- Tuck straight hair behind your ears while it air-dries.
My hair is flat and fine and rarely holds a bend, but doing this makes it air-dry into an easy wave with just the right amount of movement—it doesn’t even need any product to stay. It will save you just like it saved me on countless mornings when I run out of time to do my hair.
- Swap an old T-shirt for your hair towel.
Instead of a regular towel to wrap my hair after I shower; old clean T-shirt is better, it cuts down on frizziness and breakage. I employed that trick with much success until I got my hands on this genius Aquis microfiber turban towel.
- But for beachy waves, try paper towels.
“When I went to get my hair beach-wave permed, the hairstylist Jean Oh told me to use a paper towel to help air-dry my hair and keep my curls intact. Instead of crushing the curls with a heavy towel or blasting them with hot air, I scrunch up my damp curls with a paper towel, and they spring to life. In the mornings I wet my hair a bit and do the same thing, then let it air-dry. I hardly ever use a blow-dryer now.” —Erin Reimel, weekend writer
- For more defined curls, master “squishing.”
“I read through the most nuanced curl regimens ever while doing a story on Reddit hair routines, but the one thing that’s stuck with me? Move your hair products to the shower and get them in right after you turn off the water. It doesn’t seem like it should make a huge difference to put product in when your hair is still wet—or as Reddit calls it “squish to condish”—but I notice a marked change when I do it. Bouncy, defined, frizz-free curls always follow.” —Rachel Nussbaum, beauty writer
- A strainer works surprisingly well as a diffuser.
“Since I don’t drag myself out of bed on time with enough consistency to drop money on a diffuser, I use a pasta strainer whenever I want glossy blow-dried curls. It’s crazy-easy: Just flip your head over into the strainer (wash it first or spaghetti residue will make it look like you’ve got dandruff) and blow dry up into the strainer. Just pile sections of your hair into it and boom: shiny, frizz-less curls.” —Amber Rambharose, beauty editor