Model combing through hair using Sol de Janeiro comb

Why Your Hair Takes So Long to Dry (And How To Speed Up the Process)

Wash Day can feel extra daunting when you know your hair takes so long to dry. And whether you have a bob or Rapunzel-esque strands, it’s safe to say we’ve all been there. You’ll find yourself out of the shower only to immediately go on an extended date with your hair dryer. Or maybe you’ve delayed plans so you can wait out a proper air dy. For some, hair drying is so inconvenient that they decide to just not wash as often––this includes curly-haired beauties whose gorgeous locks require more maintenance.

Before you dedicate what feels like another decade to hair drying, dive into our tips on speeding up the process. 


Why Does My Hair Take So Long to Dry? 

Before we get into how to dry hair quickly, let’s start with why it’s such a slow process. While grumbling during a half-day of drying, you may have wondered, “how long does hair take to dry––and should it really be this long?” You might be able to draw on a bit more patience if you understand what the holdup is. 

Hair Thickness 

Ever wonder why some people can air dry in a snap while it takes ages for others? The thickness of your hair is a major factor. Thicker hair has more volume per strand and is also heavier, meaning it takes longer to shed moisture. 

Hair Porosity 

Hair porosity also plays a role in drying time. Hair with higher porosity dries faster because water enters and exits it more easily. Low porosity hair is harder to saturate. Once wet, it clings strongly to water. Low porosity hair will also take longer to dry because strands are coarser (meaning larger in diameter) and retain water for longer. 

Hair Type 

While wavy and straight hair tend to dry faster, curly and coily textures will take longer. Airflow from a blow dryer often moves through straight to wavy hair more easily. Curls and coils have circular movements that create twists and turns which slow down airflow. 

Dense Hair 

The denser your hair is, the more patience for drying you’ll need. However, be careful not to confuse thick hair with hair density.  

Hair industry veteran Eric Spengler describes hair thickness as the diameter of your individual hair strands. " Hair density, on the other hand, is the amount of hair on your head. Dense hair dries slowly because there are so many strands per square inch, and air can't easily flow through. 

Product Application 

Applying more product often leads to a longer drying time. Interestingly, your hair taking a while to dry is a sign of healthy hair. It often indicates that your hair is well-hydrated, which is key for those bouncy, beautiful curls to stay in place. 


Speed Up the Drying Process 

Now for tips on how to dry your hair fast. 

Saturate and Shape 

This one is for our curly and coily girlies. It may sound counterintuitive when it comes to how to dry hair quicker, but you’ll want to make sure curls are thoroughly saturated with water before applying the product. To speed up the process, spread the product evenly using techniques like prayer hands, scrunching, or finger-curling methods for better curl definition.  

Choose the Right Towel 

Wondering how to dry hair fast? Forget your terrycloth one for the bath. Instead use a t-shirt or specialty hair towel specifically made to absorb moisture and prevent frizz.  

Dry with Heat 

Whether using a diffuser or dryer, here are three steps to style your hair with heat while still keeping it healthy.  

Step 1: For straight hair, remove excess water with a hair-drying towel. Made from highly absorbent materials, it helps minimize hair damage. If your hair is curly, you can skip this step—you’ll want to saturate and shape.  

Step 2: On damp hair, apply heat protectant. We recommend Brazilian Joia™ Milky Leave-In Conditioner. Not only does it protect your hair from heat up to 450 degrees, but it also detangles to reduce breakage, and fights frizz for up to 72 hours. Using a wide tooth comb with spaced out teeth will help promote airflow so your hair dries faster. 

Step 3: Blow dry your hair on low heat or cool. If you have curls, use a diffuser. Air drying can be more damaging to your hair's inner parts than blow drying on cool or low heat, especially when using a heat protectant.  

Summon All the Patience 

The good news is: hair that takes long to dry is healthy hair. Strands that dry quickly may be too porous or slightly damaged.