Why can't I air-dry?

Hello ladies,
I have multiracial hair (African/European/Amerindian) and am transitioning from a spiral perm, and after a year of growth, I have about 10-12 inches of natural hair and about 12-14 of chemically treated hair. The natural hair looks to be 3b with some 3a and a little bit of 2-type hair at the roots of the front sections, but I am not sure how much effect the weight of the bottom half is having. (I don't want to cut any length.)

My question is, do those of you who airdry have any tricks of the trade? I want to airdry while the weather is still nice (I'm in Canada, so the winters are cold and I need to blowdry.) I have started washing my hair more often than I used to - every 3 days or so with conditioner - to wear it in tighter curls, and I usually use my diffuser, but I don't want to damage my transitioning hair more than I need to so I thought every other time I could airdry. But my hair looks TERRIBLE when I do. I have very thick hair (a 6 1/2 inch ponytail circumference) but it looks thin and like nothing when I airdry. The canopy gets frizzy, the roots lose their curl and the ends are undefined even with the perm.

My hair is always super-curly when it is soaking wet - more of a 3b/c look all over, even on the natural part, right to the roots. Then as it dries it stretches out and gets straighter. I leave conditioner in - lately it's been Aveda Elixir but I also use Elucence, Paul Mitchell and Too Shea -and then I add a styler while it's still very wet - Biolage Gelee, Re:Coil, Rockin Ringlets and Confident Coils are 3 I can think of - comb with a wide toothed comb which clumps it nicely, and don't touch it again till it's dry. If I rinse out my conditioner, my hair is horrible and dry so I can't go without that. I don't like the clipping and it really doesn't do anything for my hair. Any other tips?
Attempting to grow out years of tight spiral perms, so not sure of my hair type? Multiracial medium texture but very thick spirals, maybe 3B, maybe 3A/B? It's chestnut brown and down to my shoulder blades, bra strap length when wet or straight.
No, I have no such tricks. All I do is conditioner wash, rinse, remove excess water from hair with hands and a microfiber towel, apply styling products and air dry. My results are in my fotki albums.

From how you describe your hair, it sounds like you are better off diffusing a little or fully. If your hair is drying thin and stringy then air drying doesn't work for you - whether because of your texture or weather or use of products or some combination.

Good luck.
"Great minds discuss ideas; Average minds discuss events; Small minds discuss people."

"I think that somehow, we learn who we really are and then we live with that decision."
- Eleanor Roosevelt (both quotes)

(taking a break from posting starting late august 2009)
It worked great today!!!! I was not squeezing out the excess water with a microfiber towel. When I saw you did that, I thought why not try? I also scrunched it while it was very wet, then stopped as soon as I felt it drying and left it completely alone. I also used more gel than I normally would and did not dilute it with water as I normally do. My hair dried slightly crunchy which I hated, but I scrunched it completely out and now it's soft. The other thing I did differently was brush my Aveda Elixir and Biolage Gelee through my wet hair instead of finger comb or comb. Then I rinsed it with FREEZING water - awful for my body but great for my hair! My hair was SUPER clumpy, which I never thought I would like, but it looks amazing. Soft, tons of volume and awesome bouncy ringlets right to the roots. My hair looks so much curlier than I thought it was - the top part is definitely a springy 3b. I also think Elixir is an even better conditioner for me than Elucence as it is not as heavy but it still moisturizes my hair - most light products don't. I am so happy! Thanks for the tip curltopia!
Attempting to grow out years of tight spiral perms, so not sure of my hair type? Multiracial medium texture but very thick spirals, maybe 3B, maybe 3A/B? It's chestnut brown and down to my shoulder blades, bra strap length when wet or straight.
CG-

That's awesome! You sound very happy with your new methods Glad I could help.
"Great minds discuss ideas; Average minds discuss events; Small minds discuss people."

"I think that somehow, we learn who we really are and then we live with that decision."
- Eleanor Roosevelt (both quotes)

(taking a break from posting starting late august 2009)

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