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10 Expert-Approved Tricks for Air-Drying Every Hair Type

Ruby is a freelance beauty writer at STYLECASTER.

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Tricks for air-drying every hair type

StyleCaster
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Tricks for air-drying every hair type

Out of pure laziness, I’ve always been an air-dryer. Of course, when I’m lucky enough to get a blowout, I leave the salon looking like my best self, but even as a self-diagnosed beauty obsessive, I don’t have the skill (or patience) to recreate a sleek, polished look while I’m rushing to get ready for work.

Alas, post-shower, I let my hair do its thing, which, depending on the day, usually results in some sort of a wavy mess. But since I’ll more or less stick to my lazy-girl ways for life, I refuse to believe air-drying has to equate less good-looking hair, which is why I chatted with celebrity hair expert Kristin Ess to learn expert-approved tricks for naturally drying every hair type.

More: 7 Best New Sephora Arrivals to Shop This Month

“It goes without saying that, obviously, the less heat styling the better,” says Ess, who regularly transforms the heads of Lucy Hale and Jenna Dewan Tatum. “Air-drying allows the hair to lay a little smoother over time, and essentially, minimizes damage. But we’re also moving into this world where air-dryer textures are cool — they don’t look so forced or pattern-y, just more of a natural, cool-girl look.”

Ahead, Ess reveals 10 tricks for drying wavy, curly, straight and thin hair types — all of which are incredibly easy, super-quick and lazy-girl approved.

 

Originally posted on StyleCaster.

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If you have wavy hair…

ImaxTree
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If you have wavy hair…

Ess’ key takeaway with wavy hair comes down to product timing. “Let the wave pattern come out to 75 percent dry, and then apply a lightweight product.” Ess explains that even if a product says it's weightless, there’s still going to be added weight. Once hair is nearly dry, apply an air-dry cream, like Ess’ Beach Wave Spray. “You want to break it up and make it look beachy,” she says.


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If you have wavy hair…

ImaxTree
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If you have wavy hair…

“Since wavy hair types are often weighty, I also recommend air-drying partially with a bun at the top of your head,” Ess explains. “This way, you’re redirecting the root to create more of a voluminous look.” Once hair is about 90 percent dry, remove the bun and let the wave pattern continue to form on its own.

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If you have curly hair…

ImaxTree
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If you have curly hair…

One of Ess’ favorite strategies for air-drying curly hair is the T-shirt method. “The T-shirt method creates significantly less frizz than a towel does,” she says.

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If you have curly hair…

ImaxTree
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If you have curly hair…

As a general rule of thumb, Ess suggests leaving curly hair alone. “You want to gently coil and twist out your curls to lock the pieces together,” she explains, “but it depends on the type of curl. Tighter curls want to go up, and looser curls want to go down,” Ess says. “You can encourage it in whatever direction you want, but you want to do less, touch it less, and allow the pattern to form."

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If you have curly hair…

ImaxTree
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If you have curly hair…

“Once the pattern has developed, you can play with it after. But overall, touching curly hair less is always better than more. You’re basically asking for frizz the more you touch it and break it up," says Ess.

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If you have straight hair…

ImaxTree
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If you have straight hair…

“If you’re going to embrace the air dry with straight hair, you have to commit to a flatter, straighter, shinier style, which I think is such a look right now,” says Ess. “When you’re air-drying straight hair, you’re just not going to get major volume.”

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If you have straight hair…

ImaxTree
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If you have straight hair…

“For my clients who have straight hair but don’t want to leave the salon with a full blowout, I rough dry to 60 percent and put a very lightweight style cream in it. Then I wrap it into a bun, pin it with a hairpin and let it air dry,” she explains. “When it feels dry, you remove the pin and it just creates this subtle wave. It gives it a little something, so it’s not just straight and flat.”

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If you have thin hair…

ImaxTree
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If you have thin hair…

Like Ess’ technique for straight hair, people with thin hair should gravitate toward air-drying in a bun. “Air-drying it in a bun will give it a little wave,” she says. But don’t worry, you don’t necessarily need to walk around looking like Princess Leia. “You can just throw one bun back there, play it down a little bit and make it look normal,” she laughs. To ensure you’re getting maximum volume, don’t remove the bun until it’s completely dry.

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If you have thin hair…

ImaxTree
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If you have thin hair…

“Sometimes straight, fine hair just needs a little boost,” Ess explains, “so even rough-drying at the roots and flipping your head over really quick will give it more volume.”

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