Unless you’ve sworn to the buzz cut for life, or are doomed to male pattern baldness, your hairstyle (along with workings of the weather) will find every chance to screw up what you were looking to achieve and maintain. It gets so damn disobedient sometimes you want to spank it good like you should.

Your folly(cle) is not using a difference maker we highlighted in our idiot-proof movie star hairstyle guide: a blow dryer. It more than just dries after you’ve towelled your hair in the shower; it helps set it in exactly the right condition, before you apply your hair product for OTT effectiveness.

Proof? You could try explaining this: ever wondered why you can never seem to replicate that ‘hair of the year’ look the day you sauntered out of the hairstylist’s?

But the bigger problem of using blow dryers for hairstyling foreplay is not male pattern laziness. It’s that these dryers are also good at inflicting profound damage on your hair. But thanks to newfangled technology and the whole science of ionic wizardry, hair dryers have since learned damage control and pack an even more potent punch.

How to wield a blow dryer like a champ 

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How great (or healthy) your hairstyle looks lies in not just the tool, but how great the guy is at handling said tool. There’s a correct way, and there’s a wrong way to use a blow dryer; the latter involves hovering over a spot for too long, too close. What you want is evenness of drying over the surface area of your crown, not localised brain damage.

Observe the pros at work the next time you get a haircut. Notice how the stylists keep it moving at all times. Right to left, left to right, from down up (if you want your fringe swept up), with their wrists flicking ever so slightly.

Copy that. And then keep your other hand busy. Sweep and scrunge in desired direction while you blow dry. The whole thing shouldn’t take more than a minute and a half, although we might have made it sound like it’d make you late for work – again.

(The SM move: Use only medium heat to dry damp hair. Switch to cool after to shape.) 

Serious picks

We got a blow-by-blow account of the best picks at every price point. Each one of them comes with a cool air function – a lifesaver to skirt the evils of hot air and fix your hair in place.

Braun Satin-Hair 1 HD 180 Hair Dryer

Motor: 1800W
Speed settings: 2 combined airflow settings with cool shot
Price: S$39

Why it blew us away: There’s plenty of horsepower for a starter gun. Great value for Budget Bros who also have to deal with hit-and-run mornings.

Panasonic Ionic Hair Dryer EH-NE42

Motor: 1500W
Speed settings: Cool / Extra-quiet Set Mode (49dB) / Turbo Dry
Price: S$63.60

Why it blew us away: No need to feel bad about waking everyone up while doing your movie star hair in the early morn.

Philips HP8280/03 MoistureProtect Dryer

Motor: 2300W
Speed settings: 6 speed & heat
Price: S$129

Why it blew us away: The ‘MoistureProtect’ you see in its name is an infra-red sensor tech that detects if your hair is being overly exposed to heat as it dries, and then adjusts itself so you don’t singe your handsomeness while your hair retains sufficient moisture. AI in a blow dryer – you’re paying for what you get.

Dyson Supersonic

Motor: 2300W
Speed settings: 6 speed & heat
Price: S$525

Why it blew us away: Because S$525.