The age-old joke of "I can’t—I have to wash my hair" may be a big tease about not wanting to go somewhere, but the truth of the matter is, the entire process of washing and then blow-drying hair really is time-consuming. And for those of us with thick, long, or curly hair, it literally requires scheduling into your day. So how can you easily dry your hair fast? We spoke to hair pro, Devin Rahal, about some tips that will help you spend less time drying and more time enjoying that perfect blowout.
Meet the Expert
Devin Rahal is a hair stylist and owner of Devs Does Hair, a Brooklyn, New York-based all-vegan hair salon.
Say Goodbye to Your Traditional Towel
Believe it or not, a paper towel absorbs tons (tons!) of water from your hair—way more than your towel. Plus, blotting your hair between paper towels, versus rubbing or squeezing it with your towel, is much better for those fragile, wet strands. (Don’t forget to reuse the towels once they’ve dried.) If you're really pressed for time and a towel is a must, opt for one that doesn't contain cotton, which can tug and break hair.
If you’ve ever read through celebrity hairstylists’ step-by-step guides for how they’ve created various red-carpet looks, you’ve likely heard the term "rough dry." Rough-drying simply means blow-drying your hair by tousling it with only your fingers and focusing on the roots. You might have even seen your hairstylist do this before.
Made with ultra-fine, uniquely woven fibers that are insanely smooth, water is quickly absorbed and hair goes from wet to damp in a pinch. Even more amazing? This multitasking towel reduces frizz while cutting drying time in half. Perfect for the girl on the go.
Use a Microfiber Towel and Try Plopping
"NuMe makes a really great Microfiber Hair Wrap that helps your hair dry evenly and without frizz," says Rahal. Wrapping up your hair will scrunch it down works especially well if you have curly hair. This process is also known as plopping and can cut drying time down and boost hair's natural waves.
In a rush and don't have a microfiber towel on hand? Not to worry, Rahal has a few makeshift alternatives. "If you don’t have that, an old t-shirt will do the trick for fine hair, or an old sweatshirt if you have thick hair."
Dry Outside the Bathroom
Drying your hair in the humid room where you just showered is counterintuitive at best. Instead, take your dryer and go out of the bathroom so you’re not fighting against the dampness in the air.
Use Your Time Wisely
"Rough drying should be the way you start all blow drying. You want to focus on the roots, all over the head, flipping and tossing and turning so that you get a lot of body built up at the roots," Rahal explains. "Then, work from there – drying the roots will usually help dry the ends in the process. I don’t even introduce a brush to smooth out the hair until the hair is about 80% dry."
Trying to dry soaking-wet hair is simply going to take time—bottom line. Starting with hair that has already air-dried some really speeds up the blowout process.
So instead of immediately drying your hair once you get out of the shower, do other things first, like getting dressed and putting on your makeup.
Start With a Rough Dry
Rahal says that rough drying does require a bit of technique in order to really work. "You don’t want to blow against the grain of how your hair is / how it grows out of your head. You want to wrap and use your scalp as a forming board so that the hair has a nice bend and looks even after the rough dry – it should look a little perfected."
Find the Right Products and Tools
Every blowout is only as good as the products you use, so find one designed specifically to cut down on drying time. Rahal recommends using a volumizing shampoo and conditioner, which can speed up the drying process. After that, Rahal recommends going in with Design Me Power Dry. "It speeds up the drying time and leaves your hair soft but full of volume," he says.
As far as tools go, having a powerful blow dryer on hand is crucial. Make sure your hair dryer has at least 1,800 watts, because anything less than that simply isn’t going to do a good enough–or fast enough!–job. Rahal recommends NuMe's hair dryers for a quick blow dry. "NuMe makes a great range of really powerful blow dryers that will do the trick."