From protecting wet hair to eliminating frizz and friction overnight, investing in a hair towel wrap or turban is a great way to look after your locks.
Towel hair wraps come in a mixture of materials, from microfibre to polyester, while satin and silk are the go-to materials for sleep turbans.
While wet, hair becomes most vulnerable to breakage, and needs some extra TLC – being too heavy-handed with a towel can expose cuticle edges, causing frizz and strand damage, which is why gently patting or scrunching the hair minimises that risk.
James Fisher, creative director and co-founder of eco hair salon Whip London, explains: “After washing your hair it’s advisable to wrap it in a fine, quick-drying hair towel or turban while you get ready to go, rather than rubbing ferociously with your rough, cotton bath towel which can easily damage your fragile locks.”
It’s also true that tossing and turning as you sleep at night doesn’t do much for your hair’s condition either. James recommends silk turbans to prevent snapping. “Wrapping hair overnight is also protective and restorative, and lets the natural oils produced by your scalp gently seep into the strands.”
Silk hair wraps help retain moisture overnight, hydrating afro and curly hair textures in particular – if your hair is naturally curly, these products are even more effective at helping you escape frizz. And by keeping tonged hair kink-free and helping to avoid curls dropping, silk hair wraps also keep styles in place.
Wraps are also said to be effective for post-partum hair loss and thinning hair. So, if you’re looking to keep hair smooth and static-free, while protecting it from unnecessary damage, we’ve found the best hair towel wraps and turbans to buy.
Each product we tried needed to fit comfortably, and although our tester’s hair is fine and long, we made sure to bear in mind thicker hair types too. Read on for our top picks.
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This Is Silk silk hair towel wrap
A compact and delicate wrap, this design was created by constructing 100 per cent mulberry silk into a jersey knit, maximising stretch and surface area. We found that the towel isn’t hugely porous, which is why it’s best to use on damp rather than wet hair. Stretchy edging makes the wrap flexible, and its elasticated tie and button gently fasten to hold hair in place.
When we started to blow dry our hair after use, we were amazed by how easy it was to comb through. We found far less tangles, and previously knotty hair felt much smoother and softer to style. Plus, our dried hair looked glossier, with no product difference between that wash and another other than using the silk hair towel wrap. This smooth, static-free finish was still in place the next day too. Who knew a towel wrap could leave hair looking so deeply conditioned with minimal effort?
Aquis lisse luxe hair turban
Coming in a resealable, recyclable bag for travel or storage, this one also comes with a silicone hair tie. Our hair dried in record time, going from wet to drip-free – and only slightly damp – in 20 minutes, while there was also no soggy feeling caused by a wet towel sitting at the nape of our neck. It gave a really comfy wear as it didn’t pull or feel too tight. Made from the brand’s own fabric, Aquitex, you can tell the polyester-nylon-mix material is based on quick-dry sportswear.
Not only did this product ensure our hair became towel dry the fastest, but after finishing with a hairdryer, our tester’s tresses looked shiny, healthy, and free of annoying flyaway frizz. It holds heat well, so we found the turban useful for covering a treatment mask too. You can also shop double-layer versions, complete with a charmeuse side, to wear as a silky style hair wrap too.
Slip leopard turban
Entirely made from silk and free from any elastic whatsoever, this deluxe double-lined turban can be bought in leopard, pink or black styles. It’s a generous size, with lots of room left after tucking our long locks in, without any slipping off at all. Featuring a wrap front with gentle ruching at the back, our tester found the fit relaxed and gentle on both hair and head – so much so that we almost forgot we were wearing it upon waking up.
Slipping the wrap off, our tester’s hair wasn’t dented by sleep – we’d curled our locks before bed, and they were still wavy and bouncy in the morning. Another unexpected benefit we found was that this wrap is good for keeping hair off your forehead and face during make-up application, as it sits loosely without digging into the skin. And the leopard print effect is a very stylish plus point.
Coco & Eve microfibre hair towel wrap
Arriving complete with a useful biodegradable zip-lock storage bag, we love the fun pink and green leaf print of this wrap. Made from a polyester and polyamide mix, the towel has a fluffy soft inside to protect your hair. We thought this turban soaked up water well to reduce our blow-dry time, and hair was less tangled while brushing. The loop tie doesn’t stretch, but there’s enough towel material for it to easily wrap the hair and reach the button fastening. We also found the towel comfy enough to sleep in while using a Coco & Eve hair mask overnight.
Silke London The Esme hair wrap
This jewel-toned, 100 per cent mulberry silk wrap arrives presented in a stylish green and gold branded box, explaining its purpose of keeping hair cuticles flat to beat frizz and protecting locks from pillow friction. The slip-on wrap has a sleek, lightweight feel, with ruching up the back for a comfy fit. We twisted our hair into a tie-free top knot before placing the wrap over it. With a light enough silk composition to not pull the hair, the elasticated fit sat snugly in place. The next morning our hair wasn’t fluffed up at all. This made our morning routine easier too, meaning we didn’t need to reach for products or heat to calm a frizzy bedhead.
Only Curls microfibre hair towel
Machine washable, this microfibre towel is like a soft, velvety, velour fabric to touch, feeling very gentle on wet hair. Because it’s a towel you wrap around into a turban, the material is voluminous, allowing more room for thicker or longer hair. It was also very simple to secure with a button fastening, and the generous amount of fabric soaked up excess water and made for a quicker drying time. After leaving our hair in it until it was 50 per cent dry, our ‘do looked noticeably smoother upon styling. This turban is available in four colour options too: grey, black, silver and pink.
Soap & Glory quick drying hair turban
This fun star-print turban stretches generously to attach in place, thanks to its handy elasticated button loop. Made of polyester, we also found it rolled up easily for storing. Keeping wet hair out of the way while we got ready for the day, the turban wasn’t an absorbent enough towel wrap for really fast drying, but the product worked well at protecting our tester’s fine locks from frizz and there were no annoying drips on the floor after our shower. We’d definitely take it to the beach or pool.
Olew satin sleep bonnet
This reversible satin bonnet lets you choose between champagne- or beige-coloured layers. It’s much like a shower cap in terms of coverage, so we found room to tuck all our hair in comfortably – we were even left with extra space. Because of that, we thought it could also comfortably fit longer, thicker locks. You can also adjust the wrap’s tightness, depending on how snug you like it to sit, using an integral toggle tie. The only downside to this is it can dig into your head if you’re a wriggly sleeper. Nevertheless, our hair was tangle-free in the morning – and with a price point of £10, this one ticks all the boxes for a budget satin sleep wrap.
The verdict: Hair towels and turbans
Our favourite for shiny results has to be the This Is Silk model, with the towel wrap creating conditioned, softer-looking hair that lasted long after we finished styling.
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