1. Determine the Best Towel for Your Hair Type
There are 12 recognized types of hair altogether under the straight, wavy, curly, and coily categories. Each type of hair requires a whole different set of care instructions — especially when it comes to the best towels to use.
It turns out that using a terry cloth towel is probably a horrible idea. Throughout my entire life, I used terry cloth towels to wrap my hair after showering. Though they’re soft on your skin, they tend to make your hair frizzy. It finally dawned on me after years of fighting frizz that my towels were a big part of the problem.
Those with curly and coily hair should avoid terry cloth towels altogether and reach for a 100 percent cotton towel or a microfiber towel. People with straight or wavy hair might be able to get away with the terry cloth towels if you don’t normally have problems with frizz.
Although women have been singing the praises of the T-shirt recently, they aren’t very absorbent; use when you only want to absorb a small amount of moisture or if your hair is more on the coily side.
Whichever type of towel you use, it should be clean and dry before you begin.
2. Wrap the Towel Around Your Head
Wrapping a towel is an art that took me many years to master. Towels on the smaller side, by the way, work better than body-length towels.
- With your towel open, lean over and pat your hair dry.
- Remaining in a bent over position, align the middle, bottom edge of the longest side of the towel with your forehead.
- Cinch the two back ends tightly at the nape of your neck with your fingers.
- Using both hands, twist the ends of the towel up toward the crown of your head.
- Tuck the twisted end into the fold at the nape of your neck or, if wrapped securely enough, let it hang.
The towel should be loose but firmly in place.
3. Let the Towel Do the Work
While you towel off your body and get dressed, let the towel on your head do your work for you. If your hair is on the curlier or coily side, you should not let it remain wrapped for too long; for Types 3 and 4 hair, moisture is the difference between frizzy and sleek.
If you accidentally leave your towel on too long, though, use a spray bottle full of water to lightly moisturize your hair.
4. Don’t Pull or Rub Your Hair Dry
When removing the towel, don’t pull at or rub your hair. Pulling can cause breakage, and so can rubbing — not to mention the dreaded frizzing. Gently pat your hair dry with the towel, taking care not to touch it too much. Friction causes static and static causes frizz, so less is more.
5. Moisturize As Needed
Once you’ve toweled off all excess moisture, spray your hair with a detangler or leave-in conditioner and work out any knots with a wide tooth comb that has thick teeth. Be sure to comb from the bottom up to avoid any breakage.
Combing from the bottom up means working in small sections of hair; start toward the ends of each section and brush down. After each stroke, go to a higher point. Once you’ve reached the scalp, you can brush through your hair from the top.
If your hair is straight or especially fine and tends to get oily relatively easily, you should probably skip using a detangler and style instead.
6. Style and Go
Finally, you’re ready to style as usual and go. Don’t forget to hang your towel in a place where it can dry thoroughly. A standing or over the door towel rack is perfect, as long as you don’t stack too many towels on top of each other. Be sure to change and wash hair towels regularly.
Now that you’ve completed Towel Drying 101, you can strut out into the world with healthier, better looking hair. Whether your hair is straight, wavy, curly, or coily, towel drying will save you time — and save you from the horrors of frizz. Get out there and proudly show off that head of hair!