Why Does Damaged Hair Take Longer to Dry? [3 Reasons]

Chances are, you don’t spend much time thinking about how long your hair takes to dry. But now that you’re here, you may be wondering, “does damaged hair take longer to dry?”

Damaged hair can take longer to dry for several reasons, like dryness, porosity, and breakage. These factors can contribute to your wet hair taking longer to dry and can be exacerbated by heat styling, chemical treatments, and environmental factors.

In this post, I will explore why damaged hair takes longer to dry and suggest ways to speed up the process.

Key Takeaways

  • Damaged hair is more likely to break, which makes it take longer to blow dry.
  • Porosity significantly affects damaged hair’s ability to absorb and retain moisture (from hair coloring).
  • A lack of natural oils that protect and lubricate the hair can also cause damaged hair to take longer to dry.

The Science Of Damaged Hair

To understand why damaged hair takes longer to dry, it’s helpful to UNDERSTAND a bit about the science of hair.

Hair is made up of three main parts:

  • the cuticle
  • the cortex
  • the medulla

The hair cuticle is the outermost cuticle layer and is composed of overlapping cells that PROTECT the inner layers of the hair.

The cortex is the middle layer of the hair and contains keratin proteins that give hair strength and elasticity. The medulla is the innermost layer of the hair and is made up of air pockets that give hair its LIGHTWEIGHT feel.

Damaged hair can be caused by several factors, including heat styling, chemical treatments, environmental factors, and genetics.

When hair is damaged, the cuticle lifts, and the cortex is EXPOSED. This makes hair more susceptible to breakage and increases the amount of time it takes for the hair to dry.

Reasons Why Your Damaged Hair Takes Longer To Dry

1. The Cuticle And Cortex Layer

If you have ever wondered, “does damaged hair take longer to dry?” the answer lies in the STRUCTURE of your hair.

The cortex is a layer inside your hair that gives it strength, elasticity, and color. On the other hand, the cuticle is responsible for protecting the cortex.

When your hair is damaged, it can take much longer to dry than healthy hair. The reason could be that your hair’s cuticle and cortex layers are COMPROMISED.

Additionally, damp hair can take longer to dry because the cuticle is RAISED or damaged, making it more difficult for all the moisture to evaporate.

2. Porosity

Low porosity hair is another factor contributing to damaged hair taking longer to dry.

The porosity of your hair refers to how well it can absorb and retain MOISTURE. Everyone’s hair has a different level of porosity, which is determined by the structure of the hair shaft.

If your hair is HIGHLY porous, it will be more susceptible to damage from heat and chemicals, making it more challenging to keep it hydrated. If your hair has LOW porosity, it will be less likely to absorb products and moisture, making it appear greasy.

When your hair is DAMAGED, it can become more porous, absorbing more water and taking longer to dry.

In addition, porosity can be caused by many factors, including heat styling, chemical treatments, and environmental factors.

3. Hair Weakness And Brittle Strands

One of the reasons damaged hair takes longer to dry is that it is often weak and brittle.

This makes it more SUSCEPTIBLE for breakage and split ends, making drying longer. There are a few things that can cause this to happen.

First, using hot tools FREQUENTLY can damage the hair shaft and lead to weakness and breakage.

Second, over-washing can STRIP the natural oils from your hair, leaving it dry and prone to breakage.

Finally, ENVIRONMENTAL factors like sun exposure and pollution can also damage your hair strands and cause them to become weak and brittle.

Reverse the effects of heat damage and bring your hair back to life with our helpful article ‘How to Repair Heat Damaged Hair‘!

How To Combat Long Drying Time?

Everyone wants their hair to look its best, but sometimes it cannot be easy. One common issue that people face is that their hair takes a long time to dry after it has been damaged.

Luckily, there are a few things that you can do to help combat this problem.

1. Using The Right Products

One of the best things you can do to speed up the drying time of your damaged hair is to use the RIGHT products.

For one, make sure that you are using good-quality shampoo and conditioner. Look for products designed for DAMAGED hair, as these will often contain ingredients that help repair and protect the hair shaft.

women applying hair conditioner on her hair

You can get products suited for thick hair, dry hair, and thin hair to help remove the excess water quickly.

In addition, using a leave-in conditioner or hair mask can help to keep your hair hydrated and prevent damage.

Finally, using a heat protectant before styling with hot tools can help to minimize hair damage and dryness.

Pro Tip: Try using a leave-in conditioner or oil treatment to help absorb moisture and prevent the hair from drying out.

Don’t forget to check our guide on the best navy hair care products that are useful for damaged hair.

2. Microfiber Towel

Another helpful tip is to invest in a good-quality microfiber towel.

Microfiber towels are designed to absorb water QUICKLY, which can help speed up the drying process.

Additionally, they are much GENTLER on the hair than traditional towels, helping to prevent further damage.

3. Using The Blow Dryer Properly

If you have access to a blow dryer, use it on the LOWEST setting and hold it several inches away from your head.

women using blow dryer on her damaged hair

The heat will help EVAPORATE some water molecules, speeding up the drying process. Just be sure not to hold the dryer too CLOSE, as this can cause further damage to your hair.

Pro Tip: If you must use heat to style your hair, always use a heat-protectant product beforehand.

4. Air Drying

If you have the time, air drying is always the BEST option to keep your hair healthy.

Allowing your hair to air dry will help PREVENT further damage and give it a chance to recover from any previous damage it has sustained.

Pro Tip: Investing in a good-quality hair dryer with a diffuser attachment can help speed up the drying process and prevent damage.

Say goodbye to hair breakage and hello to long, luscious locks with our expert tips and tricks in our must-read article ‘How to Stop Hair Breakage Underneath‘!


How Do I Know If I Have High Porosity Hair?

To do the strand test, take a small strand of hair and drop it into a cup of water. If the strand floats, your hair has high porosity, but if the strand sinks, your hair has low porosity.

Will Protein Treatments Help My Damaged Hair?

women getting protein treatment on damaged hair but does damaged hair take longer to dry

One of the best things you can do for your damaged hair is to use protein treatments. These treatments help to repair and strengthen the hair shaft, making it less susceptible to damage.

Do I Need To Cut My Damaged Hair?

If your hair is severely damaged, you may need to get a haircut. This will help get rid of any damaged or split ends and allow your hair to grow back healthy and strong.


Hopefully, this article has answered your question, “does damaged hair take longer to dry?” and given you some tips on speeding up the process.

Remember, be gentle with your hair – avoid using hot tools too often, and use a heat protectant when you do.

By taking care of your hair, you can help it look its best – and cut down on drying time.

women wondering why does damaged 
hair take longer to dry

So, how long does your damaged hair take to dry? Let us know in the comments section!


  • 1. Yang F-C, Zhang Y, Rheinstädter MC. The structure of people’s hair. PeerJ [Internet]. 2014;2:e619. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4201279/
  • 2. Cobb C. Low Porosity Hair: Characteristics and Tips for Care [Internet]. Healthline. 2019. Available from: https://www.healthline.com/health/low-porosity-hair
About Sylvia K

Sylvia is one of the most joyful people you’ll ever meet. She is a high advocate of self-love and encourages women to take care of themselves both mentally and physically. She loves girly talks especially salon talks (a little gossip doesn’t hurt) and spends most of her free time on skincare or hair care. READ HER LATEST ARTICLES. Find her on LINKEDIN. Learn more about her HERE.

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