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7 Ways to Air-Dry Your Hair So It Still Looks Awesome

Put down the blow dryer. These stylist-approved techniques and products will have you air-drying like a pro—whether your locks are coarse, thick, fine, curly, wavy, or straight.

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If you have coarse hair:

The key to air-drying coarse hair is to use the right products. “If your hair is coarse, you need a product that will hydrate and soften the hair,” says Lauren Thompson, stylist at Nunzio Saviano Salon. “I love Moroccanoil Hydrating Styling Cream. It’s heavy enough to hydrate and control hair without making it look greasy.” Lorean Cairns, Fox & Jane cofounder and creative director, suggests applying a smoothing cream to damp hair. Try: Matrix Biolage Cleansing Conditioner For Coarse Hair. Avoid touching or brushing hair too much until it dries completely, which can cause frizz.

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If you have fine hair:

Looking to add body to limp locks? “When it comes to air drying fine hair, remember that less is more,” says Cairns. Apply a thin layer of a texture product, such as R+Co Dallas Thickening Spray. Then either wrap hair into two small buns (using scrunchies) to create waves, or allow it to dry au natural. These are the style rules for people with fine and thin hair.

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If you have curly hair:

The secret to frizz-free curls (sans blow drying): Fight the temptation to touch. “Keep in mind that the more you touch it, the frizzier it gets,” explains Nunzio Saviano, hairstylist and founder of the Nunzio Saviano Salon. Comb hair once through right after conditioning. Remove as much moisture as possible by gently towel drying or blotting with a soft towel. Depending on your hair texture, you may want to use a leave-in conditioner before styling to retain moisture. Next, apply your preferred curl-enhancing products. “As a girl with thick curly hair, I can speak from experience and say that the Moroccanoil products are fantastic for curly hair,” says Thompson. “They have products that work with different textures. The Curl Control Mousse is great for fine, curly hair that needs more volume. The Curl Defining Cream is ideal for curly hair that’s in-between fine and coarse. The Intense Curl Cream is awesome for the thick, coarse, curly haired girls.” Allow curls to dry completely. “Then shake them to ‘fluff,’ to give your curls bounce while eliminating frizz,” says Cairns. These styling tips for curly strands might change your life.

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If you have wavy hair:

Want to wake up with vacation-ready beachy waves? Saviano suggests sleeping with hair in braids. Start by towel-drying wet strands. Next, work Bumble and Bumble Don’t Blow It into damp hair. Spritz in a salt spray, like Captain Blankenship Mermaid Sea Salt Hair Spray, then braid hair into two plaits and allow it to dry overnight (a silk pillowcase will help keep the braids intact). This prevents hair from puffing up as it dries and leaves strands looking perfectly beachy when you wake up. This is the one product you need for perfect beach waves.

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If you have frizzy hair:

When hair is frizzy it tends to be dry, so you need to think about the type of conditioner you are using. It’s important to use a moisture-based product to eliminate frizz. “The Kerastase Discipline line is made to control and eliminate frizz. And there are numerous products, based on your hair type,” says Thompson. She also recommends Cezanne Classic Keratin Smoothing Treatment (she uses it on her own hair). “It’s a formaldehyde-free smoothing treatment that takes out the frizz but does not take away the curl or volume.”

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If you have straight hair:

If you have straight hair, you may be used to air drying, but you can still amp up the style. “A great way to add volume to naturally straight strands is to apply a volumizing mist or mousse to damp hair,” says Cairns. Try Bumble and Bumble Surf Foam Spray. Next, twist damp strands into a loose bun at the top of your head. Secure with a few bobby pins. Allow hair to dry completely, and when you take it down, your tresses will have body. Finish with texture spray, like Oribe Dry Texture Spray for extra movement.

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If you have thick hair:

“Different types of thick hair—coarse and curly, coarse and straight, fine and curly (just a lot of it) or thick and straight—can be very different,” explains Thompson. “The amount of hair isn’t the concern. You need to use a product that works for the texture of the hair, and you may need to use a bit more product.”

Lindsay Cohn
Lindsay is an avid traveler who has visited 45 countries across six continents. At, she covers both domestic and international travel. When she's not writing, you can find her doing yoga and adding to her ever-growing list of future adventures.