I’m one of the oh-so-lucky people who have belonged to both the thin hair category and the thick hair category. For the first 15 years of my life, my hair was unbelievably thick. I still know a fair bit about blow drying thick hair quickly, but it’s since thinned out a lot because of thyroid issues. Plus, for everything I don’t know, we’ve got skilled stylists and beauty experts to help out.
While I’m a little bit obsessed with the idea of regaining my thick hair — a goal that arose sometime after getting a hair crush on last season’s Bachelor contestant, Caila Quinn – I don’t miss the massive hole it eats in my morning routine. Thick hair takes forever to dry, and even if you’re jacked, no one wants to hold a blow dryer in the air for upwards of an hour.
That being said, if you’re willing to revamp your routine, your prepping products, your tools, and your technique, you might just be able to dry your thick hair in a flash. Check out these stylist-approved hacks for drying thick hair quicker, so you can spend your mornings catching up on the newest cat memes, or eating a breakfast that’s not made by Starbucks.
According to the managing editor of the beauty site, Byrdie, “Conditioner not only smooths your strands but can help them dry faster, too. The silicones coat each strand and seal it down, repelling water in the process.” A high-quality conditioner like Laritelle's organic conditioner is filled with awesome all-natural ingredients like healthy oils and vitamins that reinforce the strands, hydrate them from the inside out, and help seal them against heat and humidity.
Alli Webb, cofounder of Los Angeles-based Drybar, told Good Housekeeping , “Smoothing out hair that's about 30 percent dry is faster than tackling it sopping wet,” and some stylists, like Stacey Weinstein, suggest waiting until it’s at least 75 percent dry. This Bamboo hair towel is a great option for women with thick hair because it’s made from bamboo viscose, which is way softer, more absorbent, and more durable than cotton. It’s also lightweight and has an elastic securing hook so your hair stays out of your way while it dries.
3. Do Everything Else First
Faith Xue of Byrdie says, “Ask any hairstylist to share her best tip for helping your hair dry faster, and she’ll say one thing: Allow your strands to dry as much as possible before taking a brush and blow-dryer to it.” That means that people with thick hair should shove as much of their morning routine in between their shower and their blow-drying as possible. Eat breakfast, do your makeup, make your bed, plan your outfit, meditate — whatever needs to get done.
For girls with really thick hair, saturating your hair with an oily serum before blow drying might not be the best option if you’re short on time. This KMS California quick blow dry spray reduces friction, provides adequate heat protection, and can lessen your blow drying time by 50 percent. Reviewers say it’s moisturizing, goes on light, smells incredible, and saves them tons of time in the morning.
“A good hair dryer is the best product you can have. If you’re going to invest in any hair tool, I’d invest in a good blow dryer more than anything else,” hairdresser Reagan Baker said to Cup of Jo. This Wazor ceramic ionic blow dryer is lightweight and easy to use, but it’s also got a few functions that can really save on time, like built-in ionizing technology, tons of air flow through its strong motor, and a ceramic body that really cuts down on damage.
"The biggest mistake is using metal brushes," stylist Teddi Cranford told About Style. Especially when tackling thick hair, a big round brush with boar bristles is ideal. This Phillips vent brush has slats and a hollow inside to maximize air flow, and it’s made with pure boar bristles that evenly distribute your hair’s oils and make styling quick and easy, like the pros.
7. Get Your Technique Down
"At the salon, we meticulously dry both the top side and the underside of each hair section, for a blowout that lasts for days," stylist Shuki Almac told Good Housekeeping. Hairstylists also often suggest starting (and focusing) on the roots, because the ends of your hair will dry quickly on their own. Last but not least, pull the hair taught and work your way down the shaft while “twirling your brush,” says hairstylist Stacey Weinstein.
As Inez Gray, owner of the Habitude Salon and Spa, told Real Simple, "If you start drying your hair with the top layer, you end up scooping up wet hair from underneath and pulling it through the brush, rewetting the layers that are already dry.” Because of that, most stylists suggest separating hair into sections _ at least three, but thicker hair requires more. These professional-quality Salon Croc hair styling clips provide a double-hinged design that holds lots of hair without slipping, and they’re also super lightweight and comfortable.
If styling with a blow dryer isn’t your forte, this BeautiO hair styling straightening brush makes the whole process much easier. It’s great for thick hair because (unlike a flat iron, which only straightens the top and bottom layers) this brush reaches in between strands to straighten quickly and with less damage. One reviewer with long, thick hair says, “I am always looking for a product to straighten my hair the quickest way. I think I have found it.”
Stacey Weinstein, stylist and founder of the company Once Upon A Bride, emphasizes the importance of prepping with a product that suits your hair type. While those with thin hair should use a mousse or volume spray, thick and frizzy hair should “use a gloss or relaxing balm.” The Ken Paves You Are Beautiful relaxing balm fights humidity and lessens frizz so that thick hair looks sleek and stays manageable. It also contains tea extracts, which hydrate and nourish hair while cutting down on unwanted volume.
11. Finish Off With A Burst Of Cool Air
After you’ve added your finishing serum, it’s time to lock in the look with a burst of cool hair. “Heat hair up for a few seconds and get hair hot, then lock in the style with the cool button and hold for 10 seconds. Going from hot to cold allows hair to set in a nice smooth shape,” says Weinstein. If your hair’s wrapped around your round brush while you do this, you’ll get a bouncy and frizz-free finish that looks like you just came from the salon.
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