Should You Use a T-Shirt or a Microfiber Towel for Hair? - Turbie Twist

Should You Use a T-Shirt or a Microfiber Towel for Hair?

You've come across this advice before: dry your hair with a t-shirt. But does it work as well as a microfiber towel for hair? Read on to know the truth.

Drying Your Hair With A Cotton T-Shirt Vs A Microfiber Hair Towel

Ever dried your hair with a cotton t-shirt? Seems like a wild life hack, advice you’ve surely come across before. But does it work as well as drying your hair with a microfiber towel? Here we compare the effectiveness of drying your hair with a microfiber towel vs a cotton t-shirt. Which one comes out on top?


Depending on the length and thickness of your hair, wash day can be a difficult task. What’s even more time consuming is waiting for your hair to air dry, especially when you’ve got places to be, people to see — so they can admire your stunning locks. 

So what do you reach for, in times like these? A cotton t-shirt or a microfiber hair towel? 


Why You Should Treat Wet Hair with Care

Before we get into which hair drying method is superior, let’s chat about why wet hair needs extra care.

First, wet hair is weak and more prone to damage than dry hair. Makes sense, right? Hair strands are composed of proteins called keratin. When wet, the hair strand changes its structure and forms hydrogen bonds. As a result, our hair stretches, causing the follicle to open up — making it susceptible to damage. 

Once stretched, hair will dry into the universally dreaded villain of hair: FRIZZ. Worse still, our hair can full on BREAK, especially when mishandled with a run-of-the-mill bath towel.

This is why it’s CRUCIAL(!) to be gentle with wet hair. Properly handling wet hair starts with using the right drying method.


Using Regular Bath Towels on Wet Hair

You’ve probably heard hair gurus advise against using regular bath towels to dry your hair. But why? 

While regular bath towels are absorbent, they soak up too much water — yes, that is possible. They strip too much moisture from your hair, leaving you with extra dry, frizzy, rough hair. And that’s not the worst of it. 

Typical terry cloth bath towels can truly damage your hair. Unlike natural cotton towels, traditional terry cloth bath towels are woven using two warp beams — these two loops give terry cloth its rough texture. These abrasive fibers are large and easily entangle and tear hair strands, creating high levels of friction, damaging the follicle, stunting length retention.

We can’t drive it home enough, be careful with your wet — super delicate, prone to breakage — hair!


Using a Microfiber Towel for Hair

Microfiber towels for hair have tinier and smoother fibers, as opposed to bath towels. This is because these towels are made with a blend of tiny polyamide and polyester fibers. Additionally, microfiber towels are 100 times finer than human hair and hold 200,000 individual threads. Who doesn’t love hearing numbers like that?!

Despite their ultra-fine fibers, microfiber hair towels offer the absorbency sweet spot (where as standard cotton bath towels absorb too much water, due in part to their denser fabric and larger surface area). 

Microfiber towels don’t damage your hair. Could there BE a more significant selling point? Because microfiber towels absorb water with ease, they demand less friction — no tugging and pulling to get your hair dry and ready to style. 


Beware of Faux Microfiber Fabric

Like any good thing, there are bound to be imposters. Thus, BEWARE: not all microfiber hair towels meet the Turbie Twist Towel standard. The market is full of wannabes hawking faux microfiber hair towels — usually rough textured towels advertised as microfiber. 

Faux microfiber hair towels have larger fibers and are more abrasive than real microfiber hair towels. Just like regular cotton bath towels, they pull, snag and tear at hair strands. 

Microfiber hair towel fabric should be soft and ultra-smooth, anything less is a fake. Luckily, the Turbie Towel is made with a 100% authentic microfiber material!


Using a Cotton T-Shirt on Wet Hair

This is not a trick, we swear! Although hair gurus warn against sleeping on cotton pillowcases, using a cotton t-shirt to dry your wet hair is totally safe.

The cotton used for bed sheets and pillowcases is way more coarse than cotton used for clothing. Similar to microfiber towels for hair, cotton t-shirts are soft and don’t catch on the hair strands or cause breakage. Also, the fibers in cotton t-shirts are woven closer together, so they absorb water without over-drying your hair.

We got to say, this is a hair hack worth trying! But before you go searching through your wardrobe for just any cotton t-shirt, we suggest you choose a t-shirt that feels super soft & smooth, without any embellishments or screen printing that could rip at hair strands.


How to Properly Dry Hair with a T-Shirt

Now that the secret to using a cotton t-shirt to dry your hair is out, we thought we’d give you a few pointers on how to properly use this hack to dry your hair.


  1. Use a clean cotton t-shirt and gently squeeze excess water out of your hair. Try not to wring or vigorously rub the strands. 
  2. Place your head in the opening of the cotton t-shirt and press your hair to soak up water.
  3. Twist and wrap the cotton t-shirt around your head, tucking the opening at the front of your hairline.
  4. For fine hair, keep hair wrapped for 10 to 15 minutes. For thick, curly hair, leave covered for 20 to 25 minutes.
  5. Undo your cotton t-shirt hair wrap and reveal frizz-free and manageable hair! 


Final Verdict on Microfiber Hair Towel Versus T-Shirt

In terms of performance, we’ll respectfully say that drying your hair with a microfiber hair towel or a cotton t-shirt yields many benefits. 

Both protect your hair against damage, as opposed to regular cotton bath towels. 

Both hair drying techniques help maintain the fullness and health of your hair.

Want to make the switch to a microfiber towel for hair? Shop our array of microfiber Turbie Twists and Turbie Towels!