Is Microfiber Good for Hair? Experts Weigh In

microfiber hair towel

 

We've been curious about microfiber ever since we stumbled across the trend in our teen magazines. Back then, we wondered if it was simply a fad. We asked our mothers, our sisters, and the friend that always had the best look -- is microfiber good for hair? 

They stressed that it was their secret to staying frizz-free, and getting ready in record time. Even decades later, we're still convinced they may have been on to something.  

Curious about the benefits? Keep reading to find out why we've followed the experts and ditched our cotton towels for microfiber. 

What Is Microfiber? 

Microfiber is a man-made fiber that is usually a blend of polyester and nylon. With strands finer than silk (some brands claim fifty to one hundred times finer than a human hair, depending on the blend), it is light, absorbent, and gentle on hair strands.

Microfiber became popular with hair care in the early '00s, though it has been used since the 1950s as a super-absorbent material for cleaning and household tasks. 

Is Microfiber Good For Hair? 

Frizz, unless intended for style, is a regular cause for frustration. It can be caused by roughly manipulating the hair pattern, causing it to stretch out of shape before it breaks mid-shaft.

Microfiber also has a flat weave, rather than a rough texture. Using a flat weave on your hair can help to keep things smooth. 

Additionally, texture causes friction. Rather than rubbing a rough material up and down the hair shaft, microfiber is absorbent enough to do that job on its own.

Frizz can also be caused by humidity. When an environment is humid, moisture is able to find its way into the hair shaft. Once absorbed, the hair proteins inside of the shaft start to swell. Sadly, this swelling doesn't equate to volume -- it actually just means that the hair shaft will spring itself into a pattern that is outside of the norm. This will interrupt the "smooth" look of an otherwise frizz-free style.   

Compared to cotton or other materials, the split fibers of microfiber actually wick up water rather than repel it. This absorption should happen successfully upon contact. That means you shouldn't have to blot, rub or squeeze too much when using microfiber for a job. 

Additionally, drying or wrapping hair in microfiber can keep the hair shaft from absorbing excess water volume from the environment. Cotton, unfortunately, cannot provide the same guarantee. 

Benefits of Using Microfiber

Experts stress the benefits of using microfiber towels. Some of these perks include smoother strands, fast dry time, and one more way to make your morning as productive as possible. 

Less Frizz and Broken Strands

The wrap method will help you to avoid unwanted frizz and breakage -- especially if you're managing long hair. This is because rubbing hair dry (like most people do) results in rough hair cuticle damage. Because microfiber is more absorbent than cotton, you won't have to rub or press the cuticle in order to dry. 

Multitask Like a Pro

With certain microfiber wraps, bundling your hair up after a wash can help speed up dry time, as well as allow you to multitask while your hair dries.  We're wearing one as we speak (not kidding -- it's pink, and it's adorable). 

Dry Faster Than With Cotton

Microfiber turban towels will dry excess moisture quickly for as long as it is absorbing water. Make sure to replace it with a dry towel if it seems to be collecting too much moisture! 

Hair is sensitive and prone to breakage when it is wet. According to the experts, ensuring your hair is at least 50% dry before using a blow dryer or other heat tools can spare the health and longevity of your strands. We recommend using a microfiber turban towel to partially dry your hair before you take the time to finish up your styling. 

How to Use a Microfiber Towel On Your Hair

There are a few methods that can be used when reaching for your microfiber towel. 

  1. Blot and squeeze (not rub!)
  2. Towel wrap
  3. Plopping (similar to towel wrap, but looser)

Of the three methods, plopping seems to be the most foreign. We promise it isn't just a silly buzzword-- it's actually a process that women have been using for decades. 

When plopping, damp hair is allowed to coil naturally before it is wrapped into a hair turban. It is not twisted into the turban or towel, but rather set gently on top of one's head. 

While blotting or wrapping seems pretty self-explanatory, you need to remember that your hair is most delicate when wet. Blot, squeeze, and wrap very carefully to make sure your preferred microfiber process has the best shot at succeeding. 

Is Microfiber Good for Curly Hair? 

Because of the tight loops in the microfiber weave, the material performs well against a person's natural curl pattern. 

The curlier your hair is, the more prone it is to breakage. If you're looking into how to dry curly hair while protecting your curl pattern, we recommend a loose wrap or a gentle blot. This will ensure that your microfiber towel works with your hair type for the best possible results.

Additionally, the expedited dry time that we've gushed about is even more beneficial for curly-haired types. As curly hair can take hours longer than straight hair to dry under normal circumstances, microfiber towels are truly heroes in the curly-haired community.

Switch to Microfiber

So, back to the most important question--is microfiber good for hair? 

Our answer is: absolutely. 

The benefits are clear-- when it comes to hair, microfiber is a winning product for those of us with longer tresses. Healthy hair should be a priority for everyone, even if you aren't a part of the curly hair club. 

Find more twisty hair hacks and decide on the best microfiber style for you by reading our blog