How To Air Dry Hair: A Frizz- and Fuss-Free Guide

With the air in your hair — our guide to an effortless summer ‘do. No heat required.

This post comes from our blog intern, Natalie.

It’s about this time of year when the result of months of hot tools, careless brushing and tight hair-ties begins to show. Summer’s ample sunshine and carefree days by (and in) the pool means extra exposure to UV rays and chlorine, which can unfortunately accelerate hair damage. In the last month my hair has definitely felt the effects, with split ends and frizz pushing me to pull my hair out — or chop it off, at least. I’m a little too attached to my locks to partake in either of those options so, after my last trim, I made a vow to take better care of my hair. The first and most obvious thing to eliminate was my overuse of blow dryers, straighteners and curling irons. In other words, it was time I owned my natural waves, and perfected the art of effortless air dried hair.  

Working in an office full of stylish women, with an array of hair types, provided me with a wealth of information on the best ways to achieve beautiful hair, sans heat. After some personal trial and error, and a lot of valuable tips from others, I have pulled together an easy-to-follow guide on the most effective ways to air dry your hair. Whether you have curly, wavy or straight locks, let this be the summer you give your hot tools a break and embrace your hair’s authentic beauty.


Curly – The main goal when air drying curly hair is to manage frizz and define curls. Luckily, both of those are totally doable with just a few simple steps!

  • When you are fresh out of the shower, gently pat your hair down with a soft towel so that it is damp but not dripping. The best method is to flip your head over and, with the towel, scrunch your curls from the ends upwards. This creates natural volume and helps to maintain and make the curls more pronounced.
  • Coconut oil is your secret weapon for eliminating frizz and boosting shine. After towel drying, rub a quarter-sized amount between your fingertips and lightly apply it throughout your hair. The coconut oil will penetrate your locks to maintain moisture and get rid of all the flyaways.
  • Let mother nature’s cool breeze work its wonders, revealing your perfectly air dried curls. While I recommend doing this in the morning, if you shower in the evening, try getting a silk pillowcase to combat any frizz that can be created from a night of tossing and turning.


Wavy – Wavy hair can be difficult to  air dry — you never know exactly how it will turn out. One day it dries in soft curls framing your face, while the next it’s a hot mess of random waves and kinks that will have you reaching for the straightener. So in finding a perfect (heatless) routine, I was looking for one thing — consistency. Luckily, I found it in the following few steps:

  • After a shower, begin by squeezing out the excess water with a soft towel so that your hair is damp. Use a wide-tooth comb to smooth and detangle your strands. 
  • The most important step is to use a texturizing spray, as it helps your hair maintain the wave after it dries. I love using one with sea salt during the summer for an extra beachy look.
  • Split your hair into four equal sections and create loose braids beginning about halfway down your head. Sometimes I create fishtail braids rather than regular braids to give my hair a little more of a unique, piecey texture.
  • Let your hair dry almost fully but, when it is still slightly damp, take out the braids and allow it to dry completely. Avoid touching it too much throughout the day — this will create unnecessary frizz! 


Straight – While straight hair is quite predicable in the way it will dry, your main obstacle is creating natural volume that will hold throughout the day.

  • Begin by gently towel drying freshly washed hair so that is damp to the touch. Brush through any tangles or knots with a wide toothed comb or brush designated for wet hair. This will ensure that no breakage occurs, as your hair is more fragile when it is wet.
  • You may consider minimizing the products you use to avoid strands becoming weighed down or greasy. If volume is what you are looking, try a volumizing tea tree oil spray while your hair is still damp. If you are trying to reduce frizz and add some shine, rub a pea-sized amount of coconut oil between your fingertips and gently apply it to the outer layer of your hair, avoiding the roots.
  • Once your hair is completely dry, comb your finger through it, creating movement and body.

+ Do you have any tips that weren’t included? Please share in the comments!

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4 years ago

You nailed it! I have wavy hair and I use a curling iron everyday because I don’t know what I’m going to get, but it’s hard (and hot!) in the summer. I have been looking for a good texturizing spray – I will have to check that out!

Thanks for such a great post sharing here!

4 years ago

This is so helpful! I’ll definitely be applying these tips, thanks so much!

Nabeela :)

4 years ago

My hair are super frizzy. they look like messy springs when dry. These are very helpful tips for me.Thanks for sharing. Steaming helps me sometimes.

4 years ago

I use a old t shirt to wrap my hair in when it is wet. Much better then a towel. Also I use olive oil mixed with a good conditioner.

4 years ago

Phew, thanks for the tips for wavy hair! The author was so right on.. depending on weather (and probably a million other things) one day my hair dries in lovely, soft, spiral waves that look straight out of a magazine beach article, and the next day it’s frizzy and kinky and doesn’t know whether it wants to be straight, wavy, curly, or just a bird’s nest! I’m going to try that braid trick for sure.

4 years ago

I haven’t heard the coconut oil tip before – I know it’s THE product of the hour and can be used for anything from cooking to skin! But I haven’t yet tried it on my hair. Thanks for the tips! I’ll give it a go.

3 years ago

my hair was naturally asian straight since childhood . now when i air dry my hair it becomes to thick and wavy and ends up the same way .iy was never like that it always went flat and sticked on me i ts the opposite now .. so what is this actually due to air drying or my hair pattern has changed??
if i keep combing my hair while it is wet it does become a way better though…

3 years ago

Natural, plant-made hair care products for all types of hair. If frizz is an issue for you, we can help.