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You don't always want to give your hair the blowout, subject it to your straightener or twist it with a curling iron. Using these tools takes time, for one thing. Besides that, too much heat styling can bring on split ends, so sometimes it's good to give your mane a break. "Air-dried" doesn't have to be a synonym for "out-of-control," though. Believe it or not, it is possible to look glam without picking up your blow dryer.
Natural Curls or Waves
If you've got natural curls or waves, let your hair's natural texture do its thing. Allowing curly hair to air-dry is the best way to keep it from looking frazzled in the summer heat. Coiled locks are usually drier, and heat styling only adds to the problem. Use a super-moisturizing shampoo, then finish your style with a curl-defining cream while wrapping pieces around your fingers. If your tresses are more wavy than curly, spritz some texturizing spray through damp hair and scrunch as it dries for a California-girl look. Polish either style by making a half-inch braid on one side of your head near the hairline. Secure behind your ear with pins.
Sexy Side Curls
Get an over-the-shoulder cascade of curls without your curling iron -- really! While your hair's still damp, work through a dab of styling wax, then twist medium-sized sections of hair into loose coils, securing them at the nape of your neck with bobby pins. Once your hair's dried out a little bit, remove the pins and shake out your curls. Push your hair over so it all falls romantically over one shoulder. It's that easy!
Braids look both polished and casual when you embrace the undone trend, and they work perfectly when your hair is air-drying. Get seashore texture by spritzing a sea salt spray through damp hair. Let your locks air dry a bit, then make a side fishtail braid. Divide your hair into two sections, then pull a half-inch section from the outside of the right side and add it to the inside of the left side. Do the same on the left, taking a piece from the outside left and moving it over to the inside of the right section. Repeat until you have about an inch of hair left, then secure with an elastic. If you want to go a little more traditional, do a regular French braid at the back of your head, starting at the crown, while your hair is still slightly damp. Undo your style later and you'll have a headful of waves.
Work a Bun
Wearing a summer tank top? Show those shoulders off even more by sweeping your mane into a bun at the nape of your neck. After securing your damp hair in a low ponytail, divide it into two sections. Wrap the first section clockwise around the base, creating a mini-bun. Pin in place. Then, wrap the second section counterclockwise, using bobby pins to secure it. Let pieces fall loose if they want to -- this style is supposed to look a tad untamed.