When sunflowers reach the end of their growing cycle, they wilt and their seed-filled faces turn downward toward the ground. At this time, the sunflower seeds are moist and fresh and must be dried if you plan on roasting and eating them. It's possible to dry them in food dehydrators, but there is no added benefit or quality to that method. Dry the seeds out naturally and easily on the flower.
Slide a brown paper bag over the sunflower head when it has wilted and faced downward. The bag is breathable but will also protect the seeds from damage while the flower dries out. Check the flower every few days to observe the color of the stem.
Cut the sunflower head from the stem when it has wilted to face down and the disc on the back side of the bud is brown. Use a pair of heavy duty gardening shears to get a nice clean cut.
Run your hand over the face of the sunflower to get the seeds out. If any stay secured, use your fingers to pull them out.