Few people would say they love blow-drying their hair; for most of us, it's a bit of a faff, especially in the mornings when we're rushing around trying to get ready.
For that reason, any tips on how to make the process faster are welcomely received – if we can save a few minutes off our blow-dry, that's extra time in the bank for doing makeup/eating breakfast/sorting everyone else out for the day ahead.
We asked top hairdressers for their advice on how to speed up your daily blow-dry, and they had some enlightening insights to share…
1. Rethink your hair brush
'The length and texture of your hair should determine the type of brush you use' reveals Steve Rowbottom, creative director at Westrow. 'The longer the hair, the larger the barrel of the brush should be. A boar bristle brush is better-suited to thicker hair, which generally takes longest to dry.' And which brush you should avoid for a quick blow-dry? 'Paddle brushes tend to take the longest' says Steve.
2. Start at the top
'People tend to dry the ends of their hair first, but overall this will take longer' says Karine Jackson, who runs her eponymous salon in central London. 'I suggest you dry the roots first – if they're at all damp, then the style will collapse, but if the ends remain slightly damp and the roots are dry, your style will hold longer.'
3. Go pro with your hairdryer
'It sounds obvious but invest in your hairdryer; a less powerful, cheap or older model can take significantly longer to dry your hair' says Steve. 'Go for one with at least 1800 watts of power (2000 if your hair is particularly thick), and that operates with ion technology and ceramic heat. This will reduced frizz, static and heat damage, as well as cutting down on drying time.'
4. Air your hair
Organise your morning routine so that you maximise air-drying time before your get your hairdryer out. 'When you get out of the shower, rough dry your roots, comb your hair and then get yourself ready (for example doing your makeup and getting dressed)' says Karine, 'When you come back to finish blow-drying your hair, your tresses have had time to air-dry in the interim.'
5. Pick-up-the-speed products
'Products can be massively beneficial in cutting drying time' says Jamie Stevens of Jamie Stevens Hair in London. Use products that contain fast-drying agents to tame frizz and fly-aways.' Neil Smith, artistic director at Barrie Stephen Hair, agrees that products can make a huge difference. 'Accelerating blow-dry products are amazing for reducing the water surface on the hair, subsequently reducing dry time' he says.
6. Need for speed?
'If you have to get out of the door quickly in the morning, rough dry your hair 90% of the way before you start styling' advises British Hairdresser of the Year Darren Ambrose. 'Don't vigorously rub your hair with a towel as this will damage it; instead pat and squeeze locks to remove the water, before blasting with a hairdryer.'
When you are ready to start styling, be careful with your sectioning, recommends Darren. 'Taking thinner sections will make the job quicker overall than if you take chunky ones' he says.
7. Fake a perfect blow-dry
If you have long hair, one way to look beautifully coiffed in minimum time is to only style the top layer, advises Jamie. 'Take a rectangular section an inch wide either side of your regular parting' says Jamie. 'Secure this section with a clip, and then quickly rough dry the rest of the hair. Then release the top section and blow-dry it smooth with a round brush – great results in less than half the time of blow-drying your whole head of hair'.