Unless you’re Mariah Carey, nobody’s got the time or cash for a full-on blowout every time they wash their hair. And even if you did, all that heat styling can sometimes stress your hair out to the point that it gets dry, brittle, and even breaks off, which defeats the whole purpose.
It’s not always easy to air dry your hair in the winter months, especially if you wash your hair in the AM and don’t want to risk a frozen mane. However, summer – with all those pool days and beach vacays – lends itself to lowkey, no-fuss, air-dried hair, plus it’s way better for your hair. To help you master the art of air drying your hair to glorious perfection, we asked a couple of celebrity stylists to share their best tips.
1. Cocktail Your Products
You don’t have to choose just one product or the other. Sometimes it’s way more fun – and way better of an air-drying experience – to combine a few goodies. Ivan Rodriguez, a celebrity hairstylist and the hairstyling ambassador for BioSilk, says, “Mixing products together can create the perfect foundation. I like to mix a liquid gel and leave-in treatment for control and a light hold straight out of the shower.” Try BioSilk Silk Therapy Glazing Gel, $16, and Kristin Ess Weightless Shine Air Dry Crème, $10. About a dime’s worth of each is all you need.
2. Comb Product Through Your Hair
You wouldn’t apply foundation to just your left cheek, and the same idea applies to applying product to your hair when air drying. Work that stuff in good, girl. “Brushing through product on wet hair is the best way to evenly distribute the product,” says celebrity stylist Graham Nation of Ken Paves Salon. “My favorite brush on wet hair is my Sheila Stotts Application Brush, $42, because it’s forgiving on the hair and also very gentle if you are wearing extensions.” The Tangle Teezer, $16, is another good one that won’t pull hair or cause distressed tresses.
3. Don’t Touch Your Hair Too Much
Finally, try not to fuss with your hair too much as it’s drying. Nation says, “Letting hair completely dry before running your fingers through it will let hair dry with natural texture and the least amount of frizz.”
Try These Air-Drying Styles:
Even though there’s not a whole lot of effort associated with air drying, you can exert a little bit to make it look extra pretty. Here’re three styles we love:
No-Heat Glamour Waves
One of Rodriguez’s fave techniques, which gives you gorgeous glamour waves, is to divide hair into six fat sections and then create a soft twist in each from root to end using your fingers. As hair dries you can periodically twist the sections to keep them in place, then when your hair is completely dry use a wide-tooth comb or your fingers to separate. Add a touch of serum or dry oil spray for extra glossy locks. We’re obsessed with Drybar’s 100 Proof Smoothing Oil, $36, which is ridiculously lightweight and smells divine.
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Beachy Locks a la Salt Spray & Bun
You knew you could apply your salt spray on dry hair, but wet hair wants in on the action, too. “Apply a light amount of beach spray on wet hair just after your shower. Then bring all of your hair up to the crown, twist the entire tail to the tip and then secure with hairpins. When dry, brush with a paddle brush,” says Rodriguez. Literally the most perfect option for lazy beach days! Try Verb Sea Spray, $16, if you’re feeling extra, cocktail your sea salt spray with something like Unite BOOSTA™ Volumizing Spray, $11, for more volume.
Braid & Go Texture
“Apply a hydrating leave-in product or moisture spray to damp hair after shampooing, then divide the hair into four sections and braid it from the middle to ends. Don’t tie it with a rubber band and just let it dry naturally,” says Rodriguez. “Once dry, gently open the braids and comb with your fingers. You can also apply a little leave-in treatment to finish.” For a leave-in conditioner that looks good on your hair and the shelf try IGK Thirsty Girl Coconut Milk Leave-In Conditioner, $28.
If you guys prefer a blowout, check out our guide on how to give yourself the ultimate DIY blow dry.