Beauty

The Best Way to Air-Dry Your Hair—without Frizz or Fuss

Written by: Brianna Peters

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Updated on: May 22, 2023

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Photo courtesy of DanielBrunoGrandl/Blaublut-Edition.com

The confidence that comes from embracing your natural hair texture can be powerful. The bonus, of course, is that it keeps your hair healthy; blow-drying and heat styling are damaging, no matter how careful you are. Adir Abergel, a top LA hairstylist (he often does Gwyneth’s hair for events) and the creative director of Virtue Labs, loves a good air-dry—and he’s got incredible tips for making air-dried hair look its best.

1

Shampoo Makes a Major Difference
in the Way Your Hair Looks

When you blow-dry, you’ve got many steps (and styling products) that can potentially alter your hair’s appearance. When you air-dry, the fundamentals become more important, because you don’t have all the styling backup. “Pick a shampoo that’s specific to your hair’s needs,” says Abergel. “If you lack volume, use a volumizing shampoo. If it’s dry and brittle, use something really moisturizing. Shampoo really makes the biggest impact.”

  1. For Fighting Frizz

    Grown Alchemist Anti-Frizz Shampoo 0.5, goop, $49
    Grown Alchemist Anti-Frizz – Shampoo 0.5 goop, $50
    SHOP NOW
  2. For Volume and Texture

    goop Beauty G.Tox Himalayan Salt Scalp Scrub Shampoo, goop, $55/$38 with subscription
    goop Beauty Himalayan Salt Scalp
    Scrub Shampoo
    goop, $55/$38 with subscription
    SHOP NOW
  3. For Rich Moisture

    Rahua Hydration Shampoo, goop, $36
    Rahua Hydration Shampoo goop, $36
    SHOP NOW

2

After You Condition, Rinse with Cold Water

Conditioner can be just as important as shampoo,” says Abergel, so pick one that works for your hair type and texture. And, he says, a quick cold rinse before you hop out of the shower helps seal the cuticle for less frizz and more shine.

  1. Nourishing

    Crown Affair The Ritual Conditioner, goop, $38
    Crown Affair The Ritual Conditioner goop, $36
    SHOP NOW
  2. Moisturizing

    Sangre de Fruta Garden of Earthly Delights Botanical Conditioner, goop, $52
    Sangre de Fruta Garden of Earthly Delights
    Botanical Conditioner
    goop, $52
    SHOP NOW
  3. Silkifying

    Ranavat Regenerative Veda⁴ Bond Complex Conditioner: Mighty Majesty
    Ranavat Regenerative Veda⁴ Bond Complex Conditioner: Mighty Majesty goop, $48
    SHOP NOW

3

Detangle in the Shower

“While your hair is wet and the conditioner is still soaking in, you have a little more slip, so you’re less likely to get breakage when you brush your hair,” says Abergel. He loves a wide-tooth comb or the popular Manta brush: “It’s so great and gentle on the scalp.”

  1. Wide-Tooth Comb

    Crown Affair The Comb No. 002, goop, $38
    Crown Affair The Comb No. 002 goop, $46
    SHOP NOW
  2. Massages as It Detangles

    Manta Pulse Healthy Hair Brush Therapy, goop, $69.95
    Manta Manta Pulse Hairbrush goop, $85
    SHOP NOW

4

Get Serious with Masks

“Treat your hair with a mask or serum once a week and your hair becomes more shiny and elastic,” says Abergel. His tip: Smooth hair treatments from about where your brows are down to your ends. “The first few inches of your hair are typically the most healthy—you don’t need to put treatments there,” he says.

  1. Treatment Serum (Do It Preshampoo)

    goop Beauty GOOPGLOW Restore + Shine Hair Serum, goop, $55/$44 with subscription
    goop Beauty Restore + Shine
    Hair Serum
    goop, $55/$44 with subscription
    SHOP NOW
  2. Moisture-Bomb Gel-Cream Mask

    Dr. Barbara Sturm Repair Hair Mask
    Dr. Barbara Sturm Repair Hair Mask goop, $65
    SHOP NOW
  3. Color-Brightening Lilac Clay Mask

    Rahua Color Full Mask
    Rahua Color Full Hair Mask goop, $44
    SHOP NOW

5

Dry without Agitating

For a really special occasion (like the red carpet), Abergel sidesteps frizz by drying sopping-wet hair between paper towels or with an old cotton T-shirt. “Place the ends of your hair between sheets of paper towel and scrunch it up so the paper towel soaks up most of the moisture,” he says. “It creates less friction, so your hair dries smoother.” In real life, microfiber towels perform a similar function, helping hair dry more quickly with significantly less frizz.

  1. Tuckable Sheet

    Crown Affair The Towel, goop, $45
    Crown Affair The Towel goop, $45
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  2. Turban-Meets-Sheet

    Aquis The Flip
    Aquis Flip Hair Drying Tool goop, $50
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6

Styling Creams and Oils Work Wet or Dry

Abergel suggests that those with curlier hair apply leave-in conditioner or frizz cream while the hair is still really wet. For straight or wavy hair types, use a cream or oil once your hair is somewhat dry. “I smooth the product all over my hands like a hand cream, then run it through the hair,” he says. “That way, the product distributes evenly.”

  1. Rich, Thick Cream

    Grown Alchemist Smoothing Hair Treatment goop, $50
    Grown Alchemist Smoothing Hair Treatment goop, $50
    SHOP NOW
  2. Shine Serum

    True Botanicals Shine and Protect Hair Cream Oil, goop, $52
    True Botanicals Shine and Protect
    Hair Cream Oil
    goop, $52
    SHOP NOW
  3. Lightweight Oil

    Augustinus Bader The Hair Oil, goop, $50
    Augustinus Bader The Hair Oil goop, $52
    SHOP NOW

Editors’ Tricks for Their Best Air-Dry

Jean Godfrey-June

Jean Godfrey-June,
executive beauty director

Hair type: Wavy and dry

“I agree with Adir: Shampoo makes all the difference. I alternate between Grown Alchemist Nourishing and Rahua Hydration—I just can’t choose. But if I really want to make my hair look amazing, I use the goop hair serum before I shampoo; the resulting texture and shine are really noticeable. I think conditioner makes slightly less of a difference, but I use, again, the nourishing one from GA and the hydrating one from Rahua. I get out, smooth in leave-in conditioner from Sangre de Fruta, and brush my hair (once, ideally) with the incredible No. 002 brush from Crown Affair (it feels like heaven) and I’m done.”

  1. Grown Alchemist Nourishing Shampoo, goop, $50
    Grown Alchemist Nourishing Shampoo goop, $50
    SHOP NOW
  2. Rahua Hydration Shampoo, goop, $36
    Rahua Hydration Shampoo goop, $36
    SHOP NOW
  3. Sangre de Fruta Botanical Hair Elixir, goop, $96
    Sangre de Fruta Botanical Hair Elixir goop, $96
    SHOP NOW
  4. Crown Affair The Brush No. 002, goop, $62
    Crown Affair The Brush No. 002 goop, $74
    SHOP NOW

Megan O’Neill, associate beauty director

Megan O’Neill,
associate beauty director

Hair type: Curly and dry

“My hair vibe is gently mussed and casual, whether I’m going into the office or sipping a negroni at a fancy wedding. To give my curls soft definition that’s not too polished, after washing I wrap them in this special microfiber towel that speeds drying time; then, after a few minutes, I spritz in this frizz-smoothing, super moisturizing leave-in cream that smells faintly of mango and vacation (a leave-in moisture-bomb like this one is the secret to making curly hair shiny and manageable). I gather my damp lengths into four braids around my head and twist each one into a little bun secured with these skinny silk scrunchies that don’t snag (and look so, so cool). In the morning, I unravel the braids, and the resulting crinkly, beachy, silky texture is exactly what I want.”

  1. Crown Affair The Towel, goop, $45
    Crown Affair The Towel goop, $45
    SHOP NOW
  2. Rahua Hydration Detangler + UV Barrier, goop, $34
    Rahua Hydration Detangler
    + UV Barrier
    goop, $34
    SHOP NOW
  3. Crown Affair The Scrunchie No. 001, goop, $15
    Crown Affair The Scrunchie No. 001 goop, $15
    SHOP NOW
Brianna Peters, associate beauty editor

Brianna Peters,
associate beauty editor

Hair type: Straight, fine, and highlighted

“If I leave my hair to its own devices, it air-dries lifeless and flat, with no wave, volume, or texture. Here’s what works: Once I’m out of the shower, I lightly towel-dry and then generously apply leave-in conditioner from my midlengths to ends. I double up by spritzing Rahua’s oil mist on my ends—I know it sounds like I’m going overboard, but I swear the combination not only tames frizz, hydrates, and silkifies my hair but also gives me the glossiest shine. I gently brush my hair once with this incredibly chic French detangling brush to smooth snarls (and distribute the leave-in and oil). Then I split my hair into six sections while it’s still damp, twist each section, twist three already-twisted sections together, and secure them at the ends with these incredible clips. They easily hold my hair and don’t leave kinks or indentations. The result? Sexy, tousled hair with a not-too-perfect vibe.”

  1. Crown Affair The Leave-In Conditioner, goop, $48
    Crown Affair The Leave-In Conditioner goop, $48
    SHOP NOW
  2. Rahua Color Full Glossing Oil Mist
    Rahua Color Full Glossing Oil Mist goop, $58
    SHOP NOW
  3. La Bonne Brosse N.04 The Miracle Detangling Scalp Brush
    LA BONNE BROSSE N.04 The Miracle Detangling Scalp Brush goop, $148
    SHOP NOW
  4. Crown Affair The Air Dry Clips, goop, $48
    Crown Affair The Air Dry Clips goop, $54
    SHOP NOW