The 15 Best Products to Air Dry Your Hair With, According to Stylists

Experts break down how to air dry your hair—sans frizz.

woman with air dried hair
(Image credit: Edward Berthelot/Getty )

You're tired. You're late. And the thought of pulling out your favorite blow dryer? Yea, that’s not going to happen. But if you have frizzy or flat hair, living a low-maintenance life and having a good hair day can seem like a far-off dream. The good news is that using one of the best air dry hair products can change the game. These oils, creams, mousses, and gels are designed to enhance your natural texture, seal your ends, are valuable heat protectants against UV heat, and restore hydration so your hair looks as defined and polished as possible.

How to Air-Dry Your Hair According to Your Hair Type

That said, slapping any old product on your ends isn’t going to get the job done—there’s a technique. “You need to take as much of the excess moisture out of the hair with a towel,” advises Adam Reed, celebrity hairstylist and founder of ARKIVE Headcare. “Comb through the hair with product and leave the comb tracks in place—don’t disrupt them until the hair is almost dry. Then gently manipulate and open up the hair. The longer you can leave the hair without touching it, the less frizz you’ll have. If you touch it, it gets fluffy and doesn’t maintain that nice, air-dry finish.” 

Plus, you'll have to experiment to find out what kind of air dry product works best on your hair type. “You have to find a product that works really well with your hair, so it depends on your hair type. There’s a bit of a trial-and-error process,” explains Reed. “As a general rule, thicker hair with more curls will require heavier moisture to stay hydrated. Something like a cream could be a good place to start. Finer hair will need much more lightweight hydration.” 

He also suggests using less product at the get-go so you don’t weigh your hair down. If frizz starts to creep up, consider adding a drop of oil into the mix for added hydration. 

How Much Product To Apply

While the exact answer to the “how much product” question has more to do with your specific hair type and texture than anything else, celebrity stylist Glenn Ellis has a general rule of thumb that he tends to follow. “I always suggest starting with a dime to quarter size amount,” he says.  

  • If you have finer hair you’ll want to use a dollop closer to a dime size,
  •  if you have thicker hair you’ll want to use more. You want it to be enough to work through all of the hair but not too much that it is too thick. You can always add a bit more if needed but start off with less and add where needed! 

Shop The Best Air-Dry Hair Products