The differences between hairdryers - important or just a lot of hot air?
On the face of it, all hairdryers are equal and pretty straightforward - a fan inside pushes cool air towards a heating element, then blows hot air out through the nozzle in order to dry your lovely locks.
Simple and yet… do you know what makes some hairdryers more suitable for certain hair types and styling needs than others? Do you know your ionic from your tourmaline from your titanium? And does it matter if you don’t?
Simon Bryer, international style director and co-founder of Hairfix, says, “Whilst I don’t endorse individual brands I do want to bang a drum for quality hairdryers. Why? Because a high quality model that's suited to your hair type can significantly improve the health of your hair. The right dryer will decrease your chances of ending up with brittle, fried and frazzled hair.”
That doesn’t mean that you need to spend a fortune but you do need to have an idea of what different types of dryer bring to the party so that you can choose the one that’s right for you. The key things to focus on are the material used inside, wattage, weight, and extra features that might make blow-drying your hair easier.
I just set my hairdryer to max and aim it at my hair, right?
Wrong! Heat should be varied according to your hair type and how wet it is. If you have thick or coarse hair or want to quickly remove excess moisture from very wet hair, you’ll need high heat BUT you must keep that high heat moving and avoid focusing in one area so that you don’t over-dry or burn your hair.
If, on the other hand, you have thin or fragile hair or you’re drying damp (as opposed to wet) hair, you’ll need to use a lower, cooler setting. And we all need cool air towards the end of blow-drying to seal the hair cuticle, set our style for long-lasting hold and to add shine.
Any old ion, any old ion…
“You should check the spec for your dryer because wet hair needs negative ions," adds Simon. "Wet hair is loaded with positive ions and negative ions ensure that the surface water comes away from the cuticle more easily and the remaining moisture is ‘locked’ into the hair. Your hair will feel drier faster but with lots of lovely moisture within and a shiny surface on the outside.”
All heat is equal, isn't it?
“You’d think so, wouldn’t you? This is where we begin to get a little more technical as some heat is kinder and some is quicker. It's all a question of what material is used to coat the heating element," says Simon.
Look for an ionic or tourmaline dryer if you have thick, frizzy hair or difficult to dry hair. Both types create negative ions that help break up the positively charged water droplets on your hair for faster drying and to combat frizz.
Tourmaline is a semi-precious mineral that provides the most intense ionic action. Tourmaline dryers are more expensive than regular ionic dryers but a good investment if you’re after a faster, shinier, less frizzy finish.
If you have fine or thin hair, ionic dryers aren’t for you as they’re not as good at building volume as other types.
Ceramic or porcelain dryers are good for fine or dry hair that dehydrates easily – and a safe bet for most hair types. They use infrared heat that’s efficient, gentle and evenly distributed. They also use negative ions to prevent frizz and allow you to dry your hair more quickly.
Titanium coating is similar to ceramic (but lighter) and used to distribute heat evenly. This is due to titanium's ability to maintain a high, constant temperature, which also means faster drying and less damage to hair.
What's it with speed, watts and whatnot?
A high-wattage motor means greater wind power and less heat damage. A wattage in the range of 1300 to 1875 should do you well for home use.
You do need to adjust heat levels according to your hair texture, condition and the time you have in which to blow dry it. So, make sure you have a few speed and heat options and preferably a cool shot button to protect you from overheating your hair (start using this or a cool temperature setting when your hair’s about 80% dry), seal the hair cuticles for a smoother, shinier look, and to lock in your style and curl.
Weighing it all up...
Ah, yes! Don’t forget to look at factors such as the weight of a dryer, its ergonomics, how long its cord is, whether the buttons are logically placed before you buy. Product reviews from users are invaluable here – as is the advice of your hairdresser.
The bottom line is that you don’t need to spend a fortune but do take care to buy a safe dryer from a reputable brand,
Simon says, “I’m a fan of tourmaline and ionic dryers. They aren’t always expensive, and checking what the dryer you’re buying is made from and whether it suits your hair type won’t cost you a thing but could save your hair.”
Beautifully Silky Hair for Less - Save £8 in August
If this summer's glorious sunshine has left your hair feeling a little the worse for wear - perhaps dry, brittle and more like straw than silk - fear not, for we have just the thing to rescue it, and a dazzling offer that will save you £8, too.
If any of this sounds familiar to you, we recommend using Hairfix Silk + Reconditioning Masque. It's a superb rescue remedy for post-holiday hair that's feeling less than lovely and its 100ml size also makes it the perfect travel companion, offering UV protection and that extra moisture that summer hair needs.
To save £8:00, simply add Silk + to your cart and use the code SILKPLUS at the checkout before the offer expires on 31 August 2018.
Apply Silk + to dry, unwashed hair before bedtime, comb through – concentrating on the very ends where damage is greatest - and shampoo out next morning, conditioning as normal or apply before shampooing, comb through and leave for two minutes, then shampoo and condition as usual.
Distribute several pumps worth of Hairfix Silk+ through dry or damp hair and comb through. The sun’s rays help to activate the silk protein and keratin in this deep moisturising treatment, ensuring silky softness. Silk + also protects hair from UV and helps reduce sun damage.
Thoroughly drench your hair in fresh water. This will dilute the effects of the salt or pool chemicals so that they cause less damage to your locks. Rinse your hair again after swimming and re-apply Hairfix Silk + as many times as necessary during the day.
"JUST BRILLIANT. This product is amazing. I use it 3 times a week along with the Revitaliser. My dry, frizzy, brittle, coloured hair is so much more manageable. It looks shiny and healthy now. Biosilk makes blowdrying much easier and cuts down on the use other styling products. I have already re-purchased this item and highly recommend it."
. Terms & Conditions: Offer ends at midnight on 31 August 2018. Postage on First Class & overseas orders applies. There is no limit to the number of times code SILKPLUS may be used per customer.
Simon Talks Shades of Grey
Going grey is inevitable. But if you can learn to love and manage your grey, there's glamour ahead!
Simon says: "Going grey is inevitable because the cells in hair follicles that produce melanin - a chemical that gives hair colour - gradually die off."
Fun fact: Did you know that there is actually no such thing as grey hair? Just hair with colour and hair that's white! Grey hair is an illusion caused when some hair has turned white and other hair remains its normal colour.
"Unfortunately," adds Simon, "this colourless hair also becomes more porous and easily absorbs chemicals from the environment, including smoke and pollution, which can leave it with a yellowish tinge. But there's no need to worry about that because well shampooed and well conditioned grey hair set against a good skin tone can look drop dead gorgeous."
"What's really important is to deep cleanse your hair without stripping it and put back the softness, shine and smoothness with keratin. That’s why I’m shamelessly plugging our Total Detox & Recovery Regime for greying hair. It’ll make your grey hair so luscious that your non-grey friends will be longing to go grey!"
Another fun fact: Did you also know that the average man starts to go grey at around 30 years old but for women it's around 35 years, old? Greying is generally a slow process ~ perhaps that's nature's way of giving us time to get used to the idea!
And finally... if you're just settling into having grey locks or have decided to banish hair dye from your life forever, it's important to review your hairstyle as a new style may suit your new colour and texture better. It's also a great excuse to update your make-up Don’t just assume your old makeup will work with your new grey hair colour. Grey hair coloring can tend to make you look washed out, so it's important to update your makeup, with an eye toward warmer colors.
Is colouring breaking your hair?
Much as we love it or feel we need it, it's a fact that all hair colouring can cause breaking - either because the pigment makes your hair brittle or, if you’re going lighter, there’s a stripping of the keratin (keratin keeps your hair strong, elastic and healthy) that contains your original darker colour.
Simon says that it's a really good idea to try and give your hair a rest from colour now and again but, if that’s easier said than done for you, the next best thing is to do what you can to make the colour you have last longer.
“That’s when I recommend our sulphate-free Every Day Shampoo and super-light Every Day Conditioner. Both are milder than washing in water but they do work to gently cleanse and condition the hair, plus they’ll help keep colour ten times longer than your normal shampoo,” says Simon.
Buy 1 Get 1 Free + Mix & Match on Hairfix 500ml Total Detox & Recovery Steps 1, 2 or 3
OK, so it's not exactly a catchy headline but it is a great deal...
The deal is that you can choose any two 500ml bottles of our Classic Total Detox & Recovery Regime and pay for just one in August. That's a great saving, even if we say so ourselves.
All you need to do is add 2 x 500ml bottles of your chosen Hairfix Total Detox steps to your cart and use the code 14OFF at checkout to receive the second bottle absolutely free. It's that easy.
Terms & Conditions: Offer available until 31 August 2016. The discount code 14OFF cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer and may only be applied to order for two 500ml single bottles of Hairfix Release, Revive and Replenish. The code may only be used once per order.