A Step-By-Step Guide for Air Drying Your Hair

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To air-dry or not to air-dry? For most people, the decision comes down to how well you know your hair and the products you’re using. On the one hand, it’s good to give your strands a break from constant heat styling and potential damage — but if you don’t know how to control your strands to air-dry the right way, you’re likely to be left with a less-than-satisfying-looking head of hair.
Skip the second-guessing and step away from that blowdryer: here are Davines’ favorite tips, styling tricks, and recommended hair products to turn you into an air-dried hair pro. Since different hair types require different care, here are the products and routines that would fit your specific needs.

Use shampoo and conditioner formulated for your hair type

Brush in the shower

If you find yourself struggling to brush out knots after washing your hair, you can try brushing your hair in the shower with a wide-tooth comb after applying your conditioner. Not only will this help to detangle before you towel-dry, but it can also help you evenly distribute conditioner throughout your hair to keep it healthy and moisturized.

Rinse with cold water

After washing and conditioning your hair, finish with a cold water rinse to lock in shine and fight frizz and flyaways. Cold water helps the cuticle of your hair lie flat, leaving you with shinier hair (and a stronger foundation for a successfully air-dried hair).

Start by towel-drying your hair

Even though you’re air-drying, you should still start by towel-drying to remove excess water. Use a microfiber towel to gently absorb water, without roughing up your hair like traditional cotton towels can do.

Apply products based on your hair type

Different hair types need different styling routines — make sure the styling and leave-in prep products you’re using are going to help you lock in your desired look when air-drying. A good sea salt spray can add beachy texture to wavy hair, a curl prep cream will lock in moisture and definition, and someone with fine or limp hair can use a moisturizing leave-in spray to keep strands detangled and happy.

How to air dry your hair, no matter your hair type

For Wavy Hair

  • Wash and condition your hair with a frizz-fighting shampoo and conditioner.
  • After towel-drying and detangling with a wide-tooth comb, apply a leave-in anti-frizz cream.
  • If you have looser waves, gently scrunch up from the ends and let them air-dry. But if you have more defined waves, use the finger coiling technique to help set their shape and discourage frizz.

For Curly and Coily Hair

  • Wash and condition your hair with a curl shampoo and conditioner. Curly hair can usually go unwashed for longer periods than non-curly hair.
  • After towel-drying and detangling (making sure not to remove too much water), apply a primer or curl cream to encourage definition and elasticity.

For Fine Hair

For Colored Hair

  • Wash and condition your hair with a color-safe shampoo and conditioner.
  • After detangling with a leave-in hair milk, apply a leave-in hair serum to towel-dried hair to help illuminate your color while keeping hair shiny and healthy.
  • Continue to style your hair as desired, either by letting it fully air-dry after being brushed, or by finger coiling or gently scrunching for texture.

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