How to Air-Dry Hair Without Frizz

If your hot tools have been spending most of the last year gathering dust, you’re not alone. After all, it can feel like more effort than it’s worth to go through your usual heat styling routine when the only people you’re seeing regularly are roommates and family members. (On the bright side, we’re sure your strands have appreciated the break!) But just because you aren’t springing for a full blowout doesn’t mean you don’t want to feel pulled together. Enter air-drying. Sure, without planning, it can leave your hair a limp, frizzy mess. But what if we told you all it takes to pull off a flawless, frizz-free air-dry are a few simple, tips, tricks, and product upgrades—and that we’ve secured the necessary intel from none other than Moroccanoil Artistic Director Kevin Hughes?

Moroccanoil Artistic Director Kevin Hughes

Read on to get the full scoop. And best of all, once you nail an air-dry routine, you might just be able to skip the heat styling on the other side of the pandemic, too.

What causes frizz when air-drying?

If your hair is not pin straight, there will always be frizz when air-drying. This is why styling products should always be an important part of your daily routine. Wherever there is movement in the hair—waves, curls, tight spirals—as the hair air-dries it shrinks up in some places, and taking that wave or curl pattern out of its natural formation can cause frizz. Then if you add any chemical treatments that have been done on the hair, those open up the cuticle layer and will appear as frizz once the hair dries.

Moroccanoil Treatment for frizz-free air-dry

What products can help prevent frizz when air-drying?

My suggestion is to always start with the foundation of hairstyling and that is Moroccanoil Treatment, this will help decrease frizz as well as add shine and manageability to your hair. Next, I would add a product with a hold factor, like Curl Defining Cream. It has a medium hold but is a cream, so you will never have that crunchy feel with this product. This will also help keep frizz at bay all day. Another great product is Mending Infusion—this is formulated for use on dry hair, so you are able to eliminate frizz that may have during the occurred during the air-drying process. It eliminates the appearance of split ends or flyways and has a weightless formulation that absorbs into the hair.

Do you have different recommendations for different hair types?

Yes, all hair is not created equal. For super curly hair, I would recommend Smoothing Lotion. It’s perfect for smoothing the cuticle layer of any hair type, whether you’re wearing it straight or curly. Another great product is Curl Control Mousse, this is perfect for super curly hair to control that curl and keep it in its formation (which results in less frizz, more shine).

Moroccanoil All in One Leave-in Conditioner for frizz-free air-dry

Walk us through the best post-shower steps for an optimal air-dry experience.

Frizz can start as soon as you step out of the shower. I always recommend towel-blotting the hair—do not be rough when towel-drying, as it roughs up the cuticle layer of the hair. Next, you should apply a product like All in One Leave-in Conditioner directly to your towel-blotted hair before detangling. This lightweight formula will hydrate and let your detangling brush glide through the hair. These may seem like small things, but they make a big difference in how much frizz you end up with. You can then apply your styling product and comb through to distribute, once that is done, leave the hair alone to air-dry. The more you touch it or run your fingers through it, the more frizz you will create before your hair is dry.

Can certain shampoos and conditioners set you up for air-drying success better than others?

Absolutely, a good shampoo and conditioner are imperative to frizz-free hair. Moroccanoil shampoos and conditioners are great options because they’re sulfate and phosphate-free. Both are salt derivatives which can rough up your hair cuticle or pull color/chemical processes from the hair). So, it is important they are not in your shampoos or conditioners. Hydration is also very important to keep hair shiny and frizz-free, so don’t skip the conditioner!

Moroccanoil sulfate-free Hydrating Shampoo with argan oil

Once hair is dry, what’s the best way to smooth frizz?

After hair is dry you can always add a styling product to eliminate frizz. Moroccanoil styling products can be added to dry hair as well. Mending Infusion visibly eliminates split ends and other signs of damage, and Moroccanoil Treatment or Smoothing Lotion are also very effective for eliminating frizz after your hair is dry.

Featured photo by averie woodard on Unsplash