Natural hair can sometimes have low porosity which makes it difficult to dry natural hair fast.
This is a type of hair texture where the hair cuticle is closed and natural oils, water, and other products, sit on the hair rather than permeate inside the strands.
Related: How To Air Dry Your Hair
The thing about high porosity hair is that they do not gain moisture quickly and they do not lose it faster too.
So drying hair can be a bit of a challenge as natural hair, or type 4 hair, can stay wet for a long time.
So you need to know how to dry natural hair fast so that your curls do not remain damp for hours together.
A very likely scenario, if you simply let them air dry on their own.
It was very difficult for me to get a proper hair drying routine in place for my natural hair. I have very low porosity type 4b hair which takes forever to dry.
I was always hesitant to use any sort of heat as my curls were also prone to frizz. But air-drying meant I had to wait forever to get my twists to dry.
And this wasn’t possible with a busy schedule. So I found these hacks that helped my natural hair dry faster. You can try them out too!
How To Dry Natural Hair Fast
Try Plopping Hair With An Old T-Shirt
Plopping your hair is one of the best ways to get your natural hair to dry faster. This trick is popular as the Curly Girl Method and all beauty gurus and Influencers seem to swear by it.
Here, you use an old, 100 percent cotton t-shirt instead of a towel to dry your hair. A cotton t-shirt is more absorbent than any microfiber towel.
The surface of an old t-shirt is also smoother and hence, the fibers won’t tug and pull at your hair strands. Meaning? No more tangles!
To plop your hair, the first thing you do is apply a leave-in conditioner, cream, or oil on your wet curls.
Next, keep your t-shirt on a flat surface in front of you, like a table or a bed. Make sure the neck and sleeves of the t-shirt are facing towards you.
Lower your hair over the t-shirt gently so it’s spread out fan-like over the surface.
Fold the end of the t-shirt over the neck, and roll it from the sides around your curls. Use the sleeves to tie a knot around this roll and secure it in place.
You can leave this t-shirt on as you get ready for your day. This method isn’t just a quicker way to dry natural hair, but it also helps add curl definition.
Related: Learn more about how to plop hair in detail!
Blot With Paper Towels
A lot of natural hair folks do not like using either towels or hair dryers for their hair for the fear of damage.
And for a long time I avoided hair dryers and microfiber towels as well. There’s nothing wrong with using them, it’s just that my hair was very damaged.
I had split ends on my hair and a weak cuticle as well. So the friction on my hair from rubbing the towel was making things worse.
But due to my low porosity texture, my curls would be dripping wet for hours. This is when I read about the paper towel hack.
You can use paper towels to blot away excess water from your curls before getting them to air dry. Doing so reduces the drying time considerably!
Be careful not to scrunch or rub your hair with paper napkins. Just blot them gently like you would blot away sweat or oil from your nose.
They soak up water quickly and effectively and prevent your hair from getting frizzy too.
Use A Hooded Hair Dryer
Okay, so I know using a hair dryer feels like cheating. But this one is different. A hooded hair dryer doesn’t heat up curls the way a regular blow dryer does.
It distributes heat evenly and you’ll see your curls dry till the root in at least 10-15 minutes.
A rolling hooded dryer (the type hair salons use) is generally more expensive. So you can try out a fabric one as shown below.
If you use a natural oil or cream beforehand, your hair will get a deep conditioning treatment as well when you’re using a hooded hairdryer.
Gently Squeeze Hair Focusing on The Roots
It doesn’t matter if you’re using a microfiber towel or even a t-shirt, to dry natural hair faster you need to use the correct method.
If you rub the towel over the strands in a back and forth motion, this won’t dry your curls any faster. However, it will add to the friction on your hair and leave it damaged.
The best way to dry your hair is to follow the direction of your hair cuticle. Here’s what you can do:
- Divide your wet hair into sections
- Take a dry towel or t-shirt and wrap it around each section of hair turn by turn
- Squeeze gently starting at the top and making your way to the roots
- Focus on the roots more as they tend to take a longer time drying
Sit In The Sun or Turn On Car Heat
It might sound a bit weird, but this tip works like a charm with my hair.
If you’re short on time and always air dry your curls, try blasting the heat in your car when you’re on your way to work or school.
The heat isn’t as direct as with a blow dryer or even a hooded dryer, so you don’t have to worry about any damage. But it’s enough to help speed up the drying process.
Alternatively, you can step out in the sun or sit by a window while you’re getting ready to help your natural hair dry faster.
But be careful with the sun if you have color-treated hair. Too much of it can cause your hair dye to fade.
So try this hack only if you’re using a color-protect shampoo with UV filters.
Comb Through After Using Conditioner
A little known fact is that conditioner can actually help your hair dry faster. Really!
Most conditioners come with silicones that act as sealants and lock moisture in your hair.
This helps the water molecules stay only superficially on top of your strands and dry quickly.
You can use a wide-toothed comb with vents to spread the conditioner more evenly through the hair.
Doing so will ensure that each section of your curls are coated with conditioner and help them dry faster.
Keep this comb like this one by Wet Brush Shower Flex in your shower and use it after applying rinse out conditioner.
I would like to add that, silicone-based conditioners can lead to product build-up. And most companies are now trying to avoid their use.
If you’re using this method, make sure you’re using a clarifying shampoo once a month or an apple cider vinegar to get rid of product build-up.
Also, the frequent combing of wet hair can cause cuticles to open up and lead to frizz. So, handle wet hair very gently.
Should I Let My Natural Hair Dry Naturally
There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as everyone’s hair needs and reacts differently to drying methods. That being said, here are some general tips that may help you decide if letting your hair dry naturally is the best option for you:
- Test a few different methods – First, try a few different methods to see which one works best for you. This includes using a blow dryer, using a heat cap, using a hair straightener, or using a hair dryer with a diffuser.
- Follow your scalp’s cues – If your scalp is feeling dry or itchy, it may be better to stick with using a hair dryer with a diffuser. If your scalp feels oily or heavy, it may be better to use a blow dryer or heat cap instead.
- Use the right products – Lastly, make sure to use the right products for your specific method of drying your hair. This includes moisturizing products if you’re using a heat cap, detangling products if you’re using a hair straightener, and protection products if you’re using a blow dryer.
FAQs – How to dry natural hair fast and quick
How can I dry my hair fast without a dryer?
If you do not want to use a hairdryer and yet want to see your hair dry faster, you may try these tips.
Use a microfiber towel to dry your hair
Plop hair using t-shirt
Use a diffuser instead of a regular hair dryer
Sit in the sunlight
Turn on the heat in your car during your commute
Squeeze hair out in sections using a towel or t-shirt
Shake your hair gently to get rid of water droplets
Use a conditioner and comb through to seal in moisture
Can I sleep with wet hair?
There is no right answer to this question, as it will depend on individual hair type and moisture levels. Some people may find that sleeping with wet hair leads to bad hair days or even headaches, while others may be unaffected. Also, many people believe that sleeping with wet hair can lead to scalp infections and other related problems. If you are concerned about your health or want to avoid any possible complications, it is best to refrain from sleeping with wet hair.
How to dry 4c hair without heat damage?
Natural 4c hair is very prone to heat damage as it has a low porosity (moisture takes longer to get absorbed and stays in longer). So you’ll need more heat to make it dry quickly. Air drying will can forever in the case of this hair type.
But here are some ways you can avoid heat damage while drying 4c hair.
Use a hair protectant spray or serum – These products form a protective layer on your hair shaft, reducing the effects of heat damage like open cuticles or dryness.
Stretching your curls – Stretch your curls when you blow dry them, this will help evenly distribute heat, reducing damage and making curls dry faster.
Use the blow dryer on low setting – Okay, this will take some time to dry your hair but if you use a low heat setting on your blow dryer, it’ll prevent a lot of damage.
How long does it take for natural hair to dry?
If you let natural hair on its own to air dry, it might take anywhere from 4-8 hours for it to get completely dry.
This can even take longer if you have thicker, low-porosity hair. And if you have protective hairstyles like braids or twists, the time is longer than that.
If you want dry natural hair fast and quick, these are some of the tips you can use.
Natural hair generally falls into either type 3 or type 4 categories. These are curly or coily hair textures that do not get dry easily and are prone to frizz and breakage.
Using these methods will ensure that your curls or twists are dry within minutes without the use of heat styling tools.