If you haven’t heard the term “hair towel” before, that doesn’t mean you’re dramatically outside of the loop. These types of towels are relatively new on the haircare market, but they’ve been really making waves in the past few years. Designed for drying your hair quicker, they’re usually made from absorbent materials, and they’re an appropriate choice for any type of hair.
But that market growth means there are too many hair towels on the market for anyone to reasonably sort through on their own. For that reason, we’ll break down the features you should pay attention to so you can track down hair towels that are actually built for keeping your hair healthy and reducing the risk of split and broken ends.
Cotton vs. Microfiber
The biggest consideration when trying to find a healthy hair towel is to look at the fabric from which it’s made. For the longest time, most people used 100% cotton towels in the bath or shower, and there’s a good reason for that.
The chemical answer is that the molecules in water are actually attracted to the molecules in cotton. The less technical result is that your hair will dry faster when you use a fully cotton towel.
Cotton has other advantages as well. Since it’s made completely from a natural fiber, it’s an incredibly environmentally friendly fabric, and it actually grows stronger the wetter it gets. If you want to get your hair dry as fast as possible, cotton is the solution – and terry cloth is an even better choice. It’s cotton through and through, but its specialized manufacturing process makes it feel soft and extravagant while allowing it to soak up more water than even traditional cotton.
But while cotton is still the king of the hill, microfiber towels are finding themselves into bathrooms with increasing frequency. Unlike cotton, microfibers are synthetic and are primarily made from a combination of nylon and polyester (although other synthetic fibers are usually present as well).
But the micro in microfiber is important. That synthetic design means that the threads are impossibly small.
Microfiber threads are as petite as silk, and that allows these types of towels to wick up water and maintain a strong structure while taking up significantly less space than their cotton counterparts. If you’ve ever found yourself irritated by a bulky, unwieldy towel wrapped around your head, you’ll understand the advantages that microfiber can offer.
Many companies use their own proprietary fabrics, but most of these technically fall under the definition of a microfiber. That doesn’t mean they aren’t good, but it does mean that you should pay them a little more scrutiny. The Lisse and Waffle fabrics used by prominent manufacturer Turbie Twist, for instance, are microfibers manufactured explicitly for drying off hair in a meaningful and healthy way.
The Risk of Hygral Fatigue
Many people may be asking themselves why a hair towel really matters. Part of it is just a matter of convenience. Having a towel on your head will dry your hair faster than air drying alone, and it allows you to go about your daily errands and chores without a mess of wet hair getting in the way.
But wearing a hair towel can have a positive impact on the health of your hair too. Hygral fatigue occurs when your hair is too wet for an extended period of time. Hair that’s left to air dry and isn’t given proper care will lose its elasticity, and it may eventually start suffering from increased damage and breakage over time.
Ultimately, a hair towel is about more than just vanity. It’s about the health of your hair. Microfiber is really making waves in the industry, but that doesn’t mean that a cotton hair towel can’t suit your needs just fine. Finding the right hair towel really comes down to what you need and what type of hair you have.