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Although hair dryers and heat-styling products are usually to blame for dry and damaged hair, they can actually help treat those brittle locks. Normally, the heat from a hair dryer opens up your hair shaft and makes it more susceptible to damage from brushes, combs and hair accessories. But when your hair dryer teams up with a moisturizing treatment, that once-damaging heat actually helps the moisture saturate your strands.
Cover and Heat It
When you have an extra 15 minutes for a deep conditioning hair treatment, break out your hair dryer and a shower cap. After shampooing, saturate hair with a thick layer of moisturizing cream. Use the conditioning product you most prefer; there is a wide variety of products available and they work differently on each person’s specific hair. Find the conditioning treatment that works best for you and stick with it. Once your hair is saturated, cover your head with a shower cap or wrap it in plastic wrap. With your hair dryer on the lowest heat setting, go to town on your covered tresses. As you shoot the warm air at your head, heat builds up inside the shower cap. As the heat accumulates, it opens up the pores on your hair strands, allowing the conditioner to penetrate more easily. Heat your covered hair for five to 10 minutes, and then rinse thoroughly with lukewarm water.
Hot Oil Treatments
Hot oil treatments present you with another heated moisturizing technique. Although they can be used without a hair dryer, the heat from the dryer helps the oil absorb into the hair shaft. Typically sold in small plastic bottles or packages, these oil treatments must be warmed before applying to the hair. Although you should follow the product’s specific directions, most hot oil treatments are warmed in the microwave or in a cup of hot water. Once the oil is warmed, massage into damp hair. Wrap the hair in a shower cap or towel and allow the hot oil to saturate your stands for the recommended time, usually about 30 minutes. Then, remove the towel or shower cap and give your hair a shot of warm air with the dryer for about five minutes. The heat rewarms the oil and strands, allowing any remaining residue to soak in. Then, simply shampoo and rinse.
Certain hair products are actually made to work specifically with heat-styling tools. Typically, the product label will say “heat-activated” or “thermal-activated.” After applying these products to wet or damp strands, use a hair dryer to style your hair as usual. The heat not only activates the product, but also penetrates your hair shaft. As a result, the activated hair product absorbs into the strand and moisturizes from the inside out.
If you would like to deep-condition your hair, but don’t quite have the time to use your hair dryer, you can use the heat from your shower instead. Keep your bathroom door shut and avoid turning on the bathroom fan. This allows the warm steam to build up inside the shower. After shampooing, apply conditioner and cover your hair with a shower cap or plastic wrap. Finish the rest of your shower routine with the cap in place. Once you’re finished, simply remove the cap and rinse your hair. Although it might not be as effective as the hair dryer method, it will certainly give your hair a healthy dose of moisture.