Overall, air drying natural hair is the safest option. You can't get heat damage from the hair, however, some air drying methods are better than others!
I don't have a loose curl pattern. I have kinky 4C hair on 80% of my head except for the back where it is actually wavy, it's not curly at all.
I did my first wash and go in December 2012, roughly 18 months into my natural journey. When my hair was wet it was easy to moisturise and seal but by the next day my hair had shrunk very, very tightly and it was more tangled than usual.
Remember that the chances for incurring breakage are highest when you're detangling very tangled hair. There's no point in keeping hair healthy by air drying and then incurring breakage due to the resulting tangles!
My conclusion is that air drying hair that hasn't been styled into twists or plaits is not the best option for thick, course kinky hair. It makes handling the hair much harder two or three days later.
So, what is the best way to air dry?
Loose curls and fine hair:
Thick, course or very kinky hair:
What is your experience with air drying?
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By Heather Katsonga-Woodward