Sure, plenty of dudes are skilled in the delicate art of blow drying their junk after taking a steamy shower. But when it comes to pointing the strange contraption upward, many men find themselves in uncharted waters. They tend to blast their head from all directions, creating a whirling tornado of hot air atop their dome, and the result is usually a hairstyle that resembles a disheveled porcupine.
Once you get the hang of it, though, blow dryers can be particularly handy tools: They speed up your post-shower drying time, and the hot air helps hold your hair in the desired style. To harness the true power of this mysterious device, we’re going to take a crash course in blow drying, so say hello to our teacher, barber Asia J.
Before actually picking up the blow dryer, a few things to consider: You might want to invest in a heat protectant for your hair. These help protect your hair against the hot air radiated from blow dryers, which has the capacity to break the hairs and make them go all frizzy. Speaking of which, when blow drying, you never want to keep the heat in one place for more than a few seconds, and always try to maintain about six inches between your hair and the blow dryer. Again, this can help prevent heat-related damage that will make you look like a mad scientist.
Now let’s get to the good stuff — that is, actually using the blow dryer. For those with any kind of straight(ish) hair, both thick, thin and anything in between, here’s Asia’s preferred routine:
Step #1: After a shower, dab your hair somewhat dry, but still kinda damp, with a towel. When you’re doing this, Asia suggests being gentle, since rough rubbing can break your hairs, which again, can result in frizziness.
Step #2: If you have one, grab a round brush (but any brush will do), which allows for more precise shaping, with your dominant hand, and place the blow dryer in your other hand. Set on high, aim the blow dryer in the direction — and only the direction — you want your hair to be styled, and use the brush to form that style. A quick tip: If you want a flatter hairstyle, point the blow dryer downward so the hot air pushes the hair more toward your head. On the flip side, if you want a more voluminous hairstyle, point the blow dryer up toward the ceiling so the hot air lifts your hair.
Step #3: Depending on what level of hold and shine you prefer, apply a small amount of product to keep your masterpiece in place for the duration of the day.
The heat from a blow dryer also has the capacity to help straighten wavy hair. To do this, utilize the same flat hair trick I mentioned above: Set to high heat, point the blow dryer downward and follow your brush (again, round brushes are especially helpful here, since they’re particularly good at pulling the hair taut) closely as you comb through your hair.
Those with super curly hair, however, should avoid using this particular blow-drying method. “It would be a disaster,” Asia emphasizes. “It’s gonna fro-out.” (The exception to this rule, she says: If your curly hair has been pressed straight, or if you’ve had a perm, you can use a blow dryer as explained above.)
Otherwise, if you have very curly hair and want to blow dry it, Asia says you can attach a diffuser to your blow dryer, which essentially disperses the air coming out to reduce frizz and keep it from messing up your natural waves. “Wash and comb your hair with a leave-in conditioner, then blow dry it with a diffuser,” she explains. “With one hand, push your curls up, and then style as you like.”
Now please excuse me while I actually use this blow dryer for its true purpose… and maybe also to dry my basement after this shower, ’cause why the hell not?