Cotton vs. Microfiber Hair Towels: What's the Difference? | Turbie Twist

Cotton vs. Microfiber Hair Towels: What's the Difference?

Both cotton and microfiber can be great for your hair depending on the hair type. What's the difference between cotton vs. microfiber?

Were you aware that hair is at its most vulnerable when wet? The outer layer of your hair swells and opens when wet. Since wet hair is susceptible to damage, you need to know the best way to remove excess water from your damp locks.

Read on to find out what types of hair towels are available, and which kind you should be using to dry your hair. See who will win the cotton vs microfiber debate!

Cotton Bath Towels

Not all cotton towels are created equal! Traditional terry cloth bath towels are constructed with larger loops. It leaves terry cloth towels with a rough texture.

This texture can damage your hair, leaving it frizzy or even broken. The large loops tangle your hair and can tear the hair. These towels can also pull too much moisture out of your hair, leaving it over-dry.

Traditional bath towels are also bulky and heavy. They can lead to neck strain and breakage at the hairline. Bottom line: avoid traditional bath towels for drying your hair whenever you can.

Cotton Hair Towels

Using a hair-specific cotton towel is different than using a traditional bath towel. With a turban-type hair towel, you can wrap your hair up with minimal friction. It allows your hair to dry without rubbing and extra friction.

Cotton hair towels dry your hair fast and are lightweight. They won’t pull on your hairline like large bath towels. Toss your hair up with a hair mask or styling products

Cotton hair towels are affordable, and you can find them almost anywhere. Be sure to choose a high-quality cotton hair towel, though. How the fabric is made will affect how well it works!

Using a Cotton T-shirt for Hair

It may sound silly, but you can use a cotton t-shirt to dry your hair! Unlike the rough texture of cotton terry cloth, t-shirts are smooth and safe for your hair. The soft fabric will not snag or break your hair.

Since the fabric is tightly woven, it will absorb water without over-drying your hair. Make sure you choose a soft-feeling t-shirt from your closet to test this drying method!

Remember, cotton pillowcases are more coarse than cotton shirt material. Hair experts don’t recommend sleeping on a cotton pillowcase as it can damage and tangle your hair.

Microfiber Hair Towels

Microfiber is a lightweight material that can absorb seven times its weight in water! Microfiber consists of ultra-fine synthetic threads that are woven tightly together. Each inch of microfiber fabric can contain tens of thousands of fibers.

Microfiber towels will not snag your hair and leave it damaged and frizzy. It creates less friction on your hair, causing less breakage. With microfiber towels, there is no need to rub or wring your hair.

Using microfiber also removes the possibility of lint getting left in your hair. The tight weave of the material prevents lint transfer to your hair. Traditional towels leave lint behind, making for a less-than-smooth style.

When to Use Cotton vs Microfiber

Using either a soft cotton t-shirt or a microfiber towel is a safe choice for all hair types. Cotton will not absorb water from your hair as fast as microfiber. Both will protect your hair from damage while drying because of the tightly woven fabric.

Cotton t-shirts are easy to find, and you can tell the quality by feeling them. Microfiber towels come in many different levels of quality. You may be able to tell by looking at them whether they will work well for your hair or not.

Quality microfiber towels are soft. They have tiny loops so that they will not snag and tangle in your hair. A good microfiber hair towel will appear smooth.

For Curly Hair

Most curly-haired folks recommended using a microfiber towel on wash day. They are designed with curly, textured hair in mind. They will not snag or tangle your curls.

Using the plopping technique with a microfiber towel makes styling easy! Add your styling products to your hair while it is still wet. Lay your microfiber hair towel down and drop your curls down onto it.

You can leave this on your hair as it dries. It will help your curls clump and create curl definition. You won’t have to worry about frizz since you aren’t rubbing your hair with the towel!

For Straight Hair

Straight-haired folks can benefit from either a t-shirt or a microfiber towel. Both will protect you from a frizz halo and will keep your hair smooth. The choice comes down to personal preference.

Which type you choose depends on how much hair you have. Microfiber is capable of soaking up more water faster than a simple t-shirt. If you have long or thick hair, you may choose a microfiber towel over the alternative.

You can also choose a high-quality cotton hair wrap. These will keep your locks safe from breakage. They are affordable and easy to find as well!

Damaged Hair

If your hair is already dry and damaged, take extra care. While you do the work of returning moisture to your hair, choose a gentle drying method.

Using a microfiber towel will lessen the need for heat to dry your hair. It will allow you to get your hair almost dry while you use it.

You can even apply a hydrating hair mask and twist your hair up in a microfiber wrap! It locks the moisture into your tresses, giving them the TLC needed.

Which Will You Use?

Which will you choose in the cotton vs microfiber debate? Both are effective at drying all hair types without damage.

No matter how you decide to dry your hair, be gentle with your strands. Even the best and softest towel can cause damage if you don’t use it the right way. Avoid rubbing and wringing at all costs, as it will damage and break your hair.

If you like the idea of a hair-specific towel, take a look at the selection of hair towels we offer!