Girls with curly hair know one thing: your ringlets – big or small – require special care compared to your straight-haired friends.

And while you have likely become intimately familiar with your blow dryer, it’s likely that sometimes you just want to let your hair air dry.

Air drying your curls is a good way to preserve their shape and moisture. However, it can be tricky if you’re not sure how to do it properly.

Fortunately, there are several things you can do that will help keep your curly hair from becoming frizzy or too poofy when air drying. And in this article, we will tell you what those are.

What is air-drying?

What is air-drying? hair health

Air-drying is exactly what it sounds like – allowing wet hair to dry without using any kind of heat.

This can be a good option if you’re trying to minimize heat damage, or if you’re in a hurry and don’t have time to blow dry your hair.

It’s also a good idea to air-dry your hair if it’s already dry and you just want to refresh your curls. Spritzing a little bit of water, texturizing spray, or even a salt spray just to add volume to your hair before a night out are all options to semi-styling your hair before letting it air dry.

Why is air-drying good for curly hair?

There are a few reasons why air-drying is good for curly hair, but all of them are heat-related. You probably already know this, but the natural texture of curly hair is drier than straight hair. By that logic, curly hair is more susceptible to heat damage than straight hair. This is especially true for super curly hair types, from 3B to 4C hair.

This is especially important if your hair is dry or damaged, as heat can further dry out your strands and even cause them to break.

Another reason why air-drying is good for curly hair is that it can help preserve your curl pattern.

If you have to use heat to style your hair, it can sometimes cause your curls to lose their shape. But if you air-dry, your curls will retain their natural shape and pattern.

Tips for air drying curly hair

Start with clean hair

Start with clean hair

If you want your hair to air dry nicely, it’s important to start with clean hair. Curly hair can be prone to build-up, which can weigh down your strands and make them look greasy.

Starting with clean, product-free hair will help your curls air dry better. We recommend using a clarifying shampoo once a week to remove any build-up from your hair.

Use a leave-in conditioner

Use a leave-in conditionerl

Leave-in conditioner is a product that you apply to your hair after showering, and it helps to add moisture and detangle your strands.

It’s especially important to use a leave-in conditioner if you have curly hair, as it can help to tame frizz and keep your strands hydrated.

It’s best to apply a leave-in conditioner to your curls after you get out of the shower, while your hair is still damp.

Apply it evenly from root to tip, and then use a wide-tooth comb or your fingers to detangle your hair.

Use a diffuser

A diffuser is a blow dryer attachment thatĀ helps to distribute the heat more evenly throughout your hair.

This can be helpful if you’re trying to air dry your hair, as it will help to minimize frizz and keep your strands from looking too poofy.

There are many different types of diffusers available, but generally you want to pick one based on size. Be sure to get one that is large enough to handle your volume of hair.

In general, though, it’s a good idea to keep the diffuser as far away from your scalp as possible to avoid making your hair appear even more poofy or frizzy (unless that’s the look you’re going for). The best way to use one is to turn your head upside down and let your hair fall into it from above.

Slightly towel dry your hair with a microfiber towel

Using a microfiber towel before letting your hair air dry is a neat little hack you can do to reduce drying time by quite a bit.

It also helps to prevent frizz and make your curls look more defined.

Microfiber towels are designed to be gentle on hair, so they won’t cause friction that can lead to frizz or breakage.

Using one is also pretty easy.

Assuming you’re starting with soaking wet hair, just wrap it up in the towel and squeeze out any extra moisture. Microfiber towels are extremely absorbent. Get yourself a big one and you’ll wonder why you didn’t do it sooner!

Use the blow dryer on cold

Use the blow dryer on cold

If you have to use the blow dryer, make sure to keep it on the cold setting. But before you do this, be sure to remove any excess water from your hair.

The heat from the blow dryer can cause damage to your hair, so it’s best to avoid using it if possible. One workaround to this would be to use a heat protectant. And this could be a good option for you, assuming you don’t mind the extra step (and cost) of applying hair products to your hair.

But then again, this is an article on air drying. Not blow drying!

Apply a curl cream

Once your hair is about 80% dry, you can apply a styling product like a curl cream.

This will help to enhance your natural curl pattern, get rid of major frizz, and give your curls more definition.

Be sure to rub your hands together after putting a dab on your palm. This will ensure that you spread an even amount of it on your hair and avoid “hot spots.”

Apply the product evenly from root to tip, and then use your fingers or a wide-tooth comb to distribute it through your hair.

Avoid heat damage

Avoid heat damage

Finally, be sure to avoid heat damage. As we mentioned earlier, this is especially important for super curly hair, aka coily hair. Chances are if this is your hair type, you already know.

This can be done by limiting the amount of time your hair is exposed to heat from things like blow dryers, curling irons or flat irons.

If you do need to use heat on your hair, make sure to apply a thermal protection product first. This will minimize the amount of damage that is done.

Also, be sure to use the lowest heat setting possible.

And always remember to give your hair a break from heat styling every once in awhile!

Wrap your hair in a terry cloth towel

Wrap your hair in a terry cloth towel

If you don’t have (or don’t like using) a microfiber towel, then you can use a terry cloth towel instead. Just be sure to wrap your hair in this before you start the air-drying process.

The compression of the towel on your hair might affect the amount of volume your hair has throughout the day, so be sure not to leave it on too long if possible.

Just leave it on there long enough to absorb all of the excess moisture, and then unwrap your hair when the level of wetness is bearable for you.

Final Thoughts

Air drying is a great way to enhance your natural curls without damaging your hair.

With the right tools and techniques, you can make this process quick and easy, so that you can spend less time in front of the blow dryer and more time out enjoying yourself.

And if all else fails, just embrace the full on poofiness!

What are your best tips and tricks for air drying curly hair? Let us know in the comments below!

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