This is the Summer of Air-Dried Hair

Plus the best leave-in conditioner ever!
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Appearing "put together" comes with the territory of having a public-facing job. I often have on a fresh coat of polish, an ear party, at least a little makeup, a passing outfit (even if it's a matching sweatsuit these days) and, until recently, a blowout. 

It wasn't until quarantine that I came to realize doing my hair simply wasn't as necessary as I once thought it to be. I have always dreaded doing it, but more importantly, I realized that having my hair perfectly styled on top of a fresh manicure, a full face of makeup, and a cute (non-loungewear) outfit almost seems too editorialized. In the same way I might contrast a floral, feminine dress with a pair of sneakers, I have started to offset a polished look with air dried, messy waves. This is not to say I'm kissing my standby blowout goodbye forever, but with summer just around the corner, there couldn't be a better time to give this no-fuss, (mostly) heat-free style a go. Here's how I've been achieving air dried, beachy waves lately:


I typically double-wash my hair, rotating between one of these three shampoos: Oribe, Ouai, and a customized formula by Prose. I scrub the shampoo into my scalp until it becomes super sudsy, ensuring a deep clean, and follow it up with a hydrating conditioner. I typically leave my conditioner in while I shave my legs and wash the rest of my body. While in the shower, and with conditioner still in, I use a wide-toothed comb to detangle any knots. Finally, I rinse out about 90% of the conditioner (you know, when it feels rinsed but still sliiightly slick). 


Right after getting out of the shower, I ring it out and wrap it up in a hair drying towel (I love the ones by Aquis and Kitsch) to speed-up the drying process and eliminate additional frizz. Plus, the hair towels keep everything out of your way while you do your post-shower skincare routine and get dressed. I try not to keep the hair towel on for very long⁠—if your hair dries too much while wrapped up, it is a little harder to style. By the time I remove it, my hair is still wet, but not sopping.


Once I remove the towel, I shake my head around, using my fingers sparingly to find my natural part. At this stage, I used to take a fine tooth comb and make a perfect line down the middle, but my friend Ashley, who just so happens to be one of L.A.'s greatest hairdressers, told me that doing so really impacts the volume you want to achieve by the end. While I know it is extremely tempting to run your fingers through your hair and brush it out, don't do it!

I then apply a dime-sized amount of product into my hands, rubbing it around momentarily before lightly applying it to my hair. I can't get enough of Ashley's Suncatcher Leave-in Conditioner (which sold-out at lightning speed after being released last week!), but any gentle equivalent will work just fine. I start with the ends to give my hair a little extra bottom weight (fighting frizz once again!), so that there isn't much product left by the time I get to the roots. I'll scrunch it in very lightly, again, keeping the temptation to mess with it to a minimum. 


And now we wait. Make some breakfast, hop on a Zoom call, just whatever you do, don't mess with it too much while it dries completely. Occasionally, when it doesn't dry exactly as I'd like, I'll use my curling iron on a few pieces so the waves frame my face and look messy in an intentional way.