Faff-free hair and a low-maintenance beauty regime, that’s what I want. Even so, when contacted about a special hair towel with superior drying properties, I have to admit I was sceptical. More damp towels in the bathroom, more stuff that I really don’t need…But then someone trolled my hair on Instagram. Yes, really. This was around the time that we had a major damp problem in the bathroom and I was washing my hair at the local swimming pool – though I didn’t explain any of this to the hair troll. I moved on, without holding a grudge (almost) – and decided to give the AQUIS towel a go. And it works. As does wrapping my hair up in a lightweight towel, that doesn’t get heavy and fall off my head every 30 seconds; leaving me free to go about my daily, low-key ablutions. Mr That’s Not My Age has been encouraged to use one, too. Instead of leaving damp towels all over the place. So. Having thought that a special hair drying towel was a bit of a gimmick, turns out it’s actually very handy and faff-free, not to mention relationship-enhancing.
Britta Cox is the inventor of AQUIS the superior hair towel. (AQUIS Lisse Luxe Hair Towels (£30) and Lisse Luxe Hair Turbans (£30) are available at Selfridges London and aquishair.co.uk). She’s outdoorsy and sporty and lives in Marin County. We met in London earlier this year:
TNMA: Tell me how it all started?
BC: Drying my hair with a cotton towel took forever, it was a miserable experience. I’ve always done a lot of sports and was an early adopter of performance/wicking fabrics, such as those used while skiing, biking or running. I also worked for an Italian skiwear brand, so I was attending all the ski shows and exposed to all the latest fabrics. I started working with one of the fabric companies in Japan and together we created a hair towel specifically designed to quickly wick water away but be super-lightweight and gentle on the hair. My friends and family loved the towels and AQUIS grew organically, mostly through word-of-mouth. Women loved it because it meant they spent less time blow-drying, the lightweight fabric easily wraps up into a turban and stays on the head; they came back to us saying they actually got better hair, with less frizz. All these things made me very happy.
TNMA: Why do we need a special hair towel – is it not just more stuff?
BC: To remove excess water quickly yet gently, so you can maintain strong hair. How you manage your hair when wet is key to hair health. Wet hair is weak, it stretches and swells and is vulnerable to breakage. AQUIS is designed to remove the excess water without friction or pulling on the hair. Your typical cotton towel is heavy and pulls on wet hair causing the hair to stretch and weaken further. We also tend to rub cotton towels on our hair in an effort to dry it faster because it isn’t drying! The friction of looped fabric being rubbed across wet, vulnerable hair wreaks havoc.
Think about this… your hair is made of keratin, the same as your fingernails. Your nails are strong when dry, but weaken within five minutes of putting them in water. Once your nails dry again, they regain their strength. The same thing happens with your hair. Wet hair stretches and swells, depending on the type and condition of the hair it can become 58% weaker when wet. Hair scientists call it hygral fatigue, we call it water fatigue.
TNMA: The towels are made of ‘Aquitex’, what is it and is it environmentally-friendly?
BC: Aquitex is made of 80% polyester and 20% nylon – using specially engineered fibres. Our fabric has no loops like you see on typical towels, it’s lint-free and does not release microplastics into our water systems; meaning no pollution to our oceans (when you wash it). We use only non-toxic dyes and comply with the most stringent regulations. Our towels have 60% less bulk than cotton towels, so less water, detergents and heat are used when laundering. A fun fact, the average woman who usually uses a blow dryer saves 19,500 watts and 13 hours per year by using an AQUIS. So, you can imagine the amount of electricity that is saved by users all over the world. We’re really proud of that!
TNMA: How is working with your husband?
BC: Given we are both working so much, it’s good that we are doing it together, otherwise we’d never see each other. It’s not always easy as there is no “off” button, but we are committed to what we are doing and trying to take the moments when we can. I think more weekends with no cell reception/internet would be good.
My husband Suveen trained as an engineer, he loves understanding things at their deepest level. He became involved with the business early on because he was intrigued by the conversations women were having about AQUIS – and he had many questions that I couldn’t answer. He began studying the science of hair. He started with textbooks on the physics and chemistry of hair; reading white papers; then we started flying around the country and overseas talking with the foremost authorities. What Suveen learned is that water and how we manage our hair when wet has a profound effect on the health and manageability of our hair.
Do you have any haircare tips?