Do Hair Dryers Make Hair Frizzy? (Explained)

When we turn our hair dryers up and release their highest heat setting on our hair, we can easily end up with way more frizz than we wanted. Excessive and regular heat can cause damage to our wet hair and make our hair frizzy.

Here’s Why Hair Dryers Make Hair Frizzy:

When hair is wet, the protective cuticle layer is partially open. The hair is most at risk of damage at this time. When we apply high heat to wet, vulnerable hair, we can easily damage the inner layers. It can look dry, brittle, and frizzy when our hair is damaged.

Does Excessive Heat Cause Frizziness?

The short answer is: yes! When you apply excessive heat to your hair, it can get damaged and appear frizzy.

The more intense the heat you use on your hair, the higher the risk of damaging it is. Your hair is at its most vulnerable when it’s wet since the protective cuticle layer is partially open at this time. 

If you come at your wet hair with the highest heat setting on your blow dryer, your chances of damaging the inner cortex layer of your hair are high. 

It can be tempting to crank up the blow dryer’s heat since it gets your hair dry faster. However, this is also a recipe for frizziness as you damage your hair through the high, intensely focused use of heat. 

The individual strands struggle to lay together smoothly when your hair gets damaged. Damaged hair strands go in many different directions, and hardly ever the direction you want them to be going in. When this happens, you end up with the appearance of frizz.  

Many hair dryers have heat settings far above what would be a good idea to use on your hair. Make sure you use a hair dryer that controls the temperature you’re using, and avoid using extreme heat settings, especially on your wet, delicate hair. 

How Can You Prevent Frizziness?

If you need to dry your hair and need to do it quickly, you can still use your hair dryer to get the job done.

You will want to use the lower heat settings on your dryer and a heat protectant product. This combination is a practical way to prevent frizziness, especially if you don’t have time to let your hair air dry. 

Using a low heat setting, you can hold the hair dryer several inches away from your scalp and hair and blow dry from the roots down to the tip. Moving in this direction helps guide the cuticle closed in its natural direction.

When the cuticle is guided closed gently like this, your hair is more protected, and you will end up with a smoother and sleeker overall look. 

Using a heat protectant product in your hair before drying, straightening, or applying heat is a must for frizz-free hair styling. These products are especially to keep your hair safe while using higher heat styling methods. 

Many of these products will nourish your hair and protect it from your current styling routine. Invest in a quality heat protectant and use it according to the instructions to get the full range of benefits. 

You might also consider an ionic blow dryer if you have the room in your budget. These can be a little bit more expensive but have had great results for those with frizzy hair issues.

Should I Avoid Hair Dryers If My Hair Gets Frizzy?

While avoiding high heat from hair dryers is always a good idea, it’s not always practical to eliminate hair dryers from your routine altogether. Sometimes there isn’t time to let hair air dry, or you might not like the way your hair looks when you allow it to dry naturally. 

Using a hair dryer safely can actually help your hair since you are getting it out of its more exposed, delicate state more quickly. The longer your hair is wet, the more prone to damage it is.

A hair dryer on low heat will cut the drying time down significantly compared to air drying, meaning it is in its naturally protected state much sooner. 

It’s worth noting that hair dryers are not the only reason you might be experiencing frizzy hair. If you wash your hair every day, dye it regularly, live in certain climates or have thicker hair, you might be more prone to frizz regardless of your hair drying habits. 

Other Reasons Your Hair Gets Frizzy:

The act of washing your hair too often can dry out your hair and increase the amount of frizz you’re experiencing. It strips your hair of its natural oils, which feels great when your hair is beginning to feel greasy and too oily.

However, when you do it too often, your hair doesn’t get the chance to soak up the benefits of its natural oils. If you are washing your hair every day, reduce that frequency as much as possible.

Try to go two days or more without washing your hair. This will help with the frizz as your hair is allowed to maintain its naturally oiled, nourished state for longer between washes. 

Coloring your hair is another reason why you might be experiencing frizz. If you can cut down on the frequency of your coloring, you will have another reason to experience less frizz.

People with very curly hair, for example, are particularly prone to frizz when they are not using specialty products. When their hair is disrupted from its natural curl pattern, sometimes just by making contact with a hairbrush, instant frizz can result.

Plus, your climate can greatly impact the amount of frizz in your hair. If you live in an area with a lot of humidity, you are far more likely to deal with frizz regularly than someone in a dry climate.

Your hair will absorb the moisture from the air. As your hair’s moisture increases, it can overpower the products in your hair and expand in ways you’re not expecting.

The thickness of your hair can also impact the amount of frizz you usually experience. Extremely thick hair is more prone to frizziness than fine, thin hair.

Why Do Hair Dryers Cause Frizziness?

Hair dryers often cause frizziness because they are coming into contact with hair in its weakest state.

Because of the partially open cuticle, hair is very susceptible to damage when it’s wet. 

Add the high heat settings that are possible with many blow dryers, and you have a recipe for frizziness. When that cuticle is raised, the inner cortex can be easily damaged by the intense heat from the hair dryer. 

As hair gets damaged, it no longer flows gently and smoothly in the same direction. This creates the appearance of frizz.

The more damaged hair endures, the frizzier it will look. 

Can a Hair Dryer Reduce Frizz?

Using a diffuser or a low heat setting are both great choices for drying your hair with a standard hair dryer. 

A diffuser is an attachment that spreads the air flow out as it leaves the hair dryer. When it comes out of the diffuser, it is far less concentrated than it was when it came out of the blow dryer. 

Diffusers are particularly important for people with curls. They allow the hair to set without disrupting the natural pattern of the curl.

This makes it easier for people with curls to enjoy well-formed, bouncy curls without the frizz.

Do Ionic Hair Dryers Reduce Frizz?

While ionic hair dryers might have a higher price tag, they are scientifically designed to reduce frizz.

Ionic hair dryers work on the ionic level to create a better drying environment for your hair. They are designed to help your wet hair’s outer cuticle layer close faster, so there is not as much opportunity for damage during the drying process.

Many people can tell the difference in their hair when they start to use an ionic dryer regularly. They can see a reduction in frizziness and an increase in smoothness and sheen. 

However, the one tradeoff of using an ionic hair dryer is that it might not deliver the desired body and volume to all hair types. Some people with finer hair may find their hair drying too quickly, and without the chance to lock in the bounce and volume, they can get it with a regular hair dryer. 

What Shampoos Reduce Frizziness?

If you’re struggling with frizziness, consider buying a shampoo that can help reduce frizziness.

You can ask for a recommendation from your local salon or check out your hair care aisle options.  John Freida’s Frizz Ease Beyond Smooth Frizz-Immunity Shampoo, available here on Amazon, is a top-rated and affordable option.

Check Out The Current Prices Here!

Whether you’re in a humid climate or just prone to frizz, this shampoo uses coconut oil to help nourish and smooth your frizz. 

Final Thoughts

If used at top speed and full heat, hair dryers can certainly make hair frizzy.

When their intense heat hits your vulnerable strands of wet hair, damage can easily occur. Damaged hair means frizzy hair. 

To reduce frizziness, use your hair dryer on a low heat setting. During your drying routine, you can also use a diffuser, ionic hair dryer, or heat protectant product for more frizz protection. 


Allure: The 15 Best Shampoos for Frizzy Hair to Boost Moisture and Shine

Harper’s Bazaar: How Often Should You Actually Wash Your Hair?

Youtube: Do Ionic Hair Dryers Work?