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Curly Nikki

The Best Drying Methods for Natural Hair

By January 27th, 202125 Comments
The Best Drying Methods for Natural HairStep Away from the Towel
by Shelli of Hairscapades

You’ve washed, detangled and conditioned your hair, rinsing with lukewarm, cool or cold water. You step out of the shower or lift your head from the sink and reach for your bath towel. STOP!!! Put your hands in the air and step away from the towel! You see, that seemingly innocuous, standard shower necessity could destroy all your hard work!! The surface of most standard bath towels disrupts the cuticle layer, separates the natural “clumping” of curls and contributes to frizz. However, there are several options out there for absorbing excess moisture from the hair that reduce/eliminate the drippies without robbing the hair of too much moisture or roughing up its surface.

We’ll start with the “high end” options and work our way towards the items that are probably already in your house … so, you know, “free!!”

The Best Drying Methods for Natural Hair

First up are the Hotheads Hand Dry Hair Towel and Hand Dry Hair Gloves, both around $25. In this post, CurlyNikki listed the Hair Gloves as one of her top five styling tools for “blotting excess moisture prior to applying styling conditioner.”

Next up are the Curls Like Us Curl Cloths pictured far above. These handy, dandy little towels come in a two pack for $24. I actually own a set and have been using them for about a year now with much success. They do what they are supposed to do, are nicely absorbent and the two pack means that you can throw one in the wash and have another ready to go

The Best Drying Methods for Natural HairAnother option is the Aquis Mimi’s Diva Dryer Hair Towel, which runs for $11-13. This is a microfiber towel that claims to be super-absorbent and dry “hair in half the time, so there’s less blow-drying and fewer split ends.” Now, I have no experience with this towel. However, I’ve always been leery of microfiber as it looks like velcro to natural hair. So, this is a product about which I’d love to hear your experiences. Curlmart doesn’t have any reviews of the product, but Amazon has 28 here. You’ll have to be the judge on this one!

The Best Drying Methods for Natural HairThe DevaCurl Deva Towel is another microfiber option that costs about $12 online. It seems to have a lower pile than other versions. Now, y’all know I swear by DevaCare No Poo and DevaCare One Conditioner has been one of my staples for years. However, as many of us know, you may love one thing in a line and hate another. With that being said, the reviews I see on this towel are mixed. Some love it, but find it overpriced online (seems you might be able to find it on the ground for cheaper). Others didn’t like it at all and found it no different from any other microfiber towel. However, regardless of whether they liked it or not, most reviewers indicated that it was too small and would be better in a larger size. However, it is an option, so I wanted to list it. Someone may be looking for a nice, convenient, travel size microfiber towel!! *lol*

Now, although some of the options above are great, there are also a couple of lower cost alternatives that are just as effective.

Though not as pretty, the smooth surface of an old, cotton T-shirt was the inspiration behind Curl Cloths. So, just grab a nicely worn tee (preferably free of heavy, excessive screen print or adornment) and blot away. And, if you want the shape of the Curl Cloths, simply cut off the top portion of the T-shirt to remove the neck and sleeves as demonstrated below. (This is also a nice back-up option when both of your curl clothes are in the laundry! I know from experience! LOL!)

The Best Drying Methods for Natural Hair
Last, but not least, some good old-fashioned paper towels will always get the job done!!! Of course, you may go through an entire roll if your hair is very wet and you have a lot of it! Now that I think about it, in the long run, this option could be more expensive than any of the above, reusable tools!! Regardless, they work in a pinch!! But, you’ll want to make certain that you are using lint-free towels! A head full of white lint would not be the look ;).

The Best Drying Methods for Natural Hair

Finally, whatever option you choose, remember to blot and squeeze your hair to absorb excess moisture. Never scrub or rub.


How do you “dry” your hair damp? We’d love to hear your experiences with any of the above tools or recommendations for others!


  • deep.honey says:

    If you have a really soft beach towel, there's no need to purchase a "special towel."

  • Shelly says:

    I use my husbands old white T-shirt…they work great!!!!

  • Celena3m says:

    I just started using the t-shirt method and I have noticed a difference. I really like it and it's free.

  • felecia says:

    I use the t-shirt method and I love it,my 3c/4a hair has less frizz which I have not problems with that.

  • Anonymous says:

    I have that Diva towel, and yes it does snag, especially the strands that have SSK on the ends. But it dries nicely, and reduces frizz very well

  • Jeanna says:

    I like using an old t-shirt, if anything. Sometimes, I just lightly squeeze my hair (sometimes not) and apply my leave-in condish.

  • Anonymous says:

    One item in this post is a little misleading, Hotheads Hand Dry Hair Towel and Hand Dry Hair Gloves are both made of microfiber. The only non-microfiber option listed is Curls Like Us Curl Cloths. I would have also added air drying and Curlease cloths (100% cotton) to this list.

  • Iman Cassells says:

    I tried to use microfiber that I found at Ross. It was only $8 for a 2 pack, but every time I use it, it feels like velcro to my hair. Used t-shirt this time and liked it.

  • Anonymous says:

    I need to stop using a towel. I always tell my daughter don't rub sort of pat. I wanted to try the gloves… I need invest in one of the other since it's my daughter, son and me whose hair I take care of.

  • akiyia says:

    I always use a Black cotton tee shirt!
    Just incases you have something left in your hair. I hate to see stains on a white shirt ~Smiling
    Great post!

  • Sophia L says:

    T-shirt or air dry for sure! The last time my hair was dried with a towel it was at a salon, directly preceding a terrible cut mostly due to the fact that my hair was a huge ball of horror after being rubbed all over with a towel. Never again.

  • Anonymous says:

    Havent used a towel in years! I just put in a scrunchie out of the shower, apply body moisturizer, then take out the scrunchie to begin styling-need the water to clump curls! dont need towels, just drip dry!!!

  • hairscapades says:

    Again some great ideas!! To those who don't use anything, I should have included air drying in the post!! LOL!! However, I was just thinking about those who like to get rid of some water for TnC, braid out, etc. type styling:). When I did WnG regularly, I didn't use a towel either.


  • adrien says:

    i don't use towels. i used to use a tshirt but now i use a huge polyester/satin wrap/scarf. it keeps my curls super defined. i put it over my head and wrap the back like a bun and it soaks up the water without drying my hair out. or if i'm doing a wng i'll apply my products to soaking hair, then gently wrap it turban style to soak up excess drippage.

  • Anonymous says:

    I blot with flour sack towels from Tarjay. I've never had problems with snags or lint.

  • WineGrrl says:

    P.S. I have the gloves, but I am not exactly impressed with them. I could be using them incorrectly, but I think they probably work well on somewhat longer hair than mine.

  • mangomadness says:

    I use a black cotton t-shirt to squeeze water out of my hair before applying product. It dosen't snag my hair or leave behind lint (like other towels).

  • WineGrrl says:

    I use the CurlEase towels. Microfiber feels strange to me, too! The t-shirt idea sounds pretty good because I have lots of old t-shirts hanging around. I might as well put them to good use.

  • Tamika says:

    I hate microfiber, it feels so icky! I've been using an old T-shirt for a while now and it keeps my hair frizz-free and shiny.

  • Anonymous says:

    I also do not use a towel, I squeeze excess water with my hands and do a few shakes…that's about it!!

  • Anonymous says:

    Usually the microfiber towels I find are too small, but one day I was in the dollar store and saw a microfiber towel that was meant for pets. It's the perfect size for my growing hair. I LOVE it!!!!

  • Anonymous says:

    I don't use a towel on my hair at all. I wonder if I should after this post. Usually I just place a towel around my shoulders and let the hair drip dry on it. Am I alone?

  • MsDiva1658 says:

    I like the t-shirt idea, inexpensive. I have been using it for the past month and notice that my curls are not frizzy. If you live anywhere near the Philly area, you know that we have had record rainfall for the month of August = frizzy hair for me. But the t-shirt has definitelty made a difference. (4a/4b hair).

  • b. says:


    Microfiber towel = automotive section.

    There ya go.

  • Anonymous says:

    I have used paper towel before, but I reakky just use it to stop 'the drip'. I am fortunate that I went natural this summer, so I leave the house with wet hair and give it a few hard shakes after about 3 hours. By the end of tthe work day my hair is dry LOL. I dont know what I am going to do this winter! I like the T-shirt idea. I am just nervous beacuse my 3c/4a hair frizzes (bad frizz versus good/normal frizz) AS SOON AS I TOUCH IT…..

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