5 Ways to Dry Your Hair Without a Blow Dryer

lady drying her hair using a microfiber towel as one of the alternatives to blow drying hair

If you’re looking for some easy alternatives to blow-drying hair, I totally hear you!

My own hairdryer bit the dust last month and I couldn’t afford to replace it for weeks.

Needless to say, I did a lot of experimenting with other ways to dry it fast.

Whether you’re in between hairdryers too or just want to give your locks a break from the heat, keep reading for my favorite alternatives to hairdryers!

Check: New Blow Dryer That Straightens Hair

5 Alternatives to Blow Drying Hair: Everything You Need To Know

If you want to avoid heat entirely, technically there’s only one real alternative to blow-drying your hair, and that’s air-drying it instead. That said, there are ways to make the process go a whole lot smoother.

1. Air-Dry Your Hair the “Towel Turban” Way

However, unless you have very short cropped locks, you can’t just jump out of the shower and let the air do its thing. There’s actually a RIGHT way to do it.

Before stepping out of the shower, prime your hair. Use a comb (I suggest a wide-tooth comb) to gently detangle your locks.

towel turban hair drying

I actually do this while I’m conditioning because I have thick hair, but you can do it after if you want. Once you’re out of the shower, take a soft t-shirt or microfiber towel to dry your hair [1]. 

Either will do, but I prefer a microfiber towel because they absorb more water than a t-shirt will. As I said, I have thick hair, so I’m all about anything that will save me time.

Now, gently squeeze and pat your hair. Don’t twist or wring it out. In other words, give it a “love squeeze,” not a “wring the life out of the driver who cut you off in traffic” squeeze.

Then, follow the “Towel Turban” [2] technique. It dries my hair (even my roots) faster. Also, the technique gives body and shape to my hair when it’s dry. Check it out:

2. Use Satin Pillowcases

Heading to bed with wet hair/damp hair isn’t really what anyone would ever suggest. It can lead to hair breakage and tangled hair, to name a few disastrous outcomes.

While that’s true, in my opinion, it has a lot to do with the material of the pillowcase and how you keep your hair overnight.

woman sleeping on a satin pillowcase as one of the alternatives to blow drying hair

Using a satin pillowcase is among the best alternatives to blow-drying hair. As Jessie Cheung, MD, told Healthline, the smooth and slippery surface of satin helps decrease tugging and pulling [3].

Let your hair airdry a bit before you hit the sack, though. Don’t go to bed right out of the shower. If your hair is anything like mine, it’ll not only still be wet in the morning, but it’ll be all sorts of crazy.

You can even combine this method with the towel turban method, or really any of the others on this list.

3. Use Paper Towels

I know, I just said to use microfiber towels or t-shirts, but this crazy-sounding method actually works well, too!

hand getting a paper towel

Taking a leaf out of one of the most popular professional hairstylists, Adir Abergel’s tip book, he recommends using paper towels for blotting excess moisture from your wet hair [4].

Right after showering, apply an anti-frizz cream or a serum that offers plenty of volumes, which in my opinion, is totally optional. Grab a few paper towels and braid your hair into it.

Whenever I’m in a hurry and wish to wear natural curly hair, I usually opt for this towel-dried hair technique as an alternative to blow drying my hair.

Check out the video below for how to do it:

4. Condition Your Hair

lady with hair conditioner

Yes, the secret is out! I know, right? If only you knew it earlier. Conditioner is one of the alternatives to blow-drying hair!

You already know that conditioners are a must for keeping your hair perfectly moisturized, but their capabilities go way beyond that.

Conditioner allows faster drying time! But, how?

Without getting too scientific, your conditioner forms a protective coating around each strand, basically locking in moisture. Also, it contains silicone as one of its ingredients which repels water [5].

As I mentioned earlier, I recommend you brush your hair using a wide-tooth comb while applying the conditioner (and not just after).

Ever since I started doing that, my hair looks and feels so much healthier because it helps me coat every strand.

5. Sunlight

You prepped your hair and got out of the shower, and used a wide-tooth comb to brush your wet hair. Using a paper towel, soft t-shirt, or a microfiber towel, you dry your hair until it’s about 80% dry.

Good job! But even after all the tedious process, you’re still not happy because your hair is still a bit damp. And quite honestly, I wouldn’t be pleased either.

pretty woman looking outside the window

In such cases, all you really need is good old-fashioned sunlight! Slather on some sunscreen (safety first and all), grab a good book, and go lounge in the sun for 20 minutes or so.

Not only is it a good heat-free way to dry your hair, but you’ll soak up your daily dose of Vitamin D.

A Few Tips To Help You With Heat-Free Hair Drying

Now that you know the basics of how to dry your hair without a blow dryer, let’s go over a few more tips for success.

Cut Your Hair

No, I don’t just mean chop it all off, although that would make airdrying it A LOT easier.

gorgeous lady with short bob and fringe

If you’re planning to go heat-free for life (and not just until you can afford a new hairdryer), talk to your stylist about cuts that are easy to maintain without hot styling tools.

My stylist actually recommended thinning out my hair a bit. Not only does it feel SO much lighter, but it dries noticeably faster.

Try a microfiber brush

Remember the microfiber towel? In case you weren’t aware, there’s a microfiber brush as well!

And just like the towel, it effectively absorbs extra moisture allowing faster drying time as you brush. Isn’t that amazing? Watch the video below!

Say No To Over-Washing

Want to know the fastest way to dry your hair without a hair dryer? Don’t get it wet in the first place! I’m kidding…or am I?

Honestly, unless you have really greasy hair, you don’t need to wash it every single day. For most of us, every other day is more than enough.

However, according to the American Academy of Dermatology, “People with tight curls or textured hair should wash their hair no more than once a week or every other week.” [6]

FAQs

Do hair dryers cause hair loss?

lady holding loss hair strands but do hair dryer cause hair loss ?

Absolutely! Not only that, prolonged usage of blow-dryers can cause permanent damage to your hair.
Excessive blow-drying can damage the hair cuticles. In such cases, you’ll experience extensive broken, lifeless hair and scalp damage.

How can I dry my hair quickly in winter using alternatives to a blow dryer?

In winter, what I’ve found to be the most effective is to make use of quick-dry towel head wraps.
Not only do these make my hair more manageable and smoother, but they also cut down the drying process by 50%. And that has ever since been a game-changer for me.
I follow it up by applying a mild hair serum for a volume boost and air-dry my smooth hair until it’s about 80% dry. 

How do I prevent hair damage while drying hair?

blow dry How to Straighten your Curly Hair without Heat

There are certain measures that you can adopt if you wish to keep the damage while drying your hair to a minimum.
First, use a conditioner to shield your hair with extra moisture. Also, never ever use a round brush on wet hair. Take a wide-tooth comb and use that instead.

Conclusion

The best part about each of these alternatives is that you won’t be needing a blow dryer for them. Plus, no hair breakage, messed-up hair texture, weak hair, heat damages, or frizzy hair-all the right ingredients for max air drying experience.

In case you still feel tempted to use a blow dryer, make sure that you’re using it the right way. At all times, hold the blow-dryer at least 15 cm away from your scalp on a medium heat setting while using it. [7] Still consider using the 5 alternatives to blow drying hair listed above as safe ways to dry your hair without a blow dryer.

References

  • 1. Suarez A. Microfiber hair wraps are the only reason my hair is so long and healthy [Internet]. SFGATE. 2020 [cited 2021 Dec 14]. Available from: https://www.sfgate.com/shopping/article/why-you-should-use-a-microfiber-hair-towel-15212687.php
  • 2. Review | Microfiber Hair Turban [Internet]. www.youtube.com. Available from: https://youtu.be/zwjxq9h0v6s
  • 3. 0. 8 Reasons You’ll Want to Start Sleeping With a Satin Pillowcase Tonight [Internet]. Healthline. Healthline Media; 2021 [cited 2021 Oct 11]. Available from: https://www.healthline.com/health/beauty-skin-care/satin-pillowcases-benefits
  • 4. Paper Towel Beach Waves Is the Secret to Sienna Miller’s Effortless Look [Internet]. Mane Addicts. 2020 [cited 2021 Dec 14]. Available from: https://maneaddicts.com/paper-towel-beach-waves-is-the-secret-to-sienna-millers-effortless-look/
  • 5. How To Make Wet Hair Dry Faster Because Ain’t Nobody Got Time For A Long Blow-Out [Internet]. Bustle. [cited 2021 Dec 14]. Available from: https://www.bustle.com/articles/71323-how-to-make-wet-hair-dry-faster-because-aint-nobody-got-time-for-a-long-blow-out#:~:text=%20How%20To%20Make%20Wet%20Hair%20Dry%20Faster
  • 6. African American hair: Tips for everyday care [Internet]. www.aad.org. [cited 2021 Dec 14]. Available from: https://www.aad.org/public/skin-hair-nails/hair-care/african-american-hair
  • 7. Lee Y, Kim Y-D, Hyun H-J, Pi L, Jin X, Lee W-S. Hair Shaft Damage from Heat and Drying Time of Hair Dryer. Annals of Dermatology. 2011;23:455.
beautiful girl combing her hair

What are your favorite alternatives to blow drying hair? Share with us below!

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