For many people with longer hair, hair washing can be a bit of an ordeal. The actual shampoo and conditioning is normally all right, but it’s the drying process that’ll really get you. Depending on your hair length and texture, air drying can take several hours, and even blow drying can take long enough to tire out your arms.
Hair drying towels can help to cut drying time in more than half. Made from soft, absorbent, non-abrasive materials, a good hair drying towel can make all the difference. In this guide, we’ll go over the factors to consider when looking for the right hair drying towel for you. At the end, we also have a list of our 10 favorites to help you get started.
How to Choose a Hair Drying Towel – Buying Guide
The most important thing to consider when weighing your options is your own hair type. So keep that in mind when looking into the different factors as well as when reading reviews.
Material Determines Absorbency and Frizz Control
There are two main types of materials used to make hair drying towels: microfiber and natural materials like cotton or bamboo.
Microfiber is extremely absorbent and is likely to get your hair dry faster. Natural fibers are better for those who like their hair on the damp side for easy styling. On the other hand, microfiber is a synthetic material, so it may not be best for those with curly, kinky hair as it can cause frizzing.
As for the towel itself, microfiber will dry faster than cotton or bamboo of similar thickness, but you generally won’t find thick cotton hair drying towels. Microfiber and bamboo also tend to be naturally odor- and bacteria-resistant, so if your towel stays in an area without much ventilation, those materials might be better.
Turban vs. Towel Depends on Hair Length and Preferred Use
There are two main towel shapes: turban and rectangular towel. They both dry your hair equally well but have their own pros and cons.
Turbans Keep Shorter Hair Tucked Neatly Away
Hair turbans are shaped specifically to wrap your hair up on top of your head so that it can dry as you go about your business. As such, it’s made with just enough fabric to catch your hair, which makes it lighter and smaller. However, these are generally made for hair no longer than around shoulder blade-length and aren’t very good for pat drying.
Towels Are Versatile and Good for All Lengths
Hair drying towels are shaped like normal towels–rectangular. What differentiates them from a small regular towel is their absorbency and softer, less abrasive texture. They’re great for hair of all lengths and can be used to ruffle, blot, drip-dry, or wrap into a turban.
Lightweight Towels Prevent Pulling
Whether you’re wrapping your hair up or just using your towel to tousle it dry, the last thing you want is a too heavy towel pulling at your roots. So it’s important that the towel you choose is lightweight enough to not add much strain to your hair, especially since it’ll get heavier as it soaks up more water.
Generally speaking, lighter is better, though you’ll have to make some concessions if your hair is long and you need more towel area.
Loops and Buttons Keep Your Towel in Place
If you have heavy hair, prefer to toss it up directly after showering, or like to sleep with your towel in place, you might find that it’s helpful to have something to keep your towel from unraveling.
Some hair towels–both turban and rectangular–come with elastic loops or buttons that allow you to fasten the end of the twisted part to the back of your head. This ensures that your towel-clad hair stays in place for as long as you need it to.
Top 10 Best Hair Drying Towels to Buy Online
Now that you know what to look for, here are some of our favorites that you might want to consider.
10. Texere Bamboo Viscose Hair Towel (2 Pack)
Plush Towel for Textured Hair and Large Heads
This natural fiber hair turban is plush like microfiber but silky smooth and great for those with textured, frizz-prone hair. It’s large enough to accommodate big heads and thick hair.
However, due to its sleek nature, it might not be absorbent enough for those with very straight hair. The elastic loop might also not be large enough to accommodate those with long and thick hair (long or thick, though, should be fine).
|Material||Bamboo and cotton|
|Best for||Curly, textured, any thickness|
9. Turbie Twist Microfiber Hair Towel (2 Pack)
Lightweight and Great for Even the Smallest Heads
Turbie Twist was one of the very first hair drying towels available and continues to be one of the best. They are extremely lightweight and can accommodate hair of all thickness.
However, the head portion is on the smaller side, which means that those with larger heads or bigger hair might not get the best results. On the plus side, the smaller size means that these are also suitable for children.
|Best for||Straight, wavy, short-medium length|
8. Aspen Five Huge Cotton Hair Towel Wrap
Turban Towel for Long Hair
For those with long hair who prefer the turban shape over a towel, this is for you. While most turban towels are around 24 inches, this one is nearly three feet and can accommodate all hair types.
That being said, the length might be unnecessarily long for those who don’t have long hair. Some reviewers also note that you might experience some thread shedding the first time you use it, but that’s easily remedied by washing it first.
|Best for||Long, all textures|
7. Kitsch Hair Turban
Elasticized Edges to Help Your Hair Stay Put
This turban features a fully elasticized rim that helps to both keep your hair in and hold the turban on your head. As such, it’s great for those who like to sleep with their towel on.
However, while it will keep all your hair in, if you have long hair do expect it to scrunch your hair together rather than twist the full length.
|Best for||Straight, wavy, any thickness, any length|
6. Hair Remedie Frizz Eliminating Towel
Two Layers for Frizz-Free Drying
This towel features two layers: a soft outer layer and an absorbent inner one. It’s a great medium for those looking for effective, frizz-free drying.
It’s large and can accommodate all hair textures and lengths. However, its two-layered structure does make it rather heavy, so it might be a little straining for those who have thinner hair.
|Material||Cotton and polyester|
|Best for||Medium to thick, any texture, any length|
5. YoulerTex Microfiber Hair Towel Wrap (2 Pack)
Extremely Absorbent Towel for All Hair Types
This microfiber turban towel is soft enough for those with frizz-prone hair. It’s super absorbent and can have your hair “towel dry” within just a few minutes after stepping out of the shower.
The button holds up well even after washing several times, and the edges are tightly stitched. However, some reviewers note a faint chemical smell the first time you open it, so be sure to give it a wash once before you use it.
|Best for||Any thickness, any length, any texture|
4. The Perfect Haircare Ultra-Fine Microfiber Hair Towel Wrap
Quick Drying, Super Fine Microfiber
Unlike most microfiber towels that have a plush, fluffy texture, this microfiber is extremely fine and feels more like a soft cotton or eyeglass cloth. Its texture makes it super absorbent and great for all hair types, and the towel itself is very fast drying.
It comes with a non-elastic fastener, which is slightly less easy to use (you have to manually tighten it) but allows you to use it for years without worrying about it stretching out.
|Best for||Any length, any thickness, any texture|
3. AQUIS Original Hair Towel
Lighter, More Absorbent, and Versatile
This microfiber towel features a unique waffle design that simultaneously makes it lighter and more absorbent due to the higher surface area. As an added bonus, several reviewers note that it also makes a great car drying towel.
It doesn’t have anything to hold the ends back, which makes it more versatile as a towel but means that it can be difficult to keep in place for those with shorter hair.
|Best for||Medium to long length, any thickness, any texture|
2. DuraComfort Essentials Super Absorbent Microfiber Hair Towel
Holds a Ton of Water and Won’t Oversaturate
This high-quality microfiber towel is extremely absorbent, dries hair quickly, and dries off quickly. It’s soft enough for even the most frizz-prone hair but textured enough to catch straight, fine hair.
Where some towels might start to feel saturated with water when drying off thick hair, this towel remains relatively dry to the touch, so you don’t have to worry about dripping.
|Best for||Short to medium length, any thickness, any texture|
1. Hair RePear Ultimate Hair Towel
Made from the Gentlest Combed Cotton
It’s said that T-shirts make great hair drying material, and this is the better, towel version of that idea. It’s 100% combed cotton, so it’s extra soft and gentle on your hair.
It has a very large surface area, which is great both for accommodating lots of hair as well as soaking up a ton of water. At the same time, it’s relatively light and stays put well.
|Best for||Any length, any thickness, any texture|
How to Make Your Hair Dry Faster
Although dedicated towels make the hair drying process a lot faster, there are a few things you could do to speed it up further.
Use conditioner when you wash your hair. Not only does it lock moisture in, but it helps to repel moisture too. Once the water’s off, use a wide-toothed comb to separate your hair, giving the excess water fewer places to get caught. Gently wring out the excess water from your hair before grabbing your towel.
Blot dry your hair in sections, focusing on the water-retaining roots. Twist it up into the towel to give it more time to soak up as you continue getting ready.
There you have it–a quick guide to a quicker dry. There are a lot of options out there, but don’t get sucked in by pretty packaging and high ratings. Make sure that the towel you go with will work for your hair type.
By Jacqueline Oshiro
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