How Long Does it Take for Hair to Dry?

How long does it take for hair to dry naturally

With all the different hair types and hair drying methods, there’s also a variety of drying times. Some hair types, if dried improperly, can result in unnecessary hair damage. This implies that the way you dry your hair may affect the quality and wellbeing of your hair. Hair reacts in several different ways when it’s dried and some methods of drying are better than others irrespective of how long it takes for hair to dry. Let’s find out which method might just be the perfect choice for your hair!

How Long Does it Take for Hair to Dry?

A lot of factors affect how long it takes for hair to dry. Even the climate can affect the rate at which hair dries. For instance, warmer weather will let hair dry faster since obviously, the air is warmer and therefore will promote quicker evaporation. Conversely, it takes longer for hair to dry in the winter, since the air is cooler, which means slower evaporation can be the result.

Similarly, since there are more layers in thick hair, it will naturally take much longer to dry; the equivalent of trying to air dry a large feather filled blanket. Thinner hair usually takes much less time since there are fewer layers and more of the hairs are exposed to the air.

How Long Does it Take for Hair to Dry in a Towel?

On average, though, drying your hair in a towel takes 40 to 60 minutes. Drying your hair with a towel is perhaps one of the most common methods of drying hair. After patting down your hair with the towel for roughly 5 to 10 minutes, twist the towel into a turban and leave it for 20 to 30 minutes. Leaving the turban on longer and the moisture absorbed by the towel might counteract the drying process.

You want to be sure that as you wrap your hair into the turban, that it’s not too tight. When hair is wet, it is incredibly fragile, so putting stress on the hairline might cause breakage as well as the occasional headache. However, the overall process of wrapping the hair up can save you time, but there are other, perhaps better materials to use if you’re looking for a relatively fast way to dry hair, with some good results.

How Long Does it Take for Hair to Dry with Microfiber Towel?

Drying hair with a microfiber towel can save you as much as 5 minutes or more when compared to using a regular bath towel. One of the biggest risks you can take when wrapping your hair to dry is using a regular towel. Regular towels are very effective for drying off the body but no very effective for drying hair. With their short and soft bristles, it wicks away moisture from the skin, but those same bristles can actually hurt the hair, more than dry it.

In this case, using a microfiber cloth is always the way to go. Light, soft, and without bristles, microfiber can save you even more time since it absorbs more water than the average towel. Additionally, its soft texture means it doesn’t put unnecessary stress on the hair, so it targets the section of hair directly, rather than tugging on it as the regular towel would do. Consequently, a microfiber towel dries hair more quickly and causes less frizz.

Alternatively, in case of emergencies, you can also use a paper towel instead. Though you might get some pieces stuck to your hair, it has a similar effect and still efficiently dries the hair.  You could also use a t-shirt for drying your hair and this method is great for curly hair. Similar to microfiber, drying hair with a t-shirt is gentle on the damp curls and the shirt material also absorbs water better than a normal rough bath towel.

How Long Does it Take for Hair to Dry Naturally?

Drying your hair naturally usually takes up to 2 hours. As previously stated, the thicker and longer the hair, the longer it will take to dry. Others with short hair have said that it only takes 15 minutes to naturally dry the hair, but it’s not recommended that people dry their hair for longer than 2 hours, though. That is to say, do not dry any longer without brushing through the hair.

A perfect example of overdrying is washing your hair right before going to sleep. According to Korean studies, leaving the hair under pressure (on a pillow) means that the proteins that keep the hair intact are more prone to breakage and frizz. Thus, it’s best to dry your hair during the daytime, and for dry hair, cover it with a styling cream.

How Long Does it Take for Hair to Dry with Hair Dryer?

Using a hairdryer usually takes about 5 minutes for thinner hair to dry and about 12 to 15 minutes for thicker hair to dry. However, if you have hair that’s prone to frizz, it’s probably a good idea to use hair dryers sparingly and on the coolest setting. Exposure to water makes the hair swell and become fragile, continuous exposure to heat creates increased brittleness in the hair.

This is why it’s important to start drying your hair on the coolest setting. When the hair is 90% dry, then you can apply heat. Overall, the hairdryer method is very efficient as long as it’s done in moderation and with the right precautions.

How Long Does it Take for Hair to Dry in Rollers?

Drying your hair in rollers is by far one of the most time-consuming hair drying methods. If left to air dry, wet hair in rollers will typically take 6 to 8 hours to dry. However, if you are drying your hair with a conventional hairdryer, it will only take twenty to forty-five minutes, depending on the thickness and length of the hair. The same rules for drying with a hairdryer on regular hair should be applied to the hair in rollers; dry on the lowest setting and only use the high setting when the hair is nearly dry.

How Long Does it Take for Hair to Dry in Braids?

Leaving your wet hair in braids varies in the amount of time it takes to dry. For thinner and shorter hair, the minimum amount of time needed to dry is 12 hours. However, an overall estimate would be 24 hours without the use of heat assistance. Because the hair is so close together, there isn’t much room for the hair to breathe, so it retains more water.

How Long Does it Take for Hair to Dry in a Plop?

Similar to the towel turban method, plopping is great for curls. Plopping involves a combination of drying with a t-shirt and air drying. After applying a moisturizing cream or serum to wet hair, “plop” the wet curls into the t-shirt, tuck the rest of the material over your hair and then tie the ends at the back of the head. This will take around 20 minutes to set and includes about 10 minutes of natural dry time afterward. Plopping will not only save time but greatly reduces breakage and frizz.

How Long Does it Take for Hair to Dry in a Bun?

Drying your hair in a bun can take 2 to 8 hours: 2 hours if the bun is loose and up to 8 if it’s tighter. This method can create amazing waves, but you have to be careful not to coil the damp hair too tightly, as it will stress the strands and hairline.

Tips for Hair Drying Faster

Whatever the method of drying, there are ways to quicken the process. Some of the tips that can help you to dry your hair faster include:

1. Use Sulfate-free Shampoo: As the extra chemicals in shampoo with sulfates tend to weigh your hair down and also cause frizzing, it can take longer to dry. With sulfate-free shampoo, there isn’t anything getting in the way between your hair and the air.

2. Use Slow Gentle Pats: Secondly, it’s best to dry all hair, no matter the hair type, with small patting motions. Start at the scalp and slowly move down in sections. Think of squeezing the hair between both hands. This method really helps thick, wavy, and long hair, since it prevents frizziness and gets rid of excess water, which is still sitting in pockets of the hair.

For curly hair, it is best to pat and squeeze in upward motions. Flip your hair over and, start at the scalp to dry and then go from the bottom towards the top, in scrunching motions. Regardless of hair type, though, for anyone with long hair especially, make sure to sufficiently dry the ends. The ends of the hair are where most water will reside and since the ends tend to be the most delicate part of the hair, excess water will overwhelm the fragile strands and cause brittleness and breakage.

3. Comb Through Hair After Drying: After drying, pull a wide-toothed comb or microfiber brush through the wet strands. Keep in mind that hair is most fragile and breakable when it’s wet, so be extremely careful with this step. Combing through the hair after drying helps to detangle the ends and prevents clumping and knotting, something which will most definitely prolong the drying time for all hair types.

4. Apply Combing Cream: Afterward, give the hair a thin coat of moisturizing combing cream. Do your research to find a quality cream that is sulfate-free. Using a combing cream will ensure that the hair and its cuticles are sufficiently hydrated and smoothed.

5. Use Conditioner: Although it may seem odd to mention a tip for drying hair while still under the shower, the right conditioner can really affect how your hair dries outside of the shower. Conditioner not only rehydrates the hair after shampooing, but it also repels and wicks away water. Using a conditioner during every wash will help to seal in moisture and avoid excess water. However, people with oily scalps may want to avoid applying conditioner to the scalp unless you have severe dryness. A build-up of oils in the scalp usually indicates a chemical imbalance so extra moisturization from hair masks and conditioners is unnecessary. In this case, only applying conditioner to the rest of the hair will do just as well.

6. Wash Your Towels: Regularly wash your towels. Over time, towels absorb large amounts of water from hand washes to hair washes. If not regularly washed, towels hit their absorption limit, making them almost ineffective at drying hair. Therefore, it’s best to use a new towel every time you wash your hair.

7. Reduce Water Content Before Drying: Lastly, if you step out of the shower with your hair soaking wet, it’s going to take a while to dry. Even though your towel, may it be microfiber, regular, or a t-shirt, and can hold considerable amounts of water, it cannot necessarily remove all the excess water. To prevent this, after turning off the shower, flip your hair upside down and run your fingers through the wet strands. Alternatively, divide the hair into sections and gently squeeze each part, which is particularly effective for those with thick or curly hair.


There are many different methods for drying hair. Depending on time limits, some methods are better than others, but it’s helpful to understand that all the time needed for each method comes with its individual benefits.

Recent Posts