Who doesn’t dream of rushing from the shower to packing up the laptop for work while their hair air dries to perfection on the way?
But does it really?
Only on TV can something like unassisted air drying result in sleek, polished looking locks. Or what we might more appropriately call Fantasyland Hair.
Since few of us reside in Fantasyland the reality is somewhat different. As we all know too well air dried hair is typically hair that leaves a little (or a lot) to be desired.
Because you can usually tell who air dries, can’t you?
I mean you’ve been those poor souls at the mall with frizz out to here like they just got back from hiking the Appalachian Trail in July or something equally as gross and gruesome. (My apologies if that was you.)
Still hope springs eternal as we sift about for ways to avoid devoting 45 soul sucking minutes doing our hair each morning. Following a routine so complex and involved it makes launching and recovering a SpaceX rocket seem like a game of patty-cake.
So even if we know it’s probably too good to be true we’re going to listen when someone promotes air drying as the hair care solution of our dreams.
Believe it or not there really is a right way to approach styling your hair without plugging in your blow dryer.
Since you might not believe it that’s the reason for offering up some real life advice that you can actually benefit from as “perfect” and “air-dried” are seldom used in the same sentence.
And what better way to do so than to list the “10 Commandments of Air Drying Your Hair Without Frizz”. Because we both know there’s a lot more to air drying that just letting your hair dry.
Besides that’s a concise, often used way to present a list of ideas. You sure don’t have to look too hard to find all sorts of “10 Commandments” listing ways to deal with many of life’s, hmmm, little challenges.
So I thought why not do the same for air drying?
I mean we’re talking real life commandments here too, right?
And who knows you may find these best practices to be just what you need to transition from hard core hair dryer addiction to a somewhat more hair friendly air drying routine.
10 Commandments of Air Drying Your Hair
#1 Thou Shalt Not Forget To Moisturize
One reason the outcome of letting Mother Nature do her thing is a frizzy mess is because we fail to prep our mane.
One way to set yourself up for success with that is by using a moisturizing shampoo and conditioner to smooth those strands. All too often the deal killer is frizz. Additional hydration can help to prevent that.
Oh and taking care to hit the ends, if nothing else, with conditioner is what you’d call a non-negotiable.
#2 Thou Shalt Brush Out Your Hair in the Shower
That’s the time to get rid of the knots. When the water’s just been turned off. Using something like a Tangle Teaser, which has a reputation for detangling like no other brush can, or wide tooth comb are two ways to do so.
Remember waiting too long to de-knot only increases the potential of the dreaded frizz out.
#3 Thou Shalt Not Use a Terry Cloth Towel
This is a biggie. Bad toweling is a common air drying misstep. You can quickly get off on the wrong foot by using the wrong one.
The tool of choice here should be an ultra-absorbent micro fiber towel or even an old T-shirt. Either are preferred over terry cloth as neither has those little loops found in terry cloth which create the friction that riles up the frizz.
Both can also cut time to damp by half.
As you know you want to gently pat, squeeze and blot the moisture out of your strands into the towel. Never rub – vigorously or otherwise.
Another benefit? Less water in your strands allows any products you add to penetrate better.
#4 Thou Shalt Flip Your Mane Into the Towel
Another smart toweling trick is to flip you hair over your head and scoop it all into the towel. Scrunch away from there.
This is especially helpful for curly locks as it encourages the natural curls to define themselves. Plus it builds in some body and volume by lifting the roots off your scalp.
Sticking on topic of curls…
#5 Thou Shalt Twist Curly Strands
One trick for getting well defined curls or waves is to give each a gentle nudge in the right direction. You do that by twisting the damp locks after you remove the towel.
This sixty second video clip shows you everything you need to know to do this.
As you’ll see it’s super easy. All you do is take a small section of hair and twist.
Do this to all the strands on your head and you will greatly enhance the definition of your dried curly or wavy locks.
As was pointed out tighter twists will give you a look that tends towards curly. Looser ones more towards wavy.
#6 Thou Shalt Not Fiddle
This is another one of the big air dry no-nos that too many of us forget. Once your hair has dried don’t touch it.
Failing to keep your hands off your locks is just inviting Mr. Frizz to take over. To avoid that simply resolve not to play with your hair. Period.
#7 Thou Shalt Deep Condition Weekly
Deep conditioning addresses the second recurring theme we’ve got going here. Moisture.
Not a lot to say. Just do it.
#8 Thou Shalt Not Fail to Embrace Beach Waves
Beachy waves and air drying go together like potatoes and gravy. If your strands are the least bit wavy a push in that direction and beach waves here we come.
To get there shampoo at night. After letting it mostly dry, run some smoothing cream through it, loosely braid the dampish strands then go to bed. (Braiding it all over one shoulder will make sleeping on it easier.)
The braid itself will act to smooth and tame those strands overnight.
In the morning take out the braid and shake loose.
This great reveal will leave you with a gorgeous, loose yet nicely defined beachy waves. In other words a big styling payoff without a lot of time invested. Leaving you with a ‘do that looks so good you may not recognize as your own.
A similar alternative it to put damp hair up into a loose bun instead of a braid to tease out the best looking version of your natural texture.
Yeah you won’t get beachy waves by doing this but you won’t get frizz either. Making this is another most welcomed move if your hair goes all frizzy on you when air drying. All the more if you use products like those suggested below.
#9 Thou Shalt Flat Iron the Ends
Low heat. Light touch. Behavin’ ends.
Sounds crazy I know given the focus is on air drying. But doing this can give you a more polished look without a lot of heat.
If you’ve taken care to condition the ends anyway you’re sealing in equal parts refined with the more casual look of air dried hair.
#10 Thou Shalt Not Dare to Skimp on the Products
No one can embark on an air dry routine without styling products they can depend on. That’s because in some ways they are what will do the heavy lifting for you.
Luckily there are more and more that specifically targeted to air dryers like you.
The best ones offer plenty of hydration. (There’s that word again.)
Still much like shopping for shoes when it comes to specific products you may have to try on more than one for size.
That’s half the battle or is that half the fun?
Sure. It can seem like it takes forever but once you’ve assembled your team of go to products you can just let them do what you know they can on days you choose not to plug in the blow dryer.
Admittedly this is far from an all-inclusive list. Think of it more like a start to get the ball rolling.
Now there’s been an emphasis on avoiding parched strands for one simple reason – the more hydrated your mane the more accommodating it will be when in au natural mode.
It takes nothing special necessarily. Just working in an extra dose of hydration into those strands post shower.
That starts with …
Leave In Conditioner
If you choose to use a leave in, and why would you not, you can do much worse than It’s A 10 Miracle Leave In Conditioner.
If you opt NOT to use a leave in conditioner another leave in option for those giving their blow dryer a day off would be a product like Biosilk Silk Therapy Oil. Slide a tiny bit through your damp mane and it makes tangles disappear with a stroke of the detangling brush.
Better still it’s reputed to leave curly, wavy, or straight strands with a beckoning run-your-fingers-through-me look.
Using a fast acting detangler is the smart way to insure a successful air drying adventure. That makes an awesome leave in product like Unite Hair 7 Seconds tangle tamer a must have.
As the rave reviews it gets online confirm, this is a game changer. Fans of this one confirm it leaves you with locks that are glossy, soft and manageable without being weighed down.
Since pesky frizz and air drying are joined at the hip something in an anti frizz line is another good idea.
John Frieda has a crème for straight hair and styling spray for curly locks. Either can shut down the frizz that so often plagues those going the air drying route. Simply work them in and get on with your day.
Which reminds me. Target shoppers love this stuff – Garnier Smooth Air Dry Sleek Anti Frizz Cream. Just another way to fight off the frizz when swearing off the blow dryer.
Look. It’s no secret that constant blow drying is bad news for our hair. Yet that doesn’t mean we’re going abstain or go cold turkey for long. Because few can easily give up the convenience and the way it makes your hair look.
But that’s not to say you can’t go with the undone glamour of air drying from time to time. Done right it leaves you with a style that’s more hit than miss sans annoying frizz too.
Hopefully you found this look at “air drying on purpose” helpful. Hopefully too it gives you the confidence to put down the blow dryer every once in a while. Knowing you can do that and still end up with hair that’s truly got its sexy on.