Regardless of your hair type—coily, thick and wavy, fine and short—mastering the art of the perfect air-dry is, in fact, an art. Sure, blow-dryers, straighteners and curling irons can throw plenty of arm-breaking curveballs your way, but mastering the au naturel, step-out-of-the-shower-and-go aesthetic is an intimidating beast in and of itself. With so many potential variables like climate, products, application timing and hair texture, things can go awry quickly, and there definitely isn’t a one-size-fits-all prescription.

Air-drying your hair with celeb-level finesse can be a bit risky, but we’re here to change that. Enter a course in Expert Air-Drying 101, courtesy of one of the best hairstylists in the industry, Cynthia Alvarez. 

Working with clients with a wide variety of lengths and textures (her regulars include Shakira, Maye Musk and Dascha Polanco), Alvarez knows a thing or two about styling every kind of strand situation—with or without tools. To stock up on all of her must-know intel, we asked her to provide a step-by-step breakdown of how best to air-dry an assortment of different hair types. But we didn’t stop there. Alvarez is also sharing all of her must-have products, top tips, and, perhaps most importantly, the most common mistakes she wants each hair type to avoid. With spring almost upon us, it’s the perfect time to put your favourite hot tool into retirement (at least for a few months) and embrace your natural texture. Keep scrolling! 

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