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The Benefits of Air Drying Thick Natural Hair

Avatar • Sep 23, 2014

natural hair air drying

A central piece of advice that I’ve come across repeatedly for processed hair is the value of air drying hair versus using heat. Specifically, some women choose to air dry their loose hair, meaning they don’t use braids or twists, so that they can achieve without the texture of twists or braids.

Benefits to Air Drying Loose Natural Hair

I’ll be honest, the first time I heard about air drying loose hair, I wrote it off as a technique solely for those with relaxed hair. I thought my hair would turn into a tangled bird’s nest. However, I realized with a little modification, there were some benefits to air drying natural hair. One of the key arguments against air drying natural hair is that it facilitates knots and tangles. Without the aid of styling products, typically used in wash and go hairstyles, hair will become matted. Now, I would never advocate air drying loose, fresh out the shower hair with no product. However, there are ways to air dry loose natural hair, as well as some styling advantages to this method.

To successfully air dry my loose hair, I create four large pony tails and simply apply my favorite moisturizer to each pony tail. If attempting this technique yourself, you can choose to use an elastic band at the very end of the hair. Sectioning the and creating the pony tails should take no longer than 10 minutes IF you detangled your hair prior to washing. As a helpful tip I strongly recommend detangling before washing if your hair meshes during the wash process. I find that air drying this way allows the length of my hair to dry fairly quickly which is great if I later want to create a fluffy large bun, or even a braid out. Typically, braid outs on my wet hair are usually pretty shrunken. However, once the hair has dried a bit my braid outs appear fuller and stretched.

Word of Advice

If you’re skeptical about the benefits of drying your hair this way, I recommend doing a test trial. Section and braid/twist your hair as usual, but leave one section in the back of your hair to air dry in the way described. If you find that your hair tangles or that it simply isn’t worth the effort then you’ll only have one section to restyle. However, I think you’ll find that this technique will help those of you with thick hair to dry your hair much more quickly, while prepping your hair for stretched full styles.

Have you ever air dried your hair? What was your experience? 

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Darlyn
Darlyn
6 years ago

I’ve been airdrying my hair for a year now. I don’t plan on ever purchasing a hair dryer. The only time that I will get my hair blow dried is at the salon (if I need my hair blown out prior to trimming).

Maria
6 years ago

I’ve been air drying ever since I BC and am loving it,my mum has natural hair so whenever I wash her hair I let it air dry and she is happy about it thus far.

K
K
6 years ago

I’ve been air drying my hair for about 9 months and it hasn’t been that great. Since air drying I’ve notice A LOT more single strand knots as well as split ends. Air drying has totally messed up my hair. Soon I’ll be getting it cut and protective styling to help grow it back. But, at least I learned that my hair thrives better with heat instead of air drying.

Robin
Robin
6 years ago

I didn’t realize air-drying loose natural hair was unusual. That’s primarily how I’ve dried my wash & gos for 10 years. After washing and conditioning, I apply my leave-in and sealant, and then I dry my coils completely loose — no ponytails or other kinds of sectioning. The only times I use a blow dryer (with a diffuser) are when I absolutely need dry hair ASAP. That doesn’t happen often. I don’t dry my hair in braids or twists unless I plan to do a braid/twistout, or I’m trying to stretch slightly wet hair to show more length. These things… Read more »

liz
liz
6 years ago

I definitely almost always air dry this way now. I used to always do two strand twists, but that was back when I wanted my hair to be more stretched. I usually apply a leave-in, oil, and a light flax seed gel on the very top, and then let it dry. If I need to go to bed, I do a large bun on the top of semi-dry hair and sleep on satin pillowcase. It usually works out fine, and I’ve found the longer my hair is, the more I appreciate my curl pattern and realize it is how it… Read more »

Jacky
Jacky
6 years ago

I air dry my hair 99.9% of the time. I dislike heat tools and use them sparingly on my hair. Sometimes, I blow dry my natural hair on the cool setting too. I recently ordered a soft bonnet blow-dryer attachment because the cool setting of my blow-dryer has the lowest speed and I’m hoping that the bonnet will make my drying process faster and more comfortable( no more arm aches from holding the blow-dryer up for long periods of time ) while using the cool setting. But I rarely air-dry my “loose natural hair” because my hair would shrink up… Read more »

Caramelcurls
Caramelcurls
6 years ago

I wish I could airdry my hair, but it takes entirely too long to dry that way! After I wash and condition it, I apply my styler and leave-in conditioner and twist it and sit under a hooded hair dryer for about 45 minutes, and by the time I wake up the next morning it’s completely dry and moisturized. I can live without a blow dryer, but my hooded dryer is an absolute necessity!

Brookie
Brookie
6 years ago

I’ve been air drying ever since i was a baby…they only time i don’t air dry is when i visit the salon…i don’t have anything bad to say about air dying except that your hair will get big if you don’t use product

Honeybrown1976
Honeybrown1976
6 years ago

I air dry my hair 99.9% of the time. When I flat iron my hair, once a year, then and only then, do I blow dry.

JazzWife
6 years ago

I don’t own a hair dryer so I always air dry. I have no other choice and that’ just the way I like it.

f2usacib
f2usacib
6 years ago

I sometimes dry my hair in the same manner as the author. It does dry quicker than twisting but the ends would be dry, brittle, and knotted. I cut my hair 3 weeks ago so since the short cut I’ve been doing wng a lot. Before the cut, if i air dryed completely lose, it would be a matted mess. Since the cut, I have air dryed loose w/no sectioning and it dried soft with very minimal matting or meshing.

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[…] I don’t really have a hair drying method. When the weather is warm, my personal preference is to air dry my hair, and if I’m in a hurry I reach for a hair towel to gently absorb the moisture. When the weather […]

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