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10 Styling Secrets for Winter Hair to Get You Out of the House Fast

It's strongly advised that you avoid air-drying your hair in the winter (unless of course you're going for icicle-chic). Instead, turbo-charge your morning styling session with these genius tweaks from hair gurus.

Styling-toolsAfrica Studio/Shutterstock

Use the pre-dry method

The secret to a fast morning coiff is doing a pre-dry. “Flip your head upside down and dry it about 85 to 90 percent of the way before you take a brush and smooth, or curl with an iron,” instructs Mark Garrison, owner and stylist at Mark Garrison Salon, who adds that it works on straight or wavy hair. Check out these eight hair hacks lazy girls will appreciate.

ShampooSahacha Nilkumhang/Shutterstock

Shampoo at night

Do the heavy lifting the night before, says Garrison. “Shampoo and blow dry your hair with a big round brush at night and twist it into a bun,” he advises. (Learn the best shampoo for every hair type). Use a crease-free fastener like invisibobble to avoid crimping and let the holder loose in the morning. If any dents or inconsistencies appear, run a dryer and brush through hair to smooth.


Let your brush do the work

It’s crucial to have the best styling team on hand if you’re in a race against the clock. For example, if you’re a paddle brush enthusiast, get one that’s proven to zap water during use. Goody’s QuikStyle Paddle Brush works like a towel and brush because of the super absorbent microfiber bristles that can remove 30 percent of water from wet hair. Here’s how to find the best brush for your hair type.

braidsAfrica Studio/Shutterstock

Sleep on plaits

Tap your favorite childhood style and sleep in braids for air-dried, soft waves in the a.m. “You can also sweep hair into a high ponytail at night, secure it loosely, roll in a couple of Velcro rollers, and sleep with them on top of your head,”says Garrison of the old-school technique that’s making a comeback. “But don’t do any of these options with the hair wet,” he cautions, “it’ll never dry.” Instead, rough-dry hair 95 percent at night—if not all the way—before styling. (Check out other ways to get gorgeous overnight).

sleepingDavid Prado Perucha/Shutterstock

Or, sleep on undone hair

Have an early morning meeting? Save time by washing your hair at night, rough drying it, and sleeping on it. “For people like me who have naturally straight hair sleeping with wet hair helps create a wave for the morning,” says Maria Ruiz, stylist at Nunzio Saviano Salon. “This way I get some natural wave and only have to go over a few pieces with the curling iron for a more polished look,” she adds. And learn the best ways to craft curls without a curling iron here.


Use a two-in-one styling tool

We love smooth and lifted hair just as much as the next gal, but having to use three different products to achieve it is a time suck. Beauty brands have appeased those frustrations by crafting 3-in-1 tools like the Revlon Salon One-Step Hair Dryer & Volumizer, which dries, straightens, and adds volume to wet hair. The styler boasts ionic technology, which accelerates drying time so you can get out the door faster.


Ask for the right treatment at your salon

“Get a Cézanne treatment at the salon for smoothing,” says Garrison of the 100 percent formaldehyde-free solution. It’s the frizz-fighting technology in the service that’ll make hair more manageable and thus faster to do before facing blistery cold fronts.


Enlist products that speed drying time

Add Color Wow Speed Dry to your usual product rotation for hair that dries quick. The spritz, which claims to cut drying time by over 30 percent, uses a formulation that “squeezes out” water and fortifies color-treated hair. According to reviews, the stuff lives up to its promise. Plus, learn tricks for making that blowout last for days.


Use an expert-recommended dryer

If you’re one of the lucky few that gets to dry and go on chilly mornings (no brush, no products), make sure the dryer will get the job done swiftly. “The fastest blow dryer that I find to work the best is the Sedu Revolution TRG 4000i. Especially for people like me since my hair always holds a ton of water,” says Ruiz.

top-knotCookie Studio/Shutterstock

When in doubt, twist it out

Got a case of winter blues? If you just can’t with a bad hair day, whisk it off your neck into a brisk, polished top knot. These are the step-by-step instructions. “To really make life easy, the top knot is a great look—it’s super sleek and always professional,” adds Ruiz. Use a Hair Bungee (or more than one) to quickly secure the bun.

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Alexis Farah
Alexis is a freelance lifestyle writer whose work has appeared in,,, Women's Health magazine and She's the founder and editor of, a website dedicated to covering beauty products, brands and influencers that give back. Before becoming a freelance writer, Alexis was on the team as the Senior Beauty Editor. She started her professional career in the beauty department at Women's Health Magazine and learned social networking 101 at Attention, a social media PR and marketing agency. It's rare to catch Alexis without SPF 30+ or bright red lipstick.