Finesse Your Fine Hair This Summer With This Easy, Heat-Free Routine

Allie Flinn
Allie Flinn

I hate blow-drying my hair. It is the bane of my beauty existence. I would rather subsist solely on kale for the rest of my life than take a round brush to my head every morning. (I've been told I'm melodramatic, but this feels like a reasonable statement.) These feelings are intensified in the Summer months, when it's hot and sticky. Unfortunately for my lazy tendencies, I have fine, stick-straight hair that does not air-dry naturally in a way one would consider cute. But with a lot of trial and error, I figured out a heat-free styling routine for my fine hair. Here's what I do.

Good Hair Starts in the Shower

Since my hair naturally dries really, really flat, I do everything I can to give it volume. This means I always use a volumizing, sulfate-free shampoo. Because conditioner tends to weigh down my hair, I only apply it on the ends of my hair.

Pick the Right Styling Products

I start with a lightweight volumizing spray applied to the roots of my hair. If my haircut is fresh (read: I have no split ends), then I will mist a salt spray liberally over my hair. I apply it starting about ear-height (as anything closer to my scalp tends to make it look greasy) and make sure to get it on all the layers of my hair.

If it's been a while since my hair has been trimmed, I opt for a lightweight wave cream because it helps smooth the ends of my hair in addition to creating texture. I apply it from the middle of my hair to the roots. (The slightest bit of extra styling product at my roots makes it look like I haven't washed my hair in a month.) After applying product, I use my fingers to muss up my hair and add to the texture.

Use Dry Shampoo in Lieu of Texture Spray

Fine hair has a tendency to become tangled, and I've found that many texture finishing sprays are just too tacky for my hair. One light breeze and my perfectly tousled hair becomes a tangled mess that I can't run my fingers through. Instead, I use dry shampoo to add texture to my hair once it's fully dry. I apply it at the roots of my hair, then flip my head over and use my fingers to rub it into my scalp and distribute it throughout the rest of my hair. Then I mist a little extra dry shampoo from the middle of my hair to the ends, treating it like a finishing spray. Again, I use my fingers to distribute the product and create texture. This gives me that coveted second-day-hair look.

A French Braid Is Key

Every night, I put my hair in a French braid before going to bed. This gives my hair texture and volume the next morning. (Bonus: it keeps my hair out of my face, which is one of the most beneficial things I've done for my skin.) I've learned that one French braid down the back of my head works best; I've tried double French braids and, because my hair is so fine, the ends of the braids get really small and create these crimped pieces that are, in a word, nope.

Side Parts Are Your Fine Hair's BFF

When I actually heat-style my hair, I like to do a middle part. But if I'm letting my hair air-dry, I've found that a side part looks infinitely better with my fine hair because it creates the illusion of more volume.

Get Some Old-School Rollers

When I want hair that looks a little more "done," I throw a few foam rollers in my hair to smooth it out and add some bend. Once you get the ratio of hair-to-roller figured out (it depends on your hair length, but I typically do about an inch of hair per roller), it takes minutes. I put them in, do my makeup, and mist on a little hairspray before taking them out and combing my fingers through it.

In a perfect world, I'd have the time and energy to style my hair every morning (also in this world, heat-styling wouldn't damage my hair and I could eat all the pizza I wanted without it upsetting my stomach). But since this is my reality, I rely on these hacks to help me look presentable with minimal effort. If you have a similar hair type, I hope these tips help you out as well!