Healthier Hair Takes Longer To Dry Than Damaged, But Why?

Have you ever waited for what felt like forever before giving up and leaving your house with wet hair? We all know that using styling tools on our hair can damage its health, but going outside in cold weather sporting a moist mane isn't good for you either. Low temperatures don't mix well with wet hair, and can leave it dry and damaged. The cold sucks the moisture from your hair, so even deep conditioning won't save you if it's still wet when you walk out the door.


Mane Addicts explains that when your hair is wet, the water molecules cause it to expand. The cuticle swells and then closes once it's dry. Thus, leaving it wet makes it more susceptible to breakage and split ends. You're even more vulnerable to frostbite if your hair is soaked in cold weather. It's better to shower at night to let it air dry or use styling tools to dry it in the morning rather than leave home when it's still wet. However, some people may notice that it takes an unfathomable amount of time for their hair to dry. Luckily, if you're that person, that might be a positive indicator — because healthier hair actually takes longer to dry.

Damaged hair has a porous cuticle

You may notice that when your hair is healthier, it takes longer to air dry. Damaged hair can release moisture quickly when it's frizzy and covered in split ends because your cuticle is open. Hair is made of 90% keratin, a fibrous protein that swells when wet. Surrounding each strand is a cuticle that seals the inner parts of your hair and protects it. Once hot styling tools or chemical treatments damage it, it can't lay flat like it's meant to, exposing the keratin inside.


As you wash damaged hair, it will quickly absorb the water because the cuticle is left open. It may seem like a good thing when applying hair products because your mane will soak up them up. However, each strand will lose moisture just as fast — since the cuticle never closes. This is why broken hair takes half the time to dry than healthy tresses. However, other outside factors also contribute to how long it takes for your hair to dry after washing it.

Your type of hair and environment effects how it dries too

Even if your hair is shiny and healthy, it can take longer to dry than others. This happens because different hair types, porosity levels, and even your environment affect how long it takes for moisture to leave your strands. Makeup Muddle explains that the thicker and curlier your hair is, the more time it takes to dry because it's more porous and can absorb more water. This works similarly to how a damaged cuticle lets in more water — but when hair is highly porous, it naturally has more gaps.


Your environment plays a big part in how quickly hair dries. When it's very humid out, there's already a lot of moisture in the air, so it takes longer to leave your mane. If the weather is average, it can take around 45 minutes to dry a healthy head of hair. However, a humid day can leave your hair damp for over 2 hours.