February 2nd, 2000

Don’t Believe the Hype: Micro Fibre Hair Towel

by Ellyn Kerr • in Beauty

towelsFirst off, straight up: I don’t much buy into the beauty hype. “Beauty” magazines I read only when suffering from the restlessness of serious illness; I’ve never purchased an alpha-hydroxy acid product; I can’t seem to prioritize my spending to include the “newest shades” of cosmetics in ranges even Pantone couldn’t keep coming up with each fashion season; and my idea of a regular good skin care regime is to wash your face with water only, exercise and cut down on sugar.

My definition of genuine beauty is the spontaneous laughter of a sassy woman or man at something just a bit crazy. Fifth Avenue chic — striking though it may often be — is not the pinnacle of beauty.

That said, please accept these humble offerings towards the construction of a universal aesthetic that gets to the roots of what the multi-billion dollar beauty conglomerates only wish they could sell you: real human beauty, chaos and imperfections included.

this week: ultraspa salon towel
After the dusk of the Herb Tarleck era, synthetic threads seemed doomed to an eternal association with tackiness and, to a degree at least, low quality. “Luxurious polyester fabrics” could be oxymoronic, at best.

That is, though, until the relatively recent introduction of microfibres of a variety of a materials. Nylons and polyesters in all manners of weaves made themselves known anew to consumer markets, in the form of the most comfortable of tights, or the most water-resistant of extreme outdoor gear.

Among these products successfully restoring a credibility to synthetics is the perhaps dubiously labelled “beauty product”, the “salon” or “spa” towel. To any nondiscerning eye, these might seem but overpriced, plain, white towels. Likely, gimmicks, even. Claims the package label of the Ultraspaâ„¢ salon towel by Martex® : “Just imagine millions of microscopic straws drawing in moisture. The softness of this towel reduces your drying time, resulting in fewer split ends.”

Assuming split ends are not a particular problem, why proceed any further? When I first saw these products years ago at The Body Shop, I was intrigued by the promise of a shorter, a.m. toilet ritual. But the price (then, it was approximately $25-30 Canadian) dampened any enthusiasm.

When I came across these towels at a discount store for $9 Canadian apiece, the gamble seemed worth it. Gimmick or no, an extra towel would at least be used.

Well, this 18″-by-36″ piece of cloth performs as claimed. Who’d'a thunk a towel could function in such a way as to earn consideration for a review? And as a beauty product, even?

Hair-drying time is indeed cut, by at least half. Two things from previous reviews in this series bear repeating:
1) I have thick hair which generally takes a good bout of blow-drying; and
2) I am not a great fusser. My preferred grooming habits include as little effort, and as much wash-and-wear as possible. These fancily named towels are so highly absorbent that simply wrapping one around your hair as soon as you step out of the shower will leave your hair nearly dried by the time you’ve dried off the rest of you.

The “technology” behind this product, if it can so be described, is based on a weave of 30,000 polyester/nylon microfibres per square inch. The fabric in these towels is usually made in Japan, which can usually serve as an indicator of quality.

There is not much else that needs to be said, except that once tried, these towels will likely become repeat purchases. The only drawbacks are that:

  1. they must be washed and dried without fabric softener (not a real problem, but definitely an inconvenience if one generally uses fabric softener);
  2. the standard size will not accommodate very long hair (for that, one must resort to purchasing the size intended for the full body, and not just one’s head); and
  3. they work so effectively that, in the winter especially, if one has even the slightest trace of dry skin on one’s hands, the towels feel like sandpaper, even after a good soak in the bath or tub. A very unpleasant sensation, but completely irrelevant if you keep your hands moisturized or clammy enough to avoid being excessively dry.

The towel is marketed by other companies under slightly different variations of the name, and can be purchased online, in department stores, and in speciality linen shops.

microfibre hair towel $9.00 - $30.00 CDN


Orange County Hair Salon said:

Thats actually very cool!

January 29th, 2010 at 5:45 pm

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