Hairdryers offer more than hot air
Most blokes don’t use a hair dryer. What’s the point? they say. With short hair the benefits of subjecting your barnet to blasts of warm air are not immediately apparent. You might think it’s a waste of time. But, if you want your style to stay all day, blow drying is your friend.
Do you struggle to make your hair look like it does when it’s just been cut?
Go to the best barbers in London and you’ll see hair dryers in regular use. Why? It’s not because the barbers enjoy doing their own small-scale impression of Hurricane Ophelia. This windy appliance features in the barber’s toolkit because it’s handy for creating and maintaining a long-lasting style.
A few minutes blow drying makes your style last hours longer
This short guide contains useful tips from Gavin “Stay” Sharp, barber at our Lamb’s Conduit Street shop, as well as hair product and hair dryer recommendations (Christmas present idea alert).
Hair styling tips
Many guys are plagued by unruly areas on top of their heads: the crown and the front (fringe area) being the most regular offenders. Using a hair dryer can help you tame these bothersome beasts. Gavin explains:
“The most common thing guys want to know is how they can do their style quickly at home. Although it might seem a faff, a hair dryer can actually save time and help you get better, longer-lasting results.
If you have a tricky crown that stands up or misbehaves, hold the hair dryer above the crown and let the hair fall and dry into a natural position. Same with the front. Don’t just blast away wherever you want to. Use the nozzle and the airflow carefully to make the hair sit how you want it.”
The science part
“When you wet hair, bonds in the hair break down. As your hair dries, the bonds set in a different position. Like if you heat up a piece of plastic till you can bend it. It will stay in that position when it cools. If you control the drying of your hair—using a hair dryer, product, and comb, brush or fingers—it will stay in the position you want for longer.”
Woah there! Use the hair dryer on a low setting
“Guys often want to get things done fast so they use full power and full heat. That’s actually the worst thing you can do because you’re going to dry your hair too quickly into a ridiculous shape. What I generally say to people is have it on a slower speed and medium heat. If it’s too hot and too fast you can end up damaging the hair.”
Hair styling products to use with a hair dryer
Hair products help you get the most from blow drying. They protect the hair, especially if your hair is naturally dry or frizzy, and they add volume to fine, flat hair. Adding product before drying also means you can set your style in place, use less product afterwards and enjoy longer hold.
“The idea of using the hair dryer in the first place is that you’re drying your hair into a style to last for the rest of the day. A lot of guys find that half way through the day their style is gone and it looks a mess, like when they first woke up. When you use a hair dryer, you’re not just trying to get the hair dry, you’re setting it into position.
Hair products put a barrier between your hair and the heat. If you have frizzy or coarse hair it’s a good idea to use a leave-in conditioner. Use something moisturising like Easy Rider by Kevin Murphy, Liquid Rollers Curl Balm by EVO, or Dede Hair Mist leave-in hair conditioner by Davines*.
If you have fine or flat hair, Davines Sea Salt Spray, or EVO Mister Fantastic Blowout Spray*, can give your hair more volume and life. Sea salt spray is not good for dry hair though.”
Easier and longer-lasting style
“Using a hair dryer can make your life easier but you need the right tools. Comb the product into your hair, or use a vent brush that allows air to flow and makes styling easier. The Denman vent brush is great.”
What hair dryer to buy: skinted or minted
“The old saying ‘buy cheap buy twice’ certainly applies here. Buy something bargain basement and it won’t last very long.
If you’re feeling flashy, the Dyson Supersonic hair dryer is the cream of the crop. Not cheap but you won’t find better. I’ve tried it out in Boots and my mates who are hairdressers love it. It’s light, quiet and powerful.
In the shop we use Parlux. They last forever. I’ve been at Huckle for a year and I’ve been using it everyday up to ten times a day. So for normal home use it’ll last you ten years, easy. The Parlux 3200 Compact hair dryer is great. It’s probably the most widely used hair dryer in the business.”
Top tips for using a hair dryer
Use product while drying.
Put product into your hair first: something moisturising for dry hair, volume-building for flat hair and water-based for normal hair.
Be kind to your hair.
Use the hair dryer on a medium setting to avoid damaging your hair or drying it into a wild, flyaway style.
Focus on the tricky parts.
If you have an unruly crown or fringe, focus the warm air there first to dry those parts into the position you want.
Use the right tools.
A vent brush, comb (or just your hands) can help you style and shape while you dry.
So now you know. Hair dryers do actually serve a purpose. We were going to make a joke about blow jobs, but we won’t. Happy styling!
Huckle the Barber is a London barber that offers male grooming services for discerning gents in Shoreditch and Bloomsbury. Come and see us on Old Street or Lamb’s Conduit Street. Book your hair or wet shave appointment here.