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How to Air Dry Your Hair

All Hair Types

How to Air Dry Your Hair How to Air Dry Your Hair How to Air Dry Your Hair

After every shower 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 constantly using heat tools can do a number on the appearance 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 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 air dry hair product recommendations that will take your heat-free styling skills to the next level.


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 in a bit of a serum or cream that’s formulated to address the appearance of frizz, like the L’Oréal Paris EverSleek Frizz Finish Oil-in-Serum.

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 up 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 comb 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 hair 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…


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! Plus, find out about all our best air dry hair products.

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, like the L’Oréal Paris Advanced Hairstyle AIR DRY IT Wave Swept Spray, before braiding your tresses. The flexible-hold styling spray provides long-lasting shape and control. 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, shake out your braids and enjoy your summery look.

2. Pump up the volume

Looking for a lived-in hairstyle? Then a voluminous, textured mane is for you! All you have to do is add a little bit of pomade or paste, like the L’Oréal Paris Studio Line Overworked Hair Putty, 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 into 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, like the L'Oréal Paris Advanced Hairstyle Curve It Curl Taming 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.

Check out our article, 8 Adorable No-Heat Hairstyles, for tutorials on hairstyles that start with air-dried locks.