You Should Stop Blow Drying Your Hair If This Happens To You

We all want those smooth, gorgeous, frizz-free locks that look like we just walked out of an expensive salon. But for most of us, the reality is a little rougher, dryer, and includes the daily grind of time spent in front of the bathroom mirror, styling tool in hand, forcing our hair into submission.

By now, you've probably heard that too much heat damages hair. Blow-drying hair sucks out much-needed moisture, leaving hair dry, weakened, and susceptible to breakage and further damage (via Be Beautiful). FEKKAI brand stylist partner Chad Wood explains, "Too much heat on the hair causes breakage – constantly heating and cooling will weaken the hair, leading it to break" (per Well+Good). This can turn into a never-ending cycle — blow-drying damages hair strands, making it even harder to achieve a healthy, tamed look next time around.

What to do? Brace yourself: the best way to protect your hair from continual damage is to say goodbye to your blow dryer (and curling iron and straightener) for good. If that sounds extreme, listen to the benefits you can expect after just one month of going heat-free and letting hair air-dry instead. Garnier celebrity hairstylist Millie Morales tells Well+Good, "After a month, you will notice an incredible, stronger change in your hair. You would have recovered the hydration, the natural oils of your hair, and would have strengthened the protective layer of the hair." Basically, your hair will come back to life in all its healthy, untamed glory.

Towel-dry hair before applying styling products

Women who have taken the plunge and stopped blow-drying their hair have found simple styling methods that still leave them feeling beautiful. Salomée Levy, a high school senior and part-time tutor who does not even own a hairdryer, told HuffPost, "Overall, it's empowering. For me, not using heat products really empowers me to just air-dry my hair because I know I'm keeping a very healthy curl shape and just continuing my healthy, curly hair journey."

If ditching the dryer for good sounds too extreme, don't worry. There are ways to minimize the damage caused by blow-drying. Using a super-absorbent hair towel to get hair mostly dry first, applying a heat-protectant spray, and then finishing the job with a blow-dryer (on the low heat setting) will help minimize damage.

But if you're willing to venture into new, more au-naturel hair territory, be prepared for some surprising changes. As Morrocanoil celebrity hairstylist Bryce Scarlett notes, "You've been telling your hair to do something it doesn't want to do for so long, if you let it do what it wants for a long period of time, you'll see that it gets more curl and more texture... Your hair will adapt" (via Well+Good).