What’s all this buzz about using microfiber for drying your hair? Glad you asked! First, it’s more than just the latest trend. Rather, it’s one of the best discoveries in hair care since, well, ever.
That’s not an exaggeration. Microfiber is perfection in fabric form. It has forever changed the way we clean, polish, and – yes – dry our hair.
However, if you’ve ever been wondering what makes microfiber so amazing for your hair, this article is for you. We’re going to dive deep into the history and science of microfiber to unravel exactly what makes it the wonder material it is.
Ready? Read on to discover how microfiber can rock your world (and your hair).
What Is Microfiber?
Microfiber is any synthetic fabric created from threads with a diameter of one decitex or less – the unit of linear density of a continuous filament or thread. (Except in the US, where the French term denieris still used. One decitex is 1/10thof a denier, pronounced deh-NEER). To put that into context, the average microfiber filament is 10 micrometers in diameter. That’s a tenth of the width of a strand of silk and a fifth of the width of human hair.
In other words, it’s really, really fine.
Due to the diameter of the threads, microfiber attains several characteristics which even the finest cotton and silk threads can’t ever hope to achieve. It’s lightweight, wrinkle-resistant, super durable, non-electrostatic, hypoallergenic, washable, dry-cleanable, shrink-proof, and it retains its shape even after it’s been stretched. When used in clothing, it also drapes beautifully while retaining its ultra-soft texture.
It’s got the best features of every fabric. Seriously. As such, we typically find microfiber used for:
- Dusting and polishing surfaces that are easily scratched
- Household cleaning
- High-end athletic wear
- Thermal clothing
- Bath products
If it’s extremely soft, synthetic, warm, and looks more like a single sheet of fabric rather than something woven – it’s probably microfiber.
A Brief History of Microfiber
Microfiber is something of a wonder material which was first created in Japan in the late 1950s. In line with true Japanese efficiency, scientists were looking for a “micro-denier” product which could quickly get machine parts cleaner, absorbing all manner of liquids without leaving lint or debris which could interfere with operation.
In the process, they created Ultrasuede, a material which became popular in Japan as a fashion trend, for furniture, automobile interiors, and as a protective fabric for electronics.
However, it wasn’t until Sweden popularized it as a household product in the 1990s that microfiber really caught the public’s eye. After experiencing wild success in Europe for another decade, it eventually made its way to the US in the early 2000s where its uses expanded even further.
One of those uses included hair care. In 2006, Turbie Twist became one of the first brands of microfiber hair towels on the market. The hair drying revolution had begun.
Microfiber: The Day Science Created Perfection
Officially, any fabric measuring one decitex or less qualifies as microfiber. In practice, most microfiber is synthetic because it’s exceedingly difficult to create cotton, silk or wool threads at that diameter. The most common microfiber materials include:
- Polyester with polyamide
- Any of the above mixed with natural fibers
Our microfiber Turbie Twist® hair towels use a polyester-polyamide blend. Polyamide is a naturally occurring protein which gives wool and silk its natural strength. When mixed with polyester, it conveys the strength, durability, and slight elasticity which allow our hair towels to hug your head without smashing your hair.
Split vs. Whole Fibers
Finally, it’s worth noting that not all microfiber is created equal. Since it’s synthetic, microfibers tend to be customized for its intended purpose much more than other types of fabrics. That’s why you can find microfibers made from so many different materials.
There are actually twelve different spinning methods to create microfiber fabrics, but we’re concerned about the one type in particular: split type spinning, as compared to whole fiber spinning (typically the other eleven types).
In split type spinning, the fibers are first split into so that if you looked at the end of one of the threads under a microscope, you’d see a star-shaped pattern. This dramatically increases the amount of surface available over each individual thread. It’s what allows microfiber cleaning clothes to catch so much dust while leaving nothing behind.
However, splitting the thread also breaks the protein wall of each thread, inducing the hyper-absorbency associated with microfiber – the very feature which makes it so excellent for drying your hair quickly.
It’s easy to test if a microfiber was created through split type spinning or another method. Simply dip a corner in some water. If it seems to repel water, then you’re dealing with a whole fiber. If it wicks it up rapidly, then congratulations. You’ve got split type spun microfiber.
Why Choose Microfiber to Dry Your Hair
Now that we’ve covered exactly what microfiber is and how it’s made, it’s easy to see what makes it so great for drying your hair. Microfiber:
- Is extremely gentle on your hair. It’s soft, frictionless, and has enough elasticity that it won’t damage your lovely locks.
- Costs much less than high thread-count cotton. Genuine cotton is expensive because it needs to be spun in a specific way to achieve the thread count necessary to match microfiber’s smoothness.
- It’s so absorbent it will dry your hair faster than other methods. Thanks to the split fibers, microfiber is one of the most efficient ways to dry your hair.
Perfection in Fabric Form
The secret of microfiber is finally getting around: it’s one of the easiest and best ways to create a gorgeous mane every day with minimal effort. With a microfiber Turbie Twist®, you can skip the many time-consuming, rough treatments, like blow-drying, that provoke your inner frizz beast.
But don’t take our word for it. Science says so.
Ready for perfect hair every day? Pick up a microfiber hair towel and a satin pillowcase to help keep your locks looking lovely all the time.