How to Dry Curly Hair: 7 Unique Techniques

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Curly hair is beautiful, but it can be hard to maintain.

If you have curly hair, you know that the wrong product or technique can leave your curls looking frizzy and undefined. And if you’re not careful, they’ll end up with an unpleasant texture and volume that’s hard to tame without styling products.

Luckily, there are some simple steps for drying curly hair that will help keep your curls looking their best! This guide on how to dry curly hair covers 7 different techniques you can use to dry your curly hair. Just follow the guide all the way down and you’ll be able to easily dry your curly hair.

guide on how to dry curly hair

7 Different Ways to Dry Curly Hair

1. Air-Drying Curly Hair

This is the most natural way to dry curly hair. If you are going out, try not to wash your hair until later in the day when it has had time to air-dry and frizz less.

Roughly 80% of people have naturally curly or wavy hair so this may be a good option for you if shortening drying time is important for you.


  • It takes little effort and leaves hair looking natural with its own curl pattern as opposed to being blown over by a hooded dryer or plopped all down at once as flat-ironing straightens often does.


  • Air-drying can take up too much time depending on how thick your curls are and how many hours before you need them to be dry.

2. Diffusing Curly Hair

This technique is a great way to style curly hair and also cut down on the drying time since you are using hot air in order to blow it straight.

Diffusing will keep your curls from frizzing while helping them retain their natural patterns, which may make for more manageable curls.


  • This option does not require any tools or products; all that needs to happen is some water (a little goes a long way) followed by putting your head under the hood of a heat-protectant spray bottle with an attached nozzle.


  • Diffusing can only work well when they have been properly used once before so this technique requires practice as well as patience if you want curl definition.

3. Hooded Dryer

This technique is a great option to use for curly hair that has been left wet and needs to be dried.[1]

Placing your head in between the capped arms of a hooded dryer will help you avoid frizz, as well as save time by making it so one section can dry at once.



  • Hooded dryers only work well when they are completely closed; any leaks or openings in the machine will cause your hair to frizz and grow damp.

4. Plopping Curly Hair

When drying naturally wavy or curly locks there can never be too many options available because everyone has a different type of hair.

Some people may have to resort to turning on the hooded dryer and using clips or ties, while others can leave their locks as they are and walk around with them wrapped in an old shirt for about 30 minutes.

This method differs depending on the type of curls you have, but in general, it involves gathering up your hair from all over and placing a towel or t-shirt around it.

If done correctly with no holes to let air escape then this will cause curly hair to dry faster than other methods.


  • This process is particularly good for people who are looking for a quick fix without having to deal with any tools.


  • Can be difficult when trying to access specific areas of one’s head (i.e., back) as well as those pesky little hairs that seem impossible to get by themselves.

5. Clip the Roots

This is a technique that works best for those who are looking to add volume.

Those who have short, curly hair should only do this in the front while those with longer locks will want to be more strategic about where they place clips.

Simply clip your roots and then shake them out on each side for instant voluminousness!


  • This process takes little time as well as leaves hair much softer than other methods.


  • The biggest con of this method would have to be how difficult it can get when trying to reach one’s entire head without getting any unwanted snags or tangles from areas not intended or clipped.

6. Stretched

This process requires a little more time and effort than the others.

For those who are looking to add volume, this is an excellent technique as it allows for much more movement with hair that has been previously plopped into place.

Make sure you have something long like a t-shirt or scarf around your neck before going ahead and start stretching out curls one by one all over your head.


  • The biggest pro of using this method would be how well it works in adding body to dry locks.


  • It can take some time which not everyone may want to spend on their morning routine when they’re already running late from work or school.

7. In your Car

The final technique is a little more low-tech and fun. Simply make sure your hair does not get wet while you’re in the car.

A quick fix to this would be getting out of the vehicle before it starts raining or if you see rain clouds skyward, open up your windows an inch or so after making sure they are closed tightly enough that no water can seep inside when driving through puddles


  • If done right, having dry curly strands in the backseat of your car will look like a major fashion statement without any effort on your part.


  • Your hair may never fully dry all the way as there’s really only one option for airflow which is from outside into the vehicle.


It’s not always easy to find the right way to get your curly hair dry. I hope this article has helped you narrow down which method might work for you and given some tips on how to make it easier. If you have any problems, just let us know in the comments below!

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