How to air-dry thick hair without entering a frizz warzone Advertisement

How to air-dry thick hair without entering a frizz warzone

For those days when blowdryers are just too much effort

By Jacqueline Kilikita  July 4th, 2017

When warm weather hits, the last thing us girls with thick, coarse lengths want to do is turn on the hairdryer – and let’s face it, the cool air setting does virtually nothing to zap moisture. The only other option is letting your hair dry naturally which generally doesn’t lead to ideal results. Unless you do it the right way.

From kicking the hairbrush to the kerb (trust us on this) and using less product, there are so many ways to stay in control of your locks without sweating it out underneath the dryer. Here’s how it’s done…

Sachajuan Styling Cream, Rs.1680

Leave-in styling products are key for a smooth, polished finish

It might sound counter-intuitive, but coarser hair requires a product that will give it a little more weight, and that's because it tends to be much drier and is therefore prone to frizzing up. "Look for a rich, moisturising leave-in treatment to hydrate and add a little hold," says Lee. Feeling really lazy? An in-shower product like the SHOW Beauty Riche Leave-In-Conditioner, Rs.2939 is your best bet. It shuttles ultra-nourishing B5 and shea butter inside the hair fibre to keep moisture on lock-down and to lend curls and waves impressive definition.

Lee Stafford's Air (or Blow)Dry cream lite

Do the twist

If you can be bothered to whip out the straighteners or the curling tongs, kudos - but if you can't? Twisting or plaiting your wet hair into shape will work a treat to give your lengths a tamed, yet effortless finish."The secret to great, air-dried hair is to mould and shape your it when it's damp," says Lee. 'Apply a little styling cream from the roots to the ends, gently twist sections of your hair using your fingers and then leave them to dry.' Braids or plaits could be even better for banishing halos of frizz if you don't want to subject your lengths to a hairdryer. "Plaiting creates tension on the hair," explains Hare & Bone's Sam, 'and this ensures it dries smooth. Depending on the size, placement and thickness of the hair a plait will create a controlled, undone texture.'

AQUIS' Lisse Luxe Hair Towel, from Rs.2520

Ditch the hairbrush

If your hair is curly or wavy, you probably already know that it's a total no-no to brush it when dry, but running a hairbrush through wet lengths could also have the same tousle-crushing, frizz-forming effects. Who knew?"Bristle brushes on wet, coarse hair disturb the placement and structure of the hair," reveals Sam, "and this results in excess frizz. The best thing is to work through the hair with your fingertips or a wide tooth comb for the most natural finish and to ensure curls and waves stay in place."

ELLE's go to? Michael Van Clarke's 3''' More Inches Safety Comb, Rs.1470. Each and every tooth on this vulcanised rubber comb has been refined by hand which means zero imperfections which means less chance of roughing up the cuticle and even less snagging or pulling - especially if you use it in the shower. Um, yes please.

Less is more when it comes to applying hair products

Crispy curls? We'd rather not. "A common mistake people make when trying to achieve an undone look at home is going overboard on hair styling products," says Sam. 'Hair is designed to move, so invest in quality products that compliment its natural texture and shape without making it look too structured.' His recommendation? KMS California TameFrizz Control Lotion, Rs.1427. If you're worried about using too much, pick up Lee's Air Dry Cream Lite, Rs.670. A weightless product with the muscle to smooth and control even the unruliest of strands. See ya, straighteners.

Whatever you do, don't touch your hair while it dries

You can splash the cash on all manner of oils and serums, but the key to combating frizz and fly-aways while air-drying is to leave it well alone. If you don't think you can avoid messing about with it? "Clip some sections away using kirby grips" he says. 'Then, once you hair is dry, use your fingers to separate these sections and you'll be left with effortless waves.'Olsen twins, eat your heart out.

Invest in a microfiber towel

When it comes to drying hair that tends to have a mind of its own, a normal towel simply won't cut it. "It's really common for people to over-dry their hair with a towel," says Sam Burnett, owner and creative director of Hare & Bone, "but this ruffles the cuticles and causes hair to become frizzy. AQUIS' Lisse Luxe Hair Towels are perfect for blotting the water out of the hair without damaging the style," he adds - something award-winning hairdresser Lee Stafford seconds. 'Instead, a use a microfiber towel to press and twist the excess moisture out of the hair.' And if you don't want to shell out? 'You can actually use an old T-shirt,' Lee adds, "as the material will be much gentler on your hair."

Swap your shampoo for a cleansing conditioner

Some shampoos can actually strip your hair of its natural oils, especially if you wash it every day, and because parched strands will only lead to frizz, it pays to invest in a cleansing conditioner instead. The Grow Gorgeous 11-in-1 Cleansing Conditioner, Rs.1512 boasts panthenol and glycerin on top of the brand's clever Conditioning Complex which sheathes the hair cuticle and imparts a sleek, mirror-like shine, while the Purely Perfect Cleansing Creme Shampoo, Rs.2940 swaps sulphates and silicone for aloe vera and Essential Oils to nourish from the inside out.