Your natural hair needs plenty of moisturizing and TLC to keep it healthy and strong. After washing and conditioning your mane, you’ll need to get it ready for styling. You’ve got plenty of options for drying and styling your locks, from air-drying to blowing it out. If you dry natural hair with a hood dryer in preparation for flat ironing, you may be pleasantly surprised at the effective and gentle drying action you get from the hood dryer.
Spritz your damp hair generously with the leave-in conditioner. Work the conditioner through from your roots to your tips with your fingers to spread it out evenly.
Comb your hair with the wide-tooth comb to make super-sure that you’ve coated every strand with the leave-in conditioner.
Set up the hood dryer where you can sit under it. Some fancy ones are freestanding floor models with wheels, and you can set them up wherever you want to dry. Others set up on a counter to deliver the heat over your head. Still other models have hoods that attach to a blow-dryer for a less expensive option.
Arrange your hair in the style you want it. Since you’ll be flat-ironing, parting it and combing it smooth is probably your best bet.
Put your head under the hood and turn the heat setting to medium. Chill there with a good magazine or some tunes you like, and in about 15 to 45 minutes, depending on your hair texture, your hair should be dry.
Come out from under the hood dryer and assess your hair. As long as it’s completely dry, you can move on to straightening. Spritz on a thermal protectant spray before using the straightening iron for added protection on your fragile tresses.
Eva Scrivo, author of “Eva Scrivo on Beauty,” lauds hood dryers for drying curly hair because they dry without frizz.