Clever tricks for air-drying your hair

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If there’s one thing all low-maintenance beauties love, it’s air-dried hair. It’s timesaving, much better for your strands, and, when done right, looks effortlessly cool. Unfortunately, if you do it wrong, you’re more likely to end up with a limp, frizzy mop (and wishing you had just relied on your trusty hairdryer).  

So, what’s the secret to pulling off an air-dry like a pro? Well, Shu Uemura Art of Hair Ambassador James Galvin recently revealed his four foolproof steps for looking “perfectly undone”. They’re not totally effortless, but if you master them now, you’ll have the beach babe look down pat by summer!

RELATED: 17 handy hair dryer hacks

RELATED: How to create perfect waves

1. Don’t rub, blot

To minimise the frizz factor, you first have to remove as much moisture as possible with a towel. Don’t rub the towel over your locks though, “as this will rough up the cuticle and create frizz”. Instead, “gently blot your hair dry with a towel to remove most of the moisture”. Patience is key!

2. Pick the right prods

You may not need styling tools for this look, but a choice product or two is still necessary to give it the right amount of polish. James recommends an all-rounder air-dry perfector – we like evo day of grace leave-in conditioner and Paul Mitchell Taming Spray. If your hair tends to dry a bit flat, spritz sea salt spray such as John Frieda Beach Blonde Ocean Waves Sea-Salt Spray (below) or Wella Professionals Ocean Spritz at the crown of your head and along the parting to add some oomph.

3. Use your fingers

To avoid breaking up wave formations and any pre-existing texture, ditch your hairbrush and use your fingers to gently “comb the product through”. Don’t go overboard – the look is supposed to seem a bit undone and play up what your mumma gave you (aka your natural texture).


4. Twist for texture

For a bit more texture, randomly twist pieces of hair around your fingers to create loose, smooth waves. “The great thing about the art of air-drying is that after five minutes of twisting, your hair will dry by itself naturally with movement.”


5. Style while you sleep

If you don’t have the patience for painstaking finger styling, why not head to bed and let your wet locks do the work themselves?  By styling your hair while you sleep, you can achieve anything from luscious curls to a smooth, sleek do without using any heat whatsoever. My favourite is loose waves, created with the help of a high bun (see 2.). 

6. Try hair plopping

An American trend that recently took the internet by storm, hair plopping was invented to help wild-haired beauties enhance their curls without heat styling. It involves ‘plopping’ your wet tresses in a towel, t-shirt or cloth on top of your head. Hair styling doesn’t get much simpler than this!

Do you air-dry your hair, or do you prefer heat styling? What’s your favourite low-maintenance beauty look?

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