A while back I talked about using microfiber towels for the hair to prevent frizz, and also mentioned that old T-shirts are also great for this. However since a while Turkish cotton towels have been overtaking my home and replacing all other towels.
Peshtemal are traditional flat-woven linen or cotton towels, used in Turkey in Hammams. I think they are called Fouta in Tunisia. They are thin and very sturdy, have the typical stripes and fringe on both ends. And they are amazing. For one, they do a great job drying the hair and the body and are more absorbent than regular towels. I even use them in the kitchen because of that! When it comes to frizz, I think they are as good as microfiber or T-shirts (I'd love some curlies to weigh in on this!). If you like to turban your hair after washing, Turkish towels stay tucked better than regular towels.
Another thing I love about Turkish cotton towels is their versatility -- they don't look very towel-y and so they can be used as a picnic blanket, a beach towel, a sarong, tablecloth, you name it. They are also extremely small and light, so they are perfect for travelling.
Peshtemal towels are extremely sturdy and long lasting and get softer with every wash. My regular towels had to be replaced yearly because they don't look nice any more, however the Peshtemals look brand new (granted, I got ones in a darker colour, but still). They also dry really quickly, which makes them great for winters. Plus, they look really chic in the bathroom. Really, there is no downside, unless you like your towels fluffy.
I own a couple big Turkish towels for the shower, one colourful big one for picnics and the like, a couple small ones as hand towels for the kitchen and the bathroom, plus one luxurious one with silk in it that I got as a gift -- I use that as a cover-up for my Osteopathy sessions. (Osteopathy is my recent discovery -- it has helped me a lot with back pain and neck stiffness brought about by uneven shoulders and hip joints.) I'm also testing out a Peshtemal in the gym, but it's a bit too light and slides off the back rests of the machines -- though I do love how little space it takes up in my gym bag.
I got some inexpensive Peshtemal towels from ebay, but I also see them sold in Weltladen and of course Turkish stores. They may feel stiff when you see them in a store, but after a wash they soften up. You can get small hand-towel size ones for as low as 6€, the bigger ones cost a bit more -- although I have seen the prices really jacked up in fancy stores. You will probably find it in those stores run by and for Turkish / Arabic / other Middle Eastern people.
Another kind of towel that is pretty similar to the Turkish Peshtemal towel is the Huckaback towel. Also the Indian Gamcha or Lungi, although it is much thinner.
So, does anyone share my love of Turkish towels? Do they work well for your hair type?