Ban the burn. "While the professional-grade blow-dryers that everyone's buying these days for home use do speed up the drying process, they were designed to be held high above your hair [presumably by a stylist] and moved around a lot so as not to cook one spot directly," says Irene Meikle, international artistic director of hair-care company Graham Webb. How to ensure that you don't fry while you dry? "Remove the nozzle," suggests Nawrot. As long as you're pointing your dryer downward, you'll get the same effect, but the heat will be more diffused. Also, treat damp hair with a heat-protectant spray before blowing dry.
Try: Tresemmé Instant Heat Tamer
Avoid resistance. When blow-drying, "use your fingers to style your hair until it is about 80 percent dry," advises Meikle. Then, once it can glide through your hair without resistance (i.e., tugging), bring out the brush.
Stop suffocating your strands. While silicone products (such as Silky Sexy Hair Frizz Eliminator) are great at preventing frizz and enhancing shine, do not apply them before heat-styling, or they can fuse to your hair and have a "shrink wrap" effect, sapping all the moisture from your strands, notes Nawrot.
And the best bristles are... all sources interviewed for this story agree: natural (boar) bristles. They distribute your scalp's oils, keeping your locks well-lubed.
Try: Marilyn brushes