Ditch the dryer. If you’re doing summer the right way, you should be soaked in salt water, sweaty from hikes, and always on the fly. Taking a hiatus from heat tools will not only improve the texture of your hair but it will also anchor you into the care-free flow of the season. Our friends at Free People have a few hacks for managing that very fine line between knowing how to air dry hair and leaving home in a disastrously fluffy state. Let your locks loose with these tips for every type…
It’s about this time of year when the result of months of hot tools, careless brushing and tight hair-ties begins to show. Summer’s ample sunshine and carefree days by and in the pool means extra exposure to UV rays and chlorine, which can unfortunately accelerate hair damage. In the last month my hair has definitely felt the effects, with split ends and frizz pushing me to pull my hair out — or chop it off, at least. I’m a little too attached to my locks to partake in either of those options so, after my last trim, I made a vow to take better care of my hair. The first and most obvious thing to eliminate was my overuse of blow dryers, straighteners and curling irons. In other words, it was time I owned my natural waves, and perfected the art of effortless air dried hair.
Photo Credit: @taylranne
Working in an office full of stylish women, with an array of hair types, provided me with a wealth of information on the best ways to achieve beautiful hair, sans heat. After some personal trial and error, and a lot of valuable tips from others, I have pulled together an easy-to-follow guide on the most effective ways to air dry your hair. Whether you have curly, wavy or straight locks, let this be the summer you give your hot tools a break and embrace your hair’s authentic beauty.
For Curly Hair…
The main goal when air drying curly hair is to manage frizz and define curls. Luckily, both of those are totally doable with just a few simple steps!
Towel Dry, Flip + Scrunch. When you are fresh out of the shower, gently pat your hair down with a soft towel so that it is damp but not dripping. The best method is to flip your head over and, with the towel, scrunch your curls from the ends upwards. This creates natural volume and helps to maintain and make the curls more pronounced.
Crack Open The Coconut Oil. Coconut oil is your secret weapon for eliminating frizz and boosting shine. After towel drying, rub a quarter-sized amount between your fingertips and lightly apply it throughout your hair. The coconut oil will penetrate your locks to maintain moisture and get rid of all the flyaways.
Embrace The Breeze. Let mother nature’s cool breeze work its wonders, revealing your perfectly air dried curls. While I recommend doing this in the morning, if you shower in the evening, try getting a silk pillowcase to combat any frizz that can be created from a night of tossing and turning.
For Wavy Hair…
Wavy hair can be difficult to air dry — you never know exactly how it will turn out. One day it dries in soft curls framing your face, while the next it’s a hot mess of random waves and kinks that will have you reaching for the straightener. So in finding a perfect heatless routine, I was looking for one thing — consistency. Luckily, I found it in the following few steps:
Detangle With A Comb. After a shower, begin by squeezing out the excess water with a soft towel so that your hair is damp. Use a wide-tooth comb to smooth and detangle your strands.
Spritz For Texture. The most important step is to use a texturizing spray, as it helps your hair maintain the wave after it dries. I love using one with sea salt during the summer for an extra beachy look.
Braid It Up. Split your hair into four equal sections and create loose braids beginning about halfway down your head. Sometimes I create fishtail braids rather than regular braids to give my hair a little more of a unique, piecey texture.
Air It Out. Let your hair dry almost fully but, when it is still slightly damp, take out the braids and allow it to dry completely. Avoid touching it too much throughout the day — this will create unnecessary frizz!
For Straight Hair…
While straight hair is quite predicable in the way it will dry, your main obstacle is creating natural volume that will hold throughout the day.
Towel Dry + Detangle. Begin by gently towel drying freshly washed hair so that is damp to the touch. Brush through any tangles or knots with a wide toothed comb or brush designated for wet hair. This will ensure that no breakage occurs, as your hair is more fragile when it is wet.
Pick Your Product. You may consider minimizing the products you use to avoid strands becoming weighed down or greasy. If volume is what you are looking, try a volumizing tea tree oil spray while your hair is still damp. If you are trying to reduce frizz and add some shine, rub a pea-sized amount of coconut oil between your fingertips and gently apply it to the outer layer of your hair, avoiding the roots.
Use Your Hands. Once your hair is completely dry, comb your finger through it, creating movement and body.
You’ve learned how to air dry hair — now learn to accessorize it with this summer cute trend.