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‘No hairdryer’ hair styles for summer

July 21st 2016 / Anna Hunter


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Air drying is cooler than blow drying when the heat sets in, in more ways that one. Here’s how to style au naturel for office, beach and beyond…

When you’re already hot and bothered of a morning, there’s nothing less appealing than submitting yourself to a whirring, scorching airgun for 15 minutes or more. Hairdryers and hot weather go together about as well as bottomless summer punch and rational decisions, i.e, not well. Here’s how to go teetotal on your hairdryer, according to Josh Wood Atelier associate stylist Kieran Tudor. The punch/ Pimms/ prosecco et al is up to you.

“Styling hair without a hair dryer can be somewhat of a revelation to many women. Most women I know are set in a rigid hair styling routine, which would normally involve blasting the hair bone dry, following up with more heat styling by either using straightening irons or hot curling tongs. The combination of both of these methods overtime can cause mechanical and heat damage to the hair, not to mention be taxing in terms of time and effort.”

“I often try to offer my clients styling options that don't involve a hair dryer at all, which is great for giving hair a rest from heat, but it also makes life a lot easier and in the summer months when it's hot. Another reason to leave out the hairdryer is that air dried styles encourage natural movement in the hair, creating unforced textures which is very much on trend in the fashion industry.”

“Sometimes it's about letting go of the rigid ideas we have about how our hair should look, although I know that many women worry most about the dreaded frizz when drying hair naturally. Ironically this can occur his when you ‘overdry’ hair with a hairdryer, creating breakage which results in flyaways. In order to get rid of wispy bits you dry the hair excessively, and then straighten to almost glue them down, which only promotes more breakage and flyaways. So, ditching the hair dryer should be seen as putting your hair in a 'health retreat'. Give it a break and some TLC, and invest in some really high quality hair products.”

“I’ve come up with step by steps for three styles that can be achieved without a hair dryer, on freshly washed hair. Bear in mind that when air drying hair naturally it's important to work your hair in the right way. After washing, towel dry by blotting and patting as opposed to rubbing vigorously, as this will damage hair and disturb the natural texture, ideally a microfibre towel should be used, as it will absorb more water, meaning that your hair will dry quicker.”

“For curly hair, be delicate when patting hair dry with a towel and use a wide tooth comb to remove tangles if necessary, however, the less you do to disturb the curl, the better the end result will be.”

“For all three looks, it is key to apply a base product when the hair is wet. This will act like a primer, protecting hair from humidity, adding moisture and subtlety improving the performance of the styling product you put in afterwards. The best ones weightless, but full of conditioning agents that act essentially act as a leave-in treatment.”

The Fishtail Plait

“This look is great for the summer, and can be achieved on damp hair.”

First apply Sebastian Professional Potion 9, £10.31 for 50ml, to mid lengths and ends of towel dried hair, and leave to air dry for 10 minutes.”

“Now shake hair out and gather to one side of the nape of the neck and split into two sections.”

“Lightly spritz the sections with O&M Surf Bomb, £19, and then begin the fishtail plait by passing a thin section of hair from the outer edge of the right section over to the left, then take a small section of hair from the outer edge of the left section and pass over to the right and continue this pattern until you have reached the ends.”

“Secure the ends with a clear elastic and now use fingers to tease out the sections one by one to fatten out the fishtail.”

“The surfy styling product will encourage a rougher texture as the hair continues to dry, which looks great with this style, and make hair look cool and piecey when you take the plait out.”

Beach Waves

“This look can be achieved in several different ways and I advise my clients to play around with it to explore the different results that are possible.”

“Essentially it involves setting your hair in a certain way whilst wet, so that when you release the hair once dry, you have beautiful, loose waves.”

“It works best when washing your hair in the evening and then allowing to dry overnight,, however, during the summer when the weather is warm, it can be done during the day.”

“Towel dry freshly washed hair, apply O&M Style Guru, £10, to the mid lengths and ends and then split the hair into four big sections.”

“Starting on the first section, allow a little root drag then begin a three strand plait by splitting the section into three strands and tuning the outer strands over the centre strand, alternating each side as you progress.”

“Continue with the other three sections and secure each plait with elastics. Spritz on a wave spray and leave to dry.”

“The next morning remove the elastics and shake out the plaits to leave you with gorgeously tousled waves. If you crave more more texture, apply Oribe Dry Texturising Spray, £39, evenly throughout the waves, which will give you a bit of separation and body.”

“This look can also be achieved on dry hair that was washed few days ago by taking large sections and twisting right to the ends, allowing the twists to spring up to the head before securing with a clip. Continue until all the hair is twisted and secured then spray the hair with Wella Professionals Ocean Spritz, £7.46, and leave to set for 30/45 minutes.”

“Remove the clips and shake the twists out, et voilà refreshed hair that falls in loose, mermaid-like waves.”

‘Wet to Dry’

“This style is really easy and has been a hit on the runway for the last few seasons. It works best on hair that has a softer movement rather than very curly hair.”

“Apply Oribe Gold Lust Oil, £45, to mid lengths and ends and allow hair to air dry out until it’s about 70% dry. Apply a gel to the roots at the hairline and using a wide tooth comb start to slick hair back. Keep applying the gel and slicking the hair back so that the product is saturated at the roots until just below the crown. Comb backwards from the hairline at the front, slicking hair all back away from the face.”

“Encourage a dry soft texture in the lengths of the hair below the crown by lightly spraying with Oribe Après Beach Wave and Shine Spray, £34, and tousling to create soft movement.”

“This look is great for the office or a party and is super easy to achieve. Striking, and no heat styling involved whatsoever.”

When it’s too hot to handle


Amir Mahyazadeh may be a stylist at London’s Aer Blowdry Bar, but that doesn’t mean that he’s wedded to his blow dryer, and he doesn’t encourage dependency amongst his clients either. He advocates styling over drying when it’s particularly sweltering:

“Hair ups are great when it's really hot. Personally I love the Paris style from our lookbook, which is essentially a sleek bun on the very top of the head. It looks chic but is simple to do and keeps the hair off your neck. If you have shorter hair, to achieve this look you can use a donut and wrap the hair around it.”

“I also love braids. The Barcelona from our lookbook is great for humid days as your hair is pulled off your face and the braids prevent the hair from frizzing up.”

“For loose, relaxed hair that doesn’t get in your face, go for beach waves but twist two sections up by the temples and secure at the back of the head. This way you get the best of bost world (ask for the Ibiza if you drop by Aer for a hand).”

“For work I like a sleek low pony. It’s a low maintenance style and is easy to achieve, yet looks sophisticated.”

“If you hair is treated with bleach or is highlighted, use an anti UV product such as Kérastase Soleil Aqua Seal, £15.70, to seal the hair fiber to protect it from the sun. I also suggest adding in a treatment twice a month to keep the hair hydrated, nourished and to repair as much damage as possible.”

The GTG No Blow Edit

Air dried hair often needs a bit more help in the product department to achieve a ‘style’ and ward off fuzz. Here are a few handy helpers we’ve found of assistance when going cold turkey in heat styling.

Bumble and Bumble Don’t Blow It, £23


Many styling products are heat activated, but this conditioning texturizer gets to work without the 190ºC and higher pre-requisite. UVA and UVB filters provide further protection to strands, and it’s especially great for fine hair some guts.

Gielly Green Argan Ultime, £31

gg-argan-ultime-bottle-white-1.jpgA restorative, natural and vitamin rich option that works particularly well when it comes to smoothing and adding shine to thick, frizz prone hair. Gielly Green co-founder and artistic director Shai Greenberg relies on the multi-purpose oil in salon when extra moisture and glossiness is required, and when it comes to styling it out, Shai recommends going slick:

“Apply the oil treatment and use a gentle, detangling comb to smooth hair back into a low bun or pony. You’ll look instantly on point.”

Tigi Beach Freak Detangler Spray, £10.75

If you’ve yet to be overcome by summer vibes, this sunny yellow, mango scented hair moisturiser should get you in the mood. Lightweight yet incredibly effective, it melts away matted ends, particularly when teamed with the following tool…

beach-freak-spray-100ml-ref.jpgThe Wet Brush, £11.99

To avoid damaging hair when wet (it’s especially vulnerable to breakage and fallout post-wash), a ‘softly softly’ approach to brushing and de-knotting is essential. The purpose designed Wet Brush, with flexible yet no nonsense bristles, sails through damp hair with minimal struggles, tugging or sobbing.


Invisibobble®, £4, and Invisibobble Nano®, £2.95

For no snag up dos, these corkscrew style hairbands are invincible. They won’t ping off when put under pressure, they keep thick and thin hair alike in place and the Nano allows you to create the kind of nonchalant ‘half up half down’ style that looks artfully dishevelled instead of prim and proper, or on the flipside, like you’re still at school. The colour range is classy too- pastels keep things fun while clear, nude, brown and blonde options are work perfect.


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