Now that you’ve made it this far, you just need to know the proper way to dry your hair. As reviewed in the washing section, you should now be aware that you do some water-sqeezing in the shower, as well as some additional light squeeze-drying outside of the shower with a microfiber towel like this one. (Word to the wise: I hate the turban-style ones. It may just be me, but they never fit my head correctly. The longer flat ones are better, and will be sure to hold all of your hair as it grows.)
Once this is done, some of you may be finished. As I mentioned earlier, the less you touch, tousle, and otherwise disrupt your hair, the better. This sounds silly, but avoid wind and body movement as much as possible. Often I go straight to work after washing and drying, enduring the subway ride, windy streets, and running a few blocks to the office, but my hair always looks better when I do it on a weekend morning when I can sit calmly and watch a movie while it dries. If you have really short layers on top (less length to pull against the hair closer to your scalp) it is also more likely to dry nicely without additional interference. I am talking 5-7-inch layers. If you have longer layers on the top, or canopy, of your hair, you will most likely need to encourage more volume up top. Here are my favorite clips for the drying technique:
Ouidad Duckbill Clips ($5 for a set of 6)
Goody Hair Claw Clips ($5-$6 for a pack of 12)
I definitely prefer the Ouidad clips because it is much easier to use that style clip in this capacity. You may think that they look similar to something you already have. By all means, try it and see if they work for you.
This part is the hardest to master, and it took me years to be happy with my skills. You may hear of other ways to do this, but the two I mention here are the ones I’ve tried and have been happy with. When the hair is wet, you want to use the clips to lift hair from the root in order to help it dry faster and perk up a bit more. This is how the Duckbill clips should look if you’ve put them in correctly (you should do a row of 3 going from the front of your scalp toward the back):
The claw clips are a bit trickier. In essence, you want to do a criss cross, taking hair chunks on opposing sides of your scalp and crossing them over one another. You do 3 or 4 rows going backward.
If you are in a rush and don’t have the luxury of lounging around with crazy-lady clips in your hair, you may want to speed things up. When I’m in a rush, or when I’m washing my hair in the morning before work on cold days, I use a special diffuser. This is not your mother’s diffuser, it’s something a bit different.
Let me explain. The DevaSun DevaFuser diffuses the right way. First I will explain why the traditional diffuser isn’t ideal. It’s purpose is to puff the hair up, give it volume, body, and spring (I’d guess that it was invented sometime around the 80’s since it achieves that era’s signature level of outrageous puffiness). If that’s what you’re going for, then you should certainly use it. The reason it does this is because it’s designed to cup the hair from the bottom, and it cannot reach the roots of the hair. It also freely ruffles the hair shaft with strong air currents, which causes the strands to repel each other and stand apart. If you’ve been paying attention, any motion in which you are encouraging the curls to tighten with upward scrunching will cause spirals and volume. If you want sleeker, longer-looking hair, the DevaFuser is the way to go.
a) You can press it against the hair from the side lightly, and the hair shaft is as undisturbed as possible.
b) You will easily slip through your hair toward the roots without disturbing the shaft. Always go from underneath, never directly above the canopy of the hair.
Trust me, it’s a very worthwhile investment. It’s always better not to have to use the dryer, but if it’s cold out and/or you’re in a rush to go somewhere, it’s ok to use. I limit the use of it to a once or a few times a week, depending on the time of year.