The 9 Best Hair Towels of 2023 for Faster, Frictionless Drying

These hair towels cut down drying time and improve hair quality

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Best Hair Towels

Instyle / Kristin Kempa

Confirmed: Your bathroom beauty routine is only complete once you have a quality hair towel. No matter how restorative your hair oil or anti-damaging your heat protectant is, starting your haircare routine with a hair towel is crucial for healthy strands. 

You might think, “Do I need to add another product or step-by-step system to my already busy morning?” But, adding a hair towel to your self-care regimen actually subtracts time instead of adding to it. Their moisture-wicking fabric cuts drying time in half, meaning you can shave several minutes off the time it takes you to get ready simply by investing in a hair towel.

Hair towels aren’t just your regular-old bath towels. They’re lightweight and deliver less friction, so they’ll spare your hair from damage. Plus, they’re comfortable to wear while doing other parts of your routine, like brushing your teeth. Sure, terry-cloth bath towels might be tempting to toss up on your head, but they’re rough and heavy, tugging on the hair when it’s wet and most vulnerable. But tamp down on frizzy flyaways or tangles? Your terry cloth could never. 

Best Overall

Kitsch Microfiber Hair Towel

What We Love: There are so many fun prints and styles to choose from. 

What We Don’t Love: It can fit a little too tightly around the head.

Kitsch’s Quick Dry Hair Towel does exactly what it promises in the name: It speedily dries the hair so much that time can be cut in half. We especially love how practical, stylish and slip-free this soft towel has proven itself to be. The fabric is flexible enough to fit lengthy curls and full heads of hair, suiting every haircare need and it’s impossibly easy to use — just apply a mousse or a leave-in conditioner to wet hair, plop it in the towel and tie it up. And as a bonus, the styles are playful and on-trend.

Price at time of publish: $15

Material: Polyester, polyamide | Size: 14.5” x 24” | Best For: All hair types

Best Budget

Luxe Beauty Essentials Microfiber Hair Towel

 Luxe Beauty Essentials Quick-Dry Microfiber Hair Towel


What We Love: This is a great option for those with longer hair. 

What We Don’t Love: The fabric is on the thinner side. 

For a more affordable alternative, this lightweight towel from Luxe Beauty soaks up moisture just as well as the thicker options on this list. It drastically cuts down drying time and —  for those with coily hair — does so while keeping your natural curl pattern intact. And for those with wavy or straighter textures, your hair will go from sopping wet to a manageable dampness in minutes. We also love how airy this towel feels on the head, almost like a shower cap. However, we wish the towel was longer to accommodate thick or super long hair better. 

Price at time of publish: $15

Material: Microfiber | Size: 24" x 42" | Best For: All hair types

Best Splurge

Crown Affair The Hair Towel

Crown Affair The Hair Towel


What We Love: The gentle weave helps your hair dry much faster, and also much softer and smoother. 

What We Don’t Love: When washing, don’t hang dry by the elastic band, as it will cause the towel to stretch and lose shape.

Crown Affair’s The Hair Towel is splurgey, but we think it’s worth every penny. It’s larger than your average hair towel, making it a terrific option for all hair types and textures — and personalities, too. This towel is a dream for lazy beauty routines or those who simply can’t be bothered to spend a long time styling their hair — it’s the secret for minimal input but scoring maximum output. 

The waffle-weave microfiber sops up all the moisture from hair without needing to rub it dry, and the convenient elastic band ensures it won’t fall off your head or slide around at all. It also makes blow drying hair a snap because you’re already more than halfway there without doing anything at all.

Price at time of publish: $45

Material: Custom microfiber blend | Size: 32” x 38” | Best For: All hair types

Best for Thick Hair

Volo Hero Microfiber Hair Towel

VOLO Hero Hair Towel


Excess water, no more. This hair towel by VOLO is not only gentle and absorbent, but it’s also excellent at wicking away excess moisture. This plush towel is soft and cloud-like while secured on the head (there’s a strap to hold it in place), but don’t let the fluffiness fool you: Its nanoweave is 30% tighter than traditional microfiber, delivering a 50% faster dry time. Even long-hair skeptics will find themselves wrapping every last strand in this towel, as it’s lengthy enough to hold thick, long, and curly types. 

Price at time of publish: $44

Material: Nanoweave | Size: 39.4” x 23.5” | Best For: All hair types

Best Microfiber

Act+Acre Intelligent Hair Towel

 Act+Acre Intelligent Hair Towel

Saks Fifth Avenue

What We Love: It’s extremely effective while still being gentle on the hair. 

What We Don’t Love: It could be longer.

Hygge your haircare routine with this hair towel by Act+Acre. Featuring a waffle weave texture, the thick towel is still delicate on the hair, which is no surprise, considering Act+Acre’s formulas are made with scalp-first science. 

Founder and board-certified trichologist Helen Reavey created the brand intending to put health first; hair health, that is. Dubbed “skincare for your scalp,” the brand’s product line consists of scalp and hair curations made for a variety of needs — from dry to oily and from thin to coily. This “Intelligent” hair towel is beneficial for all hair types to reduce friction, leaving hair in a more manageable state. 

Price at time of publish: $30

Material: Microfiber | Size: 10” x 25” | Best For: All hair types

Best for Damaged Hair

AQUIS Microfiber Hair Towel

AQUIS Microfiber Hair Towel


What We Love: It’s clinically shown to strengthen hair while it dries. 

What We Don’t Love: The fabric is narrower than most other towels. 

The AQUIS Microfiber Hair Towel is a game changer, especially if you regularly use heat or hot tools. This seemingly average towel is next-level great, soaking up excess moisture in an impressively short amount of time. And we mean impressive: Even without wringing out the hair, it’ll be halfway dried in about three to four minutes. Celebrity hairstylist Jenna Perry, founder of Jenna Perry Hair Studio in New York City, recommends this hair towel for fine or brittle hair types because it’s smoothing and restorative, giving life back to dull, limp hair. So, if you’re looking for sleeker hair with less frizz, this wrap should be your go-to, as it’s designed to decrease friction, AKA the ultimate frizz-causer. 

Price at time of publish: $25

Material: Microfiber | Size: 39" x 19" | Best For: Dry, brittle hair

Best for Curly Hair

PATTERN Microfiber Towel

 PATTERN Microfiber Towel


What We Love: Made of premium microfiber, this towel gentle dries hair without disrupting the natural curl pattern.

What We Don’t Love: It can dry almost too quickly, so apply styling products before tossing your hair in this one.

For curlies, coilies, and tight textures looking to keep your curl pattern, you’ve come to the right spot. PATTERN, founded by Emmy-award-winning actress Tracee Ellis Ross, is a haircare line that focuses on fulfilling the unique needs of textured and curly hair. Everything from their tools to their styling products and accessories is designed specifically for hair that has any kind of bend, which is exactly why Ross’s towel earns our top spot for those with curly hair. It will enhance your natural pattern to keep curls defined and frizz-free. 

Material: Polyester, nylon | Size: 29.5" x 27.5" | Best For: Curly hair

Price at time of publish: $19

Best for Long Hair

Sienna Naturals Hair Towel

Sienna Naturals Hair Towel

Sienna Naturals 

What We Love: It’s three times the size of an average hair towel to accommodate all lengths and textures. 

What We Don’t Love: There is no fastener, so it can slip off easily.

No stands will peak through this huge, textured hair towel by Sienna Naturals, as it’s three times the size of regular hair towels, meaning maximum coverage and absorbency. And despite being ultra moisture-penetrable, it prevents hair breakage, damage and frizz, all while cutting down on drying time. Although some brands might claim their towels are made from microfiber, they quite often turn out to be a blend of different fabrics, but this towel is the real deal. We also love this Black-owned brand for their commitment to using responsibly-sourced components for their products.

Price at time of publish: $28

Material: 100% microfiber | Size: 41.5” x 19” | Best For: All hair types

Best Anti-Frizz

Ceremonia Hair Towel

Ceremonia Hair Towel


What We Love: This towel has a generous length that holds thick and long hair. 

What We Don’t Love: It’s almost too plush.

Until I tried this Ceremonia hair towel, I was a non-believer in the brand’s “anti-frizz” guarantee. Before even trying it, I was wowed by its serious softness and featherweight texture. And sure enough, after just one use, my scraggly, poofy curls had been magically transformed into silky, defined waves. Their usual frizzy look and brittle feel was swapped with way more manageable texture — and shine, too! Having the towel on my head feels comfortable and luxurious, like a total self-care dream. 

Price at time of publish: $32

Material: Microfiber | Size: 26” x 10” | Best For: Frizz

What to Keep in Mind


Finding a hair towel that suits your needs depends on your hair length and texture. The standard size of a hair towel is usually 26” x 10” or 28” x 12.” However, those with dense curls, long lengths or thick textures should go for something larger, around 20” x 40”. 


High quality hair towels are usually made from either cotton or microfiber material. Both are safe choices across all hair types and will protect hair from serious friction. Although cotton won’t absorb water from your hair as quickly as a microfiber option would, it is extremely gentle and is a great choice for damaged or chemically treated hair.

Your Questions, Answered

Are hair towels better for your hair than bath towels?

“Absolutely,” says Helen Reavey, USTI Certified Trichologist and founder of Act+Acre. “I always recommend using a hair towel versus a bath towel since they are typically made with softer materials that are better for overall hair health.”

Do hair towels help with frizz?

When hair is wet, Reavey says that its texture “shifts” as the hydrogen bonds break due to water exposure. “These bonds are key in creating your hair’s shape and influence frizz, curl patterns, and general body,” she says. “A hair towel will eliminate breakage when wet, allowing for a frizz-free dry.” 

Why Shop with US

Morgan Sullivan is a freelance commerce writer for InStyle. While researching this story, she tapped celebrity hair stylist Jenna Perry and trichologist Helen Reavey for their insider knowledge on hair towels, including how fabric, stitching and size influence quality and optimum usage. 

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