As much as you may love the effects of styling your hair with your trusty blow-dryer, the thought of doing so now that summer temps have hit scorching is probably enough to make you melt. Since the last thing you need to deal with is more heat, air-drying your ‘do is the obvious solution—but making your hair look just as good as it does heat-styled can be challenging.
Fortunately, natural hairstyles aren’t as tricky to pull off as they used to be. “The best way to achieve a great style without a blow-dryer is after washing your hair, take a towel and flip your head upside down, wrapping it up in a twisted towel for 15 minutes,” says Carolyn Aronson, hairstylist and founder of It’s a 10 Haircare. “Once you take it down, a lot of the excess water will have been absorbed by the towel.” This process prevents you from rubbing your wet hair with a towel, which can be damaging.
To ensure your natural hair doesn’t morph into a frizzy, chaotic mess during the air-drying process, it’s important to invest in the right styling products. We asked several hair experts for their fave natural hairstyles, and the best products to make them happen:
FOR ALL HAIR LENGTHS: THE NO-PRODUCT LOOK
Spray Bumble and Bumble Hairdresser’s Invisible Oil Primer on towel-dried hair and comb through, then apply a quarter-sized dollop of Don’t Blow It from roots to ends. Finish with a pea-sized amount of Brilliantine on ends only, and let air-dry (but don’t make these seven mistakes!). “This will create a piece-y, natural hair look and will help prevent hair from looking fuzzy,” says Dani Everson, owner and stylist at Clementine’s Salon in Denver, Colorado.
If you want to let your hair dry naturally and you have a curly hairdo, take the Moroccanoil Hydrating Styling Cream for a spin, says Nunzio Saviano, hair stylist and owner of Nunzio Saviano Salon in New York City. “Just scrunch it in and it helps the curls form really nicely while moisturizing each strand,” he says. (Psst! Make sure you never break these seven rules for curly hair.) And if you have fine or straight hair, you can scrunch Oribe Surfcomber Tousled Texture Mousse into your tresses for a sea salty, beach vibe.
FOR ALL HAIR LENGTHS: THE WET LOOK
If you’ve always wanted to try the sought-after wet look that Kim Kardashian has perfected, all you have to do is apply Kérastase Forme Fatale Styling Gel to towel-dried hair and slick your hair back around the ears, says Saviano. Voila! (Want younger-looking hair? Follow these five rules for hair after 40.)
FOR SHOULDER-LENGTH HAIR: THE BEACH BABE LOOK
Spray Bumble and Bumble Hairdresser’s Invisible Oil Primer onto towel-dried hair and comb through, then work Surf Spray into your hair from roots to ends, says Everson. Using your fingers, divide your hair into two-inch sections, twisting each section away from your face. Finish with a light spray of Thickening Dryspun Finish and let your hair air-dry. Shake it out to create a lived-in, beachy look