The Best Way To Air-Dry Your Hair, According To Your Texture

Photographed by Winnie Au.
We don’t have to convince you that air-drying your hair is the ideal summer styling method. Less hot air blowing in your face and more sleep in the morning seems like a win-win to us, right? But actually liking your results is a different story.
Air-dried hair, unless you're very lucky, is normally associated with frizz or flatness, tangles or flyaways — and certainly not the bouncy curls, smooth waves, and shiny strands many of us prefer. However, it doesn't have to be so hard to master, according to celebrity hairstylist Michael Dueñas.
Advertisement
The first step is to adequately condition — something that's important for all textures. "Frizz is your hair's way of trying to get more moisture," Dueñas says. Then, with the right products and the proper manipulation, a lackluster air-dried finish can be a thing of the past.
Dueñas shares his tips and tricks to a better air-dry, ahead.
1 of 6

A post shared by Nicki Minaj (@nickiminaj) on

Photo: Via @nickiminaj.
Fine & Straight Hair

First, apply your favorite smoothing, light-hold cream (Virtue Polish Unfrizz Cream is a good one). Brush your hair until it's smooth, getting rid of all tangles. For a little bit of wave and volume, Dueñas suggests you bring your hair to the top of your head and secure with a bun, twisting and wrapping your hair around itself. Once your hair is dry, take the bun down, and smooth your hair out with your fingers or a brush.

Or, for even more volume, add your favorite mousse, brushing it in from scalp to ends after you detangle, then create two large pin curls on the top of your head, making sure not to secure with any elastics (to avoid dents).

To Polish It Up Once Dry: Try smoothing any puffy sections using an iron with coated plates, like InStyler's Cerasilk Styling Iron.
2 of 6
Photo: Via @theashleygraham.
Thick & Wavy Hair

Use a highly hair towel or T-shirt to blot as much water out of the hair as possible. Once you remove as much moisture as possible, simply apply your favorite oil or smoothing cream. "I like to use oil because it tends to force the water out of the hair and helps it dry faster," Dueñas says. Let your hair dry halfway, then plop.

To Polish It Up Once Dry: A good leave-in conditioner (like Kopari Coconut Sheer Oil) will help fight dry out, so mist then finger comb.
3 of 6
Photo: Via @suzyhemelly75.
Curly Hair

Flip your head upside down while in the shower, then rake your favorite conditioner through your hair from root to tip, Dueñas says. Squeeze out the extra moisture by plopping, then style as desired in the morning. Or, if you're washing in the morning, apply a leave-in cream — like Bumble and Bumble’s Don’t Blow It — before putting your damp hair into a high bun for the day. (When you release the bun you'll have smooth curls — with less frizz.) Remember: the best way to fight frizz is to be as hands off as possible, hence the out-your-face updo.

To Polish It Up Once Dry: "If you desire a little more bit more volume in your curls, use a diffuser attachment and set your dryer to high heat, low airflow," he says. "Scrunch your hair towards the scalp, and apply heat for about two minutes." Dueñas, who's a Conair spokesperson, loves the brand's 3QMS dryer. Alternatively, you can smooth any puffy curls with an iron that matches your curl size.
Advertisement
4 of 6
Photo: Via @gabunion.
Textured/Natural Hair

Time for a twist-out! When your hair is damp, apply your favorite leave-in conditioner. Divide your hair into 1-inch sections, split that section in half and twist the two haves around each other. Tension will hold them together. Leave them twisted together until they're completely dry. For those with thick hair, it can take days — so try pinning those twists up into a bun or knots, or wrap them in a printed head wrap.

To Polish It Up Once Dry: Dry any twists that are still damp with the lowest setting on your blow dryer before letting them loose.
5 of 6

A post shared by Ruby Rose (@rubyrose) on

Photo: Via @rubyrose.
Short Hair

Add your favorite texture spray or medium-hold styling cream to your hair while damp. Comb the product through, then arrange your hair how you like it and allow it to air-dry completely without touching it. Once it is dry, flip your head upside down and shake your scalp to increase volume and texture.

To Polish It Up Once Dry: For a hit of texture, use the dryer for two to three minutes, shaking your hair as you wave the dryer back and forth.
6 of 6
Like this post? There's more. Get tons of beauty tips, tutorials, and news on the Refinery29 Beauty Facebook page. Like us on Facebook — we'll see you there!
Advertisement