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Dear Color Crew: Do I Really Need a Microfiber Hair Towel?

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Dear Color Crew is a recurring blog post where we answer hair-related questions—no matter how hairy they may be—from readers like you. Got a question? Email our team of professional colorists at ColorCrew@Madison-Reed.com.

Dear Color Crew,
I keep seeing ads and articles about microfiber hair towels but I can’t figure out if they are as magical as they sound, or if they are just hype. Do I really need a special towel just for my hair?

No one wants to fall for a product gimmick, so we totally understand why you’d ask—those microfiber hair towels are EVERYWHERE. Here’s why…

To understand why your hair might need its own special towel, you need to understand your hair. Hair is made up of keratin, and the keratin in hair is held together largely by hydrogen bonds. When your hair is wet, these bonds are temporarily broken, which can increase its ability to stretch up to 30% in healthy hair, and more in hair that has been compromised. 

When you get out of the shower, you instinctively reach for a bath towel, but regular bath towels are comprised of loops of fiber, known as the “loop pile”. The loop pile increases the total surface area of the towel and its ability to absorb moisture. Perfect for drying your skin maybe, but not so perfect for your hair. The coarse texture of the loop pile can damage your hair, roughing up the hair shaft which can worsen split ends and cause frizz. So yes, you should throw in the proverbial towel when it comes to drying your hair. 

If frizz and split ends isn’t enough to change your mind, check out these towel stats. Towels specifically for your hair are made of extremely fine threads—also called microfibers. These microfibers are 1/100th the diameter of your hair, and about ⅓ the diameter of regular cotton fiber. These microfibers are able to absorb 7-8 times their weight in water. One square inch of microfiber holds close to 200,000 fibers, creating a larger surface area to absorb the moisture.

What do those numbers mean? Well, with higher absorbancy comes less need to rub your hair with the towel to dry it. Less friction means less damage and breakage over time. And of course because microfiber is so absorbent, it also cuts down on blow dry time, further reducing heat damage from styling. 

Even with a microfiber towel, we recommend gently pressing the water from your hair, never rubbing or vigorously drying the hair. And while all hair types can benefit from microfiber hair towels, but they are especially useful in reducing breakage on fine hair and curly textures.

So go ahead—get a microfiber hair towel. It’s not a gimmick, and your hair deserves its own towel. Plus, wrapping your hair in a regular towel can be hard on your neck, and those turban hair towel styles can look pretty adorable!

Got any more hair-related questions? Email the Color Crew, ‘cause we’ve got answers. 

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