To wash or not to wash, that is the question.
There’s that old wives’ tale that sleeping with wet hair will cause all manner of ailments such as headaches, colds and arthritis.
More importantly, as most hairstylists will tell you, sleeping with wet hair too often can lead to dandruff, fungal infections on your scalp, and hair that is more prone to breakage. Plus, stinky pillows.
Rubbing your hair with any old towel tends to rough up hair cuticles and creates knotty situations while hair dryers tend to damage hair with the heat (the cold air setting doesn’t really dry hair).
But waiting for wet hair to dry be like watching paint dry most days. What do you do when you hate using a hair dryer and have thick, long hair up to your waist?
We road-tested these items to help thick, coarse and long hair go from dripping wet to damp - quickly and without heat or hair dryers. Long-haired girls, you’re welcome.
Guardian Microfiber Hair Turban, $5.90, available at most Guardian stores.
The microfiber fabric is soft (slightly fuzzy) and lightweight compared to using a regular bath towel wrapped around my head.
Plus the turban helps to hold hair securely with the handy button and elastic loop attachment. No more unfurling suddenly when the towel comes undone or wet drippy mess all over.
The material was pretty absorbent and soaked up all the excess water, so there was no dripping at all.
Most of us will not look this chic while balancing a wrapped bath towel around our heads. This hair turban is a nifty alternative for regular folks.
Efficacy: In terms of speed of drying, this cut hair drying time by roughly 25% as compared to leaving wet hair out to air dry.
AQUIS Waffle Luxe Hair Towel, $54, from Sephora.
Made of ultra-fine fibers that are very smooth, this towel has a unique waffle texture to quickly wick water away five times faster than cotton towels without friction, minimizing frizz and damage.
It’s a regular small hair towel size, but feels much lighter compared to a regular cotton towel. The thinness of the material meant it was easier to wrap around hair and tuck in to secure.
As someone with very heavy hair, it did however tend to come undone if I was walking around too much, so I had to use a hair grip to secure at the top.
Efficacy: This cut hair drying time by around 40% as compared to leaving wet hair out to air dry.
IGK No More Blow High Speed Air Dry Spray, $43, from Sephora
Best used on towel dried hair i.e. not sopping wet, this spray has an Advanced Flash Cooling Technology and a blend of lightweight starches which invisibly coat hair strands in order to reduce moisture.
Spray onto hair and massage in section by section. Super effective at drying hair strands – it was almost unbelievable to see how fast hair roots went from wet to barely damp.
There’s one drawback though, the spray straightened my waves as well so hair became pretty straight. It says to twist and scrunch as you spray to encourage curls but that did not really seem to help my curls along.
Efficacy: This cut hair drying time by about 50% as compared to leaving wet hair out to air dry.