How To Air Dry Curly Hair – Tips and Tricks

Curly hair is notrious for being extremely dry. That’s why I feel it is best to air dry curly hair as much as you possibly can. You won’t have to worry about your hair sustaining heat damage or pulling out a bulky blow dryer. It takes very little of your time as you can get ready and do other things while your hair is drying.  Of course, the longer your hair, the longer it will take to air dry.

Reasons to Consider Air Drying

  • It is less damaging to your hair. Curly hair is already dry by nature and heat from stylers such as blow dryers literally can fry your hair and leave it looking like straw.
  • If you have shorter hair.  You can still air dry curly hair if you have long hair.  However, if you have shorter hair, it’s almost a no-brainer. It will dry a lot than longer hair and be much easier to work with.
  • It causes less frizz.  I have had so much problems with frizziness, I am grateful for anything that cuts down on frizziness

Use a Microfiber Towel or Old T-Shirt

The air drying process starts while your hair is already wet. First off, rinse your hair well. Curly hair is dry and responds well to the simplest form of moisture, which is water.  Squeeze as much water as possible out your hair.

The best thing I have ever discovered is using a microfiber towel or t-shirt with which to air dry curly hair.  It actually does cut down on frizziness!  You can find towels and turbans made just for this purpose in stores such as Walmart or Target, or online at Amazon.

Have any t-shirts that are too faded or shrunk? You can recycle an old t-shirt to dry your hair with.  I know, it sounds strange, but it actually does work!  It will also save your money by not having to buy an extra towel for your hair.

Detangle Your Hair

Curly hair gets tangled very easily. I usually detangle my hair when it is still wet using a wide toothed comb. I never use a brush; it will flatten out your hair.

Use a detangling spray or leave in conditioner on your hair.  Make sure to put a good amount on your hair and comb it through. If you have very long hair, you can use hair clips to section off your your to apply your products

Don’t Skimp on the Styling Products

While my hair is still damp, I put a clear gel on my hair.  I usually use a gel that is geared towards curly hair, such as Miss Jessie’s.  I also have used Carol’s Daughter pracaxi nectar gel and Shea Moisture. I also like to use a styling milk after that, such as Shea Moisture Curl and Style Milk. If I don’t have any styling milk, i will use some sort of anti frizz serum in place.  On days with a lot of humidity, I will sometimes use both products to help with frizz. Humdiity is not a curly girl’s friend!  Use a generous amount on your hair and scrunch it through your curls.  Let your hair dry and when it almost dry or completely dry, you can put on a bit more gel for extra hold if you wish.

Everyone’s hair is as unique as they are. You may have to experiment with a combination of products to find what is best for your hair.  Watch for sales in your local stores and in the Sunday papers.

Now Go Forth Into the World!

Now that your hair is dry, go forth into the world and be beautiful! Seriously, though, I hope this has helped your see benefits of being able to air dry curly hair.  I also hope this has given your some ideas of how to air dry your hair.


  1. My hair isn’t curly but it is wavy and it’s been about 2 years since I stopped using terry cloth towels and a hair dryer on it. I definitely don’t miss the frizz! I hate the feeling of microfiber towels because it feels like they stick to my hands, but I always use old t-shirts. They work so well, just wish I knew about that hack sooner in life. I also love Shea Moisture’s products!


    • Hi Missy, even if your hair is wavy, it still can be considered as curly. I find that many people with wavy hair have the same issues with their hair as those with tighter curls.


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