curly hair air drying tanesha awasthi
For many curlies, we love the way our hair looks when it’s still wet. The curls are defined, frizz does not exist, if only it could dry exactly like that. Well, not exactly, we don’t want it to dry flat to our head with no volume at all. For many curlies who air dry, they wind up with curls that are flat at the roots. I definitely have days when my curls dry as if they’ve been glued to my head, with little to no movement at all.So how do you get defined, juicy curls that clump together without frizz, and volume and lift at the roots?

Blogger Tanesha Awasthi has a secret drying trick that gives her the gorgeous results you see above. Luckily for us, she shared that secret for all curlies to benefit from and it’s very simple to recreate.

How to get volume when you air dry

Start by cleansing, conditioning and detangling as you normally would. Tanesha likes to detangle with a wide tooth comb while her hair is saturated with a masque, which she uses instead of a daily conditioner. The wide tooth comb works to clump the curls together and the masque gives you the moisture you need to avoid frizz. When you get out of the shower…

Step 1

Blot your hair dry with a basic cotton t-shirt instead of a towel. Blotting will remove any excess water and the t-shirt will prevent frizz. Tanesha also plopped her hair with the t-shirt, for steps on how to plop click here.

Step 2

Gently apply a styler all over the hair. Tanesha likes gel, and her favorite is the Vital Care Mega Hold All Day Power Gel, which gives a good amount of hold to define the curls without making them appear crunchy.

Step 3

Pull hair onto the top of the head and secure in a loose top knot. Leave the hair in a top knot until halfway dry (the roots and back will still feel wet). For Tanesha this takes 2-3 hours, it may take more or less time, depending on your hair.

curly hair air drying tutorial by tanesha awasthi

Step 4

Take your hair down from the top knot and allow it to air dry the rest of the way while the hair is down and loose.

You can use your fingers to lightly loosen the roots if they look flat or too clumped together as they dry.

What if your hair’s too short?

One of the common comments I see on our NaturallyCurly tutorials is “my hair’s too short for that,” and I get it – I have had hair as short as pixie length and now it’s right below my ears. When your hair is super short I would just recommend plopping while you air dry and then going in when it is partially dry to reshape any out-of-shape curls with your fingers and a little styler.

If your hair is long enough, you can also create a mini top knot with just the top section of your hair (whatever will reach into a hair tie) kind of like a ninja bun. I personally use a jaw clip to clip the top layer of my hair up while it dries, mostly to keep my hair out of my face while I brush my teeth and put on makeup in the morning, but I find that it has the added benefit of giving me lift at the roots.

How long does it take to be 50% dry?

It depends, for Tanesha it takes about 5 ½ hours total to dry completely, so she wears her hair in the top knot for 2-3 hours. But this may be different from your hair depending on the length of your hair, whether it’s fine or coarse, thick or thin, and of course your porosity. 

Experiment with this technique and see what works for you – that may mean 30 minutes in a top knot or 3 hours in a top knot. It is totally dependent on your curls and your lifestyle. Luckily you can wear the top knot out of the house while it's drying and just take it down when it's partially dry!

Watch Tanesha's full curly hair routine

See more of Tanesha on her blog Tanesha AwasthiInstagram and YouTube channel.

Do you put your hair up while it's drying, or do you have your own air drying trick? Share below so other curlies can try it out!