How to Dry Curly Hair – 3 Methods For Fabulous Hair

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Thankfully, the curly hair trend is growing, so, for those with curly hair, we’re paying farewell to heat styling tools and hair damage. However, drying curly hair without styling tools can be tricky, especially since this hair type is prone to frizz.

But don’t worry; if you’re struggling with drying your curly hair, we’ve got you covered. Continue reading to learn how to successfully dry your hair and flaunt that curly look.

Short Answer

The best way to dry curly hair is to air dry it. But since the process may result in a lot of frizz, you’ll need to follow these steps:

  • Wash your hair with a sulfate-free shampoo
  • Use a silicone-free conditioner
  • Use styling products
  • Use a microfiber towel/t-shirt
  • Clip your roots

If your hair takes too long to air dry, you can diffuse it or use a hooded dryer.

How to Air Dry Your Curly Hair

Air drying your hair means that you’ll ditch the blow dryer and let your hair dry on its own, resulting in natural curls that you’d enjoy! However, to get the best out of the process, here are some tips to follow.

Use a Sulfate-Free Shampoo

Sulfate-free shampoo
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To avoid getting dry hair after shampooing, use a sulfate-free shampoo that doesn’t strip your hair cuticle of its natural oils. Thanks to the abundance of moisturizing ingredients in its formula, it reduces frizzy hair and enhances your curls.

Use a Silicone-Free Conditioner

After shampooing, use a silicone-free conditioner or one that contains water-soluble silicones. The best way to apply conditioner is to massage it into your hair from root to tip and let it on for five minutes. Rinse your hair with lukewarm water after that. For a better result, detangle your hair using your fingers during the shower.

Use Styling Products

Styling products and leave-in conditioners
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When air drying your curly hair, this is one of the most important steps. But first, apply a leave-in conditioner to your soaking wet hair to smooth it out. Then, use a curl-enhancing product to encourage curl formation and definition.

To get the maximum definition, apply the right amount of styling product and scrunch your hair by cupping your hands and squeezing the hair upwards. Since these products are better absorbed on wet curls, we recommend using them right after getting out of the shower and before towel-drying.

You can also apply styling products by dividing your hair into small sections, then coating every section with the product and combing it using a wide-toothed comb. If you want to avoid breakage and split ends, minimize brushing your hair and always resort to combingOpens in a new tab..

Use a Microfiber Towel

A microfiber towel
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When it comes to air drying, normal towels can be rough on the hair and result in more frizz. On the other hand, microfiber towels are gentle and give you frizz-free and smooth hair. In addition, they absorb more water and decrease the drying time. They also help retain your hair’s natural texture without making it look stiff and lifeless.

Similar to microfiber towels, you can use normal t-shirts since they do the same job.

Clip the Roots

Clipping roots
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To create volume at the roots, try to clip them while they air dry. Lean to the side and section your hair, then clip each section’s roots so that they stand away from the scalp. To create more volume, use more hair sections and clips.

Diffusing Your Curly Hair

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Instead of using a blow dryer that focuses high heat on your hair, try diffusing it. While blow drying breaks the curl pattern and increases the frizz, diffusing curly hair distributes the heat and lets it dry in a way that minimizes frizz and heat damage. It also allows your curl pattern to come to life, giving you shiny and bouncy curls.

A diffuser has a cold setting as well as low, medium, and high heat settings. Here’s how you can effectively diffuse curly hair:

  • After washing and styling as instructed above, let your curls partially dry
  • Section your hair then flip your head upside down
  • Put your hair in the diffuser bowl and scrunch it upwards, and give the diffuser some time to dry your hair
  • Start at your dry ends with low heat, then increase the heat as you go up your damp hair. Finish off with cool air at the roots.

Use a Hooded Dryer

Hood dryer
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If you’re still unsure about air drying with zero heat, a hooded dryer can come in handy. While it uses heat to dry hair, it still doesn’t cause damage as much as a blow dryer. It also creates great volume and prevents hair from tangling.

Drying Your Curly Hair Overnight

To create different curl patterns, set your hair in a particular shape and let it dry overnight. Here are some examples for different looks:

  • To create waves, you can put your hair in a braid and sleep
  • For bouncy curls, twist your hair and fix it with bobby pins
  • For relaxed curls, put your hair in a bun

We also suggest sleeping on a satin pillowcase as it reduces frizz and tangles.

The Bottom Line

To recap, drying curly hair can be a bit of a hassle, but it’s definitely worth it. Using some tips, you can hack the air drying process and get natural, shiny, and soft curls.

Start by using a sulfate-free shampoo and a silicone-free conditioner, and then apply a styling product that tames frizz and defines your curls. Remember that it’s best to add products to wet hair. And use a microfiber towel instead of your ordinary one to remove excess water.

Paulina Romain

Paulina Romain is an entrepreneur and artist in the beauty industry. She is the founder and owner of The Art of Ink Studio, where she provides services such as permanent cosmetics, microblading, and artistic ink, focusing on personalized body art. Additionally, she owns Mill Pond Salon, through which she aims to deliver big-city salon services in the comfort of a small town. Apart from her hands-on work in her studios, Paulina Romain is also active on social media platforms like TikTok, where she showcases her fine line and cosmetic tattoo work. Furthermore, she's been in the salon and beauty industry for over 14 years and operates Team True Beauty with Sam Romain. This platform includes a blog on various beauty-related topics and marks the opening of two beauty brands by the couple.

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