How to Towel Dry Hair Like a Pro

Written by Allison

Here’s how to towel dry hair… the right way.

Every single time I wash my hair I towel dry then air dry it. I mean, sure, every now and again I’ll blow dry for speed but I’d say I’m a 95% heat-free kind of gal. Because I’m not someone who enjoys spending a lot of time on my hair, I had to learn how to towel dry hair in a way that my hair looked good the next day, not dry or frizzy. This is my tried and true process: how to towel dry hair for straight and wavy hair types.

how to towel dry hair

First up is washing and conditioning the hair. I’m currently using the Purology Clean Volume Shampoo and Conditioner. Make sure you rinse out every little speck of shampoo and conditioner to avoid a product buildup cum flat-roots situation. When I’m done showering I collect the ends of my hair together and squeeze the bulk of the extra water out.

how to towel dry hair

The whole goal, when I learned how to towel dry hair properly, was to do less damage. You don’t want to scrub at your hair with a towel which can rough up the cuticle of the hair (the outer most layer) and leave you looking rough and frizzy. Until I’m ready to start my towel drying process, I just let my hair rest on my towel.

how to towel dry hair

My go-to tools for towel drying hair are:

You’ll note, that we’re not doing the traditional hair piled in towel routine here. I’ve always found that to take much longer to dry, and made my hair frizzy. Instead we’re using the towels to squeeze out the moisture from the hair while avoiding damage or frizz.

how to towel dry hair

The next step is applying the products. I apply the Suave oil (which is really an oil infused serum, so it gives you that silicone slipperiness which is great for detangling) just to the ends of my hair. After I work the Suave oil into the ends of my hair I apply the Bumble and Bumble BB Straight to the length of hair. I usually overlap this over my ends too, which are in need of a trim right now. I totally avoid my roots to make sure I don’t lose volume.

how to towel dry hair

After applying products, I squeeze out the rest of the moisture with the old tee shirt or microfiber towel.   Working from the ends of the hair up, wrap your hair in the towel/tee and gently squeeze. You can always go for the hair-in-towel wrap up, but that isn’t a process that works well for me.

After I squeeze out the water I’ll detangle with a wide tooth comb.

how to towel dry hair

When the bulk of the water has been soaked up by the towel my roots are usually 100% dry and the rest of my hair is around 40% dry.

how to towel dry hair

I let the ends do their thing and air dry the rest of the way. If I really want the wavy look I may braid my hair at this point.

how to towel dry hair

The next morning I’m left with dry, shiny, smooth hair that can be styled any way.

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About the author


Bio: She's a New Orleans based beauty writer, nail polish hoarder, and doughnut enthusiast. When she isn't camping out in her local coffee shop for hours on end, you'll probably find her taking selfies in front of every colorful wall she's ever seen. Follow along on Instagram @allisonmarieschmidt.

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