My low key summer hair technique that I swear by
A reader recently asked me to share any hair tips for summertime when it's hot out and the last place we want to spend time is in the bathroom getting ready. And while this question will never not make me laugh (I'm the least hair styling-inclined person you might ever meet - thanks, Mom :), I do have a couple of tried and true approaches that I'm confident in and rely on 99% of the time. So although I'll likely never be the girl with the flirty updo or milkmaid braids, I think I get by with little effort and little damage to my hair (besides the occasional balayage—guilty). That's because of my most reliable technique, particularly in the summer when all labor and time intensive things seem to get cut first: air dried waves.
Please, please hear me out. I will not pretend to be the first person to *teach* you about air drying your hair. However, I recently saw that a technique I've been using for years got a little attention on Instagram, and it made me realize that maybe not many people know about this little secret to good air drying results. In other words—yes, of course everyone can air dry their way to looking like Hermione Granger, but there's a time and a place: movies 1-2, and that's it. Even she figured it out by the time Prisoner of Azkaban rolled around.
But I'm talking about air drying that takes the place of heated styling and can pass for summertime frolicking. I know how!
And to elaborate further, what I saw getting attention on Instagram was that allegedly, the hair stylists of Mary Kate & Ashley Olsen used this same process to create their signature beachy, imperfect waves for years. I mean, if they're not the OG of #hairgoals than nothing I've ever known is real. So, like I said, hear me out, because I've unknowingly been using this process for years, and I swear by it. And from what it looked like in my trolling, people with all different textures and lengths of hair saw success with this technique, as well.
The true secret lies in not brushing and touching your hair which adds frizz and takes away from whatever smooth wave or movement your hair would otherwise dry with. This is the single most important aspect of the process. It does mean increased drying time as groups of strands stay clumped together, but it's not a big deal when you can be going on your merry way as it dries.
- Loosely form your part in the shower
- Do not comb or brush your hair when you get out of the shower
- Do not touch you hair as it dries
And if you want a more detailed breakdown of my process, here is what it looks like:
- I wash and condition my hair as normal in the shower (I religiously use this shampoo and conditioner)
- With my hair under the stream, I attempt to loosely form the part wherever I want it to be, without pulling it straight down on the sides, which might make it flat (I don't use a comb or brush; I just use the pressure of the water to change the way my hair is generally laying)
- I get out of the shower, and squeeze just the bottoms of my hair into a towel to get out excess water, (without pulling down on my hair; I don't like to take out any bouncy volume)
- I get dressed while it's still wet (if I need to I'll drape a towel around my shoulders)
- And then I never touch it again—I do my makeup and anything/everything else as it dries
The pictures below depict the process from fully wet to damp to dry. You can see how it largely keeps its shape, without much frizz. I don't even use any product in my hair, but I'm sure the results could even be improved if I did. I'm not pretending it's perfect (nor is that the goal with air dried hair), but it works for me with minimal (read: zero) effort!
Furthermore, if I felt like I wanted additional waves or some pieces to have a little more movement, it then takes five seconds to lightly curl a few strands (as opposed to my entire head) later on in the day or evening. That's why I rely on this process almost exclusively, because it makes styling it later easier, as well. But for the purposes of these pictures, I had merely let it air dry, which is how I wear it most days during the summer.
And although I can't speak for every hair type (besides, like I said, the heresay that it's worked for several different people, including my friend with very naturally curly hair), I encourage you to give it a try! You just might be very pleasantly surprised.
Do you have any magical hair tips, tricks, or products? That don't require much effort? Please share, if so. We're all in this together, and any time or frizz saving hacks are gold around these parts :)