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Tonkabelle: Here’s How to Air Dry Your Hair to Achieve Longer & Healthier Hair



TonkabelleThe process of air drying your hair is when you manually dry your hair without the aid of a heat tool such as a blow dryer. Air drying is one of the best things that you can do to your hair if you desire to achieve longer, healthier hair. This is because when your hair is left to dry naturally, it retains its natural texture and structural integrity which will consequently lead to stronger, healthier hair. Air drying is beneficial to all hair types and textures; as excessive heat on your hair can result in dryness, breakage and hair that is limp and dull, however constant air drying done correctly has the opposite effect. It is therefore important to master and thoroughly grasp the art of air drying.

Just look at the volume and thickness of my bun on my relaxed hair after it has been air dried.

The purpose of this article therefore would be to show you the proper way to air dry your hair so that it is not left feeling moist, tangled and frizzy (which are some of the problems people experience with air drying). These tips and tricks that I am sharing actually took me years to perfect, they would ensure that your air dried hair is left feeling smooth, healthy and moisturised.

If you are in doubt as to whether air drying will work for you, I suggest you give it a try for about a month or two and then evaluate the state of your hair. Now before we get started let me state something important, air drying will not give you straight hair like a hair straightener or blow dryer will, however if you implement certain methods, it will give you hair that is straight enough.

Here is a Step-by-Step Method on How to Achieve Perfectly Air Dried Hair:

  • After shampooing and deep conditioning your hair, towel dry with a micro fibre or regular towel or you can also use a cotton t-shirt to dry your hair.

Tip 1 – Your hair should be dried very gently in one direction (going downwards), do not wrap, wring, rub or agitate your hair when you are drying it as this can cause the hair to tangle badly.

  • Make sure the hair is not dripping wet but has been dried thoroughly, yet gently to get out as much of the water as possible. This will ensure your hair air dries faster.
  • Next apply your products which could include a leave-in conditioner, moisturiser, serum (optional) and seal with an oil of your choice. When applying the products, do so in at least 4-5 sections to ensure that your hair is properly coated with the products. Then detangle gently, in sections, with fingers and/or a wide tooth comb. It is important to detangle thoroughly to avoid matted hair.

Tip 2 – When you are applying the products make sure you apply only a little of each. This is not the time to be heavy handed with products, or else you may end up with sticky, matted hair.

  • Then choose how you want to air dry your hair you can put it in a ponytail (this will allow it to air dry a bit straighter), you can put it in a bun. I normally use these two options when I have to go out and still want to look presentable. You can also divide your hair into two, three, four or more sections and wear multiple buns, pony tails, plaits, twists and so on to air dry. You can even air dry using rollers and bantu knots to achieve a curly look or with all your hair hanging down. Please note that I do not recommend this method as it does not work for me and causes my hair to tangle. However, I do know that it works for other hair types.

This is a picture of my hair air drying in a bunBella Naija - How to air dry hair 2

Tip 3 – If you want your hair to air dry faster you can leave the house to get the air to circulate round your head or you can keep yourself busy at home and not remain sedentary to encourage air flow. You can also stay next to a fan to aid the process.

Tip 4 – To get your hair to air dry faster you should dry it in sections (I have found that the more sections, the faster the air drying time) or with your hair hanging down.

  • Then you can choose to wear a silk/satin scarf tying it like a head band around your edges to lay them down. (this is optional) However I recommend it to give a sleeker look. You can wear the scarf for about 1 hour and remove it thereafter if you choose.
  • When you feel your hair is about mid way dry you can go back in to apply some more moisturiser or oil and you can detangle with a wide tooth comb again (this is also optional, and I recommend it only if you feel you did not detangle thoroughly the first time).
  • Wait till your hair is completely dry and style as you please or leave as is, if for example you air dried in a bun. Air drying can take from 2 hours and more depending on the length and thickness of your hair and the method you employ.

Tip 5 – If your hair is not completely dry and you need to go to bed, just wear your silk/satin scarf to sleep and your hair should be dry in the morning.

  1. You can also air dry by using a blow dryer on a cool setting (however many blow dryers do not have this option).

If you are already air dry your hair please share your methods and tips. If you are new to air drying try out the tips and share how air drying goes for you. Your questions and comments are always welcome.

Tonkabelle is a lawyer by training and a hair blogger who passionately believes that all hair types can grow long and healthy hair. She is a keen writer and has written several published articles on hair care. She blogs at Instagram: @wurassecrethair [email protected]



    May 10, 2016 at 9:56 pm

    Thanks Tonkabelle!

  2. Tochi

    May 11, 2016 at 10:46 am

    Wish I saw this last weekend. Thanks!

  3. "changing moniker"

    May 11, 2016 at 11:32 am

    me likey…..the important part for me is sectioning the hair in order to oil the hair…ill start to do this…..
    before, ehn….whenever i air dry my hair, i look like an “egbere”…..

  4. Joy Debby

    May 11, 2016 at 1:17 pm

    I enjoy air drying method, it makes my hair testure look gud and confident. That has always been my method [email protected] bella

  5. Atoksy

    May 11, 2016 at 7:06 pm

    Found this very helpful. Thanks Tonkabelle.

  6. Candra Evans

    May 13, 2016 at 6:18 pm

    Great tips! I need to work on not applying leave-in products so heavily. Still trying to find that sweet spot. 🙂 Thank you!

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