Byrdie April 24, 2024



The 15 Best Hair Towels That Dry Without Damage or Static


Get a dry, smooth and shiny style in record time with ultra-absorbent but gentle hair towels.

After a shower, you probably toss your soggy towel around your head; an afterthought to kick-start the hair-drying process. But wait: did you know that wet, terry cloth towels can be the culprit of your breakage, static, limp curls, and flat waves? 

“When hair is wet, it’s in its most fragile state and the most prone to breakage,” explains hairstylist Becca Panos. Because strands are less elastic when they’re wet, they’re more likely to snap. Giving your hair a little extra TLC with a hair towel during this often-overlooked step in your hair care routine can go a long way. Designed to be extra absorbent and gentle enough to prevent damage, these nifty towels help reduce static and speed up dry times.

We researched some of the most popular and high-quality hair towels, evaluating each on material, absorbency, value, and consumer reviews. Finally, we combined these insights with stylist recommendations to compile a list of our favorite hair towels to leave your strands silky smooth.

Best Overall

Volo Hero Microfiber Hair Towel

What We Like

  • Highly absorbent
  • Softer and thicker than most
  • Stays in place

What We Don't Like

  • Sheds a little before first wash

Material: Microfiber, polyester blend | Absorbency: Super | Hair Type: All hair types | Machine Washable: Yes

Yes, this is a dedicated hair towel, but we’d really like it if the brand made it in a full-size body version—it’s one of the loveliest, plushest towels we’ve ever used. Unlike many other hair towels that can be thin and flimsy, this one is extra thick and made of an extremely absorbent microfiber—one that absorbs 10 times its weight in water. The size is ideal for long hair lengths, and the built-in loop easily creates a turban that stays in place.

Best Overall, Runner-up

Act+Acre Intelligent Hair Towel

What We Like

  • Very effective
  • Waffle weave is pretty
  • Gentle on hair

What We Don't Like

  • Could be bigger

Material: Microfiber, polyester blend | Absorbency: Super | Hair Type: All hair types | Machine Washable: Yes

“Light and super absorbent, this is a great option that helps reduce hair breakage,” says Panos. Act+Acre claims the towel's waffle weave texture cuts dry time in half and helps to protect hair when it’s in its most vulnerable state. We just wish it was slightly bigger since some people point out it can be a bit small for those with thicker and/or longer hair.

Best Fabric Feel

Crown Affair The Hair Towel

What We Like

  • Elegant waffle weave microfiber
  • Has loop to hold it in place
  • Great for reducing breakage and static

What We Don't Like

  • A bit on the short side
  • Elastic headband will stretch out if hung incorrectly

Material: Microfiber, polyester and nylon blend | Absorbency: Super | Hair Type: All hair types | Machine Washable: Yes (do not hang to dry by elastic band) 

Yes, Crown Affair's The Hair Towel is a bit of a splurge, but this elegant option has garnered loyalty from users who say it’s a game-changer for preventing damage and keeping hair smooth and soft. It dries hair quickly while being extra-gentle on damaged strands, thanks to both its pretty waffle weave construction and microfiber material. Our one wish is that it was a touch longer, as this towel may prove a bit short for those with mermaid-length manes.

Best Budget

Turbie Twist Microfiber Towel

What We Like

  • Least expensive on our list per towel
  • Has a tried-and-true history
  • Comes in a four-pack

What We Don't Like

  • Material can feel a bit thin

Material: Microfiber, polyester, polyamide blend | Absorbency: Super | Hair Type: All hair types | Machine Washable: Yes

“Life-changing,” “simple to use,” and “effective” are just a few of the words happy online reviewers use to describe this extra wallet-friendly pick. If you’re thinking this towel sounds familiar, you’re right—it was a major infomercial player back in the day. It’s clearly stood the test of time and Amazon shoppers give it five-star ratings over and over again. Plus, you get a four-in-one pack, so you’ll always have a hair towel on hand.

Best Microfiber

Youlertex Microfiber Hair Towel

What We Like

  • Comes in a two-pack
  • Great size
  • Helps dry hair faster

What We Don't Like

  • Material can feel a bit thin

Material: Microfiber, polyester | Absorbency: Super | Hair Type: All hair types | Machine Washable: Yes

Because it’s innately quick-drying, microfiber is easily the most common hair towel material. This one is an especially great choice—it’s an Amazon standout, with over 43,000 (yes, you read that correctly) glowing five-star ratings. The size is great for all lengths of hair, and the price can’t be beaten. Even more so considering this comes in a pack of two towels, with more than 15 colors to choose from.

Best for Static Control

DuraComfort Essentials Anti-Frizz Towel

What We Like

  • Good for all hair types
  • Cotton microfiber material
  • Gentle on hair

What We Don't Like

  • Could be longer

Material: Microfiber, cotton | Absorbency: Super | Hair Type: All hair types | Machine Washable: Yes

A great option for all hair types—even super coarse and thick, which is the most prone to frizz—this towel both sops up tons of water and doesn’t rough up the cuticle (which, spoiler alert, can lead to static). Reviewers repeatedly point out that it speeds up dry time in a big way and is super effective at smoothing and taming frustrating static.

Best Quick-Drying

HOPESHINE Microfiber Turban

What We Like

  • Very absorbent
  • Comes in a three-pack
  • Helps dry hair faster

What We Don't Like

  • Could be longer

Material: Microfiber, polyester, polyamide blend | Absorbency: Super | Hair Type: All hair types | Machine Washable: Yes

To be fair, all hair towels will help dry your hair faster than a standard towel, but this one definitely excels. It’s made of soft, super-absorbent microfiber and comes in a unique kite shape with a button fastener that makes wrapping it around your hair and head easy and comfortable. Our go-to move is to wrap it into a turban and go about our makeup or skincare routine; by the time we’re done, our hair is noticeably drier. Plus, it comes in a pack of three so you don’t need to worry about constantly washing or reusing one towel.

Best for Curly Hair

DevaCurl DevaTowel

What We Like

  • Soft and fluffy
  • Great, large size
  • Smooths staticky hair

What We Don't Like

  • Only comes in a pack of one

Material: Microfiber | Absorbency: Moderate | Hair Type: Curly and wavy | Machine Washable: Yes

Curly hair types are more prone to friction, making a dedicated hair towel even more important. Panos says this is her favorite for the curly-haired crowd. Along with helping to smooth, it also reduces the likelihood of static cling and cuts down on dry time, too, of course. Designed by DevaCurl, a brand dedicated to all things curly hair, you can trust that this hair towel will keep your curls intact and looking their best.

Best for Long Hair

Luxe Beauty Essentials Microfiber Hair Towel

What We Like

  • The largest towel on this list
  • Ultra-absorbent
  • Keeps long hair in place

What We Don't Like

  • Reviewers say it could be more absorbent

Material: Microfiber | Absorbency: Super | Hair Type: All hair types | Machine Washable: Yes

As anyone with long hair will tell you, having your wet ends sticking out of a turban can leave you with annoyingly soggy tips. Enter this oversized option, one of the biggest we’ve seen—20 inches by 40 inches, to be exact—making it a breeze to wrap up every last inch of your hair (and still have room to spare). And, of course, you still get all of those static-fighting and speed-drying benefits.

Best for Short Hair

Aquis Microfiber Hair Towel

What We Like

  • Very absorbent and effective
  • Non-bulky
  • Washes and lasts well

What We Don't Like

  • Could be longer

Material: Microfiber, polyester, nylon blend | Absorbency: Super | Hair Type: All hair types | Machine Washable: Yes

If you have short hair, you’ve probably experienced a big towel falling frustratingly off your head. This compact towel is here to save your neck from the weight and save your hair from the slippage. “This is a great towel because it really does reduce drying time,” says Panos of one of her favorites. It’s made of a proprietary material, a super-soft microfiber blend that’s also extremely lightweight and not bulky in the least. To that point, the towel itself also dries super quickly.

Best T-shirt Towel

Tee-Owel T-Shirt Towel

What We Like

  • Soft and slightly stretchy
  • Comes in various colors
  • Helps tame static

What We Don't Like

  • No button/loop to hold in place

Material: Cotton | Absorbency: Super | Hair Type: All hair types | Machine Washable: Yes

No hair towel handy? True story, you can use a plain old cotton T-shirt and reap many of the same benefits, says Panos. Or you can try this pick, which works for all hair types but is especially great for static prevention in curly hair. It’s made of cotton but is just ever-so-slightly stretchy enough to give you the best wrap and hold. It comes in a variety of colors and two different sizes for different hair lengths. But, be aware that it doesn’t have a loop or button to hold it in place, so it may be more prone to slip off for those with very short or very long hair.

Best Towel Alternative

Volo Scrunchie

What We Like

  • Multipurpose
  • Doesn't tug
  • Keeps hair in place

What We Don't Like

  • Doesn't dry hair like a towel

Material: Microfiber, polyester blend | Absorbency: Super | Hair Type: All hair types | Machine Washable: Yes

Don’t feel like rocking a towel turban? In our humble opinion, these towel-inspired scrunchies are a brilliant invention. They’re thicker than a standard scrunchie and made from a similar microfiber material to the brand’s towel (the one we loved so much we named it our overall winner).

Of course, the small surface area of this scrunchie means it will only be able to absorb moisture from the parts of your hair it touches. But reviewers have been pleasantly surprised by how much water it absorbs, and it will certainly hold your hair safely out of your face—without causing breakage—while you do your makeup. You get a pack of two, and, top tip, they’re not only great for post-hair-washing but also to use during sweaty workouts or a day at the beach. They’re also extremely gentle on hair, never pulling or tugging.

Best Wrap

Kitsch Microfiber Hair Towel

What We Like

  • Made from super absorbent microfiber
  • Elastic trim for easy hair tuck
  • Comes in fun prints and colors

What We Don't Like

  • Only comes in one size

Material: Microfiber | Absorbency: Super | Hair Type: All hair types | Machine Washable: Yes

Although you’d think wrapping your hair in a towel should be foolproof, there’s a knack for getting it right (scroll down for tips from our expert). This turban-style wrap from Kitsch makes the whole process seamless thanks to its curved shape, which gently cradles wet strands, elasticated edge, which keeps hair from falling loose, and loop-to-button fastening at the nape of the neck to keep the whole thing secure. Made from 100% microfiber, it efficiently wicks moisture without robbing your hair of its natural oils, drying strands while leaving them hydrated and healthy looking.

Best for Damaged Hair

Aquis Flip Pearl

What We Like

  • Includes antimicrobial copper
  • Fastens securely without tugging
  • Helps define waves and curls
  • Reduces static

What We Don't Like

  • Some reviewers say it didn’t decrease drying time by much

Material: 70% recycled polyester, 25% nylon, 5% copper | Absorbency: Super | Hair Type: All hair types | Machine Washable: Yes

Dry, damaged hair can use all the help it can get—and that includes a drying routine that preserves hydration and hair health as much as possible. Enter the Aquis Flip Pearl, a unique towel made from recycled polyester and nylon to absorb water without friction, plus antimicrobial copper to keep the fabric bacteria-free. In clinical trials, participants who regularly bleached their hair found that using the Aquis Flip Pearl left their strands five times stronger than heat drying. The clever design stays secure around the hairline without tugging and can be left open for faster air drying.

Best Overnight

Coco & Eve Microfibre Hair Towel Wrap

What We Like

  • Made from moisture-wicking fabric
  • Helps reduce static
  • Can be used overnight with a hair mask
  • Works on long, thick hair

What We Don't Like

  • Doesn’t come with instructions on how to fasten it

Material: 75% Polyester, 25% Polyamide | Absorbency: Super | Hair Type: All hair types | Machine Washable: No. Hand wash only. 

When your hair needs some TLC, reach for Coco & Eve’s Hair Towel Wrap. The beloved haircare brand suggests slathering on a nourishing hair mask, securing the towel, and letting the product do its thing overnight before washing your hair again in the morning. Your strands will be softer and your bedsheets will remain clean. Of course, you can use this turban any time to aid in the drying process while reducing static, and we’re more than a little obsessed with the tropical leaf print. Some reviewers complained that the towel doesn’t come with instructions, but as long as you keep the button at the nape of your neck, twist the towel around your hair, and fasten it with the loop, you can’t go wrong.

What to Look for in a Hair Towel

  • Material: When it comes to hair towels, hairstylist Michelle O’Connor says the first feature to look at is the material to ensure it won’t damage your hair. And whatever you do, avoid traditional terry cloth. “Whether you have curly or straight hair, terry cloth tends to rough up the hair shaft, which causes static and may even contribute to split ends,” she says. A good rule of thumb? If it feels nice and soft on your face, it’ll be nice and soft on your hair, too. 
  • Buttons or Fasteners: Another feature O’Connor recommends looking for is a towel that can button or fasten to stay on your head. “These will allow you to twist and wrap functionally and easily,” she says. Nobody wants to have to constantly rewrap their towel, especially if you’re drying your hair while getting dressed or doing your makeup, so products that are designed to stay put will make the process much less of a hassle. 
  • Size: O’Connor also recommends looking for a product that’s the right size for your hair length and thickness. “Larger towels are always going to have a greater function for thicker and longer lengths, as you want to have your hair fully encapsulated and covered while soaking up excess water,” she says. Those with shorter hair won’t need all of that extra fabric and can opt for smaller designs.


How do you wrap hair in a towel?

When wrapping your hair in a towel, O’Connor recommends first beginning with freshly washed hair that’s saturated with your styler or leave-in product of choice, then laying your towel out on a chair, bed, or countertop. “Flip your head forward and lay your hair in the center of the towel,” she says. “Then place half of the towel at the nape of your neck and gather the sides, bringing them around to the front. Next, roll the fabric in the front once or twice, folding it back over the crown of your head, tucking any hanging pieces back under the nape of the neck.” If your towel has a button or fastener, you’ll simply twist the towel back over the head to fasten in place, rather than tucking.

How do you plop hair with a towel?

If you're not familiar with plopping, it’s a hair-wrapping method used for curls that helps preserve their shape and reduce static. O’Connor recommends plopping the hair by following the same steps as above, being sure to either use a microfiber towel or a t-shirt to wrap the hair. Just be sure to slowly lower your hair into the towel or t-shirt as you begin to preserve your natural curl pattern.

Why Trust Byrdie

Byrdie contributor Melanie Rud has over a decade of experience in the beauty industry, writing for some of the biggest magazines and websites out there. While working on this article she consulted two experts: 

Becca Panos is a stylist at Maxine Salon in Chicago. She’s known for outstanding long haircuts, as well as being a bridal hair expert. 

Michelle O’Connor is an award-winning professional hairstylist and the Artistic Director at Matrix as well as a hair educator. 

This article was updated by Byrdie contributors Natalie Rahhal, who has nearly a decade of experience covering health and wellness, and Esme Benjamin, a freelance writer, editor, and podcaster based in New York.