Fair Hair Care,  Shower Stories,  Tools

How To Dry Hair After Shower- Use Sustainable Hair Towels

I bet you can’t wait to wrap yourself in a soft, cozy, luxurious bath towel as soon as you step out of the hot shower! But how often have you thought about how to dry hair after shower with that same towel? Or whether that bath towel is good for your hair, in the first place?

Looking back, I have usually been too eager to rub the towel across the length of my hair to get the excess water out. All this, just so I could blast the heat from my blow dryer to style my shower-wet hair. 

If you can relate to this, let me tell you: we have been doing damage to our hair! BIG TIME! 

In this post, I will talk about the different ways I learned about drying my wet hair and what kinds of towels are best and safest on hair. Surprisingly, I also learned that by switching to a sustainable hair towel, it is possible to stop frizzy hair, reduce static, and even hair breakage- all the while protecting the planet! Yes, there are options like this available!

Allow me to share this knowledge with you. If you would like to know what my top recommendation is to dry hair sustainably, click on the link below.

Now, let us begin with understanding what happens to hair when it is wet.

This post may contain affiliate links and I may earn a small commission when you click on the links to make a purchase, at no additional cost to you. I only recommend products I would use myself and all opinions expressed here are my own. You can read my full disclosure here.

Wet Hair Is Fragile

Every strand of hair is made up of proteins called keratin and covered by cuticles that act almost like a flexible shield. When hair gets wet, it forms hydrogen bonds that are weaker, as opposed to when it is dry (protein-protein bonds). This is the reason hair is considered to be weak and most fragile when it is wet. 

Hair that is wet tends to stretch but unlike a rubber band, it does not snap back into its original shape. Instead, when wet hair is combed, it stretches and causes cuticles to snap and break in the process. Even as hair dries, the hair fiber relaxes but the cuticles remain raised and damaged. This leaves hair feeling rough to touch, dry, and lifeless. 

See my article on why wooden combs for hair are safe even when hair is wet.

In addition to cuticle damage, wet hair becomes porous and can easily absorb up to 45 percent of its own weight in water. Not to mention water itself can have damaging effects on the hair!

See my articles on how hard water can damage hair:

Hard Water and Hair Damage

Signs of Hard Water Damage

Fix Hard Water Hair Damage

Avoid Bath Towels For Wet Hair

Bath Towels Make Hair Frizzy

Traditional bath towels are heavy, bulky and quite harsh on the hair. The rough texture from a cotton or a terry cloth bath towel can actually damage the protective fibers of the hair shaft. When these fibers are broken or torn, hair is unable to retain its moisture. 

The constant tug and pull due to the weight of the towel can cause hair to lose its elasticity (ability to stretch), making hair weak and more prone to split ends. 

Excessive rubbing and squeezing hair with these towels to remove water creates friction between hair shafts that then causes further hair breakage and static. 

Leaving hair wrapped up in these types of heavy towels can cause hair to dry out and be frizzy. This is because hair becomes frizzy when it is dry and lacks moisture.

Ways To Dry Hair After Shower 

Knowing how to properly dry your hair is as important as properly washing it. 

See my article on how to properly wash hair.

Use Hair Towels 

Instead of wrapping your head in a thick, bulky towel that is heavy enough to give you neck strain and eventually bad posture, try using a soft hair towel as you step out of the shower. They are light-weight, made from super absorbent materials, and work on pretty much all types of hair (curly, wavy, straight, thin, etc). 

They are much smaller than a regular bath towel and you can easily wrap them around your hair and twist. The best designs are the ones that have a button or an elastic clasp at the nape of your neck to secure the twist.

Hair towels are simple, affordable and come in all fun colors and patterns to brighten up your day! An added bonus to using them is that they protect the hair from heat damage by reducing the amount of exposure to hot hair-styling tools. In other words, they cut down the time you need to blow dry your hair! 

There are two main types of material for hair towels on the market due to their moisture-absorbing qualities: 100% cotton and microfiber. Let us look at each.

Hair Towels Stop Frizz & Split-Ends

1. 100% Cotton Material

Cotton is a natural fiber that not only feels good to touch but is lightweight, breathable, and absolutely moisture-wicking. It is said that cotton has the ability to absorb up to 27 times its own weight in water. Also, the diameter of a cotton thread is actually thinner than the strand of hair, creating a larger surface area to dry hair.

Organic cotton is free of chemicals, pollutants, and harsh dyes. It is hypoallergenic, so it does not trigger any allergies or irritations. It is also a long lasting fabric as it tends to get stronger when wet, allowing it to resist wear and tear in moist conditions.

Hair towels that are one-hundred percent cotton set a very high standard for absorbing moisture from wet hair relatively quickly. They cause less friction to hair than a traditional bulky bath towel and this results in hair that has reduced frizz, split-ends, and hair breakage.

2. Microfiber Material

If cotton is still too thick for you, try out the innovative microfiber material instead! Hair towels of this material are much thinner but have the ability to absorb a whole lot of excess water from freshly washed hair. They are gentle on all types of hair, including curly (i.e redefine natural curls), completely eliminate frizz & static, and dry hair much faster than cotton. 

Microfiber is a synthetic material made mainly from polyester and nylon; however, most manufacturers may include other fibers in the finished product. They have a “split fibers” design, which allows the fabric to wick water and dry hair faster, without stripping hair of its natural moisture.

What makes this material so magical is that the fibers are 100 times finer than human hair! They are also densely packed, cutting down the time needed to dry hair. Wrapping your wet, soaking hair in microfiber will result in almost completely dry hair in just 20 minutes! There is no need to rub the hair to remove excess water when using a microfiber towel.  

Here is what I would recommend if you would like to get your hands on a good quality microfiber hair towel that is very affordable:

Microfiber Hair Towel Wrap by Hair Mayraki

Made from ultra-plush, highly absorbent microfiber material that won’t cause any friction or frizz and is ideal for drying hair faster and easier. It is extremely gentle on the locks and comes with an easy wrap design that twists and loops to secure in place.

Hair Mayraki is a company that focuses on solving hair concerns with organic ingredients that are also environmentally sustainable. Check out their other hair care products too, especially their hair growth and anti-hair loss shampoo kit. You will get 20% off your purchase if you use the link below!

>>Get 20% Off This Ultra-Plush Microfiber Hair Towel<<

Dry Hair After Shower With Microfiber Hair Towel

Use A Cotton T-Shirt

Aside from the above hair towels, you could even use your favorite, old cotton t-shirt to wrap your hair in after you are done washing your hair. Surprised? Well, don’t be! Wouldn’t you agree that lounging around the house in your favorite cotton t-shirt is the most comfortable thing ever?

Yes? No? All of you? Well, me too!

T-shirt fabric is gentle and soft on the hair, just as it is on the skin. It reduces frizz, static, and split-ends, and also minimizes hair breakage. 

A cotton T-shirt as a hair drying tool may not be the best to absorb all the water but it definitely helps to maintain the health of hair. It could also be a struggle to keep the twisted, t-shirt wrapped hair in one place as there is no way to anchor the twist at the nape of your neck.

Here is what I would recommend if you like this type of hair wrap to dry hair but you don’t have a cotton t-shirt that is always readily available. 

Ultra-Fine Microfiber Hair Towel & Hairbrush Set by The Perfect Haircare

4 Ways To Wear

This is a revolutionary, ultra-fine microfiber hair towel that is designed especially with the health of your hair in mind. It is fast-drying and reduces frizz from hair.

It boasts to cut down drying time by 70%! You will fall in love with the smooth feel of the fabric!

This also comes with a detangling hairbrush that is safe to use for all hair types. I personally did not like the brush as much as the hair towel.

Lastly, if you use my link below, you can get 10% off your first order! They offer free shipping for US residents- it’s a double win!

>>Get 10% Off This Ultra-Fine Microfiber Hair Towel<<

Sustainable Choices Exist 

Although these towels are great for hair, they may not be the best for the planet. Both cotton and microfiber materials are said to create a lot of environmental pollution. Yes, even cotton! 

The cotton industry is notorious for using massive amounts of water, pesticides, fertilizers, and even chemicals in their production process. Microfiber isn’t eco-friendly either in that it is made up of tiny pieces of plastic that wash off and flow down the drain into our water systems. 

The more sustainable choices we make, the better it is for us and our future generations. Here is what you can look for to verify the hair towel you choose is eco-friendly:

  • GOTS-certified: Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) ensures that 70% of fibers in a textile are organic and that the manufacturers meet certain water and energy consumption requirements during production.
  • GRS-certified: Global Recycling Standard (GRS) not only verifies recycled content but it also ensures the social, environmental, and chemical best practices are met during production. 

My Top Recommendation

Sustainable Quick Dry Hair Towel by Conscious Coconut

This towel is sustainably created with recycled water bottles to give you healthier & shinier hair. It is super-absorbent, lightweight, soft to touch and comes in its own sustainable travel bag.

It is gentle on all hair and cuts down drying time in half. You also wouldn’t have to worry about frizz and hair loss when you use this feel-good towel. 

Sustainable Hair Towels Are Safe For Hair & Planet

What I love about Conscious Coconut is that they are Fair-Trade Certified and are dedicated to empower the lives of people with disabilities. Every single hair towel from this amazing company is packaged by mental & developmentally disabled adults who are provided with high-quality jobs skills training. If you are still not wow-ed by them, allow me to tell you that every purchase you make on their website, feeds TWO free (or reduced-priced) meals to malnutritioned children through the Feeding America program! Feeding America is the largest domestic hunger relief organization in the US. 


After-Shower Care

As you can see from this post, a simple little thing like choosing the right towel to dry hair after shower can have a significant impact on the health of your hair as well as the health of our planet. 

I hope that I have helped you understand the importance of investing in the right kind of hair towel. To help you further, here are some quick after-shower care tips.

Always remember to: 

  • Detangle knots before showering; hair can get more tangled when wet, especially during shampoo-ing
  • Do a final rinse with cooler water to close the cuticles; this locks in moisture in the strands
  • Remove excess water from hair by squeezing with both hands before wrapping it in a towel
  • Blot hair with a hair towel gently instead of rubbing; start from the roots first
  • Use a wide tooth comb or fingers to gently detangle wet hair; work in sections, starting from ends first
  • Not use direct heat on wet hair. Wait for hair to be 70-80% dry first
  • Not to wash hair daily; Stretching out wash days actually improves hair health
  • Apply a heat protectant to hair before using hot hair-styling tools 
  • Choose flat irons that are ceramic because they distribute heat uniformly

That is all, ladies! Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns with how to dry hair after shower. I am always happy to help in the best way I can.

Which type of hair towel did you like best?

Have you used any one of these? If so, what kind do you prefer?

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24 Comments

  • Christine

    Fascinating! I always learn so much from you. Since I’m growing my hair, this is all useful info to me. I usually comb or brush my hair before washing it, and I don’t blow dry it, but I use a common towel to rub it dry a little after showering. I really like the microfiber towel, and I wonder if they deliver internationally, but when I read that the production of them uses a lot of water, I now prefer the sustainable towel by Conscious Coconut. What I also like about that is that it’s fair trade. Does Conscious Coconut also deliver internationally?

    • Sasha

      Conscious Coconut love spreading their coconut love worldwide- yes, they deliver internationally! 😀 They also offer free shipping on orders over $50.

      The microfiber towel by The Perfect Haircare also deliver internationally!

      Thank you, Christine for letting me know my posts are helping you!! Love your continued support, as usual and glad I could be of help in some way:)

  • Bernard Breytenbach

    Wow so much information about how to protect your hair after a shower. Did not know almost half of these points. Luckily, I have short hair. However, I hate to lose hair. Thus, I find this topic important. I will consider to choose a sustainable towel and follow these tips when washing my hair. Thank you very much! My gf would love the Conscious Coconut towel!

    • Sasha

      Hey Bernard, thanks for stopping by on my blog and I am glad this was informative for you 🙂

      Your gf would really love the sustainable quick dry towel by them just as much as I do! It is awesome to feel that I am not just helping the health of my hair but also the planet’s health!

  • Gorjan

    The microfiber hair towel wrap by Hair Mayraki seems like a nice early birthday present for my mom. She’s been into buying shampoos lately, so I think a towel like this will be a perfect fit for her.

    She’s been complaining of her dry hair after taking a shower quite a bit, so I might as well surprise her with a lovely gift to try and make her feel better.

    Thanks for taking the time to write this post. I loved it and the recommendation too!

  • Danijela

    Wow Sasha,
    how wonderful is your article on hair care! I take care of my hair a lot, but after your article, I realized that I was doing it wrong … My towel is too rough, I rub my hair hard, I comb it while it is wet and so I tear it. This beautiful blue towel works great! It has everything you need for beautiful hair drying and quality care. The price is too good! I will definitely order it, but I wonder if it can be ordered from Montenegro? No extra shipping?
    By the way, I love your site very much, there are wonderful tips on hair care, I really enjoy reading it in the morning with a cup of coffee. Keep going!
    Greetings,
    Danijela

    • Sasha

      Yes Danijela, Conscious Coconut ships worldwide so you will definitely be able to have it delivered to Montenegro! To be honest, I am not sure about sipping costs- I believe the website will tell you that as soon as you enter in your address details.

      Aww thank you so much for the compliments on my site! Love that my articles are helpful for you:)

  • Lyne

    Wow, I like this post! learn a lot from it… My daughter was talking about those microfiber towels and I never was able to look for them. I have always wondered where to find them.
    And now her birthday is coming up at the end of April so I’m going to give her this “Ultra-Fine Microfiber Hair Towel” that you talk about. Happy to have found it. Thank you for sharing I enjoy reading it!
    Lyne

    • Sasha

      That would be an awesome bday gift, Lyne! Microfiber towels have been all the rave in recent times and that’s because they work so well with all hair types! Im happy to have been helpful to you:) Oh, and happy bday, in advance to your daughter! 🙂

  • Kathy

    I loved this article! I have long hair and avoid rubbing it with a towel after washing as it has split ends. I love the idea of using microfiber towels, as well as a cotton t-shirt! One thing I tend to is let my hair dry naturally until it’s part dry before blow drying. I also use mousse and serum to protect the hair. I like the fact Mayraki use organic ingredients in their products. Also, that they’re kind to the environment. So many hair and beauty products contain harsh chemicals that damage not only your hair but the environment as well. I’m impressed that recycled water bottles can be made into fabric! I’ll certainly check them out. Thanks for sharing:)

    • Sasha

      Hey Kathy, love your hair care routine! Yes, Hair Mayraki has great organic ingredients. I always love choosing products that not just help my hair but the planet as well! Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts! 🙂

  • Jocelyn30

    Hello Sasha,
    Your website is absolutely beautiful !
    Since my mother got diagnosed of breast cancer I become quite a health conscious person. Your article of organic ingredients get interesting topic for me. In everything tasks of everyday life.

    The Microfiber Hair Towel is appealing to me because I don’t have to hunt for 100% Cotton Material or an old cotton shirt to dry my hair. It is great that the more you use natural way the better it is for our body & environment and we should avoid the bad chemicals all together.

    Its so great to come across your blog because you talk about how to take care your hair in an environment friendly way and I really like when you said we should be careful in choosing organic methods for the health of our hair and as well as the planet.

    Good job
    joce

    • Sasha

      Hey Joce, I hope your mom is doing well! I am so happy you enjoyed and agreed with the points I raised in the article.
      yes, if we can all come together and do our part in making wise choices for not just our health but for the health of our planet too, the world would be so much greener than it really is. Thanks so much for leaving your thoughts!

  • Femi

    Thank you Sasha for this wonderful article, I enjoyed reading it and I learnt a lot. I believe that its very important to take good care of your hair and learning how to wash your hair the proper way, the method for drying your hair, the kind of hair towels we use in drying our hair and the after shower care are a few important steps to achieving your goal of having great hair. I learnt a new hack of using a t-shirt for drying my hair which I think is pretty convenient.
    Keep up the good work.
    Cheers

    • Sasha

      Hey Femi, ever realize there were so many little things to hair care that we so often overlook? Crazy, eh? I am glad to see that my post was helpful to you and the t-shirt hack is a really old trick that I feel more people need to know! Thanks for leaving your thoughts!

  • Nuttanee

    I have to say that I never really give it a much thought about how t dry my hair properly. I am tthat person where I just squeeze the excess water out and just use the towel to dry my hair quickly and then move on to my body. Who would have known that I damage my hair! OMG! You are right when it is wet it is fragile but I just never really pay attention. I will follow your tips and see if my hair is better or not. 

    • Sasha

      I don’t blame you! Everyone does that to their hair without knowing how much damage they are causing their hair! But it is neve to late to learn and change our hair care habits. I hope the tips are easy to follow and that you benefit from them! Let me know how it goes, Nuttanee! 🙂

  • Sami

    Thanks for the suggestions for ways to control my frizz.  I really had not considered that my towel drying habits were that hard on my hair.  I too have been growing my hair longer and grab use my bath towel to start the drying process.  I had decided that a short haircut was the only answer for me with my hair.  Now, I have a different way to help get my hair dry and can let the moisturizer in my finishing rinse do what it is supposed to do.

    The hair towels are very interesting and practical.  It may be time for an early birthday gift for myself. Sami

    • Sasha

      It is too easy to rub the towel across wet hair in order to dry it. We are, in fact conditioned to do so. We see it in commercials, movies, people all around us, etc. All it is, is just a marketing trick to sell more towels because it makes everyone think that is the only way to dry hair. The amount of damage it does to hair is something no one knows or talks about!
      It’s always a good thing to give yourself presents, even if it is early! Your hair will love you for it! Oh and Happy Bday in advance! 🙂

  • Sylvia

    Wow, Sasha, again, something that I have learned from you! It is amazing, but I have never thought that my towel could be too harsh on my hair. I love the idea of the microfiber, and especially if it is made from water bottles. We need to save the health of the planet, and I am very much for everything sustainable. I will check out the site; if they ship internationally, I will order such a towel and look up a wooden comb.
    My hair is already damaged from using the dryer, I believe. What would you recommend to soften it again? Conditioner? Or something different? I have thin hair. 🙂

    • Sasha

      Great minds think alike! 😉 I am all for saving the planet as much as I can too!
      The Conscious Coconut Hair Towel that I recommended definitely ship internationally but yes, feel free to check their website for more details. There may be delays due to Covid but nothing too crazy. As far as softening hair from heat damage goes, I use Intensive Conditioner by Calia and I absolutely love what it does to my hair. I use it once a week in the shower in place of my regular conditioner. Hope this helps! 🙂

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