The Pros and Cons of Towel Dried Hair A Comprehensive Guide

When it comes to hair care, there are a lot of different techniques and tools that people use to achieve the perfect look. One of the most contentious topics in the world of hair care is whether it’s better to towel dry your hair or to use a blow dryer. In this article, we’ll explore the pros and cons of towel dried hair, including when it’s best to use this technique and how to do it properly.

What is Towel Dried Hair?

The Pros and Cons of Towel Dried Hair A Comprehensive Guide

Towel dried hair is exactly what it sounds like – hair that has been dried using a towel rather than a blow dryer. This technique involves wrapping a towel around your hair and applying gentle pressure to absorb excess moisture. While this method is often preferred by people who want to avoid heat damage from blow dryers, there are some downsides to consider as well.

When Should You Use Towel Dried Hair?

The Pros and Cons of Towel Dried Hair A Comprehensive Guide

There are a few situations where towel drying your hair might be the best option:

  • If you have curly hair: Curly hair tends to be more prone to frizz and breakage, which can be exacerbated by heat styling tools like blow dryers. Towel drying your hair can help to minimize these issues and leave you with defined curls.
  • If you’re short on time: Blowing drying your hair can take a while, especially if you have thick or long hair. Towel drying is quicker and more convenient, making it a great option for busy mornings or when you’re in a rush.
  • If you’re traveling: Blow dryers can be bulky and difficult to pack, while towels are easy to fold up and take with you on the go. If you’re traveling and don’t want to lug around a heavy appliance, towel drying may be your best bet.

How to Towel Dry Your Hair

The Pros and Cons of Towel Dried Hair A Comprehensive Guide

If you’ve never towel dried your hair before, you might be wondering how to get started. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you out:

  1. Start with damp hair: Towel drying works best on hair that is already slightly damp, so avoid using this method on soaking wet hair.
  2. Choose the right towel: Use a soft, absorbent towel that won’t snag or damage your hair. Microfiber towels are a popular choice for towel drying as they are gentle and effective.
  3. Wrap the towel: Flip your hair over and wrap the towel around your head, gently squeezing to absorb moisture. Avoid rubbing your hair vigorously as this can cause frizz and damage.
  4. Repeat as needed: If your hair is still very wet after the first round of towel drying, repeat the process until it feels mostly dry.

Pros and Cons of Towel Dried Hair

The Pros and Cons of Towel Dried Hair A Comprehensive Guide

Like any hair care technique, there are pros and cons to towel drying your hair. Here are some of the most important factors to consider:


  • Saves time: Towel drying is a quick and convenient option for people who don’t want to spend a lot of time styling their hair.
  • Less heat damage: Blow dryers can be harsh on hair, causing breakage, split ends, and other damage. Towel drying avoids these issues by relying on natural evaporation rather than heat.
  • Cost-effective: While blow dryers can be expensive, a towel is a low-cost option that most people already have at home.
  • Can enhance curls: If you have curly hair, towel drying can help to define your curls and reduce frizz.


  • Can cause frizz: If you rub your hair too vigorously while towel drying, it can create friction and lead to frizz.
  • Inconsistent results: Unlike a blow dryer, which provides a consistent stream of heat, towel drying can be affected by humidity and other environmental factors.
  • Can take longer: While towel drying is faster than air-drying, it can still take longer than using a blow dryer.
  • May not work for all hair types: If you have very thick or long hair, towel drying may not be effective at removing enough moisture.

Alternatives to Towel Dried Hair

If you’re looking for an alternative to towel dried hair, here are some other methods that you might want to consider:

  • Air-drying: Instead of towel drying or blow drying your hair, you can simply let it air dry naturally. This method is gentle on hair and requires no tools or products, but can take quite a while, especially if you have thick or long hair.
  • Diffusing: If you have curly hair, a diffuser attachment for your blow dryer can help to enhance your curls without causing damage. Diffusers work by distributing heat evenly and reducing frizz.
  • Blow drying: While blow drying can cause heat damage, it’s a quick and effective way to get your hair looking its best. If you decide to use this method, make sure to use a heat protectant spray and keep theblow dryer a few inches away from your hair to avoid burning or damaging your strands.

Tips for Towel Drying Your Hair

If you decide to try towel drying your hair, here are some tips to help you get the best results:

  • Use a soft, absorbent towel: Avoid rough or abrasive towels that can cause damage to your hair. Instead, opt for a microfiber or cotton towel that is gentle and effective.
  • Don’t rub your hair: Rubbing your hair vigorously with a towel can create friction and lead to frizz. Instead, gently squeeze the towel around your hair to absorb excess moisture.
  • Start at the roots: When towel drying your hair, start at the roots and work your way down to the tips. This will ensure that all of your hair is evenly dried.
  • Be patient: Towel drying can take longer than blow drying, so be prepared to spend a bit more time on your hair care routine if you choose this method.
  • Finish with a leave-in conditioner: To keep your hair healthy and moisturized after towel drying, apply a leave-in conditioner or hair oil to the ends of your hair.

The Best Way to Dry Your Hair: Towel Dried vs Blow Dried

So, which method is better – towel dried or blow dried? The answer depends on your hair type, lifestyle, and personal preferences. Here’s a quick comparison of the two techniques:

Towel Dried Hair:

  • Pros: Saves time, less heat damage, cost-effective, enhances curls
  • Cons: Can cause frizz, inconsistent results, can take longer, may not work for all hair types

Blow Dried Hair:

  • Pros: Quick and effective, provides consistent results, works for all hair types, can add volume and shine
  • Cons: Can cause heat damage, expensive, requires tools and products, can be time-consuming

Ultimately, the best way to dry your hair is the one that works for you and your lifestyle. If you’re short on time and need a quick fix, blow drying may be your best bet. But if you’re looking for a gentle and cost-effective option, towel drying could be the way to go.


Towel dried hair is a popular technique in the world of hair care, offering a gentle and effective way to dry your hair without heat damage. While this method has its pros and cons, it’s a great option for people who want to save time, reduce frizz, and enhance their curls. Whether you choose to towel dry your hair or opt for another method, the most important thing is to find what works for you and stick with it.

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