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Top Tips for Air-Drying Your Hair This Summer

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Whether your hair dries in waves, spirals, coils, bends, or tangled mess, air-dried hair is the way to go for summer. With temperatures upwards of 90 degrees right around the corner, having a blow dryer blast hot air into my face isn't exactly on my to-do list...but neither is stepping out to an NYC rooftop party with frizz. Here, everything you need for a seamless, frizz-free air dry from start to finish.

1 Use a moisturizing shampoo to avoid frizz
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Shea Moisture Coconut & Hibiscus Curl & Shine Shampoo, $10


The fight against frizz starts in the shower. To help avoid a halo effect later, lather with a creamy (not gel-like) moisturizing shampoo. It's gentler on hair and won't strip strands of their natural protective barrier.

2 Scrunch with foam, not gel
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John Frieda Frizz Ease Dream Curls Air-Dry Waves Styling Foam, $10


Remember scrunching gel that used to get hair as crunchy as a tortilla chip? Those were the days. Foam is the best choice now: Apply this pick all over, then gently scrunch with your palm or use a diffuser.

The key here: Once you've stopped, leave it alone. The more you touch while drying, the more frizz.

3 Don't skimp on the texturizing spray
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SGX NYC The Bodyguard Protective Texture Spray, $7


Opting to air dry typically means forgetting about the smooth, glossy look you get from a blowout and embracing whatever look you get when heat tools don't interfere. Help nature out by swapping in a texturizing spray wherever you'd normally reach for smoothing products.

4 Skip sections when you curl your hair
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Bed Head Curlipops Tapered 1" Curling Wand, $15


If you can't resist picking up a heat tool, reduce damage and achieve that "I barely tried, but it still looks amazing" look by alternating your curl sections.

Apply texturizing spray all over, then only curl half your hair: the two face-framing sections, and the three or four larger sections around the back. Run your fingers through to complete the look.

5 Sleep in a scrunchie
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Remington Anywear Hair Decorative Hair Ties, $4


Wet or dry, keep hair safe from mid-sleep damage by tying it up in a top knot (the more loose strands rub against your pillowcase, the more friction-created frizz you'll notice). Traditional hair ties create kinks and tug on your roots, so opt for a scrunchie made of soft fabric.

6 When in doubt, add a clip
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Gimme Fashion Branching Out Bobby Pins, $3


These aren't your niece's barrettes. Air-dry styling isn't a no-fail formula—you can do everything perfectly and still end up with sections that look, well, weird. Hide anything out of the ordinary with a decorative bobby pin that looks, mercifully, purposeful.

7 Use dry shampoo for volume (even if your hair is squeaky clean)
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Dove Refresh + Care Volume & Fullness Dry Shampoo, $5


Dry shampoo can work magic on clean hair. The formula is essentially a buildable powder that can do wonders for creating volume, too.

Lift each section of your hair, spray close to the root, then tousle to give flat hair a little va-va-voom.

8 Dry with a microfiber towel
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Gel Pal Microfiber Hair Towel, $20


Hair is most delicate and vulnerable when wet, so the last thing you should be doing is aggressively ringing with a rough towel.

Microfiber towels have been proven to reduce frizz and are overall gentler on hair, helping to make your air-dried result look better.

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