Drying natural hair is a necessary component in curly hair maintenance and unlike straight hair, we need to be cautious about how we do it. From air drying, to blow drying (with a diffuser) to hooded dryers, the method needs to be completed without disturbing the curl, drying out the curl and without roughing up the cuticle.
The most popular way to dry your curls before styling is the microfiber towel. A useful tool, the microfiber towel is made up of very fine and densely packed fibers that will not disrupt the hair’s cuticle nor separate the natural clumping of curls which leads to frizz. They also absorb excess moisture from your hair allowing for a faster drying process all without removing too much moisture.
These wonderful tools are making for better curls but they can be pricey. Here are some amazing alternatives that cost dollars less and still get the job done effectively.
The good old paper towel is a great alternative to a microfiber towel. Not ideal for all over drying but rather when your other drying method was interrupted or did not do the job, the paper towel is smooth, soft, and really absorbs a ton of moisture without disrupting the curl or clumping. Not any old paper towel will work as you need a quality brand like Viva or my favorite, Scott.
Simply squeeze and scrunch and blot with the paper towel and never rub. They work perfectly and great for hair that is done but still have some annoying dripping.
An old cotton tee shirt is another favorite alternative and super cheap as everyone has a few lying around. They are soft, absorbent and will be kind to your curls while not adding frizz. I was using a tee for years before getting my microfiber towel and will still use one when my towel is dirty. You can plop hair with an old tee or simply squeeze, scrunch and blog just as you would with a paper towel.
I often lay one on my shoulders when my hair is air drying just to catch the drippings and want to keep my clothing dry and keep my ends from becoming frizzy or frayed from my clothing. Steer clear of tee with screen printing (you can use it inside out) and if you want the shape of a traditional microfiber towel, just cut off the top of the tee where there are the neck and sleeves.
Inexpensive Microfiber Towels
If all else fails and the two prior mentioned alternatives just don’t do it for you there is another alternative to the pricier microfiber towels. Simply opt for purchasing a microfiber towel from the Dollar Tree. Years ago, a fellow hair blogger hipped me to Microfiber Hair Towels and others like it that do a great job of soaking up the water in curly hair without disturbing the curl.
Even Target has lower-priced microfiber towels like the 2in1 Microfiber Drying Towel that’s less than ten dollars or the Microfiber Large Drying Towel which is even under seven dollars. Both are a nice size of over twenty inches so they can easily fit your entire head. Quite often just labeling a microfiber towel, a towel for curly hair, will only increase the price of the towel.
Unfair? Maybe, but there are adequate alternatives to those higher priced microfiber towel that many women have used and are thoroughly happy with. I am not saying those more expensive towels are not worth their weight but when on a budget, a cheaper option that will still get the job done is a great way to get frizz-free curls.
What are you using to dry your natural hair?
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