, lock your style in place, and enhance shine by flattening the cuticle layer.
It also helps your hair retain its natural moisture.
It’s a simple step that’s often overlooked and crucial in the battle to stay frizz-free after blow drying.
Consider Upgrading Your Hairdryer
Invest in a better blow-dryer with ionic technology, which uses infrared heat to dry hair evenly (as opposed to older model dryers that simply blast hot air). You should also look for a model with adjustable heat settings; this way, you can adjust according to your hair needs.
Give Your Hair a Heat Break
We all know the drill: Every time you wash your hair, you have to blow-dry it. And every time you blow-dry it, you have to use a flat iron or curling iron to style it. It’s a never-ending cycle of heat that can take a toll on your locks. That’s why giving your hair a heat break every now and then. Put away your heat styling tools for a week or two and focus on air-drying your hair and using gentle, heat-free styles.
Learn to Air Dry
If you’re looking to give your hair a break from the heat, air-drying is always an option. But if you’ve ever air-dried before, you know it’s not always as simple as letting your hair air dry.
There are a few things you can do to set yourself up for success and avoid frizz.
First, start with clean, damp hair. Towel-dry your hair gently until it’s only slightly damp – if your hair is too wet, it will take forever to air-dry.
Next, apply a leave-in conditioner or serum to help tame frizz.
Once you’ve applied your product of choice, comb it through your hair with a wide-tooth comb to ensure even distribution.
Finally, let your hair air dry naturally. If you need to speed up the process, you can use a diffuser on a low heat setting. Just be careful not to overdo it—too much heat can damage your hair.
By following these simple tips, you can air-dry your hair quickly and avoid frizz for healthy, happy hair.
Deep Condition Weekly
There are a few things you can do to prevent frizz and deep condition your hair at the same time. One way is to use a coconut oil hair mask. Just add a few drops of coconut oil to your regular conditioner, or use it as a pre-shampoo treatment. You can also try deep conditioning with a store-bought hair mask. Apply the mask to wet hair, cover with a shower cap, and leave it on for at least 20 minutes before rinsing.
Deep conditioning once a week will help prevent frizz and keep your hair looking healthy.
The Best Products for Blow Drying Without Frizz
The Dyson Supersonic is a powerful yet lightweight hair dryer that uses advanced ionic air technology to deliver excellent blow-dry results without hair breakage or heat damage. The Supersonic hair dryer also comes with a customizable range of attachments and a concentrator nozzle, makings it fun and exciting to work with. Whether you have straight, curly, wavy, thin hair, or very thick hair, the Dyson Supersonic always delivers a smooth, frizz-free, and polished blowout that looks and feels amazing.
Its ergonomic design also makes it ideal for blow drying long hair without hurting your wrist.
Plus, the products listed above to fix frizziness after blow drying:
Here are the best post-blow-dry frizz tamers:
Frequently Asked Questions
Does Blow-Drying Open the Hair Cuticles?
When hair is wet, the cuticles remain open. Blow drying does not open the hair cuticles since they already remain open when the hair is wet. However, blow drying in the wrong direction will keep them open instead of shutting them down for a smooth finish. That’s why it’s important to be extra gentle on wet hair and use a concentrator nozzle with your hair dryer to direct the airflow in the same direction that keeps the cuticles lying flat.
What Should I Put on My Hair Before Blow Drying?
A heat protectant spray is an essential step in your hair-care routine if you plan on using any heat styling tools, such as a blow dryer, flat iron, or curling iron. Not only does the spray help to protect your hair from heat damage, but it also helps to keep it looking healthy and shiny. A smoothing anti-frizz blowout butter, like Alterna Caviar, is another important product to use before blow drying your hair. The butter helps tame unruly hair while protecting it from heat-styling and humidity. As a result, your hair will look smoother and frizz-free after blow drying.
Can You Put Oil in Your Hair Before Blow Drying?
Using too much oil in your hair before blow drying is not recommended because oil is a heat conductor. This means it can actually fry your hair if the heat is too high. If you do decide to use oil before blow drying, be sure to apply it sparingly and avoid getting too close to the roots; otherwise, you risk damaging your hair.
How Long Should it Take to Blow Dry Hair at Home?
The ideal blow dry time for short hair is 5-10 mins and around 15-30 minutes. for longer and thicker hair .
If you want to blow dry your hair and shape it at the same time, allow extra time for the styling process.
Is Blow Drying Hair with Cold Air Good?
Blow drying with cold hair helps set your style in place while sealing the hair cuticles. However, it won’t help to dry your hair. Blow drying with hot air is recommended if you want to expedite the drying process and shape your style .
Only use cold air to blow dry once your hair is fully dry.
How Dry Should Your Hair Be When Blow Drying?
Your hair should dry 50-80% before you start blow drying .
How Close Should You Hold Your Hair Dryer?
- 8 – 10 inches away for removing moisture
- 4 – 6 inches when styling
Although plenty of anti-frizz products can help you tame your frizzy hair after blow drying, good preparation beforehand can save you a lot of time by minimizing frizz right from the shower.
Make sure your hair is dry enough, use a heat protectant or a blow-dry primer, use the correct brush, and of course, an ionic hair dryer will make a huge difference in delivering a frizz-free, smooth blow-dry that won’t turn into a bad hair day.
References & Citations
- Lee, Yoonhee et al. “Hair shaft damage from heat and drying time of hair dryer.” Annals of dermatology vol. 23,4 (2011): 455-62. doi:10.5021/ad.2011.23.4.455
- 5 Things You Should Never Do to Wet Hair
- Holding distance of hair dryer to prevent heat damage to hair
- Hair is fragile when wet
- How To Blow Dry Hair Without Damage – Ultimate Guide
- Blow drying tips from Celebrity hairstylist Bridget Brager
- How to blow dry your hair, according to the experts