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After every shower comes the question of whether or not you should blow-dry or air dry your hair. While blow-drying might seem preferable if a sleek style is what you’re after, constantly using heat tools can do a number on the appearance of your strands. So, we hereby give you permission to take it easy and air dry your locks the next time you wash your hair! 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 the air dry tutorial below.
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 some serum or cream formulated to address the appearance of frizz, like the L’Oréal Paris EverSleek Frizz Finish Oil-in-Serum.
3. Wrap, 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! Wrapping your hair up is a whole lot gentler than rubbing it aggressively. So, instead of a towel, grab an old T-shirt and wrap your hair in it until it’s almost completely dry.
4. Carefully detangle. When your hair is almost fully dry, unwrap it and use a wide-tooth comb to gently brush 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 teeth allows hair to easily pass through 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 your natural, 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. Depending on how defined you want your waves to be, braid one to two braids for looser waves or four to five braids for tighter ones. Once your hair feels about 95 percent dry, shake out your braids and ogle your summery look.
2. Pump up the volume. Looking for a lived-in hairstyle? Then voluminous waves are for you! All you have to do is add a little bit of mousse, like the L’Oréal Paris Advanced Hairstyle AIR DRY IT Ruffled Body Mousse, to damp hair and create a single braid. The strong-hold mousse enhances your hair’s natural texture. Once you’ve completed your braid, instead of tying it off with a hair tie, wrap it into a bun, and let it fully dry before unwrapping it to reveal big, beautiful waves.
3. Go for a romantic vibe. What better way to look seriously feminine and totally chic than to perfectly frame your face with romantic, natural waves? To get the look, all you have to do is massage a dime-sized amount of styling cream—such as the L’Oréal Paris Advanced Hairstyle AIR DRY IT Undone Style Cream—into damp hair before tucking it behind your ears and continuing to let it dry. The lightweight cream doesn’t feel greasy or sticky when applied. To get those Hollywood-esque exaggerated bends in your face-framing strands, 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 can be created by air drying your hair.