Air drying your hair seems like a simple enough concept, no? Just wash your hair and let nature do its thing but actually mastering the perfect air-dry is a skill and an art initself. If you’ve ever actually tried to air dry your hair you know that more often than not it ends up a limp frizzy mess especially in the summer and monsoon seasons—yeesh! Don’t even get us started on the humidity, it just seems like all the elements are just out to get you. Not to mention with variables like application timing, hair texture and type of products things can go awry quickly and it really isn’t a one-size-fits-all process.
What’s a gal to do though? Sometimes your hair requires a much-needed break from all the heat styling tools that can seriously damage your hair in a myriad of ways and break down your curl or wave patterns. Moreover, now more than ever people looking for more low-maintenance styling options as we slowly re-enter civilization. No need to give up on your air-drying dreams just yet though. We’re here to tell you that all it takes to get good results is a little skill, a few products and TBH, patience! Ready to get started? Ahead we’ve laid out a streamlined process that will help you embrace your natural texture.
But before we get to that here are a few universal tips to keep in mind:
- Before you get out of the shower make sure to rinse your hair with cold water. This will help seal the cuticles and provide more shine.
- Avoid regular bath towels to dry your hair. They are too course and just end up causing frizz and breakage. Instead, opt for a microfiber towel. It’s gentle on your stands as it absorbs moisture quickly and dries your hair quickly.
- If you have to brush your hair, use a wide-tooth comb or a brush meant to be used on wet hair. Be very gentle to avoid breakage as your locks are at their most fragile state when wet.
Keep scrolling for the best air-drying tips for your hair type:
1. Straight or Fine Hair
While air-drying straight and fine hair may seem to be child’s play it’s not that simple or fool-proof. Most people with straight hair often don’t apply enough product worried their hair will be weighted down. The key here is in finding the right lightweight products, in moderation of course, for volume and movement. There are a few other things to keep in mind such as placement of your face-framing pieces as well as the type of towel you use to dry it.
Use a volumizing shampoo and conditioner. You want to add volume right away especially when you have fine straight hair.
Dry your hair in patting motions instead of rubbing to avoid friction and use a wide-tooth comb to remove any tangles.
Apply a lightweight mousse and/or smoothing cream. Work it through your hair from mid-lengths to ends. If your hair is extra fine you could use a thickening mousse or texturizing spray instead.
Style your hair around your face the way you want it to dry. Once styled, don’t touch your hair until it’s completely dry to avoid oils from your hands transferring that could potentially leave it frizzy.
2. Wavy Hair
Hydration is essential when air-drying wavy hair of medium thickness. You also need to completely stay away from regular coarse bath towels to dry your hair and avoid touching your hair too much while it’s still drying.
Use a hydrating shampoo and conditioner to provide definition to your waves. This will also assist in softening the hair and smooth the cuticle to help ward off frizz.
Ditch the towel and instead apply for a rich creamy leave-in product while it’s still wet. Comb the product through the hair using a wide-tooth comb for even distribution and finish off with a lightweight, dry oil to the ends of your hair.
Depending on the climate you might want to layer in a secondary product to help maintain and define the texture of your hair. You can use something like a pomade or light gel and start scrunching those locks.
If your hair is still soaking wet use a microfiber towel or cotton t-shirt to blot the hair and continue to scrunch.
3. Curly Hair
If you have thick hair, the key to getting the curls of your dreams with heat or using the diffuser on your blow dryer is by layering products while still in the shower. However you need to be careful and avoid using products that are too dense or thick, it only ends up flattening curly hair. Also be mindful of the amount your using, using too much can also weigh them down.
Always use a hydrating shampoo and conditioner specifically for curly hair. Sulfate-free options are a great choice, however, if your hair is on the thicker side, opting for a co-wash instead.
Detangle your lock in the shower with the conditioner and do a final rinse with cold water.
For loose curls on wet hair apply a curl cream and thoroughly through the hair and squeeze out the water. For tight curls, the next step is to take quarter-sized sections and twist in the direction of the natural curl. Repeat for more definition.
Out of the shower always use a microfiber towel to dab off any excess water.
Alternatively, if you need to brush your hair use a comb or wet hairbrush like a Denman to style. Brush the hair at a 90-degree angle off the scalp for fluffy and airy curls.
4. Coily Hair
Kinky or coily hair needs even more prepping to air-dry than other hair types. You need to load up on hydrating and moisturizing products also while still in the shower. Also, try and incorporate rich, natural oils to seal in moisture and lots of shine to provide a good definition to your curls. Keep in mind that since coily hair takes a long time to air-dry, do not take it down until it’s completely dry, otherwise, you may struggle with frizz and an uneven curl pattern.
Use a moisturizing, frizz taming co-wash and use your fingers to detangle your hair.
Layer up with a mixture of a leave-in cream and hair oil dispersed through damp hair thoroughly. Next, follow up with a good amount of moisturizing styling cream with holding power.
Out of the shower, use a paper towel or cotton t-shirt to absorb excess water. Avoid the microfiber towel this time.
You can choose to let your curls dry naturally with no protective style, or double strangle twist or finger coil your hair to achieve a more defined, curly look.
When hair is completely dry mix a lightweight oil into the palms of your hands and carefully untwist the hair. Once separated you can use a hair pick to fluff at the roots.
All-in-all, air-drying your hair is a great way to give your locks a much-needed break from heat-styling and a great low-maintenance option. With a little patience, you’ll be rocking the perfect air-dried look in no time.
What category do you fall under? Let us know in the comments below.
Join Malini’s Girl Tribe to be a part of the conversation.