How long does it take for hair to dry

By: | Last Updated: March 8, 2022

It’s tempting to blow dry your hair right after showering to speed up the drying process. But that can be damaging to your mane. Talking about drying time, that actually makes the drying process longer. 

Air drying with no intervention sounds like the healthiest way to dry your hair. But that’s not always the case, especially for people with thick and porous hair.

In fact, allowing hair to air dry for more than 2 hours can be damaging to your tresses. 

So, should you use the hairdryer or not? 

Before we can answer that, we should first know the answer to the question, “how long does it take your hair to air dry?”.

Read on!

How long does it take for hair to dry naturally?

How long does it take for hair to dry naturally

How long it takes for one’s hair to dry depends on several factors. 

First, let’s face the fact that not all hair types are the same. Some have flat straight hair, while others rock heavy kinky tresses. 

Let’s see what actually affects your hair’s drying time below!

The Length of Your Hair

Needless to say, shorter hair takes less time to air dry. 

You can ditch your hair blower if you’re wearing a pixie cut, as you might only need 15 minutes to air dry your hair. But those with longer tresses can expect their hair to take an average of 2 to 3 hours to air dry.

The Texture of Your Hair

Fine, medium and thick are the three types of hair texture.

The finer the hair, the less time it takes to dry it. But thick hair has more layers in them. 

Not all these layers are exposed to air. That is why it takes longer for thick-haired girls to air-dry their hair.

Air-drying hair for more than 2 hours can be damaging to your tresses. And thick hair dries around that time. This means air drying your thick hair can be as damaging as blow-drying. 

The Porosity of Your Hair

Your hair has three different porosity levels. The higher the porosity, the longer it takes to hold water. This means that more porous hair takes longer to dry. By longer, it means up to an entire day. It’s not a good idea to let porous hair air dry.

The Climate

Your hair dries faster during the summer season for obvious reasons. The air is warmer in summer. Thus, prompting quicker evaporation.

In winter, the use of heat tools becomes necessary for most people. 

How to dry your hair fast

How to dry your hair fast

It is no secret that washing and drying hair is a time-consuming process. 

But there’s a trick to speed up the hair drying process or even cut it in half if done the right way. Wouldn’t you want to know? 

We’ve collated some of the best-known ways to dry hair fast below!

Condition your hair

Cutting down hair drying time starts while you shower. 

Applying conditioner, for example, not only rehydrates and smoothes your tresses. It can help speed up hair drying time too by repelling water

Seal in moisture and wick away excess water by using the right conditioner. Be cautious in conditioning your oily scalp, though. If your scalp is oily, skip the scalp and condition the rest of your tresses.

Find sulfate-free products

Haircare products with sulfates make your hair weigh more. Thus, taking it longer to dry. 

That said, avoid sulfate-free hair care products altogether. Don’t let anything go between your hair and the air that it needs to dry faster.

Comb during and after washing your hair

Another thing that you should do before heading out of the shower is to comb your hair. 

Yes, comb your hair while you’re still in the shower, while it’s soaking wet. Combing your hair while applying conditioner isn’t a bad idea. 

After showering and throughout the drying process, don’t forget to comb your hair. 

Remember that your tresses are the most fragile during this time. Make sure to use a quality comb and gently comb through your strands. This will get rid of hair knotting that prolongs the drying time. 

Blow-dry outside the bathroom

Now is the time to step outside of the bathroom. But haven’t we talked about blow-drying your hair yet?

That’s right. It’s because you should blow dry your hair outside the bathroom. You want to avoid after-shower steam as it can hinder the drying process. 

Stay away from dampness in the air. Blow-dry your hair in another room. 

If you still prefer drying your hair in the bathroom, open the windows to let the water in the air evaporate. Then, blow-dry your hair.


Since we’re talking about speeding up the hair drying process, you might think that blow-drying soaking wet hair is the answer. Wrong!

Alli Webb, the founder of blowout empire Drybar, says that you should not start a blowout on a sopping wet hair. It will only take more time.  Here’s what you should do instead:

What you need

  1. Microfiber towel
  2. Heat protectant
  3. Ionic hairdryer

What to do

  1. Use both hands to squeeze all the water out of your hair after showering
  2. Soak up remaining moisture by wrapping your hair in a towel
  3. Apply a heat protectant to prevent damage to your strands
  4. Now, it’s time to rough-dry. It means drying your hair using just your hairdryer and fingers. No brush.
  5. When using your blow dryer, turn down the heat. Use an ionic hair dryer so you can adjust to lower heat settings.
  6. Rough-dry until your hair is around 30% to 40% dry. Then reach for your hairbrush.
  7. Blow-dry your hair until the roots become 100% dry. For the ends, leave some moisture. Blow it dry until it becomes 80% dry. Wait for 5 to 10 minutes to air dry, or use the coolest setting of your hair dryer until your hair is completely dry.

How to dry your hair fast without heat

How to dry your hair fast without heat

Are you rethinking your shower routine? Do you want to skip the heat tools altogether?

You might have heard that limiting the use of heat tools is the key to healthy and lustrous tresses. 

But can you still go out with dry hair without heat tools? 

Yes, you can! But be careful as improper air drying can actually do more harm than good to your strands.

Obviously, drying your hair with no intervention at all works. But there’s a better way to do it.

Know the right and wrong way of air-drying hair below!

The right way to dry your hair

Start With Proper Hair Care

We’ve said it before; we’ll say it again. Proper hair drying starts while you’re still in the shower. 

Speed up your hair’s ability to dry without frizz by using the right hair care products. Proper hair care starts with the use of the right shampoo and conditioner. 

Find products that are specifically marketed for your hair type. Letting hair air dry with the right products will make the drying process faster and result in smooth, lustrous dry hair.

Use Quick-Dry Products

Check the label when searching for hair care products. 

Find quick-dry and air-dry formulas. It usually has starches that soak water from your strands. Quality quick-dry products also have smoothing elements that will prevent frizz too. Enjoy sleek and frizz-free hair without the use of heat tools.

Shake It

Remove excess water in a matter of seconds by flipping your hair up and down. It sounds a little weird, but it helps. It makes air drying without damage easier. 

If you have thin shoulder-length hair, this might be the only hair-drying technique that you’ll need.

Section Your Hair to Dry

The thicker the hair, the longer it takes to air dry. This is because some strands aren’t exposed. So dry it in separate sections instead. This will expose most parts of your hair, speeding up the drying process. 

Detangle from the tips to the roots

Detangle your hair and shake off excess water using your fingers. 

Detangling from the roots down to the ends of your tresses isn’t advisable. It can be damaging as you’d encounter more knots on your way down. That said, start from the tips of your strands and work your way up instead. 

Use Dry Shampoo

If you don’t want to use heat tools and you’re in a hurry for air drying, then don’t wash your hair altogether. 

As obvious as this one seems, some people still forget that they have the option to use dry shampoo instead. 

Dry shampoos absorb oil from your scalp. These products have formulas that nourish strands. Dry shampoos also help remove odors from your hair without the need to use water. No one will know that you haven’t washed your hair.

The wrong way to dry your hair

Rubbing your hair with a towel

Are you swapping your heat tools for towels? 

That can actually be more damaging to your hair. Drying your hair by rubbing it with a towel can strip and break your delicate tresses. Remember that your hair is at its weakest when wet. 

We recommend using a microfiber towel to remove all the excess water from your hair instead. Don’t rub it out, though. If a microfiber towel isn’t available within your reach, a cotton t-shirt is a good alternative. 

Brushing your hair when wet

It’s tempting to brush your hair while it’s wet. But your harsh brush can damage your hair in its most delicate state. This will not only lead to frizzy, messy hair once it dries. It can cause breakage on your hair too. 

Letting your hair air dry without combing it

If brushing wet hair causes damage, should you skip the comb altogether? 

No. Make sure to free your hair from knots and tangles by combing it. Use a wide-tooth comb to enjoy tangle-free dry tresses in no time.

Going out with wet hair

Heading out while your hair is still wet is a no-no for many reasons

Exposing your hair to cold weather can cause major damage to your mane. Yes, even if you deep condition your hair. The cold air will suck the moisture from your strands. 

Sleeping with wet hair

Why hassle yourself in drying your mane when you are going to sleep anyway?

If you don’t care about having frizzy, kinky, damaged hair the next morning, you wake up, then go on, sleep with wet hair. But if waking up with lustrous tresses is your goal, take the time to dry your hair before going to bed. 

CHECK OUT: How to Use Hair Dryer Without Damaging Hair


So how long does it take for hair to dry after a shower? 

The answer depends on your hair’s length, texture, and porosity. The climate plays a vital role too. The healthiest way to dry your hair depends on these factors as well.

For shorter, thinner, finer hair that air dries within minutes, you can skip the heat tools altogether. 

But for people with longer, thicker, and porous hair, the combination of air-drying and proper blow-drying works best. It’s faster and healthier for your tresses. 

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