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?