Too often I find myself running through my apartment with soaking wet hair to avoid toweling off my dripping locks. When I found out I could dry my hair with a T-shirt, I couldn't have been more ecstatic. The T-shirt trick is a way to keep curly hair protected from the damaging dryness that standard heat tools and terry cloth towels can bring. With all the old band tees I have lying around, I don't think there's a more perfect beauty hack for me.
According to sources at Naturally Curly, how you get from wet to dry hair is crucial to the state of curls you’ll be forced to live with throughout the day. Drying your hair with a standard towel, can absorb too much moisture and rough up the cuticles, causing extra frizz. Not only have I noticed moisture loss in between toweling and setting, if I collected all the tiny curls left behind in my towel for a year, I could build a nice-sized afro.
While I was eager to try this new trick, I was curious to really compare how my hair felt and looked after the towel versus after the T-shirt. Not only did I find extra moisture in this experiment, I also found out what to do with all my oversized White Zombie tees from the ‘90s.
1. Towel Drying My Hair
The previous week, I cleansed, conditioned, and got my hair super soaked before using my trusty hair sealant. Afterwards, I used a terry cloth towel to dry my hair and like always, my hair felt slightly drier than it should have. Usually, while I style my hair in two-strand twists, I end up having to re-wet my hair several times because my hair was so easily dried out by the towel. This occasion was no different. I couldn’t wait to see if the T-shirt trick could really make a difference.
2. Choosing My T-Shirt
Unlike when choosing the right scarf for overnight protection, choosing the right T-shirt isn't too overwhelming. All you need is one that's 100 percent cotton, preferably long-sleeved, and hopefully, not one that you plan on wearing anytime soon.
3. Applying Sealant
For my first wash, I cleansed, deep conditioned, and conditioned my hair, getting my locks nice and soaked before applying my homemade leave-in conditioner. I like to apply leave-in and/or hair sealants on wet hair to retain the natural moisture of the water.
4. Drying With A T-Shirt
I pulled the tee over my head and gently patted my hair. I wanted to be careful not to over-dry my hair even with my new drying-method. In order to continue my massive detangling project, I definitely needed my hair damp enough to manipulate, but dry enough where my hair isn’t super fragile.
5. Styling Post-Tee
If you have a wash-n-go type of curl, then you can wrap the tee completely around your head, tying the sleeves at the nape of your neck. Keep the T-shirt on your head to plop your hair for about 15 minutes and then air dry. I left my t-shirt on for only a few minutes, before I began twisting my hair into a protective style. Not only was my hair softer after I removed the tee, I only had to re-wet the last section of my hair after about 45 minutes of detangling and twisting. Sorry towels, I'm never going back to you again.
Images: Kristin Collins Jackson (6)