It’s quite natural to wonder, “Do hair dryers cause hair loss?” especially if you use one every day.
And, if you are indeed losing hair of late, it’s apt to consider whether your blowdryer is at fault.
With that in mind, below are the result of my detailed analysis on the impact blow dryers can have on your hair.
Just keep reading!
CHECK: Best Blow Dryer That Straightens Your Hair
Can a Blow Dryer Cause Hair Loss?
To state it simply, yes. A blow dryer can lead to loss of hair, but it’s not common!
If you’re using it the right way on healthy hair, then it’s pretty unlikely.
Let’s discuss exactly what “the right way” means.
Safe Heat Settings
As I just stated, a blow dryer will not lead to hair loss unless you’re irritating the scalp or burning your skin with it.
At the same time, I must reiterate here that it holds true only when you’re avoiding direct contact with your scalp as much as possible.
So, if you wish to use a blow dryer, I recommend that the blow dryer should be at the very least 15 cm away from your scalp. That way, you’ll be able to keep your hair healthy and avoid burning or irritating your scalp .
In comparison to natural drying, blow dryers cause detrimental surface damage.
Your damaged hair will then turn brittle and dry out if your scalp is too close to the heating tool during usage.
That will lead to frizzy hair and split ends because the high heat from blow dryers will suck out nourishment from the hair tresses .
READ MORE: Does Straightening Your Hair Damage It?
Blow Dryers With Infrared Tech
Variety is abundant today. You can get soft and silky hair by using blow dryers with ionic generators.
While these blow dryers make your hair gorgeous, hair loss is kept to a minimum. That’s because these types of blow dryers use infrared heat, which doesn’t require high temperatures to dry your hair .
Besides that, I find these blow dryers to be super convenient.
Why? Because I can set my hair using the Cold Shot feature. Plus, the time I take to dry my hair has consistently reduced, thanks to these dryers.
Managing Director of Duke University School of Medicine, Healthcare Professional, and Dermatologist, Zoe Draelos, recommends using the blow dryers on the lowest possible heat settings .
READ MORE: Does Blow Drying Your Hair on Cool Damage it?
Using Your Blow Dryer Correctly: Precautionary Steps
Use Blow Dryer On Minimal Heat Settings
While maintaining minimal contact, I suggest you limit the blow dryer’s heat settings to medium or, if possible, on low.
The reason is that the higher the temperature, the more damage to the hair shaft, and the higher the rate of hair fall.
So long as you’re avoiding direct contact with your scalp and keeping the heat settings on low, you shouldn’t be losing hair frantically.
Limit your blow dryer usage
I know you want gorgeously styled hair every day, but try to give your poor distressed locks a break from the heat as much as possible.
There are indeed adverse effects when it comes to the prolonged application of heat on your wet hair from these heating tools.
As I’ve already mentioned in the earlier sections, making use of drying tools that will lessen the drying time will prove to be abundantly helpful for you.
Blow dryers that use thermal or ionic tech are totally game-changers.
Blow Dry Your Hair Unidirectionally
Based on my analysis, blowdrying hair in one continuous motion to limit the amount of hair breakage and damage to the strands is extremely effective to combat hair loss.
Personally, I blow-dry from the hair root towards the ends while maintaining a 15 cm distance from the scalp in one continuous motion. That not only helps me avoid frizzy, but it also protects my hair from heat damage.
Check: Is Blow-drying Better Than Air-drying?
Detailed Tips To Prevent Hair Loss Even Further
Now that we know the right way to use a hair dryer, let’s look at some other tips on how to prevent hair loss while using one.
Get A Trim
Oftentimes, all you need is a good old hair trim. If you have split ends or you’re finding it hard to maintain your hair, go ahead and trim a few inches off.
There’s no way to salvage those split ends. Sure, there are a billion products that claim to “mend” them back together, but nothing short of cutting actually reverses them .
Plus, hair ends often house high amounts of protein buildup. So, you’ve got nothing to lose and quite a considerable amount to gain.
Make Use Of Blow Dryer Heat Protectants
Heat protectants shield your hair by forming a moist and protective layer around it. That way, the hot blow-drying doesn’t damage your hair.
Moreover, the non-aggressive protective or leave-in conditioner makes your hair silkier and shinier after the blowout. That’s because it contains abundant nutrition for your hair tresses.
READ MORE: 4 Easy Hairstyles For Wet Hair To Try
Try Out Effective Home Remedies
Cleanse your scalp by applying essential oils such as lavender oil, clary sage, and peppermint oil. The application of essential oils boosts hair growth and enhances the flow of blood to the scalp.
Please, though, never apply essential oils directly to your scalp. They’re too strong, harsh, and can actually damage your skin. You MUST use a carrier oil. My favorite is sweet almond oil, but I’ve used good old olive oil in a pinch.
You can even try out an effective hair mask that you can easily prepare at home. Here’s one I love:
Take A Break (and Call Your Doctor)
In case you’re losing too much hair and nothing’s going your way, I strongly advise you to lay off hair products, hair dye, and heat styling tools.
I also recommend calling your doctor for a checkup, because sometimes hair loss is a symptom of other medical conditions.
Are there any side effects of using blow dryers?
Yes, there are many side effects of using blow dryers. Extremely dry hair is among the biggest disadvantages of long-term use.
Aside from that, blow dryers can cause dandruff and dry scalp, other than its potential of leading to hair loss and permanent hair damage.
Is a heat protectant really necessary?
Yes, heat protectants are extremely crucial to maintaining healthier hair. If you wish to shield your hair from heat damage, make sure you’re using a mild shampoo and heat protectant spray.
These protective sprays fortify the hair follicles and strands, increase moisture content, and keep the flyaways in check.
That concludes my guide on whether or not using a hairdryer can lead to hair loss. As is evident, it’s not possible to completely avoid hair loss.
Although, in my opinion, you can limit hair damage and hair loss to a minimum by following the simple tips that I mentioned.
Other than that, follow a healthy food diet, avoid wearing tight buns, and yes! Use a wide-tooth comb.
- 1. Lee Y, Kim Y-D, Hyun H-J, Pi L, Jin X, Lee W-S. Hair Shaft Damage from Heat and Drying Time of Hair Dryer. Annals of Dermatology [Internet]. 2011 [cited 2021 Dec 8];23:455. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3229938/
- 2. Hussein J. Things you’re doing wrong when blow drying your hair [Internet]. Insider. Insider; 2019 [cited 2021 Dec 8]. Available from: https://www.insider.com/how-to-blow-dry-your-hair-2018-11
- 3. Ricapito M. Expensive Hair Dryers: Are They Worth the Cost? [Internet]. WebMD. WebMD; 2011 [cited 2021 Dec 8]. Available from: https://www.webmd.com/beauty/features/expensive-hair-dryers
- 4. Diana Z. Zoe Diana Draelos, MD – Home [Internet]. Zoedraelos.com. 2021 [cited 2021 Dec 8]. Available from: https://www.zoedraelos.com/home/
- 5. Tynan Sinks. You Can’t Repair Split Ends — But Here’s What You Can Do [Internet]. Vox. Vox; 2015 [cited 2021 Dec 8]. Available from: https://www.vox.com/2015/10/16/9520625/split-ends-repair-damage-hair-care-heat-styling-conditioner#:~:text=When%20it%20comes%20to%20fixing%20split%20ends%2C%20you,hair%20looking%20and%20feeling%20as%20healthy%20as%20possible.
Do hair dryers cause hair loss? Let us know your opinion on this topic in the comments below!
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Olaf Bieschke is a senior year medical student from Charité University of Berlin in Germany. He has gained professional experience in various hospitals and offices in Germany, Belgium, France, Poland, Brazil and Spain. Currently working on a dr. med. title thesis in neurosurgery. You can find more about him HERE. Follow him on LINKEDIN AND FACEBOOK