Waiting for your hair to air dry isn’t just tedious, but doing it wrong can make your strands frizzy and limp. Whether you’re trying to avoid using heat or just going somewhere you won’t have a blow dryer at hand, knowing how to speed up air drying your hair is a handy skill to have.
Here’s how to quickly air dry your hair like a pro.
1. Don’t Skip The Conditioner
It goes without saying that conditioner is a must, but it’s even more indispensable when you want your hair to dry quickly and look good after it does. Conditioner not only locks in moisture and reduces frizz, but it also coats strands and repels water, making your hair dry faster.
Condition focusing on the ends, using a wide-toothed comb to evenly apply the product and detangle the hair at the same time.
2. Rinse With Cold Water
Rinse the conditioner out of your hair with cold water to seal the cuticles. This will make your hair smoother and quicker to dry.
You can start with warm water if you normally use it, but make sure to finish up with a cold blast. Turn the temperature down the last 30-40 seconds, rinsing until you get all the product out.
3. Squeeze And Shake
Before stepping out of the shower, remove all excess water you can out of your hair.
Wring your hair out to squeeze out the water, separating it into sections if it’s long or thick. Use a wide toothed comb to detangle after you’re done twisting, then repeat. Finally, flip your hair upside down and shake out what remains.
This way you’ll leave the shower with a good amount of water already out of your hair.
4. You’re Using The Wrong Towel
Regular cotton towels don’t do a very good job drying your hair. They’re also rough and can tug and break your hair, so use them only to dry your body.
An old t-shirt is a much gentler and more absorbent option. You’ll have even better results if you switch to microfiber towels—they soak up more water, reduce frizz and don’t damage hair.
5. Take It Easy
Wet hair is more fragile, so treat it gently.
When using a towel, blot instead of scrubbing. Roughly rubbing your hair will create frizz and can cause breakage long-term. Instead, towel dry your hair in sections, gently squeezing the strands.
After you’re done, add leave-in conditioner and detangle for extra smooth results.
6. Turban-Wrap It
When you’ve squeezed out all the water you can out of your hair, wrap it in a towel turban to get even more out. Keep it on for at least 10-15 minutes while getting ready.
After you unwrap, squeeze out any leftover water, and your hair should be at least half dry by this point.
7. Plop For Perfect Curls
Plopping is a part of the curly girl method which will give you defined curls and reduce frizz when air drying your hair. If you have waves or curls and still aren’t plopping, it can be a game changer.
- Lay a towel or a T-shirt on a flat surface.
- Flip your head upside down.
- Place your hair over the towel ends first and let it fall down.
- Gather the edges of the towel and secure on top of your head.
- Leave for about 20-30 minutes to allow excess moisture to be absorbed.
8. Look For Air-Dry Products
Products you’d normally apply to your hair before blow-drying won’t work the same way without heat.
For best results, use products made for air-drying, such as a quick-dry lotion or serum. Products with words like “quick-dry” or “air-dry” printed on the packaging have a different formulation and don’t need heat to activate.
9. Mousse In A Pinch
When you’re really in a rush, use mousse. It contains alcohol, which will help your hair air-dry quickly. Normally it’s a good idea to avoid products with alcohol, but in this case it’s what you want.
10. Don’t Touch!
Don’t touch your hair as it dries to avoid uneven texture and frizz. When you’ve done all the steps to speed up drying, leave your hair alone. Air-drying encourages the natural texture, so touching your hair will mess it up.