As a type 4 natural, my hair is naturally prone to frizz. Due to my tight curl pattern, my hair easily tangles, knots, and matts when manipulated. However, as a type 4 natural, frizz really isn’t as much of an aesthetic issue for me as it may be for women with wavy, type 2 hair. 

In my opinion, for us type 4 naturals, frizz really is built into the beauty of our hair type. It beautifully distinguishes our hair pattern from other naturalistas with curly or wavy hair. Aesthetics aside, minimizing frizz may be beneficial for length retention as when type 4 gets overly tangled, it can lead to unnecessary breakage.

One of the easiest ways to minimize frizz is to pay close attention to how you dry your hair. It’s often been said that in order to reduce frizz:

  • Avoid using a traditional terry cloth towel, instead use a T-shirt or microfiber towel
  • Avoid rubbing your hair, instead dab it gently from the root to the tip

I put these theories to the test

I freshly installed and then washed my two-strand twists. In the first photo, I dried my hair with a regular bath towel and scrunched my hair. In the second photo, I dried my hair with a cotton t-shirt and gently dabbed my hair from root to tip.

Here’s what I found

Scrunching at my hair with a towel undeniably gave me more frizz but when I gently dabbed at my hair with my cotton t-shirt, my two-strand twists seemed to have less fraying strands. So in this case, my bath towel did in fact give me more frizz.

Should we then be worried about whether we dry our hair with a towel or a micro-fibre cotton cloth? Absolutely.

According to Stephen Pullan, a trichologist at Philip Kingsley Trichological Clinic in New York City, external factors must be taken into account to maintain healthy hair.

“Care should be taken in one’s drying and styling of the hair. Though hair fiber is resilient and strong, constant abuse, even if moderate, will cumulatively take a toll as a hair ages and grows longer. Therefore avoid being rough when towel drying,” he said.

Towels can damage the actual fiber of the strand, leading to fraying, splitting, and breakage. Too much friction can weaken the basic structure of the strand, and in the end may result in over-manipulated hair. For us, type 4 naturals, drying our hair with a t-shirt or microfiber towel can help minimize the amount of friction on our strands leading to healthier hair in the long run.