How To Use A Claw Clip For Amazing Air-Dried Hair

Over time, there's been a lot of debate over air-drying hair vs. using a blow-dryer. If you're looking to save time, you might be tempted to dry your hair quickly on a higher setting. But this extra heat can be detrimental to the hair's surface, as noted by a 2011 study. In addition, as Be Beautiful cautions, this "flash drying" can crack the hair's cuticles and leave you with tresses that are more prone to breakage.

At first glance, air-drying might seem like an appealing choice, especially if you're looking to leave your hair to its own devices while you focus on other tasks. However, "The longer your hair stays wet, the more the cortex of your hair will swell and break, resulting in brittle ends and lots of flyaways," as celebrity hairstylist Takisha Sturdivant-Drew told Healthline. Fortunately, there's a middle ground. 

Air-dry enthusiasts can use a microfiber towel to quickly dry their hair without a blow-dryer, protecting their strands in the process. Moreover, taking a break from blow-drying also provides an opportunity to embrace your hair's natural texture. When it comes to styling, air-drying novices may find a bit of a learning curve, though. 

Thankfully, while it took Elle beauty editor Margaux Anbouba 34 days(!) of trial and error and more products than she expected to perfect her air-dried style, it turns out there is a much easier method — and all you need are two claw clips. 

Get a wavy look by securing twists of hair with claw clips

Dianna Cohen, founder, and CEO of the haircare brand Crown Affair is all about making haircare enjoyable and accessible. "I realized [haircare] was much more frustrating than relaxing for so many people in my life," she notes on the company website. Cohen shared a TikTok video using Crown Affair's claw clips to create gorgeously natural waves in her air-dried hair.

After towel-drying her tresses, Cohen uses a wide-tooth comb to gently eliminate tangles — since it's more delicate and prone to damage, avoid brushing wet hair. Cohen then recommends using a leave-in conditioner and oil to maximize moisture. Next, she twists a section of hair on either side of her head at the front and secures them with a clip at the back towards the top. 

Then, Cohen divides the remaining hair in half, twisting it in the front and clipping it together with the second claw clip under her chin. After her hair is dry, the haircare expert uses her fingers to gently undo the twists, revealing cascading waves. Real-world testers of Cohen's method have put their own spin on it. 

PopSugar editor Renee Rodriguez, who was impressed by its simplicity, discovered the combo of a no-frizz leave-in conditioner plus a wave/beach spray gave her the best results. Elsewhere, Stephanie Saltzman, an editor at Fashionista, liked the durability of the clips and the ease of the process. She recommended adding a curl enhancer prior to twisting, too. 

Like twists, braids add natural waves to air-dried hair

Similar to Dianna Cohen's twisting technique, braiding damp hair offers another heat-free alternative to create waves while air-drying. "Braiding holds the hair taut, which helps it dry smoother and minimizes frizz," Ankieta Oberoi, senior stylist and colorist at Happy In the Head, explained to Vogue India. Her go-to strategy involves putting the hair into two braids for an hour. She prefers to use minimal products to enhance her style, too. 

Chie Sato, head of education at Taylor Taylor London, suggests extending the braid time to overnight, especially for people with straight hair. Sato clarified to Refinery 29 that the type of braid will also impact your final results. Use smaller braids for more defined waves and thick, loose braids for a more relaxed wave. Celebrity hair stylists are also big fans of using braids to create a wavy look for their clients. 

Mark Townsend regularly uses a combo of mousse and braids to style Ashley and Mary-Kate Olsen's hair. Speaking to Allure, Townsend shared that Penelope Cruz offered another tip that combines braids and twists. To achieve her smooth waves, Cruz twists two braids and secures them with clips. Besides adding waves to your hair, braiding it is a way to create a distinct style while your hair is drying, notes Naturally Curly

They even suggest braiding your hair for a daytime look, then undoing the braids for plenty of volume and texture for an evening out.