Advice On The Best Way To Air-dry Your Hair
At its simplest definition, the term "air dry" is very self-explanatory. If all you want is for your hair to dry without using a dryer, all you need to do is walk out of the shower and wait for the air to do its job. Many even consider air-drying to be a good "break" for their hair between blow drys. However, the time it takes the hair to dry, how it looks when it is dry, and even the benefit that skipping heat styling has for the hair can vary wildly depending on how you air-dry your hair.
Believe it or not, there are right and wrong ways to air-dry hair—both for the health and appearance of your hair. Additionally, the "right way" to air-dry hair may also differ from one hair type and texture to another, which only makes air-drying seem more complicated.
It spares your hair from the potential heat damage caused by blow dryers. Textured, wavy, and curly hair are often better suited for an air-drying technique, but these hair types do require more hair products for successful air-drying than straight hair. Air-drying is preferable if you live in warmer climates and if your hair isn’t low porosity. There are certain steps you can take to ensure a successful air-dry.
01. Start With Thoroughly Cleansed Hair
The biggest concern that many people have with air-drying their hair, regardless of hair type or texture, is frizz. If you are planning on air-drying your hair you need to ensure that you thoroughly cleanse the hair in the shower, as product buildup will prevent the moisture of your conditioner or leave-in product from reaching your hair. Our hair must be adequately moisturized to successfully air-dry and hair that has not been fully cleaned may not benefit from the effects of conditioner and leave-in products.
If you know you have a lot of product or buildup in your hair, it may be the right time to use a clarifying shampoo. These shampoos are tougher on dirt and oils but can be too harsh to use regularly on dryer hair and scalps. Depending on your hair type and the styling products you use, you may only need to clarify once a week or even once a month.
03. Brush or Comb Only When Wet
04. Apply the Right Styling Products
In a process that curly-haired people will be familiar with, you will want to apply styling products to wet or damp hair. The right type of air-dry styling product will vary based on your hair type, as many curly products are interchangeable with air-drying or diffusing. For curly hair, you'll likely need a leave-in moisturizing product (as mentioned above), followed by gel, cream, or foam.
For straight hair, it's important not to weigh the hair down with product.
05. Only Use a Microfiber Towel
Using a microfiber towel will help to shorten your air-drying time without causing frizz. Traditional cotton towels can create more friction and are more disruptive to the hair. Avoiding a harsh towel dry: Rubbing your hair with a towel disrupts the hair cuticles and can lead to frizz and breakage.
Be sure to squeeze with a microfiber towel any excess water that may be dripping from the hair. This ensures a shortened air-drying time. Scrunching with a microfiber towel should be the last step for curly-haired folks, while those with wavy or straight hair may want to do it before applying product.
06. Don't Go to Bed With Wet Hair
After all your hard work to ensure a perfect air-dry, the last thing you want to do is go to bed with your hair still wet or damp. To ensure successful air-drying, you want to make sure that you aren’t going to bed directly after washing and conditioning. Even if you sleep on a silk pillowcase to reduce friction, you may put dents or creases in your hair by sleeping on it before it fully dries. Additionally, you will cause frizz with any movement you make while sleeping. Make sure that if you are planning on washing your hair at night, you leave enough time for your hair to fully air-dry.