Blow-drying your hair can leave you with a beautiful, bouncy finish, but when done consistently, the device takes a heavy toll on your strands. To give your hair a much needed break from the heat, consider exploring how to air dry hair. It sounds like a no-brainer, but there are different techniques when it comes to air-drying.
Caile Noble, a celebrity hairstylist whose clients include Hailee Steinfeld and Olivia Culpo, says to keep in mind that weather plays a factor when air drying hair. "In warmer climates or summer months, your hair will always dry quicker than in the winter when it’s cold or damp," he notes. And if you've ever ventured outdoors in the cold with damp hair, you know how uncomfortable the feeling is. That said, now is the time to experiment with air drying your hair. Below, find step-by-step solutions for air drying your locks, whether your hair is straight, wavy, curly, or natural.
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How To Air Dry Straight, Fine Hair
"Fine hair is super fragile, so it’s best to always have a good hair routine that supports hair condition and strengths to prevent from breakage," Jenny Cho, celeb hairstylist whose clients include Sandra Oh and Lucy Boynton, tells TZR. Cho says scalp treatments can be very beneficial to protect hair from the roots, so the hair has a great start. For this, she recommends using Sisley's Revitalizing Fortifying Serum for the Scalp. "I also love using Aquis' hair turban to wrap hair up out of the shower, versus a heavy towel that can actually pull hair out."
The hair expert says the best way to get body and texture when air drying is to mist Aquis' Restorative Leave-In Conditioner, and scrunch dry with a towel from the ends towards the roots. Next, Cho recommends using a foam, like OUAI's Air Dry Foam or Bumble and Bumble's Surf Foam Spray Blow Dry. Then continue to scrunch the hair to form a bend, let it air dry without parting it, and flip hair side to side to add extra body.
How To Air Dry Wavy Hair
For wavy hair, Kristin Heitkotter, celebrity hairstylist who works with Reese Witherspoon and Busy Philipps, says after washing, apply conditioner and comb through with a wide tooth comb, let sit, and rinse. Then, she'll use an Aquis' Original Hair Towel for about five minutes. Next, Heitkotter says to cocktail a few products together. "Apply a generous spray of leave-in conditioner, I like Orlando Pita Play's High Spirited, followed by a mousse such as Leonor Greyl's Mousse au Lotus Volumatrice. To finish off the look, scrunch your hair by gathering sections into your hand and close your fingers, repeating every 10 to 15 minutes until hair is dry.
Joseph Maine, celebrity hairstylist who works with Ashley Benson and Katie Holmes, tells TZR about a technique where you section your hair into quadrants and then braid it. "If that makes too tight of a wave for you, you can use a sock in place of one of the three strands to loosen the look," he explains. And his go-to product for wavy hair is Color Wow’s Dream Coat Curly as he says it gives hold without crunch, while adding a ton of shine.
How To Air Dry Thick, Curly Hair
While you're in the shower, Neil Grupp, editorial hairstylist, recommends using Vernon François's Curl Shampoo and Curl Conditioner. And he says you can use a wide tooth comb to detangle when the conditioner is still in your hair. Once you're ready to air dry, Grupp says to add a bit of his Hair Party, which is formulated with moisturizing ingredients like argan oil, lanolin, and beeswax.
And Martin-Christopher Harper, celeb hairstylist who works with Janelle Monáe and Halsey, says to look for products that will deliver shine, moisture, and bounce. He recommends combing through the hair using Curlsmith's Double Creme Deep Quencher. The hairstylist says to set your curl pattern by alternating the ringlets, then break them up with fingers to allow the hair to naturally dry. Another approach to air dry curly hair is to sleep in hair wrapped around a jersey cotton tee, according to Maine. Using a tee over a towel dries your hair without distorting its natural curl pattern. Additionally, it might result in noticeably less frizz, while also retaining moisture. And in the morning, he says to lightly break the hair apart. "Some densities require more than eight hours to dry, and for those people I recommend an early evening hair ritual perhaps before dinner."
How To Air Dry Natural Hair
"Natural textured hair likes to be pampered before air drying," Ciara Costenoble, celeb hairstylist who works with Taraji P Henson and Solange Knowles, explains. She says the ideal self-care pamper kit is moisture, and then to layer on your products. An option she suggests is to take small sections and apply a cream-based nourishing balm, cocktail with a light gel or curl defining cream, and seal in moisture by finishing off with a light dry oil. "Evenly apply product, finger comb or comb through with brush, and let nature handle the rest." If you're seeking a more defined curl pattern, she says to twist hair, do a braid-out, or a bantu knot-out.
Another option is to do a wash-and-go, which is a method done without any heat or protective styling. After cleansing and conditioning, you'll detangle hair either in the shower or while it's damp. When it comes to styling, layering products, as Costenoble noted above, is the best method. Use products like curl creams, curl mousses, natural oils, serums, or gels to style. Once you've achieved your preferred style, lightly towel dry your curls or use a diffuser to "freeze" them in place. And to seal the deal, opt for a hair spray or gloss.