Once you have began your hair journey in earnest as a relaxed head, no doubt you will be wondering how best to dry your hair after your wash. The two main ways you are likely to choose from are either to air dry or to roller set your hair.
Before I get into it, it’s important to clarify the results that you are likely to achieve depending on how you relax your hair. Here is an article that explains that you should not always expect a relaxer to get rid of all your kinks and coils even if you are processing for the correct amount of time.
Some of us have hair that will easily straighten after 10 minutes with a relaxer while some of us will still be left with waves even after 2o minutes. NEVER go over the recommended time even if your hair still seems underprocessed because you will end up with damaged breaking hair that cannot be repaired.
Without a doubt roller sets are the best way to get silky smooth results from relaxed hair without using too much heat but I still feel that air drying would be more beneficial in the long term care of your hair, particularly if you are a newbie. My reasons for this are threefold:
Expert: Once you learn to do roller sets and you are an expert at it, you should be able to install your rollers with the minimum of combing and manipulation. Once your hair gets to BSL and longer the length of your hair will make it difficult if not impossible to maintain a roller setting regimen in the long term. Air drying will probably be a better solution if you intend to maintain very long hair.
Newbie: I don’t know about you but there is something about a newbie with possibly over-processed hair, manipulating it while it’s wet to install rollers that just doesn’t sit well with me! The universal advice of ‘roller-set to straighten relaxed hair’ is flawed in this respect. Hair is weakest when it is wet and this is most obvious with over-processed relaxed hair. Air drying in my opinion is the best way forward.
Expert: You have obviously had a lot of practice so you can put in all your rollers in 30-45 minutes before you spend an hour under your high speed dryer for perfect results every time. But as your hair grows longer, you may be faced with the issue of damp roots even after two hours like Jeni from Just Grow Already. Air drying may be the best solution.