October 4, 2022

Orange and blue Kitsch towel scrunchie with coordinating accessories and pool background

Having thick, wavy hair is both a blessing and a curse. I love having natural volume, endless options for styling, and being able to get away with one or two shampoos a week. The problem is that my mane takes forever to dry, and as someone who tends to shower late at night, I’ve resigned to losing sleep waiting for it to air dry just enough to keep from sopping my pillows.

Towel scrunchies sounded like just what I needed to speed my drying process up, so I was excited to give them a go. But are they really worth adding to your haircare arsenal? Keep reading to find out if they worked for me.

What Are Towel Scrunchies?

Towel scrunchies are intended to be used on wet hair, speeding up the drying process as you apply your skincare and makeup. The idea is that your hair will be closer to dry by the time you finish everything else, and if you plan on blow drying, you’ll get it done much quicker.

Apart from streamlining your post-shower routine, towel scrunchies are perfect for throwing your hair up after a swim at the pool or beach. They can also wick away sweat during and after a workout.

Terrycloth vs. Microfiber

When shopping for towel scrunchies, you’ll come across both terrycloth and microfiber versions. Terrycloth is the standard for tried-and-true towel fabric. Woven with loops on both sides for increased surface area, this plush, durable material is ideal for absorbing and holding water. Microfiber, in contrast, pulls water out of your hair between the fabric’s fibers, then releases it to evaporate.

Each one suits different needs, especially depending on the length and thickness of your hair. As a general guide, since terrycloth is made to absorb, a terrycloth towel scrunchie will objectively pull more water out of your hair. A large terrycloth towel scrunchie could likely bring short, fine hair to a nearly dry state, but it will cause more friction, just like a regular towel. On the other hand, microfiber is a bit easier on your hair, making it ideal for a smoother result. Plus, since it doesn’t hold the water, if you have long or thick hair, microfiber won’t weigh you down.

How to Use Towel Scrunchies

After researching and evaluating my own hair needs, I decided to opt for Kitsch’s microfiber Towel Scrunchie ($18 for 2), which is made of a blend of organic cotton and bamboo. The large size held my hair firmly in place with no give. However, I did find the structure and material a bit inflexible and difficult to stretch around my bun twice, even though my hair isn’t super long.

I wanted to give it a good go in a couple of different settings, so I even disrupted my beloved nighttime shower routine. I tried taking a midday shower before an event, tying my hair up with the towel scrunchie while I got ready. It was nice being able to get dressed without my hair dripping all over my outfit, and I was able to apply skincare and makeup with ease. However, the bulky size of the scrunchie didn’t feel casually wearable (and the tie-dye pattern, though cute, clashed with my outfit), so after about an hour, I still left the house with fairly wet hair.

Conversely, I liked the results when I wore it to sleep. I washed my hair at night and applied my usual products, then tied my hair into the same low bun I normally do. When I woke up, I was pleased to find that the bun didn’t shift at all, which can be a problem on nights when I move in my sleep. Moreover, I had simply gotten used to a slightly damp pillowcase on those mornings, so I was pleased to see that the towel scrunchie minimized that issue. I took my hair out, scrunched it a few times, and let it finish air drying for hassle-free waves.

Benefits of Towel Scrunchies

While my experience with the towel scrunchie varied depending on how I used it, I found it to have some key benefits in comparison with using a regular towel. As long as you figure out what works for you, it can streamline your post-shower routine in a few ways.

  • Lighter and less breakage: A twisted-up towel usually tugs my head in all directions, so towel scrunchies saved me from some major neck pain. The weight of an increasingly wet towel can also cause breakage not only throughout the hair’s shaft, but directly at the roots, particularly along your hairline. Keeping my hair in a low bun with a towel scrunchie felt much easier on my scalp.
  • Freeing up your face: I always find myself having to shift towels around during my skincare routine to be able to get to all edges of my face. The towel scrunchie eliminates that problem—now, it’s as easy as nights when I haven’t washed my hair.
  • Limiting heat exposure: I try to avoid heat styling as much as possible. When I tried the towel scrunchie overnight, my hair was in the ideal state for a 10-minute blast of heat (much shorter than it usually takes me) before leaving for the day. If you blow dry your hair often, the limited heat exposure will really add up over time, so using a towel scrunchie (as well as a good heat protectant) will help to keep you from doing too much damage.

Drawbacks of Towel Scrunchies

As I said before, I did find the scrunchie a bit hard to work with at first. My head felt a bit tight, but my towel scrunchies did loosen up after a few uses. The scrunchie itself also took ages to dry after doing its job on my hair, which made me grateful that it comes in packs of two.

While towel scrunchies can help to speed up the drying process, the results aren’t revolutionary. A towel scrunchie will never fully dry your hair, especially if it’s fuller like mine, and it still left my hair fairly wet after an hour, so I really needed to use it overnight. You’ll probably notice a more drastic difference if you have short- to medium-length, fine hair.

The Best Towel Scrunchies to Try

Two pink Kitsch microfiber towel scrunchies
Kitsch Towel Scrunchie 2-Pack $18.00

The set I tested, these microfiber scrunchies are made of natural materials and are a good option for those with longer or thicker hair. While it took some trial and error to figure out my ideal method, I liked how they reduced drying time and allowed me to avoid a wet pillowcase.

Three Conair microfiber scrunchies in black, gray, and leopard print
Conair Basik Microfiber Scrunchies $12.00

These microfiber towel scrunchies come in a pack of three, making for a good deal as well as an ideal option for those who frequently swim or wash their hair daily. You’ll be sure to always have a fresh one to use, even if some of your scrunchies are still drying out.

Blue and white patterned microfiber towel scrunchie
Hairitage by Mindy Soak It Up Absorbent Microfiber Hair Scrunchie $6.00

A great budget option, this towel scrunchie was designed with all hair types in mind, and the brand promises a flexible but secure hold. We love this blue and white design, which makes a statement if you’re using it poolside or have some errands to run.

Large white towel scrunchie from Leandro Limited
Leandro Limited Jumbo Towel Scrunchie $7.00

Have long or thick hair? This jumbo-sized terrycloth towel scrunchie may be the answer you’ve been waiting for. Designed with hair health at the forefront, Leandro Limited’s offering will speed up dry time while minimizing breakage.

Set of five green, yellow, and brown terrycloth scrunchies
Urban Outfitters Terrycloth Scrunchie Set $15.00

If you’re a frequent towel scrunchie user or looking to maximize the bang for your buck, this Urban Outfitters set gives you a whopping five terrycloth scrunchies in a variety of summery colors and patterns.

Three terrycloth towel scrunchies in green, yellow, and orange/green stripe
Wild Fable Terry Cloth Hair Twisters $5.00

These terrycloth towel scrunchies are the best value of them all at less than $2 per unit. The bright color scheme is perfect for after taking a dip at the beach or pool.

The Final Takeaway

Do towel scrunchies streamline your beauty routine? Not quite for me. They’re a great solution for keeping wet hair out of the way while I complete my skincare and makeup regimens, but as far as drying speed goes, the scrunchie didn’t make a massive difference. If you’re looking for something with major drying power, you’re probably better off investing in a towel wrap. Still, the scrunchie is helpful for certain situations: I’ll probably continue to use it when I sleep with my hair wet, and I do plan to keep one on hand this summer when I hit the beach.