Air drying your hair can be a convenient alternative to blow-drying that reduces the risk of heat damage. However, it can be troublesome at times. Going out in the cold or falling asleep with your hair wet are two downsides to the heatless alternative. Here are a few more pros and cons that you should be mindful of when deciding whether or not to air dry your hair.


It takes hair longer to dry

The time it takes for your hair to dry depends on your hair type. If you have thick hair, it will take more time for it to dry that if your hair is thin. When it’s cold, or close to the time you usually go to bed, you may be better off forgoing air drying.

Can cause mold or bacteria to grow

Mold and bacteria love moisture. That’s why you should be careful when it comes to sleeping with wet hair. Water from your hair can seep into your pillow and can lead to the growth of mold which is terrible for anyone, particularly children, those with weakened or suppressed immune systems, and those with respiratory issues. On average, it takes mold about three days to grow, but it’s best to address it as quickly as possible.

Another downside to sleeping with wet hair is that air will not be able to reach all areas of your hair as easily so, your hair will stay wet longer.

Can lead to damage

Air drying your hair increases the amount of time your hair is exposed to water. Years of air drying can cause the hair membrane to become weakened and damaged. Hair also tends to be very weak when it’s wet, so if you are styling or combing your hair when it’s wet, be gentle.


Prevents heat damage

Your hair may look more hydrated and even smoother when you air dry your hair. This is because you are preventing damage that would occur with heat. Heat causes the cuticles of your hair to expand, which can lead to a frizzy look. Additionally, when blow-drying your hair, you run the risk of your hair breaking.

Lose moisture slowly

Air drying your hair actually helps it retain moisture. When you blow-dry your hair, you’ll lose moisture immediately, however air drying will result in a gradual loss in moisture throughout the day.

Responds better to color treatments

Heat can cause color in your hair to fade. After having your hair color treated, it is important to ask your stylist about how your hair will respond to heat styling tools. Coloring your hair can make it weaker and change the way it usually behaves. To learn more about how dyes can impact your hair and a few precautions to take, check out our previous blog: What are the Risks to Dying your Hair?

Air drying and blow-drying your hair both have pros and cons, but ultimately the choice is up to you. If you are unsure talk to your stylist about which option works best with your hair type.