If this year's red carpets have taught us anything, it's that leaving the house with wet hair may just be the smartest trend to follow right now. At one star-studded event alone — the
MTV Music Video Awards, in case you were wondering — model Ashley Graham and Kim Kardashian both arrived with wet waves. Not only is a just-out-of-the-shower look perfectly en vogue, it also gives way to an even bigger trend: undone, soft, natural texture that screams " too cool to be bothered with an iron."
We can all agree that
air-dried hair can be very chic, but it also appeals to the lazy side in all of us — not to mention it gives strands a much-needed break from the toils of constant heat-styling. Moral of the story? Stow those tools, stat!
That being said, not all of us can hop out of the shower expecting lust-worthy locks to materialize. To wit: Our editors each rely on a few clutch products to help us get there. In an effort to convert everyone to the rinse, comb, scrunch-and-go lifestyle, R29 editors are sharing the products that ensure a foolproof air-dry in the slides ahead.
Here's to planning a breakup talk with your blowdryer...
This story was originally published on October 20, 2016.
"We all know that air-drying is incredibly cool right now — everyone wants to bring out their natural texture, plus, no blow-drying! — but I admit I was skeptical when more and more formulas branded as 'air-drying creams' started crossing my desk. This one, however, is more than a fad.
"I apply a nickel-sized amount to the
bottom half of my hair, comb through with a wide-tooth comb, and let my hair dry overnight. My strands are crazy shiny and smooth after — and no tangles!"
— Lexy Lebsack, senior beauty editor
Pureology Hydrate Air Dry Cream, $28, available at Ulta Beauty. More
"When I'm too lazy to dry my hair before work, I like to pull it into a low, sleek bun with some gel or a smoothing cream. But what this usually means is that when I take it out, I have slicked-down roots from all the product. Not with this stuff. It smooths my hairline frizz while still leaving my hair soft and manageable. Now, I take out the bun, add a few waves with a curling iron to clean things up, spritz with texturizing spray, and I'm ready to go."
— Cat Quinn, beauty director
Virtue Labs Polish Unfrizz Cream, $40, available at Virtue Labs. More
"I’ve tried a number of curling creams in my two months of embracing my natural hair, but one of my favorites has to be Cantu’s Coconut Curling Cream. My ’fro is thick, and this stuff binds to my hair to sculpt my coils like none other.
"After detangling, I spritz my hair with a leave-in, seal with oil, and coat small sections with the cream before twisting. And instead of sitting underneath the dryer, I’ll keep my twists in for a few days before letting them loose."
— Khalea Underwood, beauty writer
Cantu Coconut Curling Cream, $5.99, available at Target. More
"Of all the air-drying products I've ever tried, this one is the best. Hands down. No contest. This deliciously scented
balm from Hairstory is lightweight and molds my curls into their most gorgeous versions — no frizz, no fuzz, no fuss.”
— Maria Del Russo, beauty editor
Hairstory Dressed Up, $36, available at Hairstory. More
"Immediately after I get out of the shower and without combing my hair — and that's important — I spritz this salt spray through my locks. I go to sleep without touching it and awake to soft, not-sticky, beachy waves. I don't fully understand the process, but I respect it. It works every time."
— Cat Quinn
R+Co Rockaway Salt Spray, $25, available at SpaceNK. More
"My favorite air-dry product is John Frieda Air-Dry Waves Styling Foam. My hair has natural waves and since this formula is super-lightweight, the foam helps bring out my natural texture without the crunch you can get from mousse."
— Kelsey Castanon, beauty news editor
John Frieda Frizz Ease Air-Dry Waves, $9.99, available at Ulta Beauty. More Read More
"The word balm used to be a dirty one for me. The last thing my fine, short hair needed was a thick, greasy balm. Those kind of heavy hydrators were for girls and guys with thick, curly, or textured hair. So slicking one over my wet hair seemed like a recipe for disaster. But when a balm from cool-kid salon IGK's new line landed on my desk, I had to try it. My job requires me to be on the up and up on everything new and noteworthy, so I dutifully applied a dollop to my mane.
"The first thing I noticed is that it does not feel like a traditional balm. It is almost slippery when it hits your hair and doesn't make my hair dry in clumps. I brushed my hair back with my trusty Wet Brush and beat feet to the office. An hour later, when I hit the R29 bathroom, I checked my hair in the mirror and was psyched — my hair had dried smooth and shiny and kept the shape, giving me a Tilda Swinton-lite swept-back style.”
— Megan McIntyre, former beauty features director
IGK Mistress Hydrating Hair Balm, $27, available at Sephora. More
"The name 'balm' is a bit misleading here — it's actually more of a solid cream. But it gives the kind of hold that you expect from a heavier, stickier product. I take a dime-size amount, rub it between my hands to warm it up, then — you guessed it — rake it through my hair, Kristen Stewart style. I'll also take a little on my fingertips and rub it over my ends to add some pieciness and separation. It solves my big air-drying problem by giving my hair shape and style, rather than just hanging there limply like late-'90s Nick Carter."
— Megan McIntyre
Reverie Rake Styling Balm, $36, available at GM Reverie. More
"While I normally veer exclusively towards dry texturizing products, I find that my medium-weight, slightly wavy hair dries best on its own when I give my ends a little hydration while wet. Now, I know that leave-in conditioner can be heavy, but this is lighter than most.
"I simply spray two or three pumps in my hand, diffuse it (tip: pretend it's hand cream and rub it all over your hands), then rake my hands through the bottom half of my wet hair. Then, I just go to bed and wake up with knot-free, smooth strands."
— Lexy Lebsack
"This is a combination I love to use in the warmer months to mimic that perfect beachy wave we all lust over. First, I put about five drops of Uma's hair oil in the palm of my hand and run in through my strands from root to tip. Next, I douse my hair in
R+Co's Rockaway Salt Spray. The result are waves that are beachy, but soft (thanks to the oil.) Trust me. This is one cocktail you'll keep going back to."
— Maria Del Russo
UMA Intensely Nourishing Hair Oil, $70, available at UMA Oils. More
"The Living Proof Perfect Hair Day 5-in-1 Styling Treatment is really amazing. Having
one cream that is lightweight, heat-protects, adds gloss, and smooths frizz is almost too good to be true. I squeeze a quarter-size amount into my palm, warm it up in my hands, then run the product from my roots to my ends. It still lets my natural texture come through, but with a controlled movement, so I can go without breaking out hot tools."
— Sam Sasso, beauty editorial assistant
Living Proof Perfect Hair Day 5-In-1 Styling Treatment, $27, available at Sephora. More
"I have what I like to call 'undecisive hair.' It lives somewhere between straight and wavy, often curling in awkward ways toward the ends. That's why I'm obsessed with trying new texturizing, air-dry products — since I hardly ever blowdry my hair. This one from IGK is the best mousse I've ever tried. It's definitely a little stickier than some options on the market, but it has great hold.
"I dispense a dollop of the frothy foam into my hands and work it through the mid-lengths and ends of my hair, scrunching and twisting my strands as I go. Then, I make sure to wait for my hair to completely dry before touching it or lying down. The result? Slightly messy, enhanced waves."
— Mi-Anne Chan, beauty writer
IGK Sunday Funday Texture Foam, $29, available at Sephora. More
Like this post? There's more. Get tons of beauty tips, tutorials, and news on the
Refinery29 Beauty Facebook page. Like us on Facebook — we'll see you there! More Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here? The Coolest Updos You Need To Win Prom Night How To Pick The Right Blonde For You Curly-Hair Products You Need To Know About