Ah, air drying. It’s a method that’s simple in theory, but that in practice can take, well, practice. If you’ve ever attempted to dry your locks au naturale only to end up with a limp head of frizz, you know what we mean.
A great air dry is all about nailing that perfectly imperfect look: embracing your natural side with a little enhanced texture, shine and hold. And with the right air dry products on hand, we promise it can actually be as effortless as it looks.
Ready to master the air dry method? Here’s what to do in and out of the shower for heat-free hairstyle success, every time.
Why does my hair take so long to air dry?
Let’s get to the root of it. Dry time depends on your hair’s length, texture and porosity (how easily it absorbs moisture). That, and the air dry method and products you use.
Whereas high porosity hair drinks up water in minutes, low porosity hair has a harder time taking in moisture and typically needs extra time to dry. (If your hair’s still sopping wet hours after you wash it, it’s likely on the low end of the porosity scale.) Thorough shampooing can help moisture better penetrate your strands, and so can using lightweight products that are easier for your hair to absorb.
When you air dry, make sure to start styling on damp—not drenched—strands. Staying wet for long stretches isn’t the greatest thing for your hair’s health, will only drag out your dry time. Most experts recommend using a towel to dry your hair at least 30 percent before letting the good old air do the rest.
Why does my hair get frizzy when it air dries?
Frizz is often a sign that hair needs hydration. When your strands aren’t receiving (or retaining) enough moisture, they resort to sucking up any moisture that’s in the air. Once they react with that moisture, they swell and lose their defined shape, forming frizz.
If your hair isn’t getting the hydration it needs on wash day, you may end up with a flat, frizzy finish instead of volume and sleek shine (that’s the goal, right?). So remember: Before you air dry, make sure to give your hair a healthy dose of moisture to keep it looking and staying smooth.
Humidity is also a thing that triggers frizz—but a little extra hold can help keep it under control.
Check your towel-drying habits, too. Scrubbing freshly washed strands creates friction that can lead to static and frizziness—not to mention potential breakage. A gentle wrap or squeeze is the way to go.
How to air dry hair fast—without frizz
With the right process and products, we promise air drying is easy and breezy. Here’s how to achieve an artfully rumpled, frizz-free air dry look in (nearly) no time.
Hydrate in the shower.
Don’t underestimate the importance of your wash routine—it sets the stage for your air dry results. To keep your hair smooth and frizz-free, prime your strands with a gentle, hydrating shampoo and conditioner. For the best results, be sure to pick something that’s designed for your hair type.
Give silicones a shot.
Think of silicones as the “secret sauce” for air dry perfection. These ingredients have smoothing, softening, shine-boosting properties that work actual wonders on frizz-prone tresses—and they help speed up dry time, too.
If you’re iffy about silicones, know that they’re safe for hair. We use the highest quality organosilicones in our products. They’re far milder (yet much more effective!) than traditional silicones and rinse fully from the hair.
Style on damp hair.
Styling drenched hair will only drag out your dry time, and all that wetness makes hair prone to damage and frizz. For fast air drying, soak up excess water with a microfiber towel or cotton t-shirt. Remember the rule of thumb: try to get hair at least 30 percent dry before applying styling products.
Use a wide-toothed comb.
Beyond ever-so-gently removing tangles, a wide-toothed comb’s spaced-out teeth help promote airflow—so your hair dries faster.
Be picky with products.
Look for products with “air dry” or “quick dry” in the description. Air dry hair products are typically made with ingredients that help soak up moisture and leave hair sleek and shiny.
Air dry hair products for every hair type
There’s nothing we love more than an effortless air dry, so we create products that deliver just that. Here’s how to choose the best one(s) for your hair.
Fine + straight hair
Waves + loose curls
Tight curls + coils
Find your perfect match
Still not sure which should be your go-to? Take our product quiz to find your match.