The Do's & Don'ts of Air-drying
Lately, I’ve noticed a trend with clients air drying their hair during wash day. Meaning, the hair is shampooed and conditioned and then left to the elements to dry and style.
The logic behind it is, they’re using less heat this way, which in theory makes total sense. However, we have to consider when this option would be best. There are times when this is not a preferred method and it can be counterproductive to healthy hair growth.
When considering hair texture, wetness, and the elements, understand they are all inter connected. Our hair is made of up of cuticle layers that respond to the environment around you. The curlier the hair, the greater the response will be.
Curly hair is designed for the cuticle to raise and reshape often to support the hair’s elasticity. When humidity is added to the hair, the cuticle layer will be prompted to adjust to the environment. Hair types that are naturally straighter will have less response to humidity because their cuticle layer is designed to layer in one direction only.
Hair that is chemically straightened with a relaxer can provide a tricky cuticle layer. Although the hair is treated to lay straight, the cuticle layer may still respond like it is curly.. When drying this texture specifically, the cuticle layer is often trained with rollers, a molded style or blown dry.
So lets talk about how to dry each type of hair mentioned above.
Air drying is best for hair types that have no relaxers in them. Once the cuticle of the hair has been altered with a relaxer, the process of maintaining the style will require some heat, especially as new growth comes in. Prep your hair with a thermal protectant and style with care. Either roller set or wrap the hair using a hood dryer or section the hair and blow-dry.
Hair with color and/ or natural texture have the option to air dry so long as the hair is detangled, sealed and protected with the right products. In this case, the LOC method is needed to prepare and protect the hair. LOC stands for Leave-in conditioner, Oil, Cream, layered and massaged into the hair to protect the cuticles and keep the hair lubricated while drying. Hair types that need more definition are also layered with a cream or jelly that will keep the curls silky and stretched.
There is a caveat to air drying with relaxed hair. Air drying can come in handy with relaxed pixie cuts when molded for a sculpted look. Layer the hair with a leavin conditioner, oil and sculpting foam and set it with a scarf or wrapping strips. This will give a sleek look that can be prepared at night.
In all of these instances, the hair must be prepped for styling before the job is done. Air drying your hair with no preparation is leaving your hair to chance, compromising the integrity of the hair, and exposing the cuticles to mat together. If that is not the desired results, please follow through.
The process of wash day can be a real task if you’re not excited about it. Having a style or look in mind will keep you focused while your maintaining your hair hygiene.
Don’t give up on your hair mid wash day, y’all. Prep and protect your hair and give it some style. You got options. Want to learn more about hair care? Visit www.hqhairclinic.com and schedule a consultation with Lexi..