How To Towel-Dry Your Hair The Right Way

Written by Arshiya Syeda

Since more and more people are better understanding the damage caused by a blowdryer, there is a growing inclination towards the search for a safer option for drying their hair. This points to towel-drying.

Sure, blow-drying is one of the most convenient ways to dry your hair, especially when you are in a hurry, but it may also slowly damage your hair. Surely there is no problem in switching to towel-drying, at least on the days when you do not plan on going out. Trust us – it is worth the switch.

Drying your hair with a towel is one of the best options to prevent damaging it. However, it is also a process that may end up damaging your hair quite badly if you do it wrong. Learn how to towel-dry your hair and how it can benefit your mane below!

What Is Towel Drying?

Towel-drying involves using a towel or any other absorbent material to dry your hair after washing it. Sounds simple enough, doesn’t it? Do not be that quick to judge it by definition. The result depends largely on the kind of towel you use and how you do it.

The trend of switching to a towel from a blowdryer is becoming popular now. The question is, is this just another trend, or is the switch worth all the hype?

Is Towel Drying Your Hair Good Or Bad?

It is claimed that towel-drying wet hair leads to breakage. However, this statement can be misleading. Towel-drying wet hair in the wrong way can indeed lead to breakage. But, if done correctly, it may be one of the best options there is to dry your hair.

When your hair is wet, it is highly fragile. This means that you have to be careful with the way you handle wet hair and the kind of towel you use on it. So, to answer the question, yes, towel-drying is good for the hair provided you get all the steps right. Learning how to towel-dry your hair and getting every point right is only a small one-time price to pay for a plethora of benefits.

What Are The Benefits Of Towel Drying Hair?

  • Reduce Damage Caused By Heat: Applying heat is never healthy for the hair. Many people choose blow-drying because of how fast it dries the hair. Simply air-drying the hair is a time-consuming process, especially for thick, long hair. However, if you choose to towel-dry your hair after a shower, the time needed to air-dry it is cut down, giving you a healthy alternative to blow-drying.
  • Inexpensive: You can save money by switching to towel-drying instead of blow-drying. You can cut down on electricity bills, and you will also not need to constantly purchase heat protectants as you will not be using hot air to dry your hair.
  • Lesser Product Build-up: By choosing to towel-dry, you can toss away your heat protectant products. Additionally, if you towel-dry your hair the right way, a lot of frizz can be avoided, which will not require you to use frizz-control products either. Lesser products used means lesser product-build-up on the hair.
  • Lesser Damage Caused By Friction: If you use a towel to dry your hair the right way, you will not be causing any friction to the hair.

If you have already been using a towel to dry your hair but still face hair breakage, it may be because the way you are towel-drying it is wrong. Learn how to towel-dry the right way in the next section.

How To Towel Dry Hair Without Damaging it

There is only one thing you need to dry your hair without damaging it – a microfiber towel. If you do not have a microfiber towel, we suggest you invest in one or use a soft T-shirt and use that as a hair towel. Now that you have the one tool required to towel-dry your hair, here’s how to do it properly.

  • Squeeze Out Excess Water: After you are done showering (hopefully with a good shampoo and conditioner), squeeze out the dripping water with your hands gently. Begin at the scalp and slowly move towards the ends of your hair. This will give the towel a head start without having to deal with excess water.
  • Blot With A Soft Towel: Start pressing your hair with a soft microfiber towel or T-shirt. If you have longer or thicker hair, you can pick up sections, wrap the towel around it, and squeeze gently. Do not tug on or rub your hair. Try to use a dry part of the towel for each section to maximize the benefits.
  • Repeat: If you are not satisfied with the dryness, repeat this process. Remember that your hair will not be bone dry no matter how many times you do this. You will have to let the air do some of the work at the end.
  • Wrap Your Hair (Optional): This is a completely optional step, usually preferred by long-haired folks. You can wrap your hair and create a make-shift turban with a towel. Keep it wrapped for around 10-20 minutes and let the towel do all the work. This is a convenient step for people who are running out of time and want to move on to their makeup or other work around the house while their hair dries.
  • Remove The Towel: Finally, you can take the towel off slowly without pulling on the hair. Remember that wet hair is fragile. You can comb it after drying. However, if you are in a hurry, you can either run your fingers through it or use a wide-toothed comb to detangle.

While following the above-mentioned steps to the T, make sure you do not miss out on what you should and should not be doing discussed in the next section.

Dos And Don’ts of Towel-Drying

  • Do Not Wring The Hair: In the first step, when you are removing the excess water by squeezing the hair between your palms, do not wring it. This may cause breakage.
  • Do Not Rub Or Tug: When drying your hair with a towel, make sure you do not use the towel to rub on your scalp. Also, when wrapping your hair with the towel and gently pressing it, do not tug on it. Do not forget that your hair is highly fragile when wet.
  • Do Not Wrap Too Tightly: When choosing to wrap your hair for a few minutes, do not wrap it too tightly such that the hair is stretched or twisted. This may also lead to breakage.
  • Do Use A Soft Towel: Keep away from the cheap, rough towels as they will damage your hair. Instead, pick the softest one with the least friction, preferably a microfiber towel, which has high absorption rates.
  • Do Use A Conditioner: Be it an after-shampoo conditioner or a leave-in conditioner, use one after every wash to make up for any damage caused during drying or styling.

If you have been towel-drying your hair but still suffer from breakage, one of the above-mentioned reasons could be why. Make sure you keep an eye out for these things that you may be getting wrong.


Everyone already knows that the heat from a blowdryer is not exactly healthy for your hair. Now that you have a much better alternative, make the switch.

Buy that microfiber towel or grab your softest T-shirt, and get to drying. Remember to be as gentle as possible and after most of the water is absorbed by the towel, go on to do your makeup as the air will do the rest of the job drying your hair!

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it better to air dry the hair or towel-dry it?

The best thing to do is a combination of both. First, towel-dry to get most of the water out. After this, your hair will air-dry faster. Do remember to be gentle on your hair when towel-drying it.

How often can you towel-dry your hair?

Towel-drying is a non-damaging procedure and can be done as many times as you wash your hair, provided it is done using the proper process.

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