Natural hair is quite delicate and needs to be treated well. That goes for more than just washing, conditioning and even styling hair. Too often a very important component on healthy hair care gets overlooked…drying our natural strands! Drying natural hair may seem like a no-brainier component on haircare but when it comes to natural hair, we need to ensure we are doing it correctly and gently or our hair and hairstyles will suffer.
When we were relaxed, we used very simple methods like a hair dryer or even a blow dryer, and while they were effective, natural hair needs some gentler gloves to fight frizz, dryness and not ruffle the hair’s cuticle. Check out the the best ways to handle our hair for drying and maintaining beautiful natural hair.
One of the most underrated natural hair tools needed when going natural is a microfiber towel. Microfiber towels is made up of very fine and densely packed fibers that will not disrupt the hair’s cuticle nor separate the natural clumping of curls which leads to frizz. They also absorb excess moisture from your hair allowing for a faster drying process all without removing too much moisture.
These wonderful tools are making for better curls but they can be pricey. Here are some amazing alternatives that cost dollars less and still get the job done effectively.
Air drying hair is something new to black women as we were always taught to dry our hair (when relaxed) with a blow dryer or a hooded dryer. That was pretty much just for white girls to do. Well, who knew we could do it too? What a freedom I felt when I found out how great air drying was for our natural coils and I use this method for 99% of the time I dry my hair. Air drying is easy to do (you just allow the air to do all the work), causes less frizz or friction and healthiest for our strands as manipulation is always a bad thing for our delicate strands.
Many women who rock the wash and go love this method but even if doing a twist-out, Bantu knots or even roller sets, air drying is a viable option and will give your hair a break from manipulation if you are a big styling natural.
The hooded dryers is one of the few hair tools you will keep from your relaxed hair days. This infamous tool is not just ideal for a roller set and actually one of the few heat styling tools that is indirect heat and good for natural hair. Unlike direct heat styling tools (flat iron, blow dryer), the hooded dryer dries hair faster than air drying, excellent for stretching and adding volume to hair, and great for more effective deep conditionings. Whether using a soft bonnet or hard one, the hooded dryer is a must-have for any natural.
Old Cotton Tee
An old cotton tee shirt is another favorite alternative and super cheap as everyone has a few lying around. They are soft, absorbent and will be kind to your curls while not adding frizz. I was using a tee for years before getting my microfiber towel and will still use one when my towel is dirty. You can plop hair with an old tee or simply squeeze, scrunch and blog just as you would with a paper towel. Don’t have one? Pick one up super cheap at any retailer and properly care for your hair’s drying needs.
Understanding natural hair does not require a PhD, but knowing the basics will most definitely keep your hair healthy and happy. Take your hair drying methods seriously and you will see your hairstyles improve.
Which method(s) do you use?
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