Heat styling can do a number on your tresses. However, if you know the proper use of hair dryers and other styling tools you can minimize heat damage and perhaps even leave your hair in a better condition than ever before. The first step is buying a hair dryer that is made to be gentle on your hair. There are tourmaline dryers on the market today that dry hair quickly while fighting frizz. Faster drying means less damage. Also, the negative ions resulting from the tourmaline break water drops down into microscopic particles that the hair shaft absorbs, hydrating each strand and smoothing the outer cuticle. The result is smoother, shinier and more manageable hair that takes less time to dry.

Now that you know what tourmaline or ionic hair dryers can do for your hair, let’s talk cleansing, conditioning and styling products. Before satrting the blow drying process, your hair must be washed. Use a shampoo made for your hair type that cleanses without stripping. Salons carry all kinds of pricey brands, however you can find great products that are more affordable at supermarkets and grocery stores. Pantene is a top brand of hair care products that many women trust for gorgeous hair at a decent price. After washing, use a conditioner suited to your hair, and rinse thoroughly.

After gently toweling your hair until it is damp but not sopping wet, apply a heat protectant product. There are serums and sprays that protect against heat damage available from many different manufacturers. From high end brands like Chi Farouk to everyday names like Vidal Sassoon, there is a product for everyone. Once you’ve applied your heat protectant you may want to apply some styling mousse, gel or lotion depending on the look you’re going for.

Now you’re ready to use your hair dryer. Most hair dryers have at least two heat settings, some have more than two. You will also find that many ionic dryers have on/off switches for the ions. Others include a dry/style option. Switch the ion button to the dry setting and heat to high. Once your hair is around 80 percent dry you can turn down both the speed and the heat and work on spot styling. An oversized round brush is ideal for adding voluminous waves to the hair while blow drying. Finish your style with a blast from the cold air button if your dryer has one and mist with hair spray to set.