When winter comes around with its short days and cold nights, sometimes the last thing you want to do is spend your time air-drying your hair (especially if you don’t have heating!). That being said, simply air-drying your hair doesn’t always work out the way you planned — frizz can be an issue for those with curls or waves, and if your hair is straight, it might feel limp and blah when warm weather strikes.
Don’t despair, though — it’s possible to air-dry your hair and get the results you want. Aveda Artist Shirley Hagel, who works at Parlor salon in New York, shared her tips for air-drying all hair types on those icy cold days.
Start off smart. Shirley recommends starting your air-dry routine in the shower. For those with curls or waves, try finger-coming through your hair when you have conditioner on your mids and ends to make breaking up tangles easier. Then, regardless of your hair type, give your hair one final quick rinse.
“When you think you’re done rinsing your conditioner out, rinse it a little more,” she says. “If you have any conditioner remaining, you’re going to weigh the hair down. It seems super simple but it’s something people don’t think about.”
Choose your tools. Some hairdressers recommend a microfiber towel versus the traditional terrycloth kind, but Shirley says either is fine — just squeeze your hair to get the excess water out, don’t rub.
After drying, apply a prep product like Damage Remedy Daily Hair Repair or Shirley’s pick, Brilliant Damage Control, and either comb or finger-comb your hair, depending on your hair type. (Curls and waves, use your fingers. Straight-haired folks, you can use a comb.)
Pick the right products for your hair type. If you have curls and waves, go for either a curl-boosting product like Be Curly Curl Enhancer or one designed to loosen and calm curls, like Be Curly Curl Controller. Shirley likes to combine either product with a bit of Confixor gel for extra hold.
If your hair is straight or fine and you want to add texture, go for Texture Tonic. Shirley, who has straight and fine hair, recommends scrunching your hair with the towel as you dry, then applying Texture Tonic and scrunching some more. She also likes to apply more on day two or three to refresh her look.
Do a little styling. While Shirley says her number one tip for air-drying is “Don’t touch your hair!” she does recommend “setting” your desired look while your hair is wet. Use your fingers to twist hair into waves or loose curls, then STOP fussing with it.
Seriously, keep your hands out of your hair! “That’s the biggest trick for air drying,” Shirley says. “If you touch it, you’ll mess with the curl or wave pattern and create frizz! It’s going to look different when it’s dry; you’re messing with it but you don’t know what you’re messing with because your hair isn’t finished drying.” Once your hair is fully dry, you can add a little more product if necessary, but try your very best not to play with your hair! You’ll be thankful once you see the results.
Love her tips? Follow Shirley on Instagram at @shirleyhagel.