Microfiber vs. Cotton: The Science of Hair Towels - Turbie Twist

Microfiber vs. Cotton: The Science of Hair Towels

Just what is it about hair towels that makes them so beneficial for your hair? Learn about the science behind microfiber vs. cotton here.

Did you know that more than half of all Americans feel their hair is stuck in a rut? This is one of the main reasons the hair care industry offers so many different products. Each one offers you the chance to mix up your routine and bring your hairstyle to the next level. 

But, how many of these products actually work, and how many are just placebos with great marketing? In this article, we'll be comparing two such products to find out the answer.

We'll be discussing the benefits of microfiber vs cotton hair towels. You'll learn if and how they work from a scientific perspective so you can decide which is best for your hair! Read on to learn all about hair towels! 

What Are Hair Towels?  

Hair towels are small towels for wrapping and drying your hair after a shower. With a hair towel, you can avoid damaging your hair with a blow-drier and can shorten the time it takes to style your hair. 

How to Use a Hair Towel

You can use a Turbie Twist hair towel by turning your head upside down, placing the hair wrap over your hair, twisting it, and fastening it in the back.

Then you can continue getting ready while your hair dries. 

If you're in a hurry or you have a square hair towel rather than a Turbie Twist, you can gently scrunch your hair with the towel. Try to avoid rubbing or wringing your hair, as your hair is more prone to damage while wet. 

Cotton Hair Towels

Originally, all hair towels were cotton. Cotton hair towels are a great choice primarily for the fact that cotton is one of the most absorbent materials on the planet. 

Cotton can absorb more than 27 times its weight in water! This is due to the fact that cotton has a "capillary action" style of absorption. This means that it absorbs water like sucking it in through a straw. 

You can see this yourself by dipping the corner of a towel into a cup of water. The water will travel up the towel, even against gravity. It's as if the towel is sucking the water directly out of the cup. 

This same principle is why cotton is a great material for hair towels. It will suck all the water right out of your hair in record time.

Cotton's high absorbency is one of the best things about it. But, it's also one of the reasons that cotton hair towels get a lot of hate! Cotton will absorb not only the water from your shower but also the moisture and natural oils that your hair needs!  

This suggests that cotton is a great material for thick hair that can hold a lot of moisture and oily hair. It's also a great option if you're in a hurry, and want your hair dried as fast as possible.

The Texture of Cotton

Although cotton towels can feel plush and soft, they are actually rough on a microscopic level. This roughness can tug at your hair causing friction, breakage, and tension. 

When too much moisture enters and exits your hair, it can cause something called hygral fatigue. Hygral fatigue occurs when your hair gets weak from repeated expansion and contraction making it waterlogged and gummy. It will feel less elastic and will have less spring to it.

Hygral fatigue is a big risk for especially porous hair, like curly and colored hair. So, cotton towels are best for straight hair and undyed hair. 

Microfiber Hair Towels 

Microfiber hair towels offer a softer and more gentle alternative to cotton. Microfiber towels are made out of a blend of polyamide and polyester, which are formed into small, densely packed, loops. 

To use a microfiber hair towel, wrap your hair and leave it for about 30 minutes. Microfiber hair towels need more time because they don't have the same capillary action as cotton towels, which means that they absorb water much more slowly.

How Do Microfiber Hair Towels Work? 

Microfiber can hold up to seven times its weight in water, so you can tell that it's far less absorbent than cotton. However, this is more than sufficient to dry your hair. Many people argue that microfiber strikes the perfect balance of absorbency: it will absorb excess water without sucking out the nutrients and oils your hair needs to thrive.

This makes a microfiber towel a great option for hair that's prone to hygral fatigue as well as hair that needs more moisture. If you have curly hair, thin hair, or colored hair, a microfiber towel can offer the balance you need. It will dry your hair without dehydrating it, and won't cause undue damage or friction on your hair. 

Furthermore, microfiber towels tend to have an inherent amount of static electricity that can help naturally soothe frizz in your hair. If you have curly hair or a lot of flyaways, microfiber towels will help calm unruly hairs, keeping your hair sleek and shiny.

Microfiber vs Cotton Demystified 

Picking a material for your hair towel seems like a trivial decision but it's actually very important for your hair's health. If you're noticing excess frizz or your hair is looking a little lackluster, the fix could be as simple as changing your hair towel! 

Now that you understand the science of hair towels and the benefits of microfiber vs cotton, you can pick the appropriate towel for your hair type. Whatever material you pick, we have just the towel you need. With a Turbie Twist, you can enjoy effortlessly beautiful and healthy hair. 

Check out our selection today!