Disclaimer: I was provided with a free Tee-Owel in exchange for my honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own and are not influenced by the developing company and/or its affiliates in any way.
If you’ve already been following the curly world for a while, you’ll know that most of us don’t use a regular terry cloth towel on our hair. The little loops can snag which can cause breakage and frizz. Two of the most common, gentle alternatives are microfiber and t-shirt material. While some people opt to use a microfiber cloth or a cotton t-shirt, I decided to do a comparison of two of the more popular towels made from the materials- the Aquis Microfiber Towel and the Tee-Owels T-shirt Towel.
Cost and Size
I feel like putting “and size” under the same heading as cost is a little strange, but the cost is linked to the size, so we’re going to talk about them together.
Aquis- $30 for Regular size (19″ x 42″) and $35 for Long hair size (19″ x 52″)
Tee-Owel- $19.99 for the Short size (23″ x 38″) and $21.99 for the Long size (26″ x 46″)
The dimensions have always seemed fairly comparable for my uses, I don’t have a preference to the wider and shorter or slimmer and longer. Both of them are wide enough and long enough for my uses. Since I like leaving the shower with dripping wet hair, I like that both of these are long enough to tie around my neck like a cape. I can’t do that with a small microfiber cloth or a t-shirt very effectively.
Obviously the Tee-Owel cost less. The perk to the Aquis is that it is available at Bed Bath & Beyond, so if you have a great coupon or returned a gift and have credit, you can get it conveniently.
Both are durable. I’ve been using the Tee-Owel for about 2 months (washing approximately weekly) with no visible signs of wear, not even a loose thread. The Aquis no longer looks perfect, but I used it for about 4 years and there are no holes or anything in it.
Absorbency and Desired Results
Microfiber is more absorbent. Whether you want something that’s more absorbent depends on your actual hair goals. It will absolutely cut your dry time, but it will also often result in more frizz. If you’re a volume lover, that could be functional frizz for you to get the volume you want. I also find that it breaks up my clumps a little more, but some people also purposely separate their clumps to help with volume. One of the ways I know I still get the occasional snag while using the microfiber is because I’ll find one or two shed hairs on the towel when I’m done. I don’t get that with the t-shirt material.
T-shirt material is the gentlest of the group. If you love definition and fat juicy clumps (that’s me!), then taking less moisture out of your hair will be the most ideal. You want your hair to form its crunchy gel cast with as much moisture (read: as much water) in your hair as possible. Yes, it will take longer to dry- it took about half an hour to an hour longer for the Tee-Owel side to dry- but if you want those juicy clumps, you need to let your hair marinate.
As a note: I have low porosity strands, so once I’m able to get water into my hair, it REALLY holds onto the water for a while (it takes hours for my hair to air dry.) The difference between the two types of towels may not be as pronounced for someone with higher porosity hair since the hair is losing moisture faster on its own. Since we’re talking entirely about results based on how water is leaving your hair, I can’t imagine that porosity wouldn’t be a major factor.
I don’t think either of these towels would be bad for you. If you’re in the same boat as me, with low porosity hair and are team definition- I would 100% suggest going the t-shirt towel route. If you want definition but still want some root volume, then I still suggest the t-shirt towel since you can use a pick or a wide tooth comb to tussle your roots. If you don’t care about the results as much, just whatever will get your hair dry fastest- definitely go microfiber. If you don’t care much for definition and just want ALL the volume, then microfiber would probably be your best bet.
I hope this helps and if you have any questions, comments, or concerns, feel free to drop them in the comments below.