By Alison McGill
Air dry hair season has been packed up for another year. With colder temps comes a return to heat styling your hair. If you haven’t updated your blow-dryer in a few years, it’s time up your power tool game.
Blow-dryer technology has come a long way in the last decade. Dryers are lighter, deliver faster drying times, cause little to no heat damage, infuse strands with a glossy finish, and even help maintain the integrity of your colour. “Hair colour services are a big investment; to maintain that you need the right tool to create healthy, shiny, beautiful hair,” says Don Wyatt, national director of shows and education for Babyliss Pro and Barberology.
Wyatt says the best new blow-dryers use a ceramic grill to improve the intensity of heat delivery, which in turn helps keep your hair healthy. Many blow-dryers, like the powerful new Conair InfinitiPro DigitalAire, also use a high output Negative Ion Generator which helps add shine and moisture to hair while also cutting your typical blow-drying time in half.
A moment for a little scientific hair school. An ionic hairdryer emits negative ions; water’s ions are positively charged. When the two meet, negative ions emitted by a blow-dryer break up and scatter water droplets on the hair shaft, preventing them from soaking in which speeds up drying time. “Negative ions help to seal the hair’s cuticle which delivers the high shine, and also helps to eliminate static and frizz,” shares Wyatt.
When it comes to shopping for a blow-dryer, Wyatt says to keep these three things top of mind: the physical weight of the appliance; the wattage—more power equates to faster drying time; and the decibel level, because whisper quiet is best (your ears and your pets will thank you). To protect your investment—a salon quality blow-dryer will cost you at least $200—you also need to remember to take good care of your machine. This may sound basic, but blow-dryer maintenance is not something most of us commit to.
“Think of your blow-dryer as you would your clothes dryer,” says Watt. “Every time you put wet clothing in the clothes dryer, you clean the filter. This will prolong the life of the clothes dryer and help your clothes dry in a timely manner. Your blow-dryer is the same. Each time you use it, clean any dust or debris with the cleaning brush that comes with it. This will prolong the life and efficacy of this your styling tool.”
Perfect Blowout Essentials
Recreate fresh-from-the-salon hair at home with these power tools and styling products.
The Power Brush
This clever two-in-one tool with ionic technology is perfect for creating smooth, shiny styles. It’s lightweight and ergonomic making it easy to use. This is our top tool pick for creating a bouncy, supermodel-inspired blow-out.
Drybar The Double Shot Blow-Dryer Brush, $209, sephora.com
The Shine-Enhancing Mask
This colourless mask is designed to hydrate hair and create incredible shine. Formulated with Moroccanoil’s signature Argan oil and scented with the brand’s signature Fragrance Originale, it delivers a salon treatment level glossy finish that truly glows after heat styling.
Moroccanoil High Gloss Shine Color Depositing Mask in Clear, $40, sephora.com
The Pro Quality Blow-dryer
This sleek new machine from Conair ticks all the boxes. It’s compact, weighs next to nothing and dries hair in record time. The cool shot button guarantees a perfect finish, and if you are a curly girl the diffuser is best in class.
Conair InfinitiPro DigitalAire, $199, conaircanada.ca
The Super Serum
Apply this to clean damp hair to help protect it from pollution and heat damage. It delivers hair shine, frizz control and nourishment to strands, and is a particularly loved by those with curls and textured hair for its smoothing and nourishing qualities.
Olaplex No. 9 Bond Protector Nourishing Hair Serum, $41, sephora.com
The Leave-In Conditioner
Designed to protect colour vibrancy, this nourishing, light-weight leave-in treatment protects hair from heat damage up to 450F degrees. Spritz on clean hair then work through from root to tip before blow-drying.
Pureology Color Fanatic Heat Protectant Leave-In Conditioner, $39 for 100ml, amazon.ca