I can’t remember the last time I took a blowdryer to my hair—and that’s just the way I like it. Call me au naturel (or just, um, lazy), but I far prefer air drying my curls over feeling my arm go limp under the hot, hot heat of the tool. Now that I’ve discovered frizz-fighting towels—a few decades to late, I admit—my post-hair washing routine has gotten the express treatment.
For the sake of research, I spent a week of my life washing or co-washing my hair far more than I normally would. (I’m a member of Team Dry Shampoo as well as Team Air Dry.) After rinsing my conditioner, I carefully wrapped my brunette head, massaging out all the water I could. Then I watched my hair go from wet to ready.
The 5 best hair towels for a forever frizz-free drying
1. Best for a lightning-fast dry: AQUIS RAPID DRY LISSE HAIR TOWEL, $22
The Aquis hair towel (recommended for “thick, pourous” hair”) is the very first one I try—and it doesn’t disappoint. Today, I shampoo and condition my hair as normal, squeeze my hair lightly with my hands to remove excess water, then fold it into the quilted towel (which I got in pink, ICYWW). After just two minutes bundled on top of my head, my hair emerges already about 40 percent dry. In fact, by the time I curl in bed one hour later, it’s almost entirely dry. Abracadabra!
YouTuber liveloveGlam totally agrees:”It was very gentle on my hair, and did a really great job at absorbing water,” she says, adding that the towels larger size proves especially useful for those with voluminous, long hair.
2. Best for frizz-free: STUDIO DRY MICROFIBER HAIR TOWEL, $15
Simply holding this towel feels like cuddling a super-soft pet—so just imagine what it does for your hair! I’ll admit I was at first doubtful (it kinda looks like a bath mat). Once my hair fully dries, however, I change my tune. No frizz clung to my curls and, yet, my hair is still voluminous and soft-to-the-touch. Good. Hair. Day.
According to the company, this one works for hair both long and short, curly or straight.
3. Best set-it-and-forget it: EVOLVE FRIZZ-FREE HAIR DRYING TEE, $6
If you’re planning on putting on face mask and calling it a self-care evening, I can’t recommend this towel enough. It wraps effortlessly around your hair and will stays put while you give yourself a pedicure, rub lotion everywhere, and even dance around you room. When you’re ready to hit the hay, you’ll unwrap the tee-slash-towel to mostly-dry hair.
YouTuber behind It’s Natural Cole lauds the towel’s ease of use. “Using a bath towel is a little bit harsher on the hair. It’s going to cause friction that’s going to cause your hair to break or get damaged. The tee is made with a softer material that’s exactly like a t-shirt. It’s going to be able to absorb water better, it’s going to help not strip the hair of its natural oils, and it’s going to cause less friction,” she says.
4. Best for your gym bag: MICRODRY ULTRA ABSORBENT QUICK DRYING SOFTLOFT HAIR WRAP TOWEL
As I mention with obnoxious frequency to anyone who will listen, I LOVE showering at the gym. And when I do, I definitely don’t want to add a bulky towel to my gym bag. You can fold this $10 cap into a small square that’s portable, effective, and way nicer to your hair than the scratchy towels in the locker room.
5. Best all-around: VOLO HERO QUICK DRY TOWEL, $40
In one word, the Volo’s towel is luxe. The strap on the back lets you tuck the towel in and not worry about it tumbling off your head. The fabric was so plushy that I decided to spare the rest of my body a jealous moment, and drubbed the towel from head-to-toe, too. The company brags that the towel works for all hair type and all lengths, and, I have to say: I believe them.
Well+Good’s beauty and fitness editor Zoe Weiner styles her hair without a post-gym shower. Here’s how:
These multi-tasking hair tools are also great for banishing frizz. And if you haven’t washed in a few days, one of these braiding styles will help you get away with dirty hair.
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