Blog - 7 ways to dry your curly hair - Curlygirlmovement

Author: Elizabeth Alex
Instagram: @honestlizhere

Let’s cut to the chase. Assuming you deep condition like a good curly girl you want to dry your hair as fast as possible. No? BUT CURLY HAIR? Especially curly hair with rich creams and milks may take longer to dry. Those with low porosity hair take longer than others too. So here are my tried and tested ways you can dry curly hair - and slay :)

Disclaimer: I have 3B medium-high porosity thick high density hair. The tips and methods have worked for me. Use your discretion before applying these methods to your hair type. It may or may not work for you,  don’t blame me later :P and practicing is key to find your sweet spot! 

Air Dry

This is obvious a majority of us. Style your hair, squeeze out excess water and pray to God it dries faster. . The great thing with air drying is that you can get the most frizz-free definition with this method. Only if you DON’T touch it while it’s drying. Another con is that for some it can take over 5-6 hours  to air dry. So imagine, the struggle is real but the trade off is damage free hair!


There is a very high probability you can damage your curls while diffusing. Especially if you decide to diffuse on high heat. High heat causes heat damage and it's not very great for the already dry curly hair. But, given the right diffuser, gentle timing, low speed and low heat can actually speed up drying time. Diffusing also gives you drool worthy curls too. The trade off? Lots of practice, high investment to buy the right tool, and higher electricity bills. BUT if it can dry your hair in 1-2 hours with enhanced curl pattern, why not?!? You decide.

Combining Air drying and Diffusing

Me? I want the best of everything. So I air dry for a while then diffuse on low heat for a few minutes and repeat the cycle. The good thing about this method is that by diffusing for lesser time I reduce any heat damage. By air drying "mostly" we can achieve frizz free curls. I have never had the best results using ONLY air drying or only diffusing, for me doing both helps.


This is not a new method but if you are a beginner you want to pay a little more attention to this space. Plopping is wrapping a microfiber towel around your hair, with or without stylers. This speeds up drying time of course.  A trusted high-quality microfiber towel is again an investment though. You don't want to compromise with cheap or duplicate ones because that will dry your curls out! Some curlies on a budget use soft cotton t shirts to plop but cotton absorbs all the water so think twice! We don’t want to go to extremes. Plop after the stylers are in OR  plop right after the shower and then apply products on damp hair. Both ways work for me so you practice and decide which way works for you.

Micro Plopping

This is using a microfiber towel to squeeze out excess water and/or product. It's scrunching out excess but gentle and scunhing is not the way you’d apply gel. It’s one pump per section because then you don’t want to squeeze out too much water. Water is hydration so never forget that. Micro plopping is ideal for those with migraine issues or if you do not have the time. Squeezing out excess water definitely speeds up drying time!

Root Clipping

I saw this first on Devacurl youtube and thought it was super interesting. Many think root clipping is a technique to avoid flat roots but did you know? By clipping your roots, the scalp area dries faster which is great! Ideally use double-prong clips, these are available on amazon. Lift and clip your roots in small sections. Watch my stories here. It may feel awkward at first. This is true when trying anything new but with practice it becomes a habit and you don't feel so weird about it. I even wear clips stealthily WATCH Video here.

Auto Dry

I don't own a car and in India it’s relatively inexpensive (and less claustropic) to travel in auto rickshaws! So when I am out and  about, it happens to be washday, I would diffuse a bit first and let me hair air dry during my auto ride! The wind in my hair gives me volume too! An alternative is using your car air conditioner either on hot or cold to help you speed up drying time with swag.

How long does it take for curly hair to air dry? 

Without styling products hair hair dries within the hour. So sometimes when I wash my hair at night I let it air dry and then style in the morning. This hashtag is super popular on IG #WashNowStyleLater. With styling products it can take much much longer. Applying these hacks mentioned here can hardly take 1-2 hours for me :)

How can you make curly hair dry faster?

Oh yes yes! There are hacks for this too. I found using DIY flaxseed gel during your styling is key. You can use it over or under your commercial stylers. It speeds up drying time! Not sure the scientific reason behind it but it does; I know it from experience that’s all, ok? OK.

How do you dry curly hair so it doesn't frizz?

Air Drying the majority time helps, also diffusing on cold. The best tip I would give you is not touch your damp hair while its drying. Your filthy dry hands may cause static electricity causing frizz.

So this was from what I know and what I practice, if you have more tips, please let us know in the comments! We can all learn something new every day #honestliz

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