How To | Air Dry Relaxed Hair with Soft and Smooth Results

I know when I started experimenting with air drying it shortened my wash days, but my hair always ended up dry, poofy, rough, and unmanageable, which is what keep me holding on to heat styles.  But the more I experimented with air drying, the more I was able to modify the process to get better results.  I'm not the best at air drying, but I have made major strides.  Lately I have been relying heavily on air drying as my method of finishing off my wash days.  Even on days where I take the time to style my hair with rollers or another low manipulation style, air drying has just been my go to option when I have the time.  And air drying into a bun is just so quick and easy that's become my default for most wash days.  Below you'll find my wash day process for air drying into a bun for softer smoother results.  

The Wash Day Process
(1) Deep Condition with a moisturizing conditioner.  Smoothing Deep Conditioners are great and if they have slip that's even better.  Slip is one of those things that you know it when you have it.  Some deep conditioners when applied to your hair (and when rinsing them out) make running your fingers through your hair a breeze.  Others -- not so much.  You will want to test out your stash of deep conditioners and pay attention to the one(s) that give you the best slip.  Those are the ones you want to use on air dry days.

TIP: If you don't have the best deep conditioner in your stash then do an Apple Cider Vinegar Rinse (one part apple cider vinegar and two parts water).  Spray or pour it onto your hair as a final rinse after deep conditioning and leave it on for like a minute before rinsing it out.  This also lays the cuticle layer of the hair shaft down for smoother hair.

(2) After your final rinse, dry your hair with a t-shirt for a few minutes -- just to absorb the water.
Must Have: 100% Cotton T-shirt. Ditch your towels on air dry days.  Something about the texture of a t-shirt just agrees with our hair.  It makes your hair less frizzy and helps to contribute to smoother air dried hair. It sounds silly, but trust me it works.

(3) Detangle in small sections, smoothing the hair out (use a detangling product if necessary).

(4) With each section that you detangle apply a creamy moisturizing leave-in conditioner or moisturizer and top with your favorite oil for sealing.

(5) Once you've detangled your hair, smooth your edges down (if you have a lot of new growth use your favorite gel).

(6) Secure your ends into a very loose bun using a clip or bobby pin.

(7) Tie your edges down with a scarf.  

For more tips on air drying check out my latest video:

This is what I do to air dry.  
What are your tips for getting great air dried results?  What are some of your favorite deep conditioners for air drying?

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