Cut Your Blow Dry Time Down




one, two, three, four

While I still make it a priority to take a shower and get ready for the day every morning, I’m always looking for shortcuts to help streamline my process. As David’s morning nap length is slowly diminishing, I’ve been getting up before he gets up to shower and get ready. And there is nothing I want to do less than waste precious sleep  for something that shouldn’t take as long as it does.

I don’t have a ton of hair, but I’ve picked up a few tips along the way to help ensure my blow dry doesn’t take any longer than it needs to.

Not only does that keep my hair in better condition, because it isn’t being overly dried, but it shaves a few minutes off the process as well.

Tips to cut down your blow dry time: 

1. Squeeze your hair out a few times in the shower, and immediately wrap in a towel*.

*I just use a regular bath towel, but if you have very thick hair, it may be worth investing in a towel that’s made to wick moisture away from hair.

2. Leave your hair in the towel until just before you apply product and blow dry. Air drying can be much slower for most hair types.

3. I love spraying KSM Free Shape for cutting down on dry time. Mist this product all over your hair and I can nearly promise you you’ll notice it dry quicker!

4. Before you run a brush through your hair, and aim the dryer at a specific section, do a rough dry all over until your hair is about 80% dry. Remove the nozzle for this step since you don’t need the air to be super concentrated. There’s no point in round brushing, or smoothing, soaking wet hair. You are much better off using the time to dry your hair by flipping it upside down, or to the side, before you concentrate on specific sections.

5. When it is time to smooth your hair out, use a vented brush (either flat or round). Allowing the air to flow through the brush will help encourage drying all over.

6. Invest in a great hair dryer. I swear by the Rusk Speed Freak. It was my absolute favorite to use when I worked behind the chair. It’s powerful, has a good variety of temperature settings, and the nozzle on the end will concentrate airflow so tightly!

7. If you have a lot of hair, or very long hair, clip it up into 2 sections instead of tackling it all at once.

These few tips will go a long way in helping cut your dry time down, as well as keeping your hair nice and healthy!

Leave a Comment

Comments (86)

  1. Chrissy says
    Posted October 9, 2014

    I just discovered the KMS Free Shape and love it!! I usually dry with a round brush but I think I’m going to try that flat brush that you mentioned. Thanks for the great tips!!

  2. Valerie B. says
    Posted October 9, 2014

    Thank you for sharing this! I know it’s not the best choice, but oftentimes I skip drying my hair after I shower because it takes too much precious time in the mornings! At least it’s clean, right? :/ Will have to look into the KMS product.

  3. Jae says
    Posted October 9, 2014

    I have a question—at what heat setting do you usually rough dry your hair until it’s 80% dry? I got myself a really nice hair dryer a few weeks back, but I have only used it twice or thrice since. My hair remains frizzy even after blowdrying, so I may doing something wrong.


    • Kate says
      Posted October 9, 2014

      Medium heat 🙂

  4. Shawna says
    Posted October 9, 2014

    I can’t believe you wake up that early JUST to get ready!?! I would never skimp on precious sleep for my hair haha!

    • Jo says
      Posted October 9, 2014

      I know right! Seems pretty vain.

      • Jordan says
        Posted October 9, 2014

        I don’t think it’s vain at all. My mom was always the same way. She wants to feel put together for the day. Kate obviously feels more comfortable with her hair done.

      • Carrie says
        Posted October 9, 2014

        Not vain at all – getting up and getting ready for the day (for a lot of people) leads to a more productive day and a lot better attitudes. I’m a much better worker/wife/mother if I wake up early and get ready.

        • Jo says
          Posted October 9, 2014

          It’s not the getting ready for the day part. It’s the fact that putting on makeup and doing hair takes precedent over other things like cleaning. Seems super wierd. I’m sure my husband would be pumped if he worked all day, and I didn’t and I told him I had no time to clean because I needed to put on blush and curl my hair. Okey dokey!

          • Kate says
            Posted October 9, 2014

            you and I have different definitions of work 😉

          • Jaime says
            Posted October 13, 2014

            So judgey! Psychologically, it does a lot for productivity and self-esteem to shower and make oneself presentable. Even beyond that, I think it’s maybe a little sad when parents decide that their own personal hygiene and appearance isn’t a priority. That will wear on someone after a while. It’s also ridiculous to assume her husband would be upset that she takes time to shower LOL.

    • Kate says
      Posted October 9, 2014

      I guess the phrase “early” is kind of relative, right? David gets up at 7, so 6:00a isn’t really all that early to me. 🙂

      • Hannah wiggins says
        Posted October 9, 2014

        Kate I actually really admire that you are disciplined enough to get up earlier than your son to put yourself together instead of trying to do it after he’s awake. I have four kids and it has always been my goal to get up and get myself ready and have a little bible time before my kids are up. Waking up to kids kinda makes a person feel a little crazy and feel like you’re instantly behind and chasing the day. With that being said I’ve never been able to accomplish that goal because I have such a hard getting up in the mornings. So I’ve always gotten up and made them breakfast and then let the tv babysit them for a little while so I can get ready. I know, terrible!

        • Hannah wiggins says
          Posted October 9, 2014

          It cut me off but I Just wanted to say good job and I think you’re an awesome mom and blogger as well. I look forward to all your posts and can’t tell you how helpful they’ve been to me. Keep up the good work!

  5. Jen says
    Posted October 9, 2014

    Is it worth wrapping hair in a towel if my hair is short (think longer pixie cut)? Just wondering if it’s the same impact as with longer hair.

    • Kate says
      Posted October 9, 2014

      probably not, I’d just let it air dry until you blow it dry

  6. Lake says
    Posted October 9, 2014

    Not really on topic, but I watched an old movie yesterday starring Catherine Deneuve. Wow, did she ever have a lot of hair! This was back in 1969, so I would guess it was all hers. It was really amazing! Part of the time she wore it in a very elegant and very huge French twist. I would love to know how that twist was done.
    BTW, great blog; I enjoy your tips and have had great success with many of them. Oh, and the product reviews are fantastic, and very helpful.
    One more thing, when my first child was just 2, I had triplets. We survived. You will do just fine with your two wee ones!

  7. Danielle says
    Posted October 9, 2014

    After hearing you talk about the KMS spray before I bought it and loved it also! I was at Sally’s a couple months ago and saw this product by So Gorgeous, and I have to say it works just as well for a fraction of the price!,default,pd.html#prefn1=brand&prefv1=SOGORG&start=13&sz=12&viewAllProducts=true

  8. Carmen says
    Posted October 9, 2014

    I wearing your lovely twisted fishtail today from BirchBox. By chance do you have the results for the Instagram Giveaway?

  9. Jamie says
    Posted October 9, 2014

    I haven’t tried the free shape, but I can’t wait to try it! I have been using the Kenra Blow Dry spray and love it – I’d love to see your thoughts comparing the two. Love your humor and honesty! XOXO

  10. Alyssa says
    Posted October 9, 2014

    I bought KMS a while back after you recommended it (and Speed Freak too…) and noticed a big difference. I have a ton of hair! Because I’m a bit of a self-proclaimed crazy-cat/animals in-general-lady, I’ve been more mindful of purchasing products which are not tested on animals. I was over the moon to learn that KMS does NOT test on animals :). Thanks for the recommendation!

  11. Abby says
    Posted October 9, 2014

    Awesome tips! I love my T3 hairdryer, and it has definitely cut down on my dry time. I always wrap my hair in a Turbie Twist and that dries my hair a bit, and prevents frizz.

    xo Always, Abby

  12. Jenny says
    Posted October 9, 2014

    You mentioned that you don’t have a lot of hair… how do you make your hair look SO volumized? My hair is really thin and no matter the products, the way I blow dry, or amount of back combing I do… it still looks flat against my head. Any suggestions?
    Thank you!

  13. Constance says
    Posted October 9, 2014

    I’m thankful for your post today!!! I end up taking my showers at night and usually don’t dry my hair at all. : ( I end up with a bun most of the time cause I sleep for as long as possible in the morning before I HAVE to get up. I have a just turned 1 year old and another due in Jan! I’ve been looking for ways to cut my drying time in half so I can sleep with dry hair. I’m one of those with fine hair but have ALOT of it and my crown drys really well but my ends feel like they take forever to dry. I’m not sure if that is just how my hair is or how my hair is cut.

    If you have any incite that would be wonderful!!!

  14. JNJxn says
    Posted October 9, 2014

    Very helpful post, Kate!! Thank you!!!

  15. Rachel says
    Posted October 9, 2014

    Great tips! Pinning this one! I use several of these already, learned from watching my hairdresser, but hadn’t thought of separating my hair into sections. As my hair grows longer, it takes more time to dry – going to try this next time 🙂 Thanks!!

  16. Erika says
    Posted October 9, 2014

    I was given a Rusk Speed Freak for Christmas; I requested it after your recommendation, and I don’t know how I dried my hair before! lol
    It makes such a huge difference, and cheap hair dryers just totally annoy me now. It’s worth the $$$. My only complaint is that it did not come with a diffuser.

  17. Sissi says
    Posted October 9, 2014

    Thank you so much for these wonderful tips! I will surely try it out. Blow drying is always such a hassle!

  18. Hilary says
    Posted October 9, 2014

    Hi!! Love your blog and congrats on the soon to be newest member of your fam. I have a question about hair dryers. Do you know ther difference between the rusk speed freak and the Rusk speed Super freak? There is a price difference and not sure which to get? Is the “super” worth the extra $$? Also, I don’t know anything about hair dryers and have conair ones my whole life and am deciding to invest in a better one since my hair seems to just fry. Is the freak one an ionizing hair dryer? I have heard I need to look for one with that specification. Your thoughts? Thanks!

  19. Leann says
    Posted October 9, 2014

    I’ve tried kms free shape and hate it! It dries out ny hair and I can smell the alcohol in it. I feel like I’m dousing my hair in rubbing alcohol. Would love to find something to speed up the process but kms free shape is not for me. But tomorrow I’m chopping my hair to donate it, so I’m positive that will help my dry time. 🙂

  20. Lizzie D says
    Posted October 9, 2014

    I purchased the Rusk Speed Dryer after you mentioned it in earlier blog posts, and I absolutely love it! I even found it on sale at ULTA! Definitely worth the investment!

  21. Posted October 9, 2014

    I don’t blow dry my hair very often but some months ago I bought the Infinity Pro Conair hair drier that comes with a brush attached to it. This stuff dries my long hair in just 15 minutes! I just love it!

    • Posted October 9, 2014

      Priscila, that’s been my favorite dryer for years and years. I’ll try expensive ones and always go back.

      • Erin says
        Posted October 9, 2014

        I just got the same one and was shocked at how fast it dried my hair!

  22. Kirsten says
    Posted October 9, 2014

    Thanks for the timely article Kate! I have a 9 week old and will return to work in a few weeks. I was looking for ways to streamline my routine so I can get more sleep and time with my son. I love your mix of hair, beauty and family posts!

  23. Michele says
    Posted October 9, 2014

    Well this certainly came at the right time… My hair dryer just died and I’ve been trying to figure out which one to buy next. The price is right and you recommend it so win win! Thanks girl. <3

    • Kate says
      Posted October 9, 2014

      enjoy it-it’s been my favorite for years!

  24. Hilda says
    Posted October 9, 2014

    Thank you for this post! It was very timely as I’m in the market for a new blow dryer. I just ordered Rusk Speed Dryer. I can’t wait to try it.

  25. Allison says
    Posted October 9, 2014

    Reading this brought up a question for me about step 2. How long do you wait between getting out of the shower/wrapping hair in a towel and applying product? I’ve been putting mousse and Living Proof PHD in my hair directly after getting out of the shower and am wondering if waiting would actually make a difference.

  26. Jaime says
    Posted October 9, 2014

    First, love the KMS spray. At first I wasn’t sure it cut drying time, but it does smooth my hair a LOT and makes it super soft. Second… I just got a new Chi dryer that I LOVE. It came with two attachments that I haven’t used yet.. I think a diffuser and something else.. do you think I need to use these or am I okay just using the dryer as is?

  27. Posted October 9, 2014

    I absolutely hate blow drying my hair – by far my least favorite getting ready item! I love this post! I am always looking for ways to spend the least amount of time blow drying my hair!

  28. Sarah says
    Posted October 9, 2014

    How much time does this save on drying your hair? I currently don’t dry my hair and just let it air dry because I don’t have enough time in the morning, already waking up at 6am. Then having to get myself and my 15 month old ready, out the door and to day care before work is hard enough. With cold months ahead I would like to dry my hair though instead of walking out while it is still wet. Will the spray help enough without purchasing a new hair dryer?

    • Kate says
      Posted October 9, 2014

      It’s hard to put an exact time on it without knowing your hair. I think if it were between the two, you’d see a greater time difference in investing in a really great hair dryer instead of using the spray with a not so great hair dryer.

      • Sarah says
        Posted October 9, 2014

        What do you classify as a really good hair dryer? I use a two year old Salon Hot Tools hair dryer, which I thought was a pretty good one considering how much it cost me. Have you done a post before on hair dryers? Would probably be a good topic…

  29. Lee says
    Posted October 9, 2014

    I caught this just before I hopped in the shower this morning, and let me tell you it was perfect timing! Aside from the spray, because I didn’t already have it, I did everything you said and I definitely noticed a difference. I’d never realized I should just dry it 80%ish first before brushing and I think that really made the difference.
    Thanks for the advice!

  30. Micah says
    Posted October 9, 2014

    Any advice on a great brush for really long, thick hair? I saw the one you linked – is this a great overall brush or would there be something better you could recommend? I’m constantly in tangles

  31. Tracy says
    Posted October 9, 2014

    I have very fine hair and my stylist has told me not to wrap it because it causes breakage in hair like mine. Would you agree with this or is it okay for any texture of hair to be dried partially this way?

  32. kaycee says
    Posted October 9, 2014

    KMS freeshape is full of alcohol. It’s not making your hair dry faster, it’s actually drying your hair out. Also, terrycloth towels promote frizz.

    I understand you quit your stylist job but you really should stay up to date on these kinds of things. Especially if you are still trying to come across as a “beauty” blog and not just a mommy blog. Just a suggestion.

    • Hannah wiggins says
      Posted October 9, 2014

      Some of you people are so rude and catty it just blows my mind. I’d be willing to bet you wouldn’t have the guts to be rude like that to her face if you ever met her. Smh

  33. Posted October 9, 2014

    Enough hair for four people like me? I clip in to four sections. Yep. That’s after all over rough drying for about 10 minutes which makes it about 50% dry and then air drying for an hour or so. THEN it’s time to dry intentionally. I do have to direct my four cowlicks from close to the beginning but the rest is fine to wait.

    Since cutting 13 inches off my hair over the last 6 months, my drying time has decreased significantly. Oh happy day!

    I swear I keep my stylist’s arms toned.

  34. Posted October 9, 2014

    And now I’m trying to figure out why people even follow your blog if they are going to say negative things. I love your positive attitude, Kate.

    • Hannah wiggins says
      Posted October 9, 2014

      I agree! It seems to me like their are many jealous women that follow her blog!

    • Yelena says
      Posted October 10, 2014

      Just because someone don’t love her posts doesn’t mean they don’t have the right to comment. Her posts lately are brutal. She should retire. At 25 or however old she is.

  35. Posted October 9, 2014

    Thanks for the tips! I’ll have to check out that product!

    Michaela || The Monogrammed Midwesterner

  36. Georgina says
    Posted October 10, 2014

    Ooooh this is super useful! Thaaanks! x

  37. Kacie says
    Posted October 10, 2014

    I had been debating getting the Rusk blow dryer for awhile, and saw yesterday after reading your post that it was on sale at Ulta… so I went after work and purchased. It worked great this morning!
    After I get out of the shower, I use a Turbie twist to dry my hair until it’s time to blow dry. If I ever let it air dry, things get mangled and pieces dry funny.

  38. Stephanie P says
    Posted October 10, 2014

    How would you compare KMS Free Shape vs Kenra Blow- Dry Spray? I currently use Kenra, but I am just about out of product so I was thinking of giving KMS a try. Thanks!!

  39. lesley says
    Posted October 10, 2014

    Does the hair dryer come with a diffuser? If not, can you recommend any universal diffusers? I feel like mine always “melt” and don’t stay on the hair dryer after a few uses!

  40. kara says
    Posted October 10, 2014

    Thanks for this post. I’m adjusting to life with 2 kiddos, ages 2 1/2 and 6 weeks. My dilemma is morning shower vs night. Do you have any advice on night time shower routine or hair products? I read somewhere that dry shampoo can be used at night to revive hair and allow skipped AM hair routine. Thoughts?

  41. Dawn says
    Posted October 10, 2014

    Great post! I am a mom of 2 and have thick hair so speeding up drying time is always something I am working on. I would highly recommend the Norwex hair turban towel:,1425,198.aspx Also comes in a tan. It will absorb up to 70-75% of water due to the Norwex microfiber technology. Plus it is lightweight so it isn’t as heavy on your head and neck. Kate, I would be glad to send you on to test out!

  42. Posted October 10, 2014

    Thank you for this post! I’ve been spending a lot of time, lately, trying to figure out how to cut down on my blow dry time!! 🙂

  43. Courtney says
    Posted October 10, 2014

    I’m going to have to try KMS. I get so tired of blow drying my hair every morning! I’m wondering if I’ve been doing it wrong though. My hair is always sooo frizzy even after blow drying it. Are there any products out there that will help tame the frizz without weighing my hair down?

  44. Angela says
    Posted October 11, 2014

    Thanks for the suggestion! I get headaches when I sleep with wet hair, but sometimes I’m just too tired to blow dry when I shower at night. In the morning, I sleep in and don’t give myself enough time to dry my hair either. I hope these recommendations work out well for me too! Now I need tips on how to convince the hubs to spend the money on a new blow dryer…

  45. SaraS says
    Posted October 11, 2014

    I’m sorry, but this post is just spreading incorrect information. I have long, thick hair and you do NOT get this by washing and blow drying your hair every day!
    First of all, unless you’re getting sweaty from working out, there’s no need to wash it every day. Your head secretes important oils for hair growth. If it gets *too* oily, invest in a good dry shampoo – Batiste changed my life! More time in the morning, and a bigger voluminous look to boot.
    When you do wash and blow-dry your hair, you actually SHOULD let it air dry a bit. Put it in a towel, but after awhile you’re not doing anything except keeping it wet. I like to put it in a towel, brush teeth/get dressed, take off the towel, do makeup while it air dries, THEN blow dry. Also, some of these times should be spent blow-drying with no brush at all; crimp w/ your hand for a beachy look. Blow-dry about 80% and it go. Very healthy.
    I do agree with the blow-drying upside down or on it’s side and loose before using the brush.
    Kind of surprised this post made its way here…

    • KT says
      Posted October 12, 2014

      I also feel like washing every day is not good for MY hair.
      That being said, I think everyone has their own way of doing it. Kate’s hair always looks amazing, so clearly her methods are working for her!!! No need to bash.

      • SaraS says
        Posted October 17, 2014

        I’m not bashing… but just to be honest, her hair is shoulder-length and she cuts it all the time. If you’re trying to get longer hair with no split ends, you shouldn’t follow her advice here.
        The other issue is not how her hair looks, but the fact that I don’t think her points are correct in my experience and research – leaving your hair in a towel until blow-dry keeps it wetter, for example. Air drying is GOOD. Etc.

  46. Amanda says
    Posted October 12, 2014

    Used some of these tips yesterday! Really worked! Thanks!

  47. Emily Ransom says
    Posted October 13, 2014

    I saw on Pinterest that using a cotton t-shirt instead of a towel cuts down on frizz. I can say from experience, that it really does work! I’ve also found that my hair dries faster in a shirt 🙂

  48. Katie I says
    Posted October 13, 2014

    I am in desperate need of a new hair brush! Does it make a difference having a a separate brush for drying vs. styling? There are so many options- sizes, types of bristles, etc. and it’s totally overwhelming! I love reading your blog and would love to hear your advice! Thanks so much!

  49. Lisa Hays says
    Posted October 14, 2014

    Thanks to your blog, I already have the KMS Spray, the SpeedFreak dryer, and a towel for hair! I use either/or a vented round brush or flat brush (bought the vented flat brush in Spain at the dollar store!). I have medium length, t h i c k hair and I can’t really notice a difference with the KMS but have only used 1/2 the bottle so will reserve judgement….. I think the rough dry is key for us thick haired gals! Love the blog!!!

  50. Posted October 14, 2014

    It is very important to take care of your wigs just like normal hair otherwise they are bound to tangle. Comb and shampoo them regularly so that they do not tangle. You can visit to get more tips for managing your hair extensions.

  51. Janet says
    Posted October 15, 2014

    I love reading your blog and would love to hear from you.Does it make a difference having a separate brush for drying vs. styling? There are so many options.

  52. Mary says
    Posted October 17, 2014

    Thanks for the tips, Kate! Would you ever consider doing a video tutorial showing how to blow dry hair smooth or diffuse it? I have thick hair that gets pretty frizzy when drying, and I never did get the knack of using brushes while blow drying.

    Take care!

  53. Posted October 18, 2014

    Thank you! I desperately need some tips for drying my hair, especially as a Mom, too, and mornings are totally crazy. I have been known to leave my house on occasion with damp hair. (Don’t judge. LOL) I have waist-length, very thick hair, so it usually takes me forever to completely dry it! I’ll have to get me some of that product. 🙂

  54. Maria Crain says
    Posted October 21, 2014

    Kate, I recently purchased a Remington T studio silk ceramic hair dryer that I read about online for 20 dollars.

    Previous to this I was always buying the pricey Super Solano but they both broke down in some way after a year or so. This works very well and I see the same results.

    Just an FYI for your readers! Love your blog!

  55. Heather says
    Posted November 19, 2014

    Kate, I have a question: It takes me 6-7mins to blow dry my hair and I cant stand it! I would like to leave my hair in a towel to dry but my hair is extrememly snarly ( I look like a clown) and I need to use Its a 10 to help detangle my hair.. Should I use my Its a 10 and brush my hair first when its really wet and than put my hair back in the towel to dry or should i just let it towel dry and than put It’s a 10 spray on and brush it?

  56. Liz says
    Posted January 6, 2015

    Whenever I shop for anything hair, I go to your blog and see what you have to say. 😀 I’ve been looking for a blowdryer and really want to invest in a nice one. The Rusk Speed Freak looks awesome, except I didn’t see a diffuser attachment. I have huge, thick, curly/wavy hair and a diffuser is a must.

    Would you still recommend this dryer for me?

    Thank you for your lovely blog! 🙂

  57. Jackie says
    Posted November 9, 2015

    Great tips. I’ve also found it helpful to use dry shampoo throughout the week and just wash my hair once a week; that way i have to blow dry just once a week. I know it won’t work for everyone but it works for me

  58. Posted March 16, 2016

    Great tips. I wounder that that’s why your hair is so beautiful 🙂 I would tell about this post to my girlfriend. Thanks for your lovely tips.

  59. Jean says
    Posted August 29, 2016

    Thanks for these great tips! Love your blog. Sorry to see there are some unkind comments. Keep up the great work. I read often. (thumbs up)

  60. Mary says
    Posted October 27, 2016

    I’ll try getting the excess water out next time when I towel dry. Might be the reason why it takes forever to dry my hair because it’s so thick. Would love a new dryer but it’s not in the budget atm.