All hail, then, to towel maker Aquis's, which has come up with a potential solution. Its self- securing turban (pounds 19.95 by mail order from Plumo, tel: 0181 347 5090) claims to dry your hair fast by absorbing moisture via a unique capillary action. It's made from the same microfibre as Aquis' fast-drying hand towels but is sewn into a curious night cap shape - a rounded end with a button that fits the back of your head, and a pointed end with a loop. Just throw your hair forward and fit the turban over your head, twist the pointed end and secure it onto the button for that classic Hepburn look.
Aesthetics aside, the turban is very comfortable and even stays in place when you pull a T-shirt over your head, allowing you to dress while it dries your hair. After about 15 minutes it has absorbed considerably more water than a normal towel, so you don't need to hand-rub your hair dry, and you gain a good few minutes when blow-drying (thus reducing split ends).
It's also ideal for the gym with its re-usable waterproof bag. But couch- potatoes don't despair. With your towel doing your hairdryer's dirty work, you can make the most of having both hands free: telly changer in one, light snacks in the other. You know it makes sense.