InStyle June 30, 2022



How to Air-Dry Your Hair No Matter Your Texture


And get a frizz-free finish every single time.

Air-drying your hair isn't just a last ditch effort to get where you need to go on time. Foregoing heat-styling is a great way to improve hair health by minimizing damage caused by using hot tools, plus letting your hair dry naturally also shows off your natural texture.

"The results are shiny hair that's silky to the touch in its best condition," says Amy Abramite, Creative Director and Stylist at Maxine Salon in Chicago.

That being said, one of the biggest concerns about air-drying your hair is that it will get frizzy. With the right drying technique and a few products you'll give your hair a little guidance so that it does its own thing with a smoother finish, if that's what you prefer.

Ahead, top stylists share their tips and tricks for air-drying your hair, no matter your hair texture.

Shampoo and Condition Hair

Dryness is the root of frizzy hair, and proper hydration starts in the shower. The type of moisturizing shampoo and conditioner will vary depending on your hair type.

For straight hair, Abramite recommends a volumizing shampoo and conditioner so that hair doesn't dry limp and flat. "Straight hair can naturally lack fullness, so a volumizing shampoo and conditioner will create weightless lift at the root area and plump individual strands for thicker looking hair with more substance and body," the stylist says.

NatureLab.Tokyo Volume Shampoo & Conditioner Duo


Wavy hair will benefit from a lightweight moisturizing shampoo and conditioner that will boost smoothness and shine, while also strengthening strands.

R+Co Atlantis Moisturizing B5 Shampoo + Conditioner Set


As for curls, look for a gentle, deeply hydrating shampoo and conditioner. "Curly hair tends to be dry and fragile and needs gentle cleansing care to balance moisture," Abramite explains. "An intensive hydrating shampoo and conditioning masque will add bounce, definition and soften curls without stripping natural oils while keeping frizz at bay."

Briogeo Superfoods Apple, Matcha + Kale Replenishing Shampoo + Conditioner Duo


Towel-Dry Hair

When towel-drying your hair, squeeze don't rub. "It's best to squeeze the water out of the hair rather than rubbing the towel back and forth," says Angel Cardona, Sebastian Professional Top Artist. "This helps to prevent tangling, breakage, and does an overall better job of taking care of the condition of your hair."

The stylist recommends using a microfiber towel, but if you don't have one, a T-shirt will do the trick.

Aquis Rapid Dry Lisse Hair Wrap


Prep & Style Hair

Applying a styling prep product will help enhance your natural texture and further boost moisture to prevent a frizzy finish.

If your hair is straight, Abramite says a leave-in conditioner will boost shine and reduce tangles. "A leave-in conditioning cream or spray on damp hair starting at the ends and working it up towards the roots," the stylist says. "Avoid putting product directly on the scalp as to not weigh hair down." You can brush hair with a brush designed for wet hair like the Trademark Beauty Tame Your Mane Smoothing Brush.

Shaeri Haircare Spray


Wavy hair can benefit from a texturizing spray for added volume and hold. "Detangle with a wide-toothed comb from ends up towards roots, then mist hair with a texturizing spray in sections to thoroughly saturate hair," Abramite suggests. "Scrunch product into the hair with fingers to encourage wave pattern. Allow the hair to naturally air dry and resist the urge to touch it as to not disturb the texture in the process." Once hair is finished drying, you can lightly fluff it with your fingers to break up the waves.

Ouai Wave Spray


And curly hair can use a deeply hydrating leave-in cream or oil (or a combination of both) to boost hydration and define curls. "After blotting hair with a microfiber towel, massage hydrating curl cream or oil into hair with fingers. If necessary, detangle hair with a wide-tooth comb," suggests Abramite. Pattern makes a wide-tooth comb specifically for curly and coily hair.

Then, use your fingers to twist and define curls. "For curly hair you can twist one-inch sections around your finger all over and let dry or do a two strand twist to really set your curls," Cardona says.

Sebastian Professional Dark Oil

Sebastian Professional Twisted Styling Cream


Once you've twisted all sections of hair, leave your curls alone. "Resist the urge to touch the locks as they're drying as to not disturb their pattern and avoid frizzing," Abramite says. "Lightly scrunch curls to release and soften product if necessary after hair is thoroughly dry. Keep the curls defined and intact by not brushing or combing the curls once they are set."