Now reading: What’s The Healthiest Way To Dry Your Hair?
A woman's long, curly hair blows in the wind
December 23, 2022

What’s The Healthiest Way To Dry Your Hair?

We’re all about keeping things healthy over here at Odele. That includes our bodies, minds and, of course, our hair.

But what’s healthiest for our hair isn’t always obvious. Take hair drying. Chances are at some point you’ve wondered: Am I doing it right? Is it better to air dry or blow dry? Am I using the right products to even make all this worth it?

We’re hot on the trail to finding the healthiest ways to dry your hair, no matter if you’re air drying, blow drying or experimenting with a hybrid. There’s more than one way to take your locks from drippin’ to damp to dry.

If you’re air drying

Air drying is the minimalist’s match made in heaven—it can save you major time and effort with the right tricks. It’s also a great way to avoid or recover from heat damage.

The key to healthy air drying? Don’t let your hair stay wet for too long.

Here’s why: your hair is made up of protein bonds called keratin, which are protected by your hair’s cuticle. When your hair is wet, the cuticles open, causing the proteins to form weaker-than-usual hydrogen bonds. That change in your hair’s structure can make it more susceptible to stretching and breaking. You can easily combat potential damage by evaporating some of that moisture before you let your hair air dry completely.

  • First things first: gently squeeze excess water from your ends. Wringing it out can cause more friction (aka wet hair’s worst nightmare), resulting in more breakage.
  • Use your fingers or a wide-tooth comb for detangling duty. Start at the ends and work your way up to the roots.
  • To speed up the drying process without heat, **keep a towel on hand.** Blot and squeeze your hair in small sections to prevent damage.
  • You can safely keep your hair wrapped in a microfiber towel (or even a cotton T-shirt) for up to an hour, and, by that time, your hair will be ready to finish drying au naturale.
  • Avoid putting it in a ponytail or bun until it’s dry. The friction could result in breakage and the prolonged dampness may even cause skin irritation from the scalp not getting enough air.

Enhance with Air Dry Styler

It’s easy to keep air drying effortless—without sacrificing style. Our Air Dry Styler is a fan-favorite that benefits all hair types, especially thick or coarse strands that can take a while to air dry. This protective product smooths, conditions and gives soft separation for styling perfection. You can happily skip the blow dryer and embrace your natural side.

Shop Air Dry Styler

The quick + clean on air drying

It’s more than A-OK to air dry, just make sure you’re not sitting in sopping wet hair until it dries. Give your hair a gentle towel-off to avoid soaking in unnecessary moisture. Oh, and if you’re looking for air dry styling tips by hair type, there’s more on that here.

If you’re blow drying

Blow outs—so hot right now. And it’s okay to feel the heat! In fact, some experts say that blow drying is better for your hair because it reduces how long your locks sit in all that extra moisture. But just as too much water can wear down your hair’s cuticles, so can excessive heat. So, here’s how to heat dry without damage.

  • Similarly to air drying, use your fingers or wide-tooth comb to detangle right out of the shower.
  • Reach for a towel before you reach for the blow dryer. Hot-hot heat directly on a soaking wet head is too intense for your luscious locks. Instead, say hello to our familiar friend the microfiber hair towel or a cotton t-shirt for a less-damaging dry.
  • Heat protectant is key when you’re working with hot tools. (More on that in the next section.) Spritz and spray away.
  • Say it with us now: low and slow. Higher heat = more damage, so stick to low-to-medium temps and move through your hair in sections. Slowly follow your hair’s natural flow from root to end with your blow dryer nozzle to limit tangles and tears.

Protect with Leave-In Detangling Tonic

Leave it to our Leave-In Detangling Tonic. An effective multi-tasker, this salon-grade lightweight leave-in is milky magic—and a star in the supporting cast of your blow dry routine. Fortified with amino acids and plant proteins that promote hair health over time, this tonic hydrates, detangles, adds shine AND helps protect your hair against environmental damage and heat styling on the daily. Apply a pump or two before you turn on your tools.

Shop Leave-In Detangling Tonic

The quick + clean of blow drying

There’s no shame in the blow dryer game. Your hair will happily accept heat with the help of appropriate tools and tonics. The biggest thing to keep in mind is how often you’re applying heat; if you’re styling with hot tools more often than not, give your hair a break with an air dry at least once a week

The Drop

Like most things in life, moderation is healthy. If your hair’s been going through a heat wave, give it a break with a lil’ TLC—tender loving (air) care, that is. And conversely, if your mane’s been absorbing extra moisture during your air drying routine, it might benefit from an occasional blowout.

The Shop

Written by Lindsay Holden