How to swap your blow dry for air dry this summer by a top hair stylist

-Jun 8, Jenny Paul , Beauty -

Most of us have become comfortable with a more relaxed hairstyle over the past couple of months, so why not do away with blow dried hair until summer’s over?  We turned to TWO top hairdressers to find out how to air dry your hair and look fantastic. 

Outside the temperature is rising which means inside the idea of blow drying your hair every morning is less than refreshing. But there’s maybe another way to tame your tresses and look cool while staying cool.

With the right products and techniques our experts reckon that all of us could rock airdried hair without looking flat or straggly.

How prep hair to air dry successfully

Towelling is often the downfall of great hair.  It’s not about roughing your hair up to get the moisture out quickly, it is the opposite, making sure that you get as much of the moisture out with your towel as possible, but not too aggressively as towel drying promotes frizz.

Swapping in a microfibre towel for your old terry one is a start, since the tiny fabric particles are far gentler on the hair cuticle than cotton is. 

Use it to dab and gently squeeze your locks until you’re no longer dripping. “Use the towel to blot and squeeze the hair dry and never rub the hair harshly with the towel, as this will cause breakage,” recommends Carly Prince, partner for Muse of London.

When to comb air dried hair

Obviously no one wants a knotty mess, but combing at the wrong time can wreck your carefree airdried look: “When leaving your hair to dry naturally, the most important thing to do to avoid frizz is to not brush your hair,” explains Carly. “Running a hairbrush through wet hair when it’s starting to dry can disrupt the placement of the hair, as well as the structure, allowing hair to become frizzy. Instead, try to use a wide toothcomb or your fingers to work through your hair to keep the hair free from unwanted frizz.”

In fact you need to flip your usual routine:  “I always advise brushing your hair prior to going into the shower, as hair is weakest when it’s wet and more prone to tangling,” Carly goes on. “It’s also a good idea to comb your hair with a wide toothcomb after you have put your conditioner in, as this will be less harsh on the hair than brushing it when you’re out the shower, as the comb will easily glide through the hair, reducing breakage.”

When to add products to air drying hair

Knowing when to add your product can make all the difference when airdrying your hair “It’s important to apply products at the right time in order for them to work their best,” Carly says.

“I always advise that you leave your hair to dry as much as possible before applying any styling products and not when it’s soaking wet to avoid the product being lost in the drying process.”

You will also need to use different products as some blow dry sprays and balms will weigh your hair down or prove sticky.

Salt spays will give you volume without weights and oil will nourish your hair so even with the UV damage from the sun and heat during the day, your locks will still be luscious.

“Air drying your hair is a great way to reduce heat damage and give your hair a chance to repair itself, especially after a treatment mask,” says Simon Hill, owner of Sesh Hairdressing. “Applying a nourishing oil through the ends of your hair works really well and provides another layer of nourishment.”

How to avoid frizzy air dried hair

Nourishing your hair is key for avoiding frizz and getting definition. Work a leave-in conditioner or styling cream into damp hair and make sure all of your hair is evenly coated.

It’s easy to concentrate your efforts only on the top or front of your head, the bits you can see. But an even and ample distribution of product is what you need for all over great results. A smoothing cream, like Therapi Smoothing Cream, which has an oil in it is also fab for taming frizz.

You should also avoid playing with your hair too much as this can also lead to frizz.

Twisting sections of hair when damp and leaving them to ‘set’ will give you lovely waves which can be shaken out when the hair is dry. Use a shine spray to lift your do and give the reflection effect which is usually found after blowdrying.

How to get volume in air dried hair 

To get instant, dramatic volume, when hair is wet, flip your part to the opposite side. A deep parting will create instant volume and is super easy to do using a comb, drawing a line from the eyebrow to the centre of the crown,” says Carly.  Scrunching the hair up after adding a salt spray will help give a fuller look and make the most of any natural wave.

How to dry your hair overnight – the ultimate time saver!

We all feel sticky at the end of the day so a shower and hair-wash is a great treat before bed – especially when you can literally get a fabulous hairstyle just by sleeping!

Oh yes, cut the hot drying and also cut your styling time too, if that’s not winning then what is? “Another great way to get instant volume is by sleeping with your wet hair in buns,” recommends Carly. “Space buns or a topknot work particularly well for this.

Sleeping with wet hair in buns lifts strands from the scalp and will make your hair appear more volumized when you take it out in the morning.”

Hairdresser extraordinaire Dean Jones says you can also get fab waves while you sleep too. “To create beachy waves without drying or styling your hair the easiest way to do this is to tie your hair back into loose braids and allow to dry. When you untie your hair there will be a natural wave throughout, add some salt spray and use your fingers to tease the hair and add some more volume for the finished look.”

Looking great doesn’t have to be hot, hard work this summer!


Did you love this? Here’s the beauty products you should be storing in your fridge this summer. And, here’s are you wondering how to go zero-waste with your beauty routine? – here’s how to make a start. 

Healthy Beauty 24|7

Sign up to our weekly newsletter