How to Let Your Hair Air Dry

by Julia Michelle ; Updated July 18, 2017

It's healthier and less damaging to let your hair air dry than to use a hair dryer, especially if your hair is prone to dryness. Air drying also prevents the static and fly-away hair common in the dry winter months. Thick or curly hair may take longer to air dry, or may tangle without the addition of heat. Even those with straight or thin hair may need to take special precautions to ensure proper air drying.

Thin or Straight Hair

Wrap your hair in a towel to absorb excess moisture. Gently pat or squeeze the towel. Avoid rubbing, which may raise the hair cuticle and cause split ends.

Comb through your hair with a wide-toothed comb. Spray a detangling agent, if necessary, and work from the ends to the roots to remove any tangles. Then comb through from the roots to the ends.

Apply an anti-frizz serum if your hair is prone to frizz. Apply styling or setting products at this time, as well.

Pull straight or thin hair back in a headband and let your hair hang down in back. Allow your hair to dry naturally.

Thick or Curly Hair

Follow steps 1 through 3 in Section 1.

Part your hair into four sections -- down the center and from ear to ear -- and braid or twist each section. Use rubber bands to secure the ends, if necessary.

Pull your hair back in a headband and let your hair hang down and dry naturally.

Remove the twists when your hair is dry. Shake your head to let your waves fall in place.

Short Hair

Follow steps 1 through 3 in Section 1.

Comb or brush your hair into place and wrap your head in a scarf.

Let your hair dry naturally, remove the scarf and fluff your hair with your fingers.


  • You can also set your hair with curlers and let it air dry.

    If you have curly hair, pull your loose hair back in a headband instead of twists and let it air dry. However, curly hair tends to draw up as it dries and may become tangled or frizzy.

    Cover your head with a silk scarf if you intend to let your hair dry overnight.


  • Hairfinder: Let’s Talk About Dry Hair
  • Thank God I’m Natural: The Ultimate Guide to Caring for and Maintaining Natural Hair; Chris-Tia E. Donaldson
  • Textured Tresses: The Ultimate Guide to Maintaining and Styling Natural Hair; Diane DaCosta

Photo Credits

  • Shelby Gordon/Demand Media

About the Author

Julia Michelle has been writing professionally since January 2009. Her specialties include massage therapy, computer tech support, land and aquatic personal training, aquatic group fitness and Reiki. She has an Associate in Applied Science from Cincinnati State Technical and Community College in integrative medical massage therapy.