Self Care Hair when Blow-Drying
Technologies are continually evolving in the hairbrush industry to improve ones’ styling experience.
First came various coatings one which emitted Negative Ions, Negative Ion Technology which focused on a faster disbursement of water, reducing drying time and frizz but does that include the moisture within the hair shaft? Removing water that helps the structural integrity of the internal bonds from being dry and brittle, may result especially with some of the very hot dryers use today.
Looking at other technologies like Tourmaline coatings on a brush was used to produce infrared heat, but infrared heat has the ability to penetrate deeper into the shaft to speed up drying time which was also a marketing approach for selling more brushes. If the heat can penetrate deeper, it just may cause more internal damage to the structural integrity of the hair. When considering excessive heat from the hair dryer it may just amplify the damage internally, trading speed for damage to the hair structure. Does the means justify the end results?
Lets now look at another coating applied to the hairbrush, Copper, yes, it has very good thermal conductivity allowing fast heating. It offers less control of the heat from a dryer which may have hot spots, that may produce spot burning on the hair. Over time this approach can result in compounding the damage to the hair. Another factor to consider is the cooling stage of this element which is minimal, and we all know that cooling is what really sets hair. So, the time saved heating and drying is reduced when you have to wait longer to cool down the hair.
Another element used is a coating of Magnesium as it has a reasonable thermal conductivity, but its major value is its very light weight. Most styling brushes are made with hollow metal core, so weight does not seem to be a problem. So is there a real value to Magnesium other than just a marketing feature.
Marketing seems to be the driving force in the brush industry today which is also focused on the color of the brush and the price point to be competitive.
The industry has now moved towards the hot air brushes, the major issue with this tool is the user has little control and excessive heat is needed to have them perform effectively. Yes, you can adjust the heat to some degree, but they just do not work as well at lower temperatures as suggested. The problem really is focusing on HEAT when it is only one part of the drying and styling process.
The cool down process is more valuable in speeding up drying time by reducing the time a brush needs to cool, heating faster only dries the hair making it pliable, but more important is the cooling stage as the cooling will contract the internal structure and that is what stabilizes the volume, curl, waves or smoothing.
The design and shape of a brush should help improve the drying and styling experience. As the shape can make the hot air flow from the dryer more efficiently by controlling, channelling, and compressing the heat and air flow. So, what purpose does a really hot dryer or brush with one of the above coatings have to do in drying and styling hair?
Many hairbrush manufacturers talk about ergonomics focusing on two characteristics the handle and the weight of the brush. A lighter weight brush in some cases may be just a marketing strategy but when you work with hair some weight and balance to a brush will also make it easier to style. An example when styling very thick curly hair when smoothing weight can be beneficial. Having some weight when smoothing will help reduce the pull back from this hair type helping to move the brush through the length; on the other hand, having no weight to the brush you will have to add extra effort to finish the section. Do you want to work that hard or use a brush that allows you to use less effort and is less strenuous on your hand, wrist, arm and shoulder?
The bristles are another feature both in the pattern and types of bristles used to improve performance. There are many variations of bristling, which include natural and synthetic fibers each with their own characteristics. The ability to have the hair SLIP and GRIP for TENSION when smoothing is one, another is the ability to easily penetrate the hair allowing for adjustment with ease along the section. Without tension hair will not set correctly as the stretching allows hair to retain a shape when styled. What is more important the Tension, Grip, or the Slip? A combination of all three are important for improved performance.
In conclusion, blow-dry styling is a combination of using a styling brush and a hairdryer, the brush is 80% of the styling process so why not use a brush with smarter technologies?