After every shower—or at least every time you wash your hair—comes the question of whether or not you should blow-dry or air dry your hair. Blow-drying may seem preferable if an ultra-sleek style is what you’re after, but repeatedly using heat tools can take a toll on the appearance and health of your strands. And no matter how much we love super smooth styles, damage is a solid reason to take a break from heat styling. So, we’re officially recruiting you to the heat-free styling club! Instead of blow-drying your hair after every shower, embrace your natural texture and rock totally gorgeous, air-dried tresses. Trust us, setting your blow drier aside doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice your beauty look. Keep reading to learn the ins and outs of how to air dry hair, tips to perfect your air-drying technique, and our best air dry hair products to take your heat-free styling skills to the next level.
Our best air dry hair products
Before we walk you through how to air dry your hair, step by step, here’s an overview of our best air dry hair products to have on hand.
L'Oréal Paris EverSleek Frizz Finish Oil-In-Serum: This luxurious hair serum provides humidity and frizz control plus weightless shine for a smooth, silky finish. Apply a pump or two to damp strands to help tame frizz and smooth each strand.
L’Oréal Paris Advanced Hairstyle AIR DRY IT Wave Swept Spray: Air-drying your hair doesn’t mean you can’t still rock a gorgeous wavy hairstyle! Spritz this onto damp hair, scrunch up your ends, and let it dry for a stunning yet carefree final look.
L’Oréal Paris Studio Line Overworked Hair Putty: Another supposed pitfall of air-drying hair is the dreaded loss of volume—but it doesn’t have to be that way! Use this putty to create instant texture and pump up the volume.
L'Oréal Paris Advanced Hairstyle Curve It Curl Taming Cream: Got curls? Lucky you! Next time you air-dry, keep them frizz-free and defined with a bit of this curl-enhancing hair cream.
HOW TO AIR DRY HAIR
You might be chuckling at the thought that air-drying your hair actually requires a technique—but believe it or not, it does! Want to get air-drying just right? Follow our step-by-step tutorial for air-drying hair:
1. RID YOUR HAIR OF EXCESS WATER
Before you hop out of the shower, embrace your inner puppy and shake out any excess water from your strands.
2. USE A STRAND-SMOOTHER
Sometimes, letting your hair air dry can lead to unwanted frizz. To help manage that, simply work a bit of a serum or cream that’s formulated to address the appearance of frizz through your damp strands.
3. PAT, DON’T RUB, YOUR HAIR
We get it: Just patting your hair dry doesn’t always seem as satisfying (or efficient) as a good rub. Trust us though; it’s the way to go! Patting your hair is a whole lot gentler than rubbing it aggressively. It's also a good idea to use something softer than your average towel to dry your hair. We recommend grabbing an old T-shirt to wrap your hair up with.
4. CAREFULLY DETANGLE
When your hair is almost fully dry, unwrap it and use a wide-tooth comb to gently detangle your hair, starting at your ends and working your way up to your roots. These combs are the ultimate ally for wet hair because the extra space between the teeth allows hair to pass through easily without added friction.
5. STYLE ACCORDINGLY
With only a small amount of time sitting between you and the air-dried locks of your dreams, it’s time to determine how you want to style your hair. Which leads us to…
THE BEST AIR DRY HAIR STYLES
Now that you’ve brushed up on your air-drying basics, it’s time to get to work! Consider these pointers on how to up the style ante for an amazing heat-free ‘do!
1. CREATE BEACH WAVES
Embrace your inner mermaid and rock seriously beachy waves all year long with this simple trick: When your hair is still damp, spray a few spritzes of a wave spray before braiding your tresses. The number of braids you create will determine how defined your waves are; weave one or two for looser waves and four to five for tighter ones. Once your hair feels about 95 percent dry, undo your braids and enjoy your summery look.
2. PUMP UP THE VOLUME
Looking for a lived-in hairstyle? In that case, a voluminous, textured mane is for you! All you have to do is add a little bit of pomade or paste to dry hair to create instant texture and thickness. Start with a dime-sized amount of product, rub it between your palms, and then work it through your hair. Add more product as desired to create the perfect amount of carefree, undone texture.
3. GO FOR A ROMANTIC VIBE
What better way to look seriously feminine and totally chic than to frame your face with romantic curls? To get the look, all you have to do is massage a dime-sized amount of styling cream through damp hair before tucking it behind your ears and continuing to let it dry. To give your face-framing strands those Hollywood-esque exaggerated bends, grab a couple of bobby pins and secure them in place over the hair that’s tucked behind your ears. Once your hair is dry, remove the bobby pins, shake out your hair, and rock your red carpet-ready tresses.
4. TIGHT CURLS
That’s right—it is totally possible to get curly (or at least curlier) strands, sans any hot tools. To do so, apply a good amount of hair mousse onto damp strands. Next, scrunch up your ends all the way to your head, and repeat throughout your hair until all of your strands are naturally coiled.
5. KEEP IT LOOSE
Rock your natural hairstyle, just a bit more refined. To do so, apply a light-hold hair cream onto damp strands. Distribute the product evenly all the way from your roots through the ends of your hair, combing through with your fingers, then simply let your mane dry all on its own.