If you are trying to style your hair quickly and beautifully in the comfort of your own home, you are probably thinking about which heated styling tool would be best. You of course want to get your hair to the style that you want, while also not damaging your hair as much as possible. This will lead you to the extremely common question of which is better, hair dryer or hair straightener?
While hair dryers and hair straighteners are both great tools to use to get a gorgeous hairstyle, hair dryers are better for your hair when it comes to damage. Styling hair has been around for centuries, and is nothing new to the human population. Unfortunately, some hair styling tools do cause more damage to your hair than others do, so it is important to know what you are using and what is done to your hair while you use tools. Here we address the age old question of which is better, hair dryer or hair straightener.
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The Difference Between a Hair Dryer and a Hair Straightener
Before we begin discussing which is better between a hair dryer and a hair straightener, it is important to know what the difference is between a hair dryer and a hair straightener. A hair dryer is a heated styling tool that blows hot air out of a vent to dry your hair. The heat that blows out of the hair dryer can change the formation of the hydrogen bonds in your hair, which help them to dry as well as to create shape within your hair to hold it.
You can control the heat settings on a hair dryer, with the most basic settings being low heat, high heat, and a cool blast. More advanced hair dryers over a wider variety of heat settings that you can choose from depending on what you are trying to accomplish with your hair dryer. The lowest and coolest heat is always the most safe for your hair.
A hair straightener is a heated styling tool that uses heated plates to straighten your hair. Hair straighteners completely change the structure of your hair when you clamp your hair in-between the heated plates. The heated plates on a hair straightener are usually made of ceramic, titanium, or teflon, and are extremely effective at changing the shape of your hair to make it straight.
A major difference between a hair dryer and a hair straightener is that hair dryers are used to dry hair that is wet, while hair straighteners should never be used on wet hair. This is applicable to damp hair as well… if your hair is not completely dry, then a hair straightener should absolutely not be used on it. Since you clamp your hair between two heated plates with a hair straightener, your hair will completely fry if it is wet at all.
With this being said another main difference between a hair dryer and a hair straightener is that they each style your hair in a different way. A hair dryer is of course used to dry your hair, but it can also straighten your hair at the same time if used properly. Since you can not use a hair straightener with wet hair, it is solely just used for styling your hair and making it straighter. With a hair dryer you can use an attachment with it such as a diffuser, which will direct exactly where the hot air goes on your hair. On the other hand, hair straighteners do not offer any attachments to use with them.
To learn more about hair dryers, check these out:
- What Does an Ionic Hair Dryer Do? Our Guide to This Amazing Styling Tool
- What Does a Diffuser Do On a Hair Dryer? Our Guide to a Beautiful Blow-Dry
- How to Dry Hair With Hair Dryer – 6 Steps to a Beautiful Blow-Dry
The Damages Caused by a Hair Dryer and a Hair Straightener
Even though both a hair dryer and a hair straightener will both cause some sort of damage to your hair especially if they are used often, a hair dryer can cause less damage to your hair than a hair straightener. Using a hair dryer on your hair constantly can cause damage to your hair follicles which can lead to breakage within your hair, as well as split ends. If you use it too often your hair will start to lose its natural texture, and may become more dull, less shiny, and more frizzy.
If you use a hair straightener on your hair constantly, then even more damage can be done on your hair. Hair straighteners damage your hair follicles more quickly and more effectively than a hair dryer does, and can lead to extreme breakage and can also make your hair very fragile. This can cause more split ends and make it much more dry, since clamping your hair within the heated plates of the hair straightener can remove a lot of moisture from within your hair. Hair dryers can sometimes cause reactions which can lead to itchiness on the scalp, especially if not used correctly.
To learn more about hair straighteners, check these out:
- The Best Hair Straighteners Reviewed – Get the Look!
- How to Clean ghd Hair Straighteners – 6 Steps to a Sterile Hair Straightener
How to Protect Your Hair From Heat Damage
The amount of damage done to your hair may be less from using a hair dryer, but damage still does occur either way. One of the best things that you can do to help minimize damage is to make sure that you purchase hair dryers and hair straighteners that are higher quality, so that they are made of materials that conduct heat better. These higher quality materials will also make sure that your hair is more protected from the heat that is transferred from the heated styling tool than they would if they were made with lower quality materials.
Another way that you can lessen the amount of damage that happens when you use a hair dryer or hair straightener is to mist a heat protectant spray or to apply a heat protectant serum or balm on your hair before styling. The heat protectant basically forms a protectant layer over your hair that will protect it from the heat put onto it with your hair dryer or hair straightener.
The vitamins and silicones within the heat protectors also moisturize your hair, which will help your strands look silky and smooth after styling with your hair dryer and hair straightener. This is especially important because the heat from heated styling tools such as hair dryers and hair straighteners often strip moisture from your hair, which can leave your hair dry and looking dull.
Which Is Better: Hair Dryer or Hair Straightener Wrap-up
When it comes to answering the question which is better, hair dryer or hair straightener, it really depends on what you are looking for. When it comes to the amount of heat damage that occurs on your hair, a hair dryer is better for your hair than a hair straightener is. If you are wanting more of a silky and smooth hairstyle, a hair straightener would be best to complete this. If you are needing to dry your hair when it is wet while styling it at the same time, then a hair dryer is your best bet.
Always remember to protect your hair as much as possible when using any heated styling tool, by buying higher quality tools and by misting a heat protectant spray or applying a heat protectant serum or balm before using the heated styling tool. This will help to keep your hair as healthy, shiny, and beautiful as possible. Grab your hair dryer or hair straightener and your favorite hair products, and get to styling!