You already know that curly hair needs to be washed differently than other hair types, but did you know that curls need to be dried differently too? This is important in order to ward off frizz and maintain your curls’ beautiful, au natural shape.
What you’ll need:
The first rule of drying curly hair, is to give up the terry cloth. “A terry cloth towel will absorb too much moisture, which curly hair needs,” explains Lorraine Massey, author of “Curly Girl: The Handbook.” “Its harsh fiber will ruffle the hair’s cuticle causing frizz.” So opt for a micro-fiber towel instead! Other great options that have worked to great success for curlies are old t-shirts and paper towels.
What to do:
Once you’ve blotted your hair dry with your t-shirt or microfiber towel, apply a generous amount of gel or your favorite styling product and then don’t touch curls as they air dry or you’ll disperse them and cause frizz. Air drying is best for curly hair even though it can take a while.
A hair turban absorbs too much moisture, opens the cuticle and disturbs the natural shape and pattern of your curls causing frizz. Break your habit of wrapping hair in a towel turban-style when you dry. Instead, dry your hair by cupping it in your hand and gently scrunching upward. Do this around your whole head.
No time to air dry?
If you don’t have time to air dry or the weather is cold, try a hooded dryer, which “creates its own little microclimate for curls so moisture from products locks into hair faster and the cuticle stays closed,” explains Massey. No hooded dryer? Then use a regular hair dryer with a diffuser on a low to medium heat setting. Look for a curly hair diffuser if you can.
Dry while you drive
Use the heater in your car if you commute. “This is what I do,” says Massey. “Because it creates a similar microclimate as the hooded dryer.”