A shiny, bouncy blowout was arguably the luxury hair symbol of the late 2000s and early 2010s. (Two of the biggest blow-dry-only salon chains, Blo Blow Dry Bar and Drybar, opened in 2007 and 2010, respectively.) But the cultural cachet of a $50 blowout isn’t what it used to be, says Guido Palau, hairstylist and global creative director for Redken. “At one time, a great blow-dry felt super-rich,” he told us backstage at Victoria Beckham’s fall/winter 2017 show. “Now, there’s a new idea of luxury in hair: shampooed and left to dry naturally.”

Palau is just one of many stylists who have been eschewing styling tools—and, with it, uniformity—at shows over the past several seasons. We have become so accustomed to grabbing a hair dryer or curling iron, he says, that we have forgotten what natural hair texture looks and feels like. Call it the hair equivalent of the no-makeup makeup trend, with a slew of new products designed to make shower-and-go possible. Note: This trend is not meant to be prescriptive, says Palau. “I’m not saying you shouldn’t use styling tools; it’s important for women to have options.”


Things to know before you try this trend: 

1. A good cut and colour are key.
Whatever your style is (there are no rules, says Palau), make sure you maintain it. Tell your stylist to keep the shape in proportion. (They’ll know what that means.)

2. Let hair part naturally.
“Not forcing your part adds a prettiness to it,” he says. “When you force your part, the look becomes [too considered].”

3. Troubleshoot.
If your hair tends to frizz, Palau suggests roughly blow-drying just the top layer to smooth it out. Fine hair can be twisted up when it’s still damp and pinned until dry for natural movement “without too much order to it.”

FYI: No styling tools doesn’t meant no hair help whatsoever. Try these three new products designed specifically for air drying hair.


Redken No Blow Dry Bossy Cream includes a patented technology that uses polymers that repel water, so hair dries quickly.


Redken No Blow Dry Bossy Cream ($23.59), redken.ca/find-a-salon.


Matrix Air Dry Twisted Boho Curl Defining Air-Dry Cream is one of three gel-creams that help you style your hair based on texture preference.


Matrix Air Dry Twisted Boho Curl Defining Air-Dry Cream ($18.50), at matrixprofessional.ca.

Bumble and bumble

Bumble and bumble Don’t Blow It Thick a follow-up to the brand’s origin­al, is designed for thick hair.


Bumble and Bumble Don’t Blow It Thick ($37), at sephora.com.

This article originally appeared in the Summer 2017 issue of ELLE Canada.