AIR DRYING – How To Do It Right

Hello Ladies,

Sorry for the mini hiatus. I am back with this quick but really educative post about air drying. Air drying my hair on wash days used to be a taboo to me before my hair journey. After I started my hair journey however it is something I still do and highly recommend if healthy hair is goal. In this post I will explain what air drying is, its benefits, some of the cons of air drying and techniques and tips for air drying.

Throwback to me air drying my hair early on in my hair journey (picture taken in December 2010)


What is Air Drying

Air drying simply means that you allow your hair to dry on its own after deep conditioning or co-washing. Instead of blow drying or roller setting, you simply let good old air dry your hair.


Why Is Air Drying Good for Hair

  • Direct heat from blow driers tend to dry hair very quickly and aggressively and this can damage the hairs outer layer. Over time and regular blow drying with heat can cause this out layer to chip off gradually leading to damaged and weaker hair. Air dry will prevent all the above and with time can lead to stronger, healthier and thicker looking hair especially at the ends.
  • Air dying also allows your hair to retain more of its internal moisture which will help it retain its elasticity and softness. Blow drying with heat on the other hand will deplete your hairs internal moisture and cause hair to become drier and more brittle.


Cons of Air Drying

  • Time- allowing your hair to dry on its own will certainly take longer than when you use heat from a blow dryer or hood dryer. This sucks if you are in a rush…unless you don’t mind going out with damp hair.
  • Sleekness- air that is air dried is usually not as sleek and shiny as hair that was blow dried or roller set. Some ladies actually find that their air dried hair can look frizzy and poufy but this can be avoided if you follow the tips provided below.
  • Air drying can lead to tangled and rough hair if proper techniques are not followed.  Again, please see the tips provided below.

Still air drying my hair later on in my hair journey. This was taken in late 2012. Air drying was a major help for improving the health and feel of my hair so it got stronger and longer

How to Air dry – Tips and Techniques for a Smoother Air Dry

  • After rinsing out your deep conditioner or co-wash conditioner, wrap hair in a cotton tee-shirt for a few minutes to absorb water.
  • Detangle your hair gently in sections and apply your leave in conditioner(s), ensure your ends get their fair share of the products. You can smoothen your hair by combing it gently in sections with a medium or small sized comb ( do not use a fine tooth comb)
  • A few drops of your hair sealant ( eg,olive,coconut, jojoba, almond, grapeseed oil,) to your palms and smooth it over your hair especially the ends. The leave in products and oil will help to keep your hair looking smooth and feeling soft.
  • Keep your hair in confined or organised. If your hair is natural simply put it in large or medium sized twists or box braids. If your hair is relaxed you can put it in a simple bun or ponytail.Alternatively you can do what is known as the scarf method where you tie a satin scarf around the perimeter of your hair after combing it backwards.   This will get your edges smooth flattened. Keeping your hair organised and confined whilst it is air drying will produce a smoother or more tamed result.


Another method I sometimes use to air dry my hair is the banded base method ( see the picture below) which i have explained thoroughly in a previous post which you can find by clicking here.


Air drying is a major contributor to the success of my hair journey and I hope this post has encouraged you to try it or stick with it. Is this how you air dry? If you have a different techniques please do share!

My next couple of posts will be a continuation of my FAQ and Bun of the Month series. See you soon.




Lade Learn | Change | Grow




  1. Ify
    March 12, 2016 / 9:01 pm

    Thank you Lade. I just met ur blog but it’s really helping me.
    I have begun to air dry but what I do is wash seal in n just comb out n go my way. I can’t say it has had a bad effect though. But the truth is I even prefer d looks of wet hair to d sleek blow dried ones/ roller set hair. Though it hasn’t been so in d past :)

    • Lade
      April 19, 2016 / 11:49 pm

      Hello Ify

      thanks for sharing your method. Its always great to know what works for your hair.
      I too have gotten to love the look of air dried hair over the years.

  2. Whitney
    March 13, 2016 / 10:33 pm

    Thanks a lot for this post lade.since i read what you said about how air drying is better for healthy hair,i’ve been poundering a lot about how i go about it.i don’t use any other form of heat expect roller setting,the issue about air drying when i did it was my hair is naturally thick and full,it tends to shrink when i air dry and becomes thicker,so i started roller setting.i wash my hair every 2 to 3 weeks cause i leave my hair in braids.i hope to try your method of air drying soon

    • Lade
      April 19, 2016 / 11:12 pm

      Hey Whitney

      Roller setting is actually not so bad so long as the hair is combed very gently before putting in the rollers. Yes ait drying will certainly leave your hair looking thicker and fuller than blow drying but using good leave in conditioners will help tame the wildness a little.
      A few drops of oil whilst your hair is air drying will also help

      Hope that helps x


  3. Nerlee
    March 25, 2016 / 3:40 pm

    Your blog has changed the life of my hair.
    I am now more kinder to my hair.

    Thank you for sharing your precious time.

    • Lade
      April 19, 2016 / 10:50 pm

      Hello Nerlee

      :) I am so happy for your hair.
      Thank you for your comment which is so so so encouraging…….I am happy to share my time and really want to make Hairducation better and better
      Happy hair journey


  4. Rode
    July 15, 2016 / 7:14 pm

    Do you wash the leave in conditioner after your hair ia dry from the air drying??

    • Valerie
      October 27, 2016 / 6:41 pm

      Rode, you don’t need to wash it out. This is because it in a “leave-in” conditioner. You leave it in because it isn’t a rinse-out conditioner.

  5. Deenah
    November 8, 2016 / 10:37 pm

    Hi Lade, I’m looking for hairstyles that I can use on my reclaimed hair. Do you have any ideas?

    • Deenah
      November 10, 2016 / 11:00 pm

      I mean texlaxed

      • Lade
        November 15, 2016 / 1:14 am

        lol …oh I see
        Well on my own texlaxed hair I tend to wear mostly buns and faux bobs.
        I also wear wigs for many months of the year when I have a lot of new growth and need to reduce daily styling and manipulation.

        I hop that helps

    • Lade
      November 15, 2016 / 1:03 am

      Hello Deenah

      Thanks for your comment. I don’t understand what you mean by reclaimed hair, please clarify?

  6. Awurabee
    November 21, 2016 / 8:51 am

    Hi Lade, I just did some reading here and I want to tell you that I like you very much. I love the way you address issues and make beautiful replies to those who comment here. Keep up the good work! I just started a HHJ and I’m gonna stay glued to your blog

    • Lade
      November 28, 2016 / 6:40 pm

      thank you so much fro your lovely comment and for taking the time to send it.
      I am so happy that Hairducation is helping you and many other ladies with their hair.
      I really wish you the best on your hair journey


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