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Why Does My Hair Take So Long to Dry?

There are a few different factors to consider.
November 14, 2022

If your hair takes what feels like forever to dry, — we’re talking hours at a time and maybe even an entire day — you probably have questions. The first and most important one being, why, followed by, is there anything that can be done to fix this? The answer isn’t that simple — how long your hair takes to dry really depends on your
hair texture, porosity and density. 

And while it can be annoying to spend the whole day waiting for your hair to dry, it may not be a bad thing. Take notes as we share why your hair takes so long to dry, plus, tips and tricks to help speed up the process.

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Why Does My Hair Take Forever to Dry?

There are a few different reasons that explain why your hair takes so long to dry. While it’s less than ideal, your hair may take a long time to dry simply because you maintain healthy hair practices and your strands are able to easily absorb and retain moisture. 


With that said, things like hair density, texture and how much hair you have also play a role in how fast or how slowly your hair dries. If you’re someone with thick, wavy hair, there’s a very good chance your hair is going to take much longer to dry than someone with thin, fine hair simply because you have more hair. 


Another thing to keep in mind is hair porosity which refers to your hair’s ability to absorb and retain moisture. This means high porosity hair can easily draw in moisture, including that offered through hydrating hair care products like conditioning masks, treatments and serums. The downside is that while high porosity hair can effortlessly absorb moisture, it has a very hard time retaining it.  


On the other hand, low porosity hair has a hard time absorbing moisture because the hair cortex is closely laid together. While this makes it difficult for moisture to enter, it’s able to stay put for a while once it does. This also means low-porosity hair may take longer to dry.


Editor’s tip: To determine your hair porosity, brush your hair and place the shedding strands into a glass of water. If you have high porosity hair, it will sink to the bottom. Low porosity hair will float because it has a difficult time absorbing moisture, whereas normal porosity hair will float and then slowly begin to sink.


How Can I Make My Hair Dry Faster?

While how fast your hair dries will depend on your hair’s density, texture and porosity, there are a few things you can do to speed up the process. Check our top tips for faster-drying hair.


1. Towel Dry Your Hair

Not only does this work to speed up the air-drying process, but it also helps you prep your strands for heat styling. 


Instead of a bath towel, try using an old t-shirt to plop your hair or consider a microfiber towel. Both of these alternatives will help minimize the friction and tugging motions on your wet hair, decreasing the risk of breakage. 


2. Apply Your Hair Products onto Wet Hair

Rather than waiting for your hair to dry before applying your leave-in conditioner or hair treatments, applying your products immediately after towel-drying your hair for better and more even absorption from roots to ends. Not only will this allow your hair to air-dry with less frizz and flyaways but it will help speed up the process. 


If you prefer a leave-in conditioner, curly hair can reach for the L’Oréal Paris Elvive Dream Lengths Curls Non-Stop Dreamy Curls Leave-in Conditioner to add moisture, smooth strands and enhance curls without weigh-down. Those with straight hair can try the L’Oréal Paris Elvive Dream Lengths No Haircut Cream Leave-In Conditioner to add shine, reduce hair breakage and seal split ends.


3. Practice Rough Drying 

Attempting a blowout with sopping wet strands is not going to be very successful and it’s going to take a long time. Instead, power drying your hair with your fingers to remove the excess moisture before picking up your round brush. This will speed up your blowout while making the styling process a bit easier.


Regardless of your hair type, texture or porosity, if you plan to use heat, you should always prime your strands with a heat protectant. Our top picks include the L’Oréal Paris Elvive Dream Lengths Frizz Killer Serum Leave-In and the L’Oréal Paris EverPure Sulfate-Free Weightless Blow Dry Primer, Heat Protectant, as both work to smooth hair, reduce frizz and protect against heat up to 450F.


4. Don’t Skip Conditioner

After shampooing your hair, reach for conditioner to rehydrate your strands and prevent your hair from absorbing more moisture than necessary. As weird as it sounds, conditioner creates a seal over the hair, repelling water, which will allow your hair to dry faster. 


Condition your strands with the L’Oréal Paris Elvive Hyaluron Plump Hydrating Conditioner, Paraben-Free after washing with the L’Oréal Paris Elvive Hyaluron Plump Hydrating Shampoo, Paraben-Free. This duo is formulated with hyaluronic acid to lock in moisture, replumping dry, dehydrated hair for noticeably shiny, bouncy and fuller tresses. 


Next: 7 Reasons Why You Should Use Hair Serum


Written by: Reece Andavolgyi, Photographer: Chaunte Vaughn, Art Director: Hannah Packer, Associate Creative Producer: Becca Solovay, Digital Tech: Paul Yem, Photo Assistant: Matt Licari, Makeup Artist: Jonet Williamson, Hair Stylist: Akihisa Yamaguchi, Wardrobe Stylist: Alexis Badiyi, Wardrobe Assistant: Jazmine Alzado, Model: Shann Hitch

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