If you’ve ever read hair care instructions or heard advice from a stylist, you may have come across the phrase “towel-dried hair.” But what does towel dried hair mean? And how can you achieve this style without damaging your locks?
In this article, we’ll answer these questions and more, so you can confidently incorporate towel drying into your hair care routine.
What is Towel-Dried Hair?
“Towel-dried hair” refers to hair that has been partially dried using a towel after washing. After shampooing and conditioning your hair, you typically use a towel to remove excess water. This process helps to speed up the drying time and is often done by wrapping the towel around your head or gently patting and squeezing the hair to absorb moisture.
Towel-drying is a common step in hair care routines before using additional styling products or allowing the hair to air dry or using heat styling tools. It’s important to be gentle when towel-drying to avoid causing damage or frizz to the hair, as wet hair is more susceptible to breakage.
Some people prefer to use a microfiber towel or an old T-shirt for towel-drying, as these materials are generally softer and cause less friction on the hair.
How to Towel Dry Your Hair?
Towel-drying your hair properly can help prevent damage and reduce frizz. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to towel dry your hair:
- Use a Microfiber Towel or T-Shirt: Opt for a soft microfiber towel or an old cotton T-shirt rather than a rough bath towel. Microfiber towels are gentler on the hair and can help reduce frizz.
- Gently Squeeze Excess Water: After shampooing and conditioning, gently squeeze excess water from your hair. Avoid wringing or rubbing your hair vigorously, as wet hair is more prone to breakage.
- Pat, Don’t Rub: Pat your hair with the towel instead of rubbing it vigorously. Rubbing can rough up the hair cuticle and contribute to frizz. Patting is a more gentle way to remove excess water.
- Blot the Ends: Focus on blotting the ends of your hair, where it tends to be more fragile. This can help prevent split ends and breakage.
- Wrap in a Turban or Twist: If you have long hair, consider wrapping it in a turban or gently twisting it into a loose bun on top of your head. This can help absorb more water without causing unnecessary friction.
- Let It Air Dry a Bit: Allow your hair to air dry for a few minutes before applying any styling products or using heat tools. This can help reduce the amount of heat exposure and potential damage.
Pros and Cons of Towel Drying Your Hair
Like any hair care technique, towel drying has its pros and cons. Here are a few to consider:
- Reduces drying time: By removing excess moisture from your hair, towel drying can help speed up the drying process.
- Saves energy: Using a towel to dry your hair instead of a blow dryer can save energy and reduce your carbon footprint.
- Promotes hair health: By minimizing heat exposure, towel drying can help keep your hair healthy and strong.
- Can cause damage: If done incorrectly, towel drying can lead to breakage and split ends.
- Can create frizz: Vigorous rubbing or twisting of wet hair can cause frizz and tangles.
- May not work for all hair types: People with curly or textured hair may find that towel drying leads to uneven drying or disruption of their natural curl pattern.
Step-by-Step Guide to Towel Drying Your Hair
Step 1: Choose the Right Towel
Opt for a soft microfiber towel or an old, clean cotton T-shirt. These materials are gentler on the hair and help reduce friction, minimizing the risk of breakage and frizz.
Step 2: Gently Squeeze Excess Water
After rinsing out your conditioner in the shower, gently squeeze out excess water from your hair. Do this by tilting your head forward and using your hands to gently press water out of your hair.
Step 3: Pat, Don’t Rub
Wrap your hair in the chosen towel, gently patting and pressing to absorb water. Avoid vigorous rubbing, as it can rough up the hair cuticle and lead to frizz and breakage.
Step 4: Blot the Ends
Focus on blotting or patting the ends of your hair first. The ends are more prone to damage, and starting here can prevent unnecessary stress on fragile hair.
Step 5: Turban or Twist (Optional)
If you have long hair, consider wrapping it in a turban or twisting it into a loose bun on top of your head. This can help absorb more water without causing additional friction.
Step 6: Let It Air Dry for a Few Minutes
Allow your hair to air dry for a few minutes before applying any styling products. This brief air-drying period can help reduce the amount of heat exposure your hair experiences.
Step 7: Apply Products to Damp Hair
If you use leave-in conditioners, serums, or styling products, apply them to damp hair rather than soaking wet hair. Damp hair allows for better product absorption and distribution.
Step 8: Detangle with Care
If your hair tends to tangle easily, use a wide-tooth comb or a brush specifically designed for wet hair to detangle. Start from the ends and work your way up to minimize breakage.
Step 9: Air Dry or Style as Desired
Once your hair is towel-dried and styled with products if necessary, you can choose to air dry or proceed with your preferred styling method, such as blow-drying or using other heat styling tools.
Towel drying your haircan be a simple and effective way to speed up your hair care routine while minimizing heat exposure. By following the steps outlined in this article and keeping the pros and cons in mind, you can towel dry your hair safely and achieve the look you want.
Whether you prefer to air dry or use a blow dryer, incorporating towel drying into your routine can help save time and energy while promoting healthy hair. So next time you wash your locks, give towel drying a try and see how it works for you.
I am Thomas Taw, the CEO of CITIZENSNIPS. I have experience in hair product development and chemical research, as well as sustainable resource engineering. In 2009, I co-created Sunsilk, one of the world's leading haircare brands. More recently, I was the CEO of SMOKINGPANDA LTD. I am a professional with a strong track record in delivering tangible results.