Step Away From the Towel!


Tips & Tricks: Number Three

You’ve washed, detangled and conditioned your hair, rinsing with lukewarm, cool or cold water. You step out of the shower or lift your head from the sink and reach for your bath towel. STOP!!! Put your hands in the air and step away from the towel! You see, that seemingly innocuous, standard shower necessity could destroy all your hard work!! The surface of most standard bath towels disrupts the cuticle layer, separates the natural “clumping” of curls and contributes to frizz. However, there are several options out there for absorbing excess moisture from the hair that reduce/eliminate the drippies without robbing the hair of too much moisture or roughing up its surface.

We’ll start with the “high end” options and work our way towards the items that are probably already in your house … so, you know, “free!!”

First up are the Hotheads Hand Dry Hair Towel and Hand Dry Hair Gloves, both around $25. In this post, CurlyNikki listed the Hair Gloves as one of her top five styling tools for “blotting excess moisture prior to applying styling conditioner.”

Next up are the Curls Like Us Curl Cloths pictured far above. These handy, dandy little towels come in a two pack for $24. I actually own a set and have been using them for about a year now with much success. They do what they are supposed to do, are nicely absorbent and the two pack means that you can throw one in the wash and have another ready to go!

Another option is the Aquis Mimi’s Diva Dryer Hair Towel, which runs for $11-13. This is a microfiber towel that claims to be super-absorbent and dry “hair in half the time, so there’s less blow-drying and fewer split ends.” Now, I have no experience with this towel. However, I’ve always been leery of microfiber as it looks like velcro to natural hair. So, this is a product about which I’d love to hear your experiences. Curlmart doesn’t have any reviews of the product, but Amazon has 28 here. You’ll have to be the judge on this one!

The DevaCurl Deva Towel is another microfiber option that costs about $12 online. It seems to have a lower pile than other versions. Now, y’all know I swear by DevaCare No Poo and DevaCare One Conditioner has been one of my staples for years. However, as many of us know, you may love one thing in a line and hate another. With that being said, the reviews I see on this towel are mixed. Some love it, but find it overpriced online (seems you might be able to find it on the ground for cheaper). Others didn’t like it at all and found it no different from any other microfiber  towel. However, regardless of whether they liked it or not, most reviewers indicated that it was too small and would be better in a larger size. However, it is an option, so I wanted to list it. Someone may be looking for a nice, convenient, travel size microfiber towel!! *lol*

Now, although some of the options above are great, there are also a couple of lower cost alternatives that are just as effective.

Though not as pretty, the smooth surface of an old, cotton T-shirt was the inspiration behind Curl Cloths. So, just grab a nicely worn tee (preferably free of heavy, excessive screen print or adornment) and blot away. And, if you want the shape of the Curl Cloths, simply cut off the top portion of the T-shirt to remove the neck and sleeves as demonstrated below. (This is also a nice back-up option when both of your curl clothes are in the laundry! I know from experience! LOL!)

Last, but not least, some good old-fashioned paper towels will always get the job done!!! Of course, you may go through an entire roll if your hair is very wet and you have a lot of it! Now that I think about it, in the long run, this option could be more expensive than any of the above, reusable tools!! Regardless, they work in a pinch!! But, you’ll want to make certain that you are using lint-free towels! A head full of white lint would not be the look ;).

Finally, whatever option you choose, remember to blot and squeeze your hair to absorb excess moisture. Never scrub or rub.


How do you “dry” your hair damp? We’d love to hear your experiences with any of the above tools or recommendations for others! 


20 responses »

    • *lol* Is it like the one I used in the oil pre-poo video? If so, I don’t use that to dry, just for DCs and henna to heat. I never really “turbaned” my hair to dry and think that probably wouldn’t be a good idea with natural hair. Then again, I wonder if it would work for “plopping” in place of a T-shirt?


  1. I use a black cotton t-shirt I purchased from a dollar store to squeeze water out of my hair before applying product. It dosen’t snag my coils or leave behind lint (two things regular towels do).


  2. I have the Deva Curl one. I like it however, it attracts a lot of lint from other places and after one wash it feels funny (maybe you shouldn’t dry it). I also have a good old t-shirt for stand by, that works the best to me!!


  3. I use old t-shirts all the time. I love how they reduce frizz and is perfect for wearing a wash-n-go. Since my hair is very porous, it dries quickly anyway. When my hair is about halfway dry, I add my products and “plop” my hair using the t-shirt, finish getting ready, take off the shirt and my hair is done.


  4. I just bun my hair in a scrunchie straight out of the shower, keep a small towel around my neck while I moisturize my body and then take out the scrunchie to apply product to my hair. No drying required because I use the excess water for styling and clumping. I havent touched my hair with anything absorbent for over a year now!


    • When I was a WnG girl Dani, I didn’t dry either! So, I’m with you on styling wet that way. Now though, since I mostly do TnCs or because I want bigger hair, I’ll style on only slightly damp hair. The kimmaytube leave-in really wets my hair and it takes forever and a day to dry even when it’s barely damp!


  5. I have a microfiber towel that I use from time to time. It seems like it’s always in the dirty hamper so I end up either just plopping my hair with a towel or a t shirt.


  6. I use Sham Wows, you know from the old infomercials. I buy them for $5 a box from Big Lots (6 in a box) and they can be laundered. My curls stay curly when using the Sham Wows to blot dry.


  7. So please help me to understand this, Shell. You’re saying that even if you simply ‘blot’ your hair, as I do, without mussing the curl or rubbing it on the strands, that a regular terry towel will damage the cuticle? If so, thanks for the article. Hubby has plenty of big ol’ white t-shirts I can use.


    • Hi Cheryl, if you’re blotting, it’s not horrible at all and you probably aren’t “disrupting the cuticle too much. But, a t-shirt provides a smooth surface and would be even better ;).


  8. Pingback: The Best Drying Methods for Natural Hair | Curly Nikki | Natural Hair Styles and Natural Hair Care

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