Letting the hair air dry is one of the healthiest options for women with naturally curly and wavy hair. For many, the slightest amount of heat from a blow dryer or a curling iron can disrupt the curl pattern or cause frizz. However, letting the hair air dry might entail leaving the house with a head of wet hair, which is considered improper by some. So when is it okay to go out with wet hair? CurlTalk users provide the answers, as well as various opinions on the matter.

Where Are You Headed?

Many CurlTalk users agreed that it depends on where you’re going. The bottom line is that wet hair is viewed by many as unprofessional because several people equate wet hair with unfinished hair. Going into work with wet hair might give off the impression that you are not ready for work, or that you did not have time in the morning to dry your hair. Employers, therefore, might assume that you put little effort into getting ready for work. However, most agreed that it is perfectly acceptable to go out with wet hair if you are going to class (if you’re a student) or if you are simply running errands. Most likely, everyone around you will be too busy to notice or care.

Traveling out of the country? Don’t forget that hair etiquette differs culturally. Going out with wet hair is most likely unacceptable in very conservative countries. If you’re unsure of what to do, a good tip is to observe the native women or to simply ask the locals!

It Depends on your Profession

What is your job like? If you are debating whether or not to go into work with wet/damp hair, a good question to ask yourself is “What will I be doing today?” If your job involves interacting with clients or attending meetings, then it’s essential to look your best. As one CurlTalk member, kristie911, put it, "I wouldn't want to see my dentist or doctor or CPA come walking in with wet hair.”

If the bulk of your day is spent tucked away in a cubicle or in an office, you could probably get away with the wet hair look. It all depends on how much interaction you get as a professional. One CurlTalk user suggested that it also depends on the field of work you are in.

Logy wrote: “Even though I work in a corporation setting, my specialty is more on the creative end. People might give me a little more leeway: ‘Well, she's a designer—sometimes they're a little quirky.’ I might not be judged as much as someone in other professions.”

The Generation Gap

As apparent from the CurlTalk discussions, the difference in opinion might be related to age. Older and more traditional generations probably view it as highly unacceptable to walk out the door with wet hair. Keep in mind that, conventionally, women were supposed to be presentable at all times (even when going to the grocery store). Of course, the definition of presentable has changed over time, and to many women it meant having their hair done, nails polished, and pearls worn around the neck. CurlTalk member multicultcurly highlighted a very interesting point:

“I think most people in their 50s and above didn't wear their hair naturally. They always styled it with rollers and curling irons, which would demand dry hair for a finished look.”

So before going out with wet hair, first ask yourself: where am I going? What am I doing? And who am I going to see today?