When was the last time you used your hair dryer? If you didn’t use it today, you will likely use it tomorrow instead.
For many people, a hair dryer is the best way to cheat time and get their hair dry and neat quickly.
Besides keeping your hair dry, hair dryers are great for styling your hair beautifully after drying it. This handy device is essential for many people around the globe.
However, while giving you the beauty and dry texture you want, a hair dryer comes with some drawbacks. The side effects of a hair dryer can affect the strength and look of your hair and come with the constant usage of this hair care device.
Side Effects of Overusing a Hair Dryer
Hair dryers are handy devices for styling, but they can also impart potential damage. Here are some side effects of hair dryers to be aware of:
1. Hair Burns
Hair dryers are an electrical appliance that produces a lot of heat in a matter of minutes. Some hair dryers can even generate up to 27-60°C. If you blow dry your hair at this temperature you’ll likely damage your hair.
There are times when your hair dryer is left set to a high temperature. If you mistakenly use the hair dryer without checking the temperature, you may burn your hair.
It’s hard for anyone to pinpoint the actual temperature your hair needs to dry; people just want to dry their hair as quickly as possible. But let your hair air dry first and if necessary use the hair dryer in low-temperature settings.
Hair dryers, while incredibly convenient for quick styling, can have significant side effects on the health and vitality of your hair.
2. Hair Follicle Effect
Anywhere you see hair in your body, you can be sure that there are hair follicles in that area. According to experts, you have more than 100,000 hair follicles on just your scalp.
Hair follicles play a significant role in hair growth and development. A hair follicle is structured like a tunnel, and you can find them on the top layer, or epidermis, of your skin. Your hair begins growing at the base of each hair follicle, right at the pore of your skin.
Apart from hair growth, the hair follicles heavily influence the way your hair looks. If your hair curls a certain way, it may be due to the influence of your hair follicles. If you use a hair dryer every day, you’re putting your hair follicles at risk.
The hair follicles on your scalp will become excessively weak when exposed to heat, and your pores will open up. With your pores constantly opening up, your hair will begin falling out more frequently due to shaft damage.
Usually, you lose up to one hundred strands of hair every day, according to the American Osteopathic College of Dermatology. But when you use the heat from hair dryers consistently, the number will go much higher.
3. Hair Damage and Breakage
Consistent application of high heat can deplete your hair of its natural oils. Without these oils, your hair becomes dry and brittle, leading to an increased risk of breakage.
This is especially true if you’re using your hair dryer daily without any form of heat protectant.
4. Split Ends
Over time, the intense heat from the hair dryer can severely damage the hair shaft. This damage often manifests as split ends, an ailment where the ends of your hair become frayed.
Not only are split ends aesthetically displeasing, creating a frizzy, unkempt appearance, but they’re also an indicator of poor hair health.
5. Hair Loss
While a hair dryer can’t directly cause hair loss, the stress and damage it induces can certainly contribute.
The constant heat weakens hair strands over time, making them more prone to falling out. This could lead to more hair appearing on your brush or in your shower drain.
6. Color Fading
If you’ve colored or bleached your hair, the heat from a hair dryer can cause your color to fade faster.
The high temperature causes the hair cuticle to open, allowing color to escape during subsequent washes.
7. Hearing Defects
Your ear can develop problems much like any other organ. One of the common culprits of ear problems is loud noises. At least 20 million Americans over 20 years of age have hearing problems due to loud noises.
There are some cells known as ‘hair cells’ in your ear. It may surprise you, but the hair cells within your ear are responsible for any sound you hear. These cells help convert sounds into signals that the brain interprets.
Hair cells are primarily damaged by loud sounds. The standard measurement for sound is the decibel, usually shortened as dB. For you to classify a sound as a loud sound, it means the sound is above 75dB. The sounds from a regular hair dryer can reach over 80 dB.
Being so close to your ear while being used, the loudness of your hair dryer may damage your hair cells. When these cells suffer damage, there’s no hope of re-growth.
Unfortunately, drying your hair every day with a hair dryer will slowly damage your ear. As you can expect, the more you hear loud noises, the faster the ear suffers damage.
8. Weaker Hair Bonds
Each hair strand is protected by an outer layer known as the cuticle. Frequent use of a hair dryer can cause heat damage to this protective layer, leaving your hair vulnerable. Damaged cuticles often result in dull, lifeless, and frizzy hair.
As your hair’s cuticles become damaged, they may start to lift. This can create a frizzy appearance, as lifted cuticles allow moisture to penetrate the hair shaft, causing it to swell.
Extreme heat can weaken the bonds that hold your hair’s protein structure together. Weaker bonds result in less elasticity, leaving your hair prone to snapping and breaking.
So, it’s crucial to balance the convenience of a hair dryer with the need to maintain the health of your hair.
By using heat protectant sprays, opting for lower heat settings, and giving your hair breaks from heat styling, you can mitigate these side effects.