Tuck straight hair behind your ears while it air-dries.
“I picked up this trick from Harry Josh, the stylist behind Gisele’s iconic waves, years ago and haven’t looked back. My hair is flat and fine and rarely holds a bend, but doing this makes it air-dry into an easy wave with just the right amount of movement—it doesn’t even need any product to stay. It’s saved me on countless mornings when I run out of time to do my hair.” —Lindsay Schallon, senior digital beauty editor
Swap an old T-shirt for your hair towel.
“Teddi Cranford, who cuts my hair, once told me I needed to start using a clean T-shirt (instead of a regular towel) to wrap my hair after I shower; it cuts down on frizziness and breakage. I employed that trick (with much success) until I got my hands on this genius Aquis microfiber turban towel. While one is $30 and the other one is waiting for you in your closet, they deliver the same end result: softer, shinier curls.” —Simone Kitchens, associate beauty director
But for beachy waves, try paper towels.
“When I went to get my hair beach-wave permed, the hairstylist Jean Oh told me to use a paper towel to help air-dry my hair and keep my curls intact. Instead of crushing the curls with a heavy towel or blasting them with hot air, I scrunch up my damp curls with a paper towel, and they spring to life. In the mornings I wet my hair a bit and do the same thing, then let it air-dry. I hardly ever use a blow-dryer now.” —Erin Reimel, weekend writer
For more defined curls, master “squishing.”
“I read through the most nuanced curl regimens ever while doing a story on Reddit hair routines, but the one thing that’s stuck with me? Move your hair products to the shower and get them in right after you turn off the water. It doesn’t seem like it should make a huge difference to put product in when your hair is still wet—or as Reddit calls it “squish to condish”—but I notice a marked change when I do it. Bouncy, defined, frizz-free curls always follow.” —Rachel Nussbaum, beauty writer
A strainer works surprisingly well as a diffuser.
“Since I don’t drag myself out of bed on time with enough consistency to drop money on a diffuser, I use a pasta strainer whenever I want glossy blow-dried curls. It’s crazy-easy: Just flip your head over into the strainer (wash it first or spaghetti residue will make it look like you’ve got dandruff) and blow dry up into the strainer. Just pile sections of your hair into it and boom: shiny, frizz-less curls.” —Amber Rambharose, beauty editor