Drying curly hair takes resilience. As you know, drying curls takes a lot of trial and error (and let’s be real, we’ve all gone through those dark ages). But we’re just going to cut to the chase. Your drying method matters, and we’re going to show you how to dry curly hair three different ways. No trials, no errors.
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Air Drying Curly Hair
If you want the best results, air drying is the way to go. Since curls are most defined right out of the shower, it makes sense not to mess with them. Start by blotting your hair with a curl-safe towel, then follow these steps.
Apply a leave-in conditioner, and scrunch the product into your curls.
Leave your curls alone. This is by far the safest way to dry your curls, yielding zero risk of heat damage.
Use a hair oil or frizz-reducing hair product to keep your hair looking its best after it’s fully dried.
Keep in mind that air drying curly hair takes time. If you have a morning or afternoon to spare, air drying is for you. If you don’t, then expect to show up to the office with damp hair. Now let your curls dry, and maybe start that book you said you’d get around to, like, three months ago.
Plopping Curly Hair
This is a fun one: plopping. Plopping your hair helps preserve your curl pattern, minimize frizz, and cut down on drying time. Many guys and gals plop their hair overnight for perfectly-dried morning curls. To plop your hair properly, you’ll need a large cotton T-shirt and a few trusted curly hair products. Learn how to plop in five steps.
Apply your hair products and curl creme after getting out of the shower. Remember, styling your curls starts in the shower, so make sure you’ve detangled before stepping onto your bath mat.
Spread your large cotton T-shirt on your bed or bathroom counter. The larger your T-shirt, the better.
Bend over and plop your curls in the middle of your T-shirt. Make sure you get every last bit of curl into the center of your T-shirt before moving on to step four.
While in position, fold the back of the shirt over your head. Don’t worry, you might have to repeat this a few times before getting it right.
Cross the sleeves around the back of your head,and tie them in a knot. Tuck any excess fabric underneath the knot—and that’s it. A perfect plop.
Diffusing Curly Hair
If you’re like most curlies, styling and drying your hair is an all-day task. Luckily, you can fast-track the drying process thanks to a diffuser attachment. A hair diffuser is a round, perforated blow dryer attachment designed to diffuse airflow. Diffusing your curls speeds up the process, producing bouncy and voluminous curls in as little as one hour. Here’s how to blow dry naturally curly hair.
Flip your head upside down, and gently plop your curls into the diffuser bowl. You might want to pull up a chair and take a seat while you do this. Diffusing curls can be a workout, especially if your hair is really really long.
Turn the hair dryer diffuser on, and start drying in sections. Scrunch the diffuser towards your roots for volume. Diffuse at the lowest heat setting to minimize heat damage—and don’t forget to use a heat protectant regardless of how low your heat setting is.
Repeat step two until your hair is completely dry. Finish styling with a bit of hair oil for maximum shine and softness.
5 Tips for Drying Curly Hair
1. Style in the Shower
Styling your curls starts with the right products. On wash day, use a curl-safe shampoo and conditioner to keep your hair hydrated.
2. Towel Alternatives
Don’t reach for that terry cloth towel. Swap your regular towel for a T-shirt or microfiber one. It's gentler on your curls and helps reduce frizz.
3. Remove Excess Water
You don’t want your curls to be sopping wet when drying. Blot them with a T-shirt or microfiber towel to remove excess moisture before drying.
4. Detangle Before Drying
Detangling is where the magic happens. Use a Denman brush, a wide-tooth comb, or your fingers to detangle your curls in the shower. This makes the drying process smoother and helps define your curls.
5. Stay Hydrated
Hydrated curls are happy curls. Use a moisturizing mask or deep conditioner regularly to maintain their health.
Perfect Your Curl Pattern With AFAM
You didn’t choose the curly life; the curly life chose you. Embrace it by using AFAM curly hair products. Our curl-safe products are formulated to cater to define, moisturize, and style curls of all patterns. Whether you have 2B hair or 4C hair, we’ve got your curls covered. Check out our entire collection of hair products for natural curly hair.