How to Choose the Best Towel for Towel Drying Hair

How to Choose the Best Towel for Towel Drying Hair

Towels are a fast and easy hair-drying solution, especially for salons looking to save time between clients. However, poor towel choices and drying techniques have created an epidemic of frizzy, dry and broken hair. Towels come in almost any combination of weights and fibers. But not all towels are kind on clients’ hair. Below, we discuss the best towels for drying hair and share tips for towel drying and caring for salon towels.

How to Choose a Towel to Dry Hair

The best hair-drying towels are designed to be effective across the spectrum of human hair types, making them ideal for salons where stylists handle all kinds of hair. They’re also gentle enough to prevent further damage if clients already have damaged hair.

Consider the Material

The towel material you choose determines how well you can dry your client’s hair and how healthy you leave it. Microfiber salon towels are the best for hair drying because they’re soft, lightweight and have higher absorbency than conventional salon towels. 

Microfiber towels are made up of millions of tiny fibers at least 10 to 50 times thinner than a human hair strand. The fibers of a microfiber towel aren’t looped like terry cloth towels. Instead, they are split to create a greater surface area, allowing them to absorb more water at a faster rate than normal bath towels. Microfibers don’t snag or catch on hair, either, ensuring cuticles remain intact. They also cause minimal friction, which prevents frizz and split ends.

Cotton is one of the more absorbent towel materials, so it typically works well for salon clients. Plus, it cleans up easily. Another good option is 100% cotton towels, which rival the softness and absorption rates of microfiber towels. They last long and maintain their form and structure for longer when you wash and maintain them well.

Another good option is 100% cotton towels, which rival the softness and absorption rates of microfiber towels.

Select the Right Size and Weight

At some point, every stylist has needed to use several towels for what should have been a one-towel job. The best salon towels can wrap around a client’s hair and stay in place, providing sufficient coverage without causing too much friction. So, smaller towels work for short hair, but you need bigger ones for clients with long hair.

Steer clear of heavy towels that pull at your client’s hair strands, causing them to tangle, stretch and break. Heavy towels may also strain clients’ neck, shoulders, and back muscles because of the increased weight when they soak up water from their hair.

Determine the Quality and Construction 

When choosing salon towels, choose high-quality options that will withstand numerous washes between clients. The constant flow of towels in and out of the washing machine makes it essential to purchase bulk towels that hold up against multiple washings without falling apart. Again, microfiber salon towels are ideal because they last longer than cotton and can withstand 1,000 washes without losing their absorbency and softness.

When choosing a salon towel that will last several years, numerous washes and salon chemicals and treatments, look for:

  • Tight stitching without any loose threads.
  • Reinforced double-turned edges because the hems are less likely to come loose in the wash.
  • Bleach-safe towels resistant to bleaches, peroxides and other chemical hair treatments.
  • Color-safe towels that retain their color when exposed to different types of color treatments.

The Best Hair Drying Techniques

After choosing the best towels, you must learn how to towel dry hair to ensure fast drying while preventing damage to clients’ hair. The following are the two best methods of drying hair using a towel.

1. Blot and Squeeze

The blot and squeeze technique begins by removing excess water from the client’s hair while they’re still at the sink. You’ll take portions of the hair and run your hand vertically down each section to press the water out. Once they’re up from the sink, take sections and press them on both sides with a salon towel, starting at the roots and working your way down to the ends.

Apply light pressure when squeezing to reduce friction that can damage the client’s hair, causing frizz and split ends. Being gentle and avoiding twisting or wringing motions also allows the hair to dry smoothly without tangling.

2. The Towel Wrap

It is not bad to wrap hair in a towel. Wrapping hair is especially effective for clients with long hair. This method requires a larger towel than blotting — it doesn’t have to be as large as a bath towel, but it needs to be at least big enough to wrap the hair. Here’s how to get the perfect towel wrap every time:

  1. Start by squeezing excess water from your clients at the sink to make towel drying more effective.
  2. Find the middle along the long edge. Place the edge of the towel on the back of the client’s neck against the hairline.
  3. Pull the sides of the towel together at the forehead, making sure to contain the hair inside of the towel.
  4. Twist the towel, starting as close to the forehead as possible. Continue twisting in the same direction until you have a thick twist that you flip on top of the head. 

Always make sure that all the hair is hanging in the same direction before you wrap — if it’s tangled or stuck in multiple directions, it will dry in strange positions and interfere with styling. Similarly, you don’t want to leave hair in a towel too long, or the hair at the hairline will dry pulled back, possibly with a bump from the towel’s edge.

Additionally, be careful not to twist the towel too hard. This could pull and stress the hair, causing breaks. You want the wrap to be tight enough that the twist stays put but not so tight that there’s an uncomfortable pulling sensation at your client’s scalp.

You want the wrap to be tight enough that the twist stays put but not so tight that there's an uncomfortable pulling sensation at your client's scalp.

Towel Drying by Hair Type

Every person has a unique hair type, texture and needs. What works for someone with thin, fine hair probably won’t translate to someone with thick, bushy curls. While stylists group hair texture into many different categories, we’re just discussing the major groups: straight, wavy and curly.

1. Straight Hair

Typically, straight hair has abundant natural oil, giving it a smoother and shinier appearance than curlier hair. For people with straight hair, retaining moisture generally is not an issue. Instead, a common problem is how to increase volume, especially when towel drying. However, when towel drying is done right, it helps retain volume and add more texture to straight hair. Here’s how to do it right:

  • Avoid rubbing the hair with a towel. Instead, try blotting or wrapping using a microfiber towel.
  • Spray some dry shampoo at the roots and rub it into the crown for an instant lift.
  • When applying products after drying the hair, use a wide-tooth comb to ensure even distribution.

2. Wavy and Curly Hair

Because wavy and curly hair types have plenty of volume but much less moisture, adding and retaining hydration is the key to a stunning textured hairstyle. These hair types require extra care and attention when towel drying because the wrong kind of towel can counteract all efforts at conditioning and smoothening. You can towel dry wavy and curly hair by:

Wavy and Curly Hair

  • Using a microfiber towel to reduce friction.
  • Avoiding any rubbing to prevent frizz and breakage. Instead, stick to blotting and wrapping.
  • Pairing towel drying with a leave-in conditioner to minimize frizz.
  • Avoiding alcohol-based ingredients, as these dry out wavy or curly hair.
  • Sticking to hydrating ingredients like shea butter, argan oil and aloe.
  • Recommending ceramides to clients to repair their damaged strands.

Tips for Salons and Stylists

While buying the right type of salon towels is crucial, you should also take time to ensure they stay in great shape to provide the best results to clients. You can apply the following strategies:

  • Recycle older towels when they become worn. Otherwise, they will make drying clients’ hair challenging. If you cannot completely restock your supply of salon towels at once, set up a monthly system of pulling older towels and buying replacements. Eventually, all your towels will be newer and performing well.
  • Reduce static cling in the dryer, as it can transfer to a client’s hair. Try tossing a crumpled aluminum foil ball or old tennis ball into the drying cycle to limit static while improving fluffiness. 
  • Avoid washing your salon towels using fabric softeners and dryer sheets as they negatively impact the absorbency, breathability and fluffiness. Use acidic treatments like vinegar and baking soda to soak up odors and musty smells, leaving your towels smelling fresher than ever.
  • Avoid washing your salon towels in hot water. Instead, use warm or cold water and the delicate washer setting to prevent fading and ensure durability.
  • Do not use too much detergent to wash your towels because it’ll make the towels lose their fluffiness and become stiff.
  • While overloading your machine with dirty salon towels may seem convenient, wash in small loads to avoid restricting water flow and preventing efficient cleaning.
  • Air dry your salon towels on a clothesline outside or an indoor drying rack. This helps minimize the likelihood of mold growing on the towels and keeps them looking and smelling fresh.
  • Clean your towels regularly. A sanitized towel is always going to work better than one that has been repeatedly used without going through the washing machine.

Shop Wholesale Salon Towels From Towel Super Center

Shop Wholesale Salon Towels From Towel Super Center

The secret to maintaining near-perfect towels at your salon is to have enough to keep them in rotation. At Towel Super Center, we offer various salon towels in different sizes, materials, colors and types. Whether you’re looking for the perfect towel for drying, shampooing or coloring clients’ hair, we have the right choice for you.

You can save money by ordering your salon towels in bulk from us because you get to enjoy our discounted wholesale prices. Browse and shop our selection of high-quality and affordable salon towels today.

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