How to Air Dry Your Hair: Tips the Experts Swear By
I remember sitting across the table from a friend of mine a few years ago. We were talking about something completely unrelated when she scrunched up her face, pointed at my hair and said, ‘Does your hair just do that?’
During that period of time, my hair was pretty long, and every day I would blow dry it with my head flipped over, then curl it with a large barrel curling iron. It took at least half an hour. But I did it every day, so I (clearly) had everyone fooled into thinking that I had wake-up-like-a-Disney-princess hair.
In reality, my hair is nowhere near that simple. It’s kind of wavy, and kind of curly or straight depending on the climate. In Ohio, it’s big. In LA, it’s super flat.
But since my hair is a good bit past my shoulders and I don’t want it to look damaged all the time, I made the decision to stop blow drying my hair when I didn’t have to and let it air dry. And most of the time it looks. . . pretty weird.
With the natural hair trend sweeping the country and an I-woke-up-like-this vibe on Instagram, the natural trend is clearly the way to go. There are some ways, however, to tame your natural locks and get them to look less crazy when left to dry au naturel.
Use a good towel
You can’t use a regular ol’ terry cloth towel on your hair and expect anything good. Terry cloth disturbs the natural fiber of the hair and leaves it frizzy. The key is to use a microfiber towel and blot and twist, never rub. If you don’t have a microfiber towel, the next best thing is an old t-shirt (really). Don’t have any of those lying around? Paper towels will work as well (just get a t-shirt or a microfiber towel so you’re not wasting tons of paper every day). An remember, blot and twist, blot and twist, blot and twist.
Get the right cut
A good stylist will know how to cut your hair to make it look its best when air dried. Make sure you have a talk with your stylist and let them know what your struggles are, and what the end goal is for styling every day. If you tell them that you’re going to blow dry and set your hair every day, you can’t be upset when the cut they give you doesn’t work when air dried. It might also be a good idea to request that they dry-cut your hair, that way you’ll end up with a cut that works when your hair is air dried.
Use a wide tooth comb
Guys, please do not use a regular plastic paddle brush to detangle your hair after showers. You will destroy it. Your hair is most fragile when its wet, so using a harsh brushing method can rip and break your hair, leaving frizz and flyaways that are hard to repair. I use a wide tooth comb in the shower after I apply conditioner, as well as after I get out and have blotted my hair dry. Your hair will thank you, and you can get a wide tooth comb for under $2.00 at CVS.
Mix up your products
I’m not the only one who has multiple textures floating around on my head; a majority of people out there do too. If you use different products on different parts of your head, you can get your hair to match up a bit better when air dried. Or try a saltwater spray, if your hair tends to be really flat, to get that beachy look. Air dried hair will never look completely smooth, so it’s better to embrace the messiness!
Put it up
I don’t mean all day every day, but if you’re looking for a specific texture, let your hair air dry in a bun or braid. A braid will give you cool waves, while a bun will achieve the sleekest look possible. I have trouble with my hair looking flat after putting it in a bun, so I make sure to pouf up the front of it while drying to give my roots a little extra lift.
Air dry-ed hair doesn’t have to be the enemy. A few simple tricks will make you into a wash-and-go girl in no time! I just have to make peace with the fact that my hair is never going to naturally look like an air dry-ed Gigi Hadid’s does ;).