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Air Dry Hair Dry

Author: Becky Sappor

Of all things beauty, hair has always been my favourite. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good lippy as much as the next person (unless the next person is Mrs O’Shea) and I’m well up for a quick drying manicure but for me, it’s always been about hair.

I’ve had most colours, I’ve been shaved, lobbed, fringed and now I seem to be in this ‘really long’ phase. The main issue I have with these longer locks is that it takes forever for me to dry it. It’s that sort of hair that retains water really well – I can even see my hairdresser getting arm ache when she starts to dry it. And now that there’s just so darn much of it I just end up in a sweaty horrible mess.

So I decided to start letting it dry itself. I’m lucky in that I have a natural wave to my hair – well I say lucky now, 13 year old me would disagree entirely but after living with it for 32 years I now finally know how to properly manage it. Although having said that I don’t think you need a natural wave to get a good air dried look. One thing I learnt quite quickly in my air drying journey is that you absolutely need product if you’re going to let your air dried hair look remotely good. Without anything it was limp and almost greasy looking. Yuk.

I would avoid oil based products. I have an excellent serum that I use when I blow dry my hair – honestly I’ve been so impressed with it but it just makes my hair look greasy when left to dry alone. No amount of tszujing  could fix the wet look I was left with. And so I looked at products designed specifically for air drying – these are my current faves.

Bumble & Bumble – Don’t Blow It – £24

The process and results for this product are in the slider above. I love this. It’s a really lightweight cream and it doesn’t seem to matter how much I use it never leaves any horrible residue or wet look. I have a lot of hair and so I use about the size of 50 pence piece and it seems to be just the right amount. It gives my waves some really nice, natural definition and deals with my frizz effortlessly. I rake Bumble and Bumble Don’t Blow It through my hair with my fingers trying not to put too much on the roots, give it a good old scrunch and shake it out.

Lee Stafford – Beach Babe Sea Salt Spray – £7.99

If I want something a bit more volumised, a bit more textured I go for Lee Stafford Beach Babe Sea Salt Spray. I use quite a lot, spritz it all over and let it do it’s thing. There are more frizzy elements with this product but not in a bad way – literally in a ‘I just got out of the ocean and the sun has dried my hair to sea salty perfection’ way.

Other things I’ve learnt to help get a good finish are:

  • Don’t brush it. When I’m in the shower I use my shampoo and conditioner (FYI if you have blonde hair and want to get rid of some of the warmer tones this is my new fave silver shampoo from Tigi – and you can get mahoosive bottles of it to so it seems to last forever – also smells really nice) and I comb it when I’m in the shower too – I’m pretty sure I read somewhere that this might not be the best time to comb your hair but I figured I’m saving breakage and split ends by not blow drying so hey ho. If you do need to detangle some bits post towel dry, I’ve found that either using your fingers or a wide toothed comb is best. You can also twist sections to try and get a better wave if you have had to brush it out a bit too much. But where possible, just leave it alone – it’s that just-from-the-towel look that will help to give you volume and texture.
  • Keep it wet. I towel dry my hair but not for too long – I find if it’s still pretty wet – I’m talking just finishing dripping wet – then the end result is much better. You can scrunch it dry with the towel to give you some extra waves/curls/texture.
  • Perfect your tszuj. You don’t want to tszuj too much else you risk ‘the frizz’ but once or twice throughout the drying period will help give some volume and prevent it from drying flat to your head and two, because tszujing makes you feel fabulous.
  • It takes a few hours for it to totally dry but I would much rather that than half an hour under the intense heat of the hair dryer resulting in me needing to shower again by the time it’s all over. Timing is definitely something you need to work out with air drying. After about an hour mine looks pretty dry and in an ok state to leave the house and face the general public – I’d say it takes about three hours to dry completely but it’s definitely presentable about after an hour.

So, anything I’m missing folks? Any specific shampoo recommendations for air drying hair? Any vital steps I need to include? and please let me know about any products I absolutely need to try. We should also probably talk about the word tszuj. Who knew it was spelt in such a fancy way – I would’ve absolutely said it was jujj. And apologies for the terrible roots – I’m booked in next week to get it fixed!

Author: Becky Sappor

30 thoughts on “Air Dry Hair Dry

  1. Similar thing here. Always. Not drying it or doing anything beyond brushing has always been key and keeps my hair soft shiny and frizz free.
    Product wise I like John Frieda Frizz Ease (an oldie but a goodie). The salt spray is OK but I find it can get a bit crispy if you over apply to be honest.

    The Shampoo I really REALLY rate is L’Oreal kids no tangles strawberry. Not only do you, you know, smell like strawberries but it’s brilliant and you only ever need one bottle for kids too! Slight disappointment now it’s no longer shaped like a fish though.

      1. Thanks Rebecca – I love working my way through products so I’ll put that on my list for my next trip to boots 🙂

  2. Very relevant for me Becky because I have a loose wave in my hair too and on holiday recently I was thinking it would be so useful to know how to get a good beach look rather than having to dry my hair in the heat and I end up looking like a melting frizzy mess!! Does the Bumble and Bumble get rid of frizz or do you use something else for this as well? Interesting tip about combing it through in the shower not afterwards, I think this could be where I am going wrong!

    1. Hi Nicola – I find that the Bumble and Bumble deals with the frizz really well – although if you wanted a super sleek finish perhaps you could look at applying a serum first but then you risk the whole greasy looking finish. Definitely try combing in the shower and not over towel drying and see fi that helps? The images above are literally just from using the Bumble and Bumble and I’d say the fizz is pretty minimal 🙂 x

  3. Perfectly timed post. I have frizzy, curly hair and have recently started letting it air dry as opposed to spending ages blow drying it. My hair also seems to retain water very well. I then tend to straighten it as I can’t seem to get rid of the frizz.

    I would love to know if these products combat the frizz that comes with leaving my hair to dry naturally or whether anyone can recommend some products that do.

  4. So jealous. I have very fine, very straight hair. Plenty of it – but it has no ‘oomph’ to it at all. If I leave it to air dry it goes weirdly flat on top with lots of odd flicky bits at the ends. Beautiful. On the up side, I literally throw my head upside down and blast a hairdryer through it and it takes under five minutes so… swings and roundabouts. And let’s not get started on my new frizzy coarse grey stripe which appears when I don’t have my roots done frequently enough. I’m 32, ffs!

    I wish I had wavy hair. I have serious hair envy of both you and my 4yo who has actual red ringlets.

    1. Sara you hair sounds exactly like mine – fine with no oomph. And I can blow dry it in 5 minutes too. Does the don’t blow it give the hair a bit of extra wave Becky?

      1. Hi Emma, it doesn’t specifically say it adds waves BUT I would say that they are definitely more defined than if I just leave it with nothing on so it definitely adds something. Maybe you could try twisting it like I mentioned on the Instastories and see if that helps give you some more body and wave?x

    2. Sara what is it with the greys?! I’m 32 as well and am quite stunned by how many I have. I’m well up for a grey bonce but I;d really appreciate it if it could all come in one swoop rather than just odd random 2 inch hairs that stick up on top of my head. Not a good look.

  5. I’ve been wanting an excuse to try the Bumble & Bumble air drying stuff for ages – put it on my Christmas list (I sound like a child but no one knows what to buy me!!) but no one got it for me – so now I definitely need to buy it! I always air dry my hair as it’s fine but I have A LOT of it – so it poofs massively if I use a hairdryer. Only downside is that it takes a good 5-6 hours to be fully dry, so I’m often going to bed with slightly damp hair! I do find a salt spray good, but often they are also a bit sticky and since I wash my hair only about every 3-4 days, using a salt spray when I wash it can mean it’s tangly by the 2nd or 3rd day. Thanks for the enabling 😉

    1. You’re very welcome Katie! Haha. Yes I agree that the sea salt can be a little tacky – I think it’s about finding the right amount for your hair – there is definitely a critical number of pumps to get it just right – I find the Bumble and Bumble much more straight forward and it’s definitely my go to on a day to day basis. I just like the sea salt for a more wild untamed look x

    2. Yes, this is my situation. I wash at night but mostly because i am too lazy to do so in the morning. I bought the lee stafford one but im nit sire that it works as well overnight. In the summer i often go swimming in the sea which gives me great waves, but the roots get really greasy (or look so at least) so i need to use dry shampoo to combat it.

  6. I haver just cut my hair very short, still trying to get used to it, does anyone have any tips for good products for short hair?

  7. I love the bumble and bumble curl defining creme – gives it a good shape and holds my waves. I have also heard great things about the Moroccanoil intense curl cream but yet to try.

    When I am finished i will definitely try your recommendation. Thanks

  8. Have you tried the beach blonde products. The shampoo and conditioner smell of sea weed and mint and the sea salt spray just smells of summer holidays. It gives my slightly kinky hair more of a beach babe (I wish) look also has anyone’s straight hair gone kinky after having a baby?

    1. Yes! I used to have poker straight hair Helen and post baby it’s got a definite wave to it!

  9. I’m so pleased I now know how to spell tszuj. I’ve got wavy hair and like to air dry with the toni and guy sea salt spray, I think it dries out my hair though so I’m excited to try some of bumble and bumble range. Boots have an offer for £5 of clubcard points on when you buy from that range at the moment.
    Air drying does take forever tho, any tips or products for using with the diffuser?

  10. I’m about 20 mins deep into air drying and have used all of your tips! (Sent you a pic on Instagram for lolz).

  11. I have naturally curly hair that is quite long (bra strap length) but I find leaving my hair to dry naturally gives me big, frizzy hair like Hermione in the first Harry Potter! I think it frizzes so much because my hair dries quite quickly naturally – never when I need to blow dry it. Can anyone recommend a product that gives good definition whilst hair is drying?

    A bit of a cheat I have found though is that if I style the very front section of my hair so it looks how I want it to around my face and then twist my wet hair up in a clip, leave it up until lunchtime, then let it down it to dry naturally it gets more of a loose wave/curl without as much frizz.

  12. Love this post so much, my go-to for hair styling too! Think we might just have matching hair! What shampoo/conditioner do you use? I personally love the Lush Sea Salt spray for beachy waves although it can get crispy v easily! How do you find your hair is the next day? The only downside I have with air drying is my hair tends to look flat and greasy the next day 🙁

  13. Big hands up for air drying – I have long, very thick hair and if I tried to dry it fully with a hairdryer I’d be there for hours and quite frankly, I’m too impatient for that. Having a professional blow dry is THE DREAM and Becky, my hairdresser totes gets arms ache and defo eye rolls whilst saying “gosh, don’t you have so much hair”. I don’t use any products and my hair is rather straight, defo no lovely waves like yours. One of my bessies spends about 45 mins every morning doing her hair in different styles just to go to work – we lived together for 2 years and it baffled me!

  14. I so so recommend Bumble & Bumble surf infusion. It’s salt spray but with a little bit of oil in it so you can spray away and never get that horrible crunchy feeling.

  15. Ah, air drying. I did it for years and still do when on holiday (don’t want to waste valuable suitcase space on a hairdryer). I’ve got curly hair and find the Boots Curl Creme (cheap as chips and no nasty stuff in it) helps enormously with styling. Dry/blot up excess water with a tee-shirt (there’s always one on the laundry basket!) rather than a towel but I find its much better if hair is really wet when you either air dry or use a hairdryer. I always use a diffuser (think it stops frizz a bit) and got a Panasonic Nanoe for my birthday, which uses science, magic and clever marketing to reduce frizz, which, with regular use, has made a difference to my frizz levels. Plus, as a Curly Girl, I use conditioner rather than shampoo to wash my hair. As I Am CoWash is my current fave, and I think has also reduced frizz. I might have to treat myself to the B&B surf infusion – do love a bit of oil in my barnet.

  16. Has anyone managed to successfully sit dry short hair?’ Would love to know how to get a good result…

  17. Don’t Blow It is a brilliant name for a product! But that aside, this is useful information. Air-drying has a bit of a taboo surrounding it, but I air dry all the time, as I’m looking to avoid heat damage on my thin hair. Your argument that there has to be a product in there has value, definitely; to really look your best a product is important. But it’s also key to take pity on one’s hair as often as possible; if you’re just staying around the house, a brush is all you need.

  18. Love this post. I also recently decided to stop using heat to dry my hair as I was noticing more and more split ends and an overall lack of shine and life. Having super thick, curly hair, I was worried that I was going to end up looking like a wild lion, but I invested in some fab products which helped. The Bumble & Bumble product is one of my faves, as well as this fixing spray from Shu Uemura ( It’s great if you want to keep that natural look but want to polish it slightly, just in case you need to look a little bit more put together. Thanks for posting and sharing your recommendations!

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