8 Common Air-Drying Mistakes


Showering and heading out the door may feel like a good idea on a busy day, but you don’t want to let your hair air-dry without considering all the ways it can go wrong. Yes, there is a wrong way to air-dry your hair! Common air-drying mistakes can lead to breakage, damage and frizz galore, especially with aging hair that’s already prone to these concerns. Air-drying your hair has tons of benefits and air-drying your hair the right way is easy, once you know how to avoid all the wrong ways. Here’s what you might be doing wrong—so you can start doing it right!

1. Using a Rough Towel

It’s important to soak up excess water before letting your hair air-dry: The longer our hair stays wet, the more it swells and our cuticles expand—not a good thing! But towels really aren’t your friend, especially if you want to keep your hair in good condition. When your hair is wet, it’s prone to breakage, and roughly drying your hair with a towel right out of the shower can cause a lot of damage to your strands. You’re better off using a microfiber towel or even just an old T-shirt. These materials are much gentler on your hair and will help you air-dry your hair without frizz. But even with these softer materials, you don’t want to vigorously dry your wet hair—this won’t do you any good. Instead, gently use your T-shirt or microfiber towel to dab off excess moisture or pat your strands drier.

2. Not Using Any Products

It’s important to treat your tresses to some product before you air-dry your hair to minimize frizz. Your hair is very vulnerable right after being washed because the cuticle is open, which means frizz can set in quickly and easily. This is the point when your hair needs moisture, and it won’t get that from air-drying. With our Summer Hair SOS Minis Kit, you’ll have everything you need to make sure this doesn’t happen—and best of all, it’s great for fine, thinning hair. After you’ve shampooed and conditioned, but before you air-dry your hair, use hair products for fine hair like the heat protectant spray designed to shield delicate strands and stop frizz before it starts. It’ll provide nutrients your hair needs to keep it hydrated and frizz-free.

3. Using Too Much Product

On the flip side, you don’t want to use too many products when letting your hair air-dry. Piling on a ton of products will weigh down your hair and can lead to greasy roots. Plus, it just means your hair is coated with a bunch of gunk and will need to be washed again sooner rather than later. Try to keep your product use to a minimum and only use what your hair absolutely needs. This is especially important if you have fine hair—you’ll want to air-dry your hair with products for fine hair like our lightweight Lift Me Up Hair Thickener for allover lift and volume without buildup.

4. Touching Your Hair Too Much

Playing with your hair too much can lead to a couple things. For one, it can cause breakage if you’re running your fingers through wet hair roughly. In its vulnerable state, hair is ready to break, so even if you don’t mean to, you might damage your hair. It can also cause frizz, simply because handling wet hair as it’s drying roughs up the cuticle. And lastly, if you constantly touch your hair, especially at the roots, you might make it get greasier again really quickly. The natural oils in your hands won’t do your roots any favors while your hair is drying except sit on your scalp and make your strands oily.

5. Air-Drying Your Hair in the Sun

You might feel inclined to wash your hair and sit in the sun to let it dry, especially during the warmer months of the year. Unfortunately, this really isn’t good for your hair, as the hot sun is actually too much heat for your strands. The sun can cause your hair to get too dry, which can lead to frizz, more damage and even color fade. If you have to be in the sun with wet hair, protect it with our No Remorse Heat Protection & Taming Spray, which can protect your hair against high levels of heat and keep it hydrated even when the sun hits it.

6. Showering Before Bed

If air-drying your hair is your goal, showering before bed is not the best idea. When you go to bed with wet hair, you’re running the risk of some serious damage to your strands. Hair is vulnerable when wet and leaving it that way before bed means it’ll be rubbing all over your bedding while you sleep, which can lead to breakage. (Plus, air-drying hair overnight can also lead to dandruff because wet hair and a wet scalp can cause yeast to build up on your scalp.) If you absolutely must shower before bed and sleep with wet hair, there are a few things you can do to staunch the chances of breakage. For one, tie your hair up loosely with a T-shirt so it’s contained against a material that won’t cause so much damage. Also be sure you’re sleeping on silk pillowcases. These will be gentler on your hair than a cotton pillowcase.

7. Using Your Usual Part

As your hair is air-drying, your strands naturally hang off your head. If your hair is in your usual part, your hair will fall down heavily from that point, leaving your hair flat and limp at the roots. Instead, part your hair on the other side (or either side if you usually part in the middle) while it dries. Once dry, flip it back to the usual part and use your fingers to scrunch your roots. Your hair will already have more lift from moving your part and using your fingers to further move it around will only enhance this. Spritzing your strands with our Lift Me Up Hair Thickener will also help to ensure lift at the roots for beautiful, allover volume.

8. Using a Hair Tie

If it hasn’t been made clear yet, let us reiterate: Your hair is vulnerable when wet. This means tying it up in an elastic hair tie while it’s wet can lead to breakage. If you have long hair that you want to contain while it dries, use either a soft scrunchie that can be wrapped loosely or use a silk scarf to tie it back. Even a T-shirt is a better option than a hair tie.

Tell Us: What are your favorite tips for air-drying your hair? Share in the comments below!

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Better Not Younger knows that aging hair is extra delicate. That’s why we’re here to help you safeguard your strands with hair-care steps that protect and nourish while you’re air-drying your hair. This includes gentle sulfate-free products that care for and repair dry, dull or brittle strands and styling tips that let you enjoy all the air-drying hair benefits your delicate locks deserve.