The Foolproof Way to Air-Dry Your Hair, Depending on Your Texture
Put down that hair dryer. Whether you want to give your hair a break from the heat or want to try something new, air-drying your hair has never been easier with our expert tips. You might think that leaving your locks to air-dry might lead to disastrous results: it could turn out frizzy or limp, or it could take a long time to finish drying, making you late for the day. Don’t worry, there are plenty of styling tricks that are easy to do and will make your hairstyle look completely effortless (let the compliments roll in).
Your recommended technique will depend on the type of hair you have—we broke it down by curly, wavy, straight, and kinky. For hair with lots of texture (curly, wavy, and kinky), it starts with the kind of shampoo and conditioner you use—this will help you fight frizz, too. For straight hair, your biggest challenge is that it can look limp without a blow dryer—the key is removing buildup that can weigh your hair down and adding some texturizing spray. And because we know that time is precious, the experts even shared tricks for preserving and reviving the style the next day.
VIDEO: 3 Super Fast Styles For Curly Hair
There's even some insider tips for taming strands when your hair is still wet, but you need to get going—stat. Save time and energy in the morning with these pro tricks for getting a heat-free style that maximizes your natural texture.
Plus, take note of the product recommendations to pull these styles off.
Use a moisturizing shampoo and conditioner. Orlando Pita, a celebrity hairstylist and the creator of Orlando Pita Play, suggests “a cool rinse for smoother curls.” Squeeze out water with a towel, then comb a cream, like Redken No Blow Dry Bossy Cream ($24; ulta.com), evenly from roots to tips. Wait until curls are dry before separating.
Revive Next-Day Hair: Bring back the bounce to second- or third- day curls by scrunching in a spritz of leave-in conditioner, such as It’s a 10 Miracle Leave-In Product ($19; ulta.com).
“When air-drying wavy hair, your main hurdle is frizz, so create a smooth foundation with antifrizz shampoo and conditioner,” says celebrity hairdresser Sunnie Brook, who likes Head & Shoulders Smooth & Silky ($6 each; target.com). Towel-blot to remove excess water, then mist a texture spray “on areas where your waves need encouragement,” says Sunnie Brook. Unlike traditional salt sprays, which can be drying, Bumble and Bumble Surf Infusion ($29; sephora.com) has salt plus hydrating oils so you get texture sans crunch. If some sections are curlier than others, Sunnie Brook suggests gently tugging on them while they dry for a more uniform texture. Scrunch a serum into hair, starting at the ends, to define waves without adding weight. Try John Frieda Frizz Ease Original 6 Effects Serum ($7; target.com).
Style On The Go: If you don’t want to run out with wet hair, pull it into a loose braid to help set the wave and prevent frizz, then undo and shake out.
Clarifying shampoo is key to preventing hair from falling flat. Try Briogeo Be Gentle, Be Kind Green Tea Clarifying Shampoo ($24; sephora.com), focusing on the roots to get rid of product buildup, which can weigh down hair. Apply conditioner from midshaft to ends only. Regardless of your texture, Sunnie Brook recommends combing out tangles in the shower while conditioning. “Towel-blot hair and push in a wave with your fingers—think old-school scrunching,” she says. Once hair is semidry, mist on sea salt spray, like Pacifica Salty Waves Texture Spray ($14; ulta.com), and continue scrunching until hair is dry to form a soft, sexy bend.
Make It Last: Before hitting the sack, spritz dry shampoo at the roots and loosely twist hair into a topknot, securing with a scrunchie to prevent creasing. Undo in the morning and you’ll have volume and even better beach waves.
Instead of traditional shampoo, opt for a cowash (a cleansing conditioner), like Renpure Coconut Mint Cowash Cleansing Conditioner ($9; target.com), to prevent thirsty strands from drying out. Once a week, follow with a rich mask, such as DevaCurl Heaven In Hair Intense Moisture Treatment ($28; sephora.com). Leave it on for 15 minutes (wash your face, shave, sing!), then rinse. Blot hair in one motion from roots to tips with a microfiber towel, then apply a serum, like Dove Regenerative Nourishment Serum-in-Oil ($6; target.com), onto ends. To set curls, Sunnie Brook suggests dividing hair into four sections and pulling them into Zulu knots. Once they’re 90 percent dry, undo knots and dab oil on the ends.
Kinky-Hair Hack: Pita likes to hang his head upside down and “karate chop” through hair (he’s a naturally curly guy). “It loosens the curls without messing them up,” he says.