Hate hair dryers. Should be drying my hair. Solution?
October 18, 2013 8:46 AM   Subscribe

It's getting cool again and I'm thinking that maybe I should start drying my hair before work so I don't show up with wet hair. But I hate hair dryers. Can I use something like this instead of a hair dryer? How do I do that without ruining my hair?

My mother, God bless her, used to style my hair when I was a little girl, giving me immaculate pigtails. However, the years of having to sit still while she burnt the tips of my ears with the hair dryer has made me hate hair dryers. We own one now but I think it's maybe 10 years old and is largely to help us put plastic on the windows when it starts getting cold out.

Since I hate hair dryers, I usually go to work with wet hair. I realize this is probably not ideal and I think it would help me up my professional game if I started drying my hair. Plus it's getting cold and there's something very disconcerting about having my hair freeze when it's wet.

My hair is thick, straight, and a little longer than shoulder length. My current morning routine with regard to my hair is shampoo and conditioner, comb the water out, throw a towel around it, comb it again to put a part in it, and let it air dry. I wash and condition my hair every day. That's probably overkill but I actually think that the condition of my hair is pretty good - it's shiny and healthy looking, in my opinion. When it starts getting colder and my hair gets dry, I have put stuff in it after the shower to prevent it from getting static-y.

I thought of getting something like this and using it after combing and toweling off some of the water. But I don't know anything about using hair tools. I've seen how the woman who cuts my hair drys it and it looks like there lots of clips involved. I also don't know with a tool like that if one would wrap the hair around it like one does with a curling iron, or if one could just use it like a hair brush.

Would a product like that one help me get dryer hair without spending a lot of time on it or do I need to use a hair dryer? Either way, do I need a product to protect my hair so it doesn't get damaged by the heat? If I did get a tool like that, what is the best way to use it?

Thanks for your help and apologies if this is a dumb question but I thought someone out there might be able to help :-) If you have any other suggestions for dummy-proof pretty hair, I'd appreciate it. Goody spin pins didn't really hold for me. I have an updo stick from Conair that works reasonably well on wet hair. About halfway through the day, it starts falling apart but by then, my hair is usually close to dry (but then it's super flat).
posted by kat518 to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (45 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
One thing you might think about is shampooing in the evening, then your hair will be dry by morning.

The styling brush you've linked to is a good tool, and you'd use it like a brush. Take a section of your hair, start at the root, slowly pull down through your hair, and rotate to creat an under curl (or a flip in the other direction) whatever you please. Don't roll like a curling iron. You'll want to thoroughly towel dry your hair, and perhaps add a styling product to help smooth it and protect it from heat. The dryer you are when you start, the less time you'll spend fooling around with it.

Dryers don't do a good job of styling wet hair, they do an excellent job of styling damp hair.

It's easier and more effective to start by pulling your hair up on the top of your head and securing with a banana clip, and then taking segments of hair down and drying, starting from the bottom layers, up through the top.

It'll take a while to get the hang of it, but I can do my chin length page boy in about 8 minutes with a blow dryer.

Don't style your hair wet. Use your updo stick on dry hair.

Another thing you may want to consider is getting a blow dryer and blowing it while you bend over with your hair hanging upside-down. This will get out most of the damp of your hair, give you body and will make styling MUCH easier.

Also, use the medium setting, not the hot setting if you're freaked by being burned.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 8:55 AM on October 18, 2013

What about showering before bed and letting your hair dry while you sleep? I've heard good reviews for the Instyler Wet to Dry- maybe check that out?
posted by PorcineWithMe at 8:57 AM on October 18, 2013 [2 favorites]

I have no tips on the drying situation - I have even longer hair than yours and come to work with it wet. I use a hairpin, and my go-to look is: part hair, pull into ponytail, braid ponytail, turn ponytail into braided bun using pin, spray with hairspray. It apparently looks good enough, because I get compliments on it even though it's just wet hair in a ball.

You may also want to try some of those sock-bun or other updo gadgets. The sock bun thing works OK for me for short periods of time, but if you have thick hair it would probably work better than the babyfine frizz I have. I've also seen people do Gibson rolls, which look good even when wet and are supposed to be pretty easy.
posted by bowtiesarecool at 8:58 AM on October 18, 2013

Are you coordinated enough to dry your hair in the car on the way to work? Crank up the heat and lean in front of the vent while you fluff your hair with your hands (works even better if you can occasionally run a brush through it during this process). The window down does the same thing. Works well if your hair is low maintenance, as yours appears to be.
posted by juliagulia at 9:00 AM on October 18, 2013

Mmm, I bought the Conair version of the brush you linked for the exact same reason - wanted to dry my hair without a lot of hassle, and it would take a really long time to go from towel dry to mostly-dry with that sort of tool - maybe 30-45 minutes of going over the same sections of hair over and over. It just does not have enough air velocity or volume. The only way I got it to work was to dry my hair with a conventional blowdryer to "mostly dry", then used the tool just for styling.

A couple of things I've successfully tried to dry hair without a blow dryer:
(1) Wash your hair at night, and if you want it straight, wrap sections around your crown and pin with bobby pins to dry overnight (similar to what is called a "doobie wrap" or maybe dominican wrap but with wet hair - there are tons of youtube tutorials). It took me about 15 minutes to pin my hair up.

(2) Use a high-power blowdryer on the cool setting. This is surprisingly effective if you just want to get hair mostly dry and don't care about styling. You wouldn't need any heat protector because there's no heat. The air speed wicks away moisture on its own.
posted by muddgirl at 9:04 AM on October 18, 2013 [3 favorites]

I hate hair dryers too, and I always do the "wash hair in the evening and let it air dry overnight" option. I also don't wash my hair every day.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:05 AM on October 18, 2013 [2 favorites]

I have that particular tool you linked too and it is in no way as powerful as the cheapest hair dryer. While it does have its applications, it would take longer to use versus a hair dryer.
posted by tipsyBumblebee at 9:05 AM on October 18, 2013 [3 favorites]

I have finer hair than you (but the same length) and I have both a hot air brush and a hair dryer. The hot hair brush takes at least twice as long to dry my hair as the hair dryer and so I almost never use it just to dry. It's a styling tool for damp hair, not a drying tool for wet hair.

What I do is blow dry my hair upside down for a few minutes until it is damp, not wet. There's no risk of burning my ears this way. Then I finish with the hot air brush.

Crank up the heat and lean in front of the vent while you fluff your hair with your hands (works even better if you can occasionally run a brush through it during this process).

This isn't a good option. Please don't do things that distract you while you're driving, like sticking your head in front of the vent (instead of remaining where you have best visibility) and fluffing your hair. Wet hair is better than hitting something, especially if that something is me.
posted by Kutsuwamushi at 9:05 AM on October 18, 2013 [12 favorites]

I have something like that. On my chin length, thin hair, it works fine used like a brush but is significantly slower than using a hair dryer. Enough so that I rarely use it because I have little tolerance for time spent on my hair. But if your hair dryer aversion outweighs your desire for speed, it may be a good tool for you.

I don't know if the heat protection sprays really make any difference but I do use one, especially if I'm using heat products often.

One other possibility I like that you might consider - often I air dry at night and then in the morning, run a flat iron over just any bits that dried funny and need a bit of taming for a professional appearance. That mostly hits the sweet spot for me in terms of balancing time spent, minimizing heat damage to hair, and looking reasonable for work. Your Hair May Vary.
posted by Stacey at 9:06 AM on October 18, 2013

Crank up the heat and lean in front of the vent while you fluff your hair with your hands (works even better if you can occasionally run a brush through it during this process).

This isn't a good option. Please don't do things that distract you while you're driving, like sticking your head in front of the vent (instead of remaining where you have best visibility) and fluffing your hair. Wet hair is better than hitting something, especially if that something is me.

Kutsuwamushi, point taken. I should have made clear the head in front of the vent is to be done at stop lights!
posted by juliagulia at 9:10 AM on October 18, 2013

Don't go back to hair dryers, and don't buy that product you linked. The heat is really not good for your hair, especially when it's wet.

I suggest you get a microfiber turban! They soak up more water than a standard towel does, and stay on your head with a button/loop closure. Wear it for 10-20 minutes as you get dressed in the morning, and your hair will be far drier than it would be with the towel.

Plus! The microfiber will make your hair less frizzy because it doesn't ruffle the cuticle the way regular terrycloth does. These turbans are recommended for curly-headed girls because they reduce the frizz.

I have two of these turbans. They are expensive but really nice quality, last forever, don't stretch out, and I use them over and over again between washes. It will fit virtually any size of head.
posted by aabbbiee at 9:11 AM on October 18, 2013 [8 favorites]

I hate the noise and electricity use of a dryer. I towel-dry my very thick long hair really thoroughly, using an extra towel if needed. When it was shorter, I left it loose, now I generally french braid it. on preview - microfiber towels are a great idea - they absorb lots of water.
posted by theora55 at 9:14 AM on October 18, 2013

I use a wet to dry flat iron to get my hair 80-90% dry before leaving the house. It heats up quickly and gets my shoulder-length fine hair mostly dry in a couple passes (~5 minutes). I do put some heat-protecting product in, and am a daily morning-showerer like you.
posted by bookdragoness at 9:15 AM on October 18, 2013

As others have said, I think that tool is better for styling than drying. I wash at night and do some minimal rearranging in the morning but I think that would be a good tool for some quick morning styling.
posted by otherwordlyglow at 9:28 AM on October 18, 2013

Response by poster: Thank you for the ideas so far! I've taken showers before bed and I just feel weird not showering before work. Occasionally I run in the morning before work so then I definitely need a shower. But I'll reconsider - part of my squickiness with not taking a shower before work is because I got sweaty overnight in the summer, when I need to take a shower about every 20 minutes.

I ride the bus to work so no using the vent heat as a hair dryer for me. I tried a microfiber turban from Sephora but it didn't stay put or seem like it was doing much for me. I'll try that one though, I like that idea.

It sounds like I might be looking at a few different combinations of tools, like wash hair at night and style in the morning with a straightener or hot air brush as needed or wash hair in the morning and use a hair dryer on the cool setting, then finish with a hot air brush or micro-fiber towel, then finish with the hot air brush or straightener.

I'm leaning towards getting a microfiber towel and maybe that straightener but I'd love to hear more ideas.
posted by kat518 at 9:35 AM on October 18, 2013

I don't wash my hair every time I shower. I just put it up in clips or (better yet) in a shower cap to keep it from getting wet. I definitely have to shower before work to wake myself up, so I wash my hair at night and then enjoy my super-fast shower in the morning. Second-day hair takes a bit of getting used to, but it's not too bad. There are ways to freshen slightly sweaty hair post-run like dry shampoos.
posted by muddgirl at 9:42 AM on October 18, 2013 [5 favorites]

does your head get really sweaty? if not, could you wash at night, get a shower cap and then shower before work but not get your hair wet?

I have curly springy hair that I hate and wear straight, so showering without getting my hair wet is a thing I really like.

if you DO happen to decide to try hair drying again, buy a new hair dryer. I had a 8 year old one that got lost in a flood, and they've really improved them in the last years. get one that has either the straightening narrow attachment, but for you preferably maybe the diffuser. if I put mine on it doesn't even feel hot on my head.
posted by euphoria066 at 9:45 AM on October 18, 2013 [1 favorite]

I've taken showers before bed and I just feel weird not showering before work.

Well, you could take two showers - one at night to wash your hair, and a quick one in the morning, wearing a shower cap.

But I have another suggestion based on this:

the years of having to sit still while she burnt the tips of my ears with the hair dryer has made me hate hair dryers. We own one now but I think it's maybe 10 years old

It is possible that if you got a really good, new dryer (which would take less time to dry your hair) and learned to do it well/quickly, your hatred of them might lessen considerably. It's never fun to blow-dry your hair in the morning (or ever) but it can probably be made into a quick boring task you do on auto-pilot, not something you actively hate.
posted by DestinationUnknown at 9:46 AM on October 18, 2013 [2 favorites]

I have long thick curly hair and second the recommendation for the microfiber turban. I've used one for years and never blow dry my hair. After about 20 minutes in the microfiber turban, my hair is damp, by the time I get to work (another 20 min or so) it is nearly dry.

When I did use a blow dryer on my hair, it would take at least 40 minutes, I usually stopped because my arms were tired, not because the hair was dry.
posted by JujuB at 10:00 AM on October 18, 2013 [3 favorites]

I had an Aquis hair towel once that was awesome. Last thing I bought were some microfiber turbans that absorb, like, zero water, so I came up with a different system: put hair in towel wrap for a minute, take it out and keep track of which side of the towel is the opposite dry side, comb through hair to maybe redistribute the water a little, put it up with the dry side closest to my head this time. Works better than just doing it once like I always used to.

My blow dryer has 3 heat settings (and a separate toggle for high/low speed): cool (room temp), warm (not really that hot at all, you'd literally have to just blast it at your ear to be uncomfortable at all), and the hot setting that most people are used to. It takes longer on the cool setting and I find it just a tad too cool in the winter, but it works if you're patient. Or, you can just blow your hair around enough that it doesn't really look wet to casual observer, if that's all you're worried about.
posted by zizania at 10:09 AM on October 18, 2013

You can shower in the evening and shampoo your hair then, and still take a quick shower in the morning to feel body fresh. You just have to wear a shower cap. I do this sometimes, it works great. I sometimes shower right after supper so that when I go to bed my hair is dry.

And yeah, wet hair at the office is a no-no, unless you're a scuba instructor or something.
posted by PuppetMcSockerson at 10:15 AM on October 18, 2013

I have the same problem you do, and one thing I've considered and never tried is to buy a "hair bonnet" system that works with a hair dryer. Like this one or this one (the second one doesn't use a hair dryer I don't think.) Now, I don't know if these are intended to be used only if you want to set a hairstyle with rollers or braids or something, but I've always had a fantasy of using one of these while I sit and read a book for 20 minutes. It could be completely a wrong-brained idea, but might be worth looking into or researching.
posted by megancita at 10:16 AM on October 18, 2013

For what it's worth, I also hate blow-drying my hair, but I hate it less since I got a modern blow dryer. The old ones were super hot and damaging to hair, but I finally picked up a fairly recent ionic/energy-efficient model and it's 100% better (less hot, less noisy, works faster) than the old-style dryers used to be, like the one I assume you have from 10 years ago. Anyway, just a thought - a modern hair dryer model might be much less annoying than you'd expect.
posted by dialetheia at 10:24 AM on October 18, 2013 [4 favorites]

I keep paper towels under the sink to blot my hair after I shower. It cuts drying time in half which may be enough for you, depending on the length of your commute.

Try it after using a regular towel and you will see how much water is still left in your hair!
posted by rada at 10:26 AM on October 18, 2013

I'll put in a good word for the hot air brushes. I love them because I don't have to futz with a hair dryer + brush (I'm so malcoordinated).

You have to make sure that you get one that's got enough oomph - I got a little one for Christmas to keep at my parents' place for visits and it just doesn't have enough power to be effective. The one I use is this Revlon model (1200 watts). The one that didn't have enough oomph was this Conair one - can't find the watts, but it's definitely less powerful.

The little ones tend to be underpowered - my Revlon one is almost comically large to hold in your hand if you're just used to brushes, but really the handle with the motor should be the size of the barrel of a hair dryer - so it's pretty thick. Some of them come with a self-rotating brush which I think is pretty silly and unnecessary, although that might be because I don't really use it for styling/curling, just for drying.

It's really simple to use - I don't bother sectioning off my hair or anything, just grab a hank of hair, stick the brush part under it and slooowly brush down (must get under the bit of hair like you would with a round brush - brushing from the outside like you would with a paddle brush won't work). Maybe give your wrist a little twist at the end to encourage it to curl under if you like. I feel like it's pretty fast, because you're isolating a hank of hair - I don't know if it's faster, but it's not as tiresome/tiring and I've definitely never burned myself (and I too find many hair dryers scorch-y on scalp and ears).

My hair now is a little shorter than shoulder length but I've also used this with bra strap length hair. One of my fave tricks for professional looking long hair w/o too much fuss is to just use the brush dryer to do a couple of hanks of hair on each side of my face (maybe 3 min), and then put my hair in a french twist with a ficcare clip (or similar). The front bit around the face becomes the outside of the hair in the twist (think about scraping your hair straight back - the hair around the face covers the hair behind when pulled back), so your 'do looks dry and tidy even though underneath it's still damp (not sopping or anything).
posted by clerestory at 10:41 AM on October 18, 2013 [1 favorite]

So, according to my stylist, ceramic hair dryers do not get as hot as traditional ones (which is why she doesn't like them) - but I get overheated easily in the bodily temperature sense, and I feel like my ceramic dryer is - for lack of a better term - slightly gentler. This is not mine, but is an entry level product you could try to see if you like it.
Drying your hair does not have to be complex. I brush mine out after my shower and let it air dry a bit while I do my makeup. Then, mist on a little bit of something like this, comb/brush through, and flip your head over, and start drying. Try not to aim at your scalp but whatever, you'll get the hang of it soon enough. When you're done mist over a little Headrush or similar to smooth things out and go about your day.
posted by Medieval Maven at 10:54 AM on October 18, 2013

I found the turbans tricky to self-apply. I have them for the kids after lice treatments but I won't use them on myself.

Just get a micofiber towel and do the same thing. This one in medium should do; I use the X Large but I use it as a whole body and as a head towel. There are other softer ones with terry loops but the texture freaks me out - this firm towel is just as absorbent.

You also might forego getting your hair wet and just showering with a cap on.
posted by tilde at 10:55 AM on October 18, 2013 [1 favorite]

I have super-straight, super-thick hair, and shampooing before bed is my SOP. I'd never catch the morning bus otherwise.

If that doesn't work for you, and you have time in the morning to sit still and do some quiet activity for a while, maybe a bonnet dryer is the answer.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 10:58 AM on October 18, 2013

I used to hate drying my hair as well, but with modern tools it's definitely more manageable. Nthing the Aquis microfiber towel + modern, high-quality hairdryer.

Don't cheap out on the microfiber towel. Low-quality towels don't do much of anything. I highly recommend the Aquis brand. Use it right when you get out of the shower, and keep it on for 15 minutes or so.

As for a hairdryer, the higher watts, the less time it will take you. Go for a minimum of 1875 watts (mine is 3200, and it makes drying a snap). Keep the dryer moving and a decent distance from your head, and it won't burn. Also try sitting down in an open room while you blow dry. It can get too hot in a cramped bathroom, and sitting is more comfortable.

Also, try washing your hair less frequently, and using a shower cap in between.
posted by smokyjoe at 11:00 AM on October 18, 2013

This doesn't answer your question directly, but you're probably much more likely to burn yourself with a hair straightener than with a modern dryer. I have burned myself a couple times - once I dropped the straightener just right so that it burned both the top and bottom of my foot. Also, if you're drying your own hair, you can quickly adjust if things start to get uncomfortable. I used a rotating drying brush once, and it tangled my hair really badly.
posted by Safiya at 11:09 AM on October 18, 2013

dialetheia makes an excellent point. My hairdrying time was cut way, way down since I dropped a few bucks on a decent dryer. No more straw hair like before when I was using a $20 cheapie from Walmart. I'd say I cut my drying time in half. I have tried everything to not have to blowdry my hair but unfortunately it looks terrible if I don't and I'm prone to a cradle cap-like scalp if I don't completely dry it.

I also have long, thick hair. My hairdresser thins out a lot of the extra weight every couple of months. It still looks thick but is much more manageable and easy to dry.
posted by futureisunwritten at 11:12 AM on October 18, 2013

Response by poster: It seems like with a hair dryer, I should be brushing it slowly with one hand while keeping pace with the hair dryer in the other hand. Do I need to do something similar with a straightener? The straightener sounds appealing because bookdragonness said it takes her about 5 minutes to go from wet to dry, which sounds amazing, and I believe a straightener is what the stylist uses when I get a blow-out.
posted by kat518 at 11:26 AM on October 18, 2013

My hairdresser uses a hairdryer with a powerful Ferrari motor. Really. It does not produce heat at all and gets you dry quickly. I'm sorry I don't know the brand.

Maybe try something like that?
posted by jgirl at 12:08 PM on October 18, 2013

Anecdotal: if I wear my hair up in the turban towel, all my broken hair/short hair sticks up and out all over the place until I wash it again. I don't know how common this is, but it took me a long time to figure out why my bangs wouldn't settle down, or my hair had a weird hump in it. It was from the towel and not letting it hang naturally as it dried.
posted by getawaysticks at 12:19 PM on October 18, 2013

It seems like with a hair dryer, I should be brushing it slowly with one hand while keeping pace with the hair dryer in the other hand.

It depends on the look you want. If I just want to dry my hair, I don't dry each lock individually - I dry in big sections with just my fingers to comb it out, keeping the dryer moving. If you want to straighten your hair, though, then that is what a traditional blow-out achieves.

Do I need to do something similar with a straightener?

I've never used a wet-to-dry straightener, but yes, you would need to use the straightener in sections. It looks like there are a bunch of tutorials on Youtube for that. Seriously, youtube tutorials are how I learned to be a girl.

I guess I'm having a hard time getting a sense of what your end-goal is. If you want a stylist-quality sleek, pin-straight hair every morning, then that is going to take the proper tools and more importantly practice (it probably took me about a month of doing my hair 3x a week to actually get a professional-ish style). If you just want to dry your hair quicker, and your hair is already mostly straight, then there are a lot of easier ways to get there than a full blow-out.
posted by muddgirl at 12:24 PM on October 18, 2013 [1 favorite]

A straightener/flat-iron is like tongs. You position a chunk of hair between the tongs, near the root of the hair, clamp down, and just glide the tongs down the length of your hair. You probably need two hands to place the chunk of hair in between the tongs, but the actual straightening motion is a one-handed sweep down your hair.

I've never quite gotten the hang of the coordination needed to do the brush-and-dryer thing, and the flat iron is definitely simpler. Clamp, glide, unclamp, grab another piece of hair and repeat. I personally grab, maybe an inch or so section of hair at a time? With longer, thicker hair, maybe you need to do a bit more or less to get good straightening. You'll figure that out by trial-and-error. If you grab too much hair or do the gliding thing too fast, it's not like anything bad happens, the straightening just isn't as pronounced.
posted by Stacey at 12:26 PM on October 18, 2013 [1 favorite]

I have the same problem as you. I think part of the solution is getting a big, hot, awesome hair dryer. Something in the $50+ price range from Sally's.

I start by using an Aquis hair towel for 10-20 minutes while I get ready. I use a round brush for the front of my hair, then give up on the brush and flip everything over and blow from the roots to the tips. Takes 3 minutes maybe. A wimpy dryer could take 10 minutes.

To use a straightener to get all of your hair dry would take lots of time, but has the bonus of not being a hair dryer. I mean, hair dryers exist to get your hair dry quickly. Anything else is just poking around that option. I guess I choose convenience over my personal hatred of hair dryers. At least for the winter.

Your other option is a really short hair cut that can towel dry!

And regarding wet hair in the office, I think it depends. I live in a hipstery type neighborhood and just about every 20-30 year old woman in a pencil skirt and blouse on the way to the metro has wet hair.
posted by fontophilic at 1:31 PM on October 18, 2013

At 500 watts, that's going to be slower than a regular hair dryer.

You can get a bonnet hair dryer that sits on your head while you sit, you can't move around a lot but you could probably read or eat breakfast while it does it's thing.

Sometimes I use a regular fan to dry my hair more quickly. It's probably not as fast as a hair dryer, but I can turn it on while I'm doing other things with my back to it.
posted by yohko at 2:05 PM on October 18, 2013

As DestinationUnknown said, new hairdryers are better than old ones. I hate(d) hairdryers, too, but a few nice experiences with hotel hairdryers have me considering buying one after decades without it.
posted by salvia at 2:25 PM on October 18, 2013

I have a cheaper-brand version of the spinning hot air brush you linked to, and yeah, it's not a hair dryer-substitute (meant to be used after you've already blow-dried. It was surprisingly heavy, and I found it much, much harder to use than a brush + hair dryer. It is now a dust-collector. But I have ridiculously thick (and long-ish) hair (the kind the stylist always looks at in dismay at coloring time and ends up having to make two extra bowls of bleach for while saying, "You have so much hair") and blow-drying even by a professional is still a good 15-minute process, so maybe someone with less hair would like the brush thing more. It is not a thing I am willing to do (as is, I will only blow-dry a few times a year). It totally tangled in my hair (despite all the 'no tangle' claims) and was not a magic solution. It was sad. :(

So I wash my hair at night. And only a few times a week. I hate wet hair, but not as much as I hate blow-drying, so that's the best option for me.
posted by lysimache at 2:29 PM on October 18, 2013

I agree that you don't actually need to dry your hair- I think it's your mother's voice in your hair telling you this.

I never blow dry my hair and have very thick hair that used also be very long. You do have to towel-dry it very well, and consider how to style it so that when it dries it'll look its best (when my hair was long, this was putting it up in a bun or braiding it, now that it's short it means putting in a few bobby pins so that it looks neat).
posted by cacao at 2:33 PM on October 18, 2013 [1 favorite]

This brush with drying sponges could be an option.

Also, I have a professional hairdryer. I paid over $100 for it about 15 years ago and it's a tank. It's got very, very strong air flow and it also has various temperature settings. I can dry my hair completely in a few minutes using only cool air. So, no burning feeling, no hot parts, and minimum time spent drying. If you hate dryers because of the heat, you may want to look at the professional options out there.
posted by quince at 3:41 PM on October 18, 2013

What about a compromise: drying your hair part of the way? I've started doing this as the days get colder and I focus on getting my scalp to feel dryish and then style with some shine-smoothing stuff. By the time I get to work, it's pretty much dry and looks dry. I have a bob and a lot of fine hair but you might find a half-dry method that works for your head.

So many great ideas in this thread! I've been meaning to try the shower cap option or microfiber towels myself.
posted by purple_bird at 4:09 PM on October 18, 2013

Response by poster: Thanks again to everyone who offered ideas. I ordered a microfiber towel from Amazon. I might also try getting a hair dryer and plan to use the cool setting. This morning, I tried putting a towel in the dryer and wrapping it around my hair while it was warm. I think it worked pretty well but I also got some random kinks in my hair. But now I have a lot of great options. Thank you!
posted by kat518 at 2:16 PM on October 19, 2013

I love my wet-to-dry flat iron for getting dry hair straight, but gave up on it for getting wet hair dryish... didn't really work for me, and also you can get some serious burns from letting your hair touch your skin after it's been flat ironed.

Also had no success with the hot brush, it just doesn't get hot enough.

It does help to use two+ towels, the first one to the point where it's soaked and then switch to the second one for more drying.
posted by anaelith at 7:04 AM on October 20, 2013

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