A towel is likely not something that we think of when trying to list the many things that can damage our hair. However, it is! Once you finish washing your hair, it’s not unusual to grab a bath towel and wrap it around your head. We see it in movies and likely have done it ourselves, but certain towels can damage your hair.

What are bath towels made of?

Typically, bath towels are made from cotton, and if you’ve read our Hair Information Booklet, you probably know that cotton can be disastrous for your hair. Cotton is a unique material that excels in absorbing oils and other liquids deep into their fibers, making it the perfect material to clean up oil spills. Unfortunately, that is not a trait that you want your hair and scalp exposed to as they need oil to remain healthy. Dry hair is prone to breaking, and the cotton fibers can often trap hair leading to pulling.

How towels can damage your hair

Hair pulling

Have you ever dried your hair with a towel only to find strands of your hair caught in the fibers and subsequently pulled out? Hairs getting caught in the fibers of your towel is not the only way you can have hair pulled out from a towel. If you wrap your hair in a towel, the weight of the towel can pull at your edges while also ripping moisture from your hair.

Friction

The act of rubbing your hair with a towel can create friction. This can lead to hair breakage. Coupled with the absorption power of cotton and the fact that hair is weak when it’s wet means that you can cause immense damage.

Alternatives:

Microfiber towel

Microfiber towels are less damaging to your hair, in particular, they won’t tangle your hair as much, so the risk of pulling your hair out when drying is greatly reduced. Using a microfiber towel can also dramatically reduce the risk of hair breakage while also helping your hair retain moisture and preventing the hair from becoming brittle from over absorption of moisture. If you don’t like microfiber towels, you can gently squeeze the water, from your hair using your hands. Before going about your usual hair drying techniques (like blow-drying or air drying).

Pat your hair dry

You should pat dry your hair to prevent friction from damaging your hair. If you have to use a bath towel, this will help reduce the amount of damage to your hair. Take the towel between both hands and gently press the towel into your hair. Don’t rub your hair with the towel, just pat your hair with the towel until it stops dripping with water then go about styling or drying your hair like normal.

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