Valerie Monroe
Photo: Jonathan Skow
Q: Is there a way to protect my hair from blow-dryer damage?

A: Yes: Don't use a blow-dryer. But if you have to, hold the dryer as far away as possible from your hair, use a nozzle that directs the heat, and keep the dryer moving so that it's not focused too long on one spot, says Alain Pinon, stylist and co-owner of Salon AKS in New York City. He also suggests blotting hair with a towel to absorb excess water, and then applying a heat-activated product that coats and protects the hair shaft (try Phyto Phytodéfrisant, $24, or VO5 Miracle Mist Heat Defense Conditioning Spray, $3.50). And use a brush with natural bristles, which absorb some of the heat.

Bottom Line: Towel-dry your hair first so you're not blow-drying it sopping wet, and keep the dryer at least an inch away from your head at all times.

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