Regardless of where your hair falls on the texture spectrum, all curly girls have dealt with hair drying issues. If you prefer to use a heating method, your hair can incur damage that leads to dry, brittle strands that are prone to breakage. If you air dry, you might be battling a case of the frizzies all day, or worse, a bad hair day on repeat. What’s a curly girl to do? Well, one popular option that curlies are using is the method of braiding their hair and letting it air dry. While the braid out method certainly isn’t anything new, it is becoming a more popular option as more and more curlies embrace their natural texture and want to avoid heat damage.

Why braid your hair?

Here are a few reasons to consider leaving your blow dryer behind, braid your hair and let it air dry instead.

  • It is less damaging to your curls. Heat is known to damage your hair, especially when applied on a daily basis.
  • It’s a useful solution for those who have multiple textures or are transitioning and want to style their hair with one uniform texture.
  • You can create two styles in one day. When you start your day, your freshly washed strands will be up in a braided style great for a no-fuss day at work. Later in the day, when they have dried, take them down for a full-bodied look perfect for whatever the night holds.
  • It works for all textures. Depending on how big or small your sections are, you can either make your texture looser or tighter than it is naturally. It can be used to stretch tighter textures, and create volume and definition for looser textures.

So, how do you go about trying this method?

Step 1. Wash and condition as usual.

Step 2. Towel dry your hair. The idea is simply to remove as much excess water as possible. Using a microfiber towel or an old cotton t-shirt to avoid raising the cuticles and causing frizz, absorb as much excess water as you can without rubbing hair.

Step 3. Coat your locks in your favorite leave in conditioner or frizz fighter. This will help make it easier to braid while ensuring your look stays frizz-free and defined while drying.

Step 4. Braid hair. There are many styles to try, but a popular choice that is fast and easy is a simple French braid style. The smaller the sections, the tighter your texture will look when it dries.

Step 5. Live your life. Seriously, that is one of the best parts about this drying method is that once the braids are in, you are free to carry on with your day without much worry about your hair. If you saturated your hair in enough conditioner, you won’t even have to think about daytime frizzies sneaking up on you.

Step 6. Take it down. When hair feels completely dry to the touch and your scalp feels dry, you can take out your braids. The amount of time it will take to dry will obviously depend on several factors such as your individual hair type and texture, the length of your hair, and the products you used to condition.

Step 7. Evaluate. Once you have taken down your braids, run your fingers through hair and see if you need to apply a little touch of product to your ends.

The next time you’re in a hurry and don’t feel like dealing with the hassle and heat of the blow dryer, try this method out for yourself!

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