Sitting under the dryer is one of the most dreaded past times of anyone that’s ever gone to a hair salon. So when you decide to maintain your locs at home, naturally you don’t want to subject yourself to such torture. However, by air drying your locs you may be putting your locs at risk and causing more problems than you realize.
Top 3 Risks of air drying locs
For the purposes of this article, air drying is defined as not sitting under a concentrated heat source (dryer) to remove moisture from your locs. Air drying is never the professional recommendation for locs at any stage because of the potential for the following effects:
One of the most common causes of flat locs is residual dampness left inside the locs from air drying. Due to the fact that hair takes on whatever shape it is dried in; by allowing water to remain inside the locs and then laying on them or putting on a hat/scarf will inevitably lead to them becoming flat.
Mildew & Odor
If you constantly air dry your locs and they do not thoroughly dry, fungus can develop within the center of your locs which will lead to a mildew odor. Not to mention, removing the mildew odor can be a very tedious, sometimes unachievable task.
Unraveling & Failed Styling
When the locs are not “set” into place with a concentrated heat source they will unravel or loosen at the roots much quicker than locs that are properly dried. Also, when you’re styling your locs, especially into curls, if the locs do not fully dry, the curls will not last and fall within a few days (if not hours). Typically, curly styles last for weeks.
How to Properly Dry Locs
To help prevent flattening your locs, odors, or your retwist from unraveling, you want to ensure that you are properly drying your locs with these 3 tips:
Use an Ultra-Absorbent Towel
After you shampoo your locs, if you use a towel that is designed for use on hair, it will absorb at minimum 3x more moisture than a cotton towel or t-shirt. This will also minimize your drying time whether you sit under the dryer or air dry. Also, the towels designed for hair do not shed so they’re lint-free and you won’t have to worry about lint-buildup in your locs.
Use a Bonnet Dryer
A lot of times we neglect the ends of our locs once our hair gets long, especially when it comes to sitting under the dryer. The solution— a bonnet dryer. The bonnet dryer covers your locs from roots to ends so that all of the locs dry evenly. Also, you want to remember to use low-medium heat for drying your locs so that your locs don’t end up hard and crunchy.
Remove Excess Moisture
Instead of completely air drying your locs, use a concentrated heat source, such as a Bonnet Hair Dryer Attachment, for a minimal amount of time (30 minutes or less) to remove excess moisture and then continue to air dry. This is especially important if you plan to let your locs dry overnight.