Afro hair

Air Drying Natural Hair

Published By: Kennedy

Fact Checked By: Dasia

Last Updated: June 23, 2022

Air drying is a simple method to use, but how effective is it? This article will talk about the benefits of air drying and the best tips for doing it.

What is air drying?

Air drying simply lets the water on your hair evaporate instead of using heating tools to dry it. Air drying is, arguably, the best way to dry your hair. Air drying prevents frizz and also does not add heat to your hair. If you have high or low porosity, it may take shorter or longer for your hair to dry thoroughly.

Benefits of Air Drying Natural Hair 

1. Defined Curls

If you have curly hair you will find that air-dried curls look much different than blow-dried curls. Blow-drying quickly strips the water from your hair, while air drying dries slowly – which makes the hair less frizzy. Whenever I wear my hair natural, I allow my hair to air-dry because the curls look so much more defined than when I use a blow dryer. 

I also notice that my hair products – like curling creams or gels – work better when I air-dry. The shine and the moisture from the products stay on the hair better when air drying because they are not being dried up by a gusty blow dryer. For curls to have the least amount of frizz, they need to remain as untouched as possible. Air-drying allows that to happen – which really makes the curls pop!

2. Heatless

One of the best benefits of air-drying is that it doesn’t add heat to your hair. Constantly applying heat to your hair is not good for it. It strips the hair of natural moisture and causes frizziness. In order for your hair to maintain its moisture and shine, allow your hair to dry without heat. 

Air drying is a good technique to use for an everyday routine. If you are air drying on a regular basis, then you are not applying heat to the hair on a regular basis – which could cause hair damage. This is especially true for people with curly hair because it is the most prone to damage. 

2. Easy

Air-drying is as simple as wash and go! You don’t have to plug in a blow dryer and get an arm workout before you leave. However, because air-drying takes longer than blow-drying, you will have to make sure you have more time for your hair to dry. If I know I am going to air dry, I usually will wash and style my hair an hour in advance so that it has time to dry. 

It is easy for me because if I am on my way somewhere, then the air that is blowing on me as I move will ensure that my hair is fully dry by the time I arrive at where I am going. With proper preparation and time management – air drying is the easiest way to dry your hair. 

Tips for Air Drying Natural Hair

  • Rinse hair with cool water – When you use cool water on your hair, you lock in its moisture. When the moisture is locked in, it remains softer and shinier when it dries. 
  • Use curl cream – If you have curly hair and you are air drying, to get the best definition, use a curl cream on the hair while it is wet. The hair will soak up the product better while it is wet, and will have soaked it into its full potential by the time it dries. You could also twist your hair or finger curl it before drying to achieve more texture. 
  • Don’t touch the hair – While your hair is drying, refrain from touching it. If you touch your hair too much, you can cause frizziness. 
  • Comb the hair – When your hair is tangled, it won’t air dry as nicely. Make sure the hair is fully de-tangled so it is able to dry better. 

How long should it take to air dry?

How long it takes your hair to dry naturally or “air dry” depends on a number of factors. Those factors include the length of the hair, the thickness of the hair, and the style in which it is being dried as well. Nonetheless, the typical time for hair to air dry takes about two hours. Given that your hair is thicker or longer, expect it to be longer than the average time as your hair will likely remain damp for a while.

How do I make my curls looser?

There are products used specifically to make curls looser, such as curl cream. There are specific curl creams that are meant to stretch the hair. You could also use curling rods. Curling rods are used for wrapping around the rod so as to create a wider curl. There are also more intense methods, such as texturizers that can loosen your curls. However, texturizers are damaging to the hair and should be done by a professional for safety.

How can you define 4c curls?

In order to define 4c curls, moisturizing your hair is one of the first steps needed for success here. There are several methods that can be done after moisturizing is finished. One method is the braid and curl method which is pretty simple – braid your hair into individual braids, wrap each braid and allow them to dry, and once they have dried you can unravel them. You can part each curl two to three times without loosening the curl definition.

Read more: How to Moisturize 4c Hair

The Final Word

Air drying can be a great option for on-the-go styling and curl definition. Its many benefits make it a great addition to any daily hair routine. 


I have always had a love for writing and have been blogging for about 3 years now. I have a passion for teaching what I have learned over the years, especially about hair. I have had almost every hairstyle - typical of a cosmetologist’s daughter- including the big chop in 2015. With all the knowledge I have gained, I feel it is my duty to help others on their healthy hair journey. I believe education can be fun, and I strive to make it fun to learn about beautiful black hair.

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