Okay, here’s the thing. The humble hairdryer is about as pervasive a piece of paraphernalia as you can get, but are you really maximising the mileage out of your mane mechanism? Keep reading for a glossary of top tress-taming tips and tricks.
1. Heat settings
Here’s a handy hair maxim worth memorising: Low heat for limp locks, high heat for heavy hair. Take it from my mane man Michael Chiew of Hairloom Salon, who says that you should crank up the thermostat only if your coiffure is coarse. “Be conservative and stick to the lower settings if you have fine and fragile hair,” he says. “Oh, and use your free hand to ruffle through the damp strands so that they don’t dry out entirely.” Minimising moisture loss is the name of the game here.
One more thing: Don’t direct the nozzle at any one section of hair for too long either, or you may singe your fringe. The regrettable result? Sad stringy strands that look like soggy Maggi mee. Not a good look!
2. “Cool shot” setting
As for that cryptic “cool shot” knob on your gadget? Think of the blast of frosty air as a follicle-fortifying final flourish: It seals in the shine and lends a really reflective mirror-like mirage to your mane. Oh, and it’s superb for setting curls too, so go right ahead and push that button.
One of my trusty mane must-haves, GHD's awesome Air, $225. What's yours?
3 and 4. Ceramic and tourmaline dryers
What about deluxe dryers made from mysterious materials like ceramic and tourmaline? Well, these cutting-edge contraptions essentially emit infrared energy that distributes heat evenly for superior sheen and a frizz-free finish. They’re also pricier, naturally, so it’s your call if you want to blow your beauty budget on a costlier contrivance. My take? They’re investment implements well worth coughing up cash for, so take the plunge and pamper yourself.
5 and 6. Diffusers and concentrators
Now for some final bits and bobs (or is that buns and braids). I’m talking about diffusers and concentrators, those criminally underutilised add-ons that can really amplify your appliance. The former can look formidable, with its spiky protrusions giving it the air of a medieval torture device, but make no mistake: Diffusers make all the difference in well, diffusing heat for the most va-va-voom volume. They’re especially useful if you want to play up your naturally tousled tresses; simply pop the diffuser onto your dryer at low heat, mount the “helmet” onto the crown of your head, swirl it about and lift off for a boost in body and bounce.
Meanwhile, concentrators direct air (and hair) where you want it to go, and are best for defrizzing and detangling. Leaving a couple of centimetres between your head and the narrow nozzle of the attachment, grab a rounded brush with your free hand and comb through in the desired direction.(If you have a longish bob, a concentrator is perfect for coaxing your hair inwards towards the chin for a Korean-inspired C-Curl.)
And voila: a beguilingly bouncy bouffant with the aid of just one grooming gadget. Have lots of follicular fun with your dryer, and cheers to looking like a shampoo ad model!