Drying your hair is the final step in your routine – the make or break. If your curls don’t dry just right, all that deep conditioning and scrunching was for naught. We’ve got you covered with five of the best methods for drying your curly hair!
Drying your curls with a diffuser is the fastest way to dry your hair. Diffusers are great if you’re looking to add more volume to your hair, if you’re pressed for time, or if you find that your curls lose their definition because they’re weighed down by water/product. But while diffusers certainly have their benefits, they are not without their risks. If you’re not careful, you can heat damage your hair quite easily. To avoid this, keep the blow dryer on the cool setting and dry your hair in sections. Some people also experience more frizz when diffusing their curls, so if your hair is particularly prone to frizz, this method might not be best for you.
Air drying is the very basic, tried-and-true method of drying your hair: just let it be. It is great for those looking for more curl definition, and is by far the gentlest way to dry your hair. To get the most out of this method, apply your styling products and don’t touch your hair when it’s drying. Tossing or touching your hair too much during the drying process can cause frizz. Air drying does take a bit longer, and may not be practical for those with slow drying, low porosity hair. Air drying your hair will also result in less volume than other methods, and is therefore best for those with naturally voluminous hair.
Twists, bantu knots, braids, and similar methods allow you to stretch out your natural curl pattern while your hair dries. They’re great because they allow you to change up your style temporarily without subjecting your hair to any harsh chemicals like those found in relaxers. This method doesn’t beat your hair into submission with heat and harsh chemicals, doesn’t pose the risk of heat or chemical damage, and is safe to use as often as you like.
Plopping is a great method used by a lot of curlies, but it is not often used as a standalone drying method. Many curlies plop straight out of the shower for a relatively short amount of time, and then move on to other drying methods to finish drying their hair. Plopping is beneficial for almost all curly hair types, and addresses many issues like frizz and flat roots. You can incorporate plopping into many drying routines by using it as a starting point for diffusing, air drying, and similar drying methods. You can also try plopping as a drying method on its own – simply leave the plop until your hair is 90% dry. For more information on how to plop, see our beginner’s guide to plopping <link to plopping page>.
Bonnet dryers are a great way to dry your hair relatively quickly, and is mostly “hands-off”. Bonnet dryers (and the similar hooded dryers) fit over your hair and dry it with a constant stream of air. You can find bonnet dryers as a standalone product, or buy a bonnet dryer attachment for your blow dryer, similar to adding a diffuser attachment. Bonnet dryers are a great way to gently and quickly dry your hair, and are helpful in setting deep conditioning and similar moisturizing treatments.