Girl Smarts: 'I tried air-drying my hair for three months—Here’s what happened'
My hair was not only more voluminous, but it also had something I’d never seen before without an assist from a curling iron—waves!
There are only a handful of things that I know to be true in life: “Just one more drink” is always a terrible idea, a good sweat chases away bad moods, and Paul Rudd is a national treasure.
Up until a month ago, I would have added to that that air-drying is only for women with thick, lustrous hair.
I’ve always had kinda meh hair. The color is a dishwater-ish hue that I’ve covered up with every type of dye since I was about sixteen, and although I’ve been told I have a lot of hair, the strands themselves are very thin and very straight. Ponytails look like a weak stream from a water fountain; a bun looks more like a macaron (you get the picture).
For this reason, I’ve pumped my hair full of volumizers and thickening sprays and blown it dry to get as much va-va-voom as possible for as long as I can remember. Whenever summer rolled around, I suffered through the heat of an 1800-watt blow dryer because air-drying, in my estimation, meant my flat strands would look even flatter.
In the July/August issue, however, we ran a guide to air-drying that gave specific tips for every hair type, even fine hair. Before the story went to print, I figured it was my duty as the magazine's beauty director to fact-check the tips for all the thin-haired ladies like me. The key: Using a mix of texturizers and techniques to add volume sans the heat of a blow dryer.
So, one morning in late May, I got out of the shower and wrapped my hair in a microfiber Aquis towel, which absorbs the majority of the water out of your hair to help speed up the drying process, and took it out after about twenty minutes. Then, I sprayed my fav detangler, Redken One United, just through my ends, followed by misting Phtyo Volumizing Spray, the grand poobah of hair raisers, evenly at my roots. After running my hands through my strands, I just let it be.
I remember doing a Starbucks run before work and, coming out of the darkness of the shop, I caught my reflection in the windows and thought, Wow—this actually worked! My hair was not only more voluminous, but it also had something I’d never seen before without an assist from a curling iron—waves! Feeling triumphant, I posted a selfie on Instagram Stories, and got tons of DMs asking what I’d done with my hair. To all the peeps that asked: This is what I did.
Three months later, I still haven’t touched the blow dryer. I’ve experimented with products, though—today, I added in some Honest Beauty Sea Salt Spray. Most days, I’ll spritz in some Kevin Murphy Bedroom Hair. Both up the ante on the texture and airy-thickness of my hair.
The only issue is, now that I’m fully on board with air-drying, how can I possibly give it up once summer ends? Stay tuned.