Sometimes, we just ain’t got time for that—there are few things that exemplify this quite like waiting for our hair to dry. Albeit, waiting for something wet to become dry is one of life’s necessary evils, you can speed up your drying time. That means saving precious minutes without going full on wet-look or freezing. We turned to the pros to find out how to speed up our air dry and by doing so, have more time for literally anything else.
(image via Instagram)
Wring It Out
According to IGK Co-founder Leo Izquierdo, you want to make sure your start off with a good foundation. It sounds intuitive because it is—really wring your hair out after you step out of the shower to get to in a good, less sopping wet, place. “The best way to speed up your air dry is to reduce the amount of water on your hair,” says Leo. “Immediately after you shower, lightly twist and wring out your hair to reduce excess water. Brush carefully with a brush or wide toothed comb (I like a Wet Brush) and twist again,” he advises. Doing so will greatly reduce the water in your hair and make styling easier as your hair will already be detangled.
The way you dry can also have a major impact on your style. Streeter’s Artist, Holly Mills stresses that you have to be gentle to locks—this is super crucial because hair is more fragile when wet. “First thing out of the shower squeeze the excess moisture from your hair GENTLY with a towel. Shaking and roughing up hair with a towel can only promote frizz and since were not using heat, gently squeezing is our first step towards great natural hair,” she stresses.
Turban Towel It
Everyone has their own prescription to speed up air drying—Streeter’s Artist, Tina Outen keeps hers under wraps with a turban towel. A small size towel that you can tightly secure works best; if it’s tighter it will be able to remove more water right from the start. Leave this on for at least 10 minutes. “When you unravel it, tightly squeeze the towel and try to remove more water-only squeeze—do not rub,” she cautions.
Leo tells us to invest in a microfiber towel, which can be a life-saver if you routinely air-dry. “Once out of the shower, use a microfiber towel to absorb what’s left. Microfiber is great because it’s super absorbent and doesn’t damage or frizz hair,” he explains.
Let it Loose
As tempting as it may be to leave hair covered, you have to let it loose in order to allow it to dry fully. “A trick to faster drying is not to put the hair up or cover it with a coat or hat. It’s important to give your hair space for the water to evaporate. Think of when you put your hair into a pony tail and it stays wet all day… this is because the moisture in your hair has no where to go. So leave hair down and loose until it’s fully dry,” says Holly.
Tina agrees, reminding us to keep our hands off during the drying process. “The point of air dry is to help your natural movement curl texture be encouraged,” she says. “As soon as you start rubbing you’ll make a mess. What you’re looking for is smooth solid strands that will separate as they dry, not lots of little fluffy bits that just get messier.” To make the most of our natural texture, we need to not only keep our hands—but our brushes—off. Brush hair before washing in order to distribute the natural oils through from the roots to the ends, to help improve both the texture and condition.
Pick Your Products
Since you’re not relying on any hot tools to give you a sleek, smooth finish, you want to choose your products wisely, and go for those that work well on hair that’s specifically air-dried. “Finish with products meant for air drying that will give you a great, easy style,” says Leo. “I like to use IGK BEACH CLUB Volumizing Texture Spray, $29 for beachy waves with body. Spray all over damp (or dry) hair and scrunch in. For more defined waves, you can also twist small sections of the hair, spray Beach Club on each section, and release,” he says. Leo also swears by IGK RICH KID Coconut Oil Air Dry Styler, $29. “I like apply it to my hands and finger comb through hair for tousled, undone texture. For shiny, frizz-free waves, you can also twist the hair, or put it into a braid and release (so it gets the wave pattern) and let your hair air dry,” he says.
Tina reaches for Bumble and Bumble’s Don’t Blow It, $31, which is designed to be applied on hair that’s dried on its own. “It adds a little moisture and control that helps to define the movement in your hair—use sparingly and add more if you feel too fluffy when it dries, it’s also great for defining ends to give a piece-y feeling.”
Ultimately, it may be hard, but again, try not to touch; let your hair do its thing as it dries. “The less you, do the better,” says Tina. “Just let the towel do most of the work. If you can’t wrap a turban well you can buy them pre-made with a Velcro snap to secure it,” she shares.