How to Air-Dry Hair Properly During Winter

Air-drying isn't just for the summer months. 

We know people say to never, ever air-dry your hair in winter. But we also know that blowdrying your hair every day isn’t always an option. So if you are going to air-dry your hair in cold weather, make sure to do it properly, as needless to say, leaving the house with soaking wet hair in sub-zero temps is definitely a bad idea. The worst that could happen? You catch a cold. The second worst? A really bad hair day! Either way it’s a disaster waiting to happen, so read on below to learn how to safely and correctly air dry hair without any hiccups:

6 Ways to Help You Air-Dry Hair Perfectly in the Winter

air-dry hair for winter
The easiest step to remember? Wash the night before. Photo credit: Verity Jane Smith

1. Wash and dry at night.

To avoid getting a cold, never air-dry your hair in the morning during winter. Chances are your hair will take longer to completely dry (up to several hours, even) than the amount of time you’ll have in the morning. If you happen to step out in a polar vortex with damp hair, you hair can literally frost (true story!). Avoid that issue all together by air-drying at night in the warm comfort of your home.

Start by washing your hair with a moisturizing yet clarifying shampoo, which will help give hair that gently cleansed, hydrated feeling, even in the morning. We love TRESemmé Purify & Replenish Shampoo and Purify & Replenish Conditioner for silky yet properly cleansed hair.

2. Squeeze-dry.

This step is a good idea regardless if you air-dry your hair or not. Instead of rough-drying your hair, squeeze or blot gently with a towel instead. This is much easier on damaged hair and it helps prevent frizz and breakage due to too much friction. You can go the extra mile with this step and squeeze your hair dry with an old cotton t-shirt, which is usually gentler than terry cloth and is even less likely to cause frizz.

3. Add moisture.

Adding moisture after washing is critical, especially during winter when there is less humidity. We like a quick application of Suave Professionals Avocado+Olive Oil Smoothing Leave-In Conditioning Cream to help condition as we air-dry our hair. It adds enough moisture to normal to dry hair, without the heavy feeling.

If your hair is dry or damaged, try using a hair oil infused with coconut oil, such as Suave Professionals Coconut Oil Infusion Damage Repair Oil Treatment to hydrate your lengths and ends. A little goes a long way especially if you’re not washing your hair the morning of, so apply one to two pumps throughout the mid-lengths to ends.

4. Avoid frizz.

One thing that can be a problem when you air-dry hair is making sure it’s not vulnerable to frizz. This happens because the hair strand isn’t sealed down in one direction when it’s dried naturally (as opposed to when it’s blow-dried in one direction), so raised cuticles end up absorbing moisture in the air and consequently swell up, leading to a frizzy appearance. In short? It’s the worst.

If you are particularly prone to frizzy hair, you’ll need to keep a few things in mind. First, the more you fuss with your hair (like combing through with your fingers, or tousling it to help it dry faster), the more likely you are to cause frizzy flyaways and unmanageable cowlicks, as you’re basically setting your hair in no particular direction as it dries. You can help avoid frizz by using a smoothening serum, such as TRESemmé Keratin Smooth Keratin Infusing Serum, which helps keep locks sleek, shiny and frizz-free.

5. Be mindful of your sleep position.

When you air dry your hair at night, you can end up with flat hair from sleeping. To avoid this limp look, wear your hair in a loose braid or loose top knot when you go to bed. A loose braid can help give straight hair extra texture in the morning; going for a top knot helps give some body and volume at the roots. Just be sure to use a hair tie that won’t leave a dent, like the trusty old scrunchie!

Want some styles to try after you air-dry your hair? Try out these easy weekend styles.