The expert-approved guide to air-drying your hair
Major intel ahead
As much as a blow dryer feels like an extension of my arm, the brutal humidity makes me cringe at the thought of using a hot hairstyling tool to dry my hair. Sounds familiar? On hot days, wash and go is my mantra but I’ve quickly learnt it isn’t that easy. Air-drying your hair comes with its share of troubles, think frizz and greasiness. To put all your worries at rest, ELLE asked Monisha Bhatia, the head of education at Kerastase and Loic Chapoix, the creative art director at Dessange Salon and Spa, for their best kept haircare secrets. Below, find the best tips for low-effort wash-and-wear hair…
Do the right prep
“The first step is to make sure that the outermost layer of your hair–the cuticle–is closed and lying flat,” explains Monisha. The best way to do is to opt for a gentle, hydrating shampoo and conditioner. “If your hair is dry, look for formulas like Kérastase Nutritive that’s chock-full of moisturising ingredients. For unruly and frizzy locks, I recommend trying the Discipline range,” she explains. “In the shower, comb conditioner through your hair with a wide-tooth comb. This will make sure that the product is evenly distributed,” explains Loic. Keep in mind that rinsing out your hair with cold water will seal in all the moisturising goodness from your conditioner. “Sleeping with wet hair is a serious no-no. You’ll wake up with tangled, matted down hair!” says Loic.
Ditch old-school towels
Towel-drying your hair with a terrycloth or rough towel will raise the cuticle, causing moisture-loss and frizz. “Use a microfibre towel to squeeze out excess water from your hair,” says Monisha. In a pinch, an old t-shirt will do a decent job.
Post-wash care is everything
“For straight or wavy hair, use a nourishing leave-in formula like Kérastase’s Elixir Ultime Oil to combat frizz,” recommends Loic. Apply it on damp hair and wrap a microfibre towel around your hair to help the product seep into your cuticle. Curly hair needs a little more TLC and skipping leave-in products is non-negotiable. “Work a curl-boosting product into your hair to enhance natural waves,” says Monisha. Then, take sections of hair and make loose braids or twist it in spirals. Voila! You’re done.“To zap frizz, sleep on a silk pillow cover and use an overnight serum so you wake up to easy-to-style, manageable hair,” says Monisha.
For perfectly air-dried hair, just let it be. “Touching your hair too much roughens up the hair cuticle,” explains Monisha. If your roots get greasy after air-drying hair, Loic recommends applying dry shampoo pre-emptively to zap up oil.
Photographs: Tarun Khiwal