4 Cool Air-Dried Styles to Give Your Overworked Hair a Break
From experience, I've learned how damaging heat-styling can be for my precious strands. I spent months trying to fix my weak, over-processed hair. Since then, I've vowed to give air-drying a fair shot. No longer will I wake up each morning to a blowdryer and curling iron, but, rather, to a more simple wash-and-go styling session. But, it's not that simple. Everyone has different hair texture to contend with and various styling products that work best for them.
So, what to do? I reached out to a few top-notch celebrity hairstylists to guide my in my air-drying journey. Each one called out different textures and the styles and products that yield the best results. Keep reading and you're already on your way to healthier (and easier!) hair.
Short, wavy bob
"Think Faye Dunaway in Chinatown, Garren, R+Co co-founder and celebrity hairstylist," says. "Start by shampooing with Analog Cleansing Foam Conditioner ($29) to control the curl. Add Twister Curl Primer ($25) throughout, from your roots to your ends to prep the hair and eliminate frizz. Mix it up with your hands and move it through your hair, then, take a wide tooth comb and create a side part. Comb through the hair and let it sit until it's completely dry. Then, use a large tooth comb to comb through your hair again to get fluidity and softness. At that point, if you want more volume (depending on your natural texture), add a shine and texture spray throughout your hair once it’s totally dry.
Soft Beach Waves
"If you have shoulder or collarbone-length hair, you're going to love this one," Garren mused. "Shampoo with R+Co's Atlantis Moisturizing Shampoo ($28) and Conditioner ($28) if your hair is thick, or Dallas Thickening Shampoo ($24) and Conditioner ($25) for fine, thinner hair. Spray in some wave spray throughout, and, using a large-tooth comb, create either a severe center part or low side part. Tuck the hair behind your ears and let it dry completely, scrunching hair with your hands to get volume. For more shine and texture—after your hair is fully dry—flip your head over and loosely spray a texturizing spray for more volume and separation.
Wash and Go Curls
For natural curly texture, you'll need to wash it much less, Lupita Nyong'o's long-time hairstylist, Vernon François, explains. When you do cleanse, "Use Pure-Fro Shampoo ($30) and Conditioner ($33). Once you're out of the shower, apply Aveda's Brilliant Anti-Humectant Pomade ($25). "Leave it to dry naturally, François recommends, "and then do a quick, cool blast with your hairdryer to maximize volume and your natural curl pattern." If you're unsure about your personal curl pattern, François created a visual guide to help choose the best products for your hair.
Long and Sleek
For long, sleek hair, Garren says, "start with Oblivion Clarifying Shampoo ($24) and Oblivion Restorative Gel Conditioner ($25). Apply a strong-hold gel from your roots to the nape area, but leave the ends alone. Then, spritz a shine spray on your ends ends while your hair is still wet. Comb your hair quickly, creating either a center part or a side part, and tightly behind your ears—following the shape of your head so that it’s really sleek. Then, let your hair dry loosely. You have the option of low ponytail or messy bun, or even leaving it loose so that it floats over your shoulders. Tip: Secure your hair behind your ears with a duck clip while it’s drying so that it doesn’t move all over the place. Don't touch the crisp hair, only the ends. The whole trick is that the hair is gelled and you’re mixing two textures—soft ends and sleek roots.
For more tips and tricks, see our official guide to air-drying your hair (and how to get it right every time).