If you believed that towel is just a towel you’ve clearly never heard of Aquis. There is actually a more relevant term in use and this is hair towel. Sounds interesting? That’s because it is. Imagine waking up in the morning, washing your hair, and getting them from wet to dry 50% faster than usual. On top of that imagine they are shiny and healthier than ever. It sure sounds a bit unrealistic but Britta Cox, founder of Aquis, wants to change how you dry your hair forever. I wanted to know what inspired her and what does Aquis stand for.
Why towels? I am curious what inspired your story?
I grew up on a ranch a little outside of San Francisco, living a really outdoorsy lifestyle of skiing and horseback riding. I always resented the time spent drying and styling my hair – time that could have been spent elsewhere. I then started working in the sports industry where I saw time and time again that I wasn’t the only one fed up with the long process of hair maintenance. I knew there had to be a better way than using damaging blow dryers and other heat tools to achieve the healthy, beachy waves I coveted. Hair is hard and I just didn’t believe it had to be. So, inspired by sportswear and performance fabric (think dry fit), I set out to develop Aquis, which essentially is a way to simplify haircare.
How are Aquis towels different from anything else on the market?
While most hair products are designed to treat the problem (frizz, tangles, dullness etc) Aquis prevents it from occurring in the first place by helping hair become healthier. We’re not just different – we actually were first hair towel on the market and invented the turban shape. But what makes Aquis Towels and Turbans special is the fact that they are made from a unique fibre called Aquitex, which we invented. Like the dry fit materials I was inspired by, Aquitex is a breakthrough, performance-drying weave-technology that wicks away water while quickly and efficiently drying hair without heat damage. Regular micro-fibre hair towels are designed with an electrostatic charge to grab dirt, ultimately damaging hair and causing flyaways.
Do they have any specific effect on hair?
Aside from drying your hair 50% faster than standard hair towels, you will notice an improvement in overall hair health after just three weeks of switching to Aquis. How you dry your hair matters—because water is hair’s natural enemy. As you wrap your hair with Aquis, water is quickly removed so hair can begin to regain its strength. Then, rather than roughing it up with a bath towel that drags hair down and causes friction, the hair cuticles remain flat. This means frizz and breakage are significantly reduced, colour stays vibrant for longer and shine is maintained. Because of all these factors, hair is then healthier, more manageable and easier to style.
Water fatigue causes swelling, stretching, and damage which lead to bad hair days—and damage is compounded when you expose wet hair to heat. But drying hair very quickly protects the integrity of your hair, and our high-performance technology brings hair from wet to dry 50% faster, meaning less heat damage from your hair dryer. Harsh cotton towels do not effectively dry hair, damaging cuticles and causing frizz through friction due to harsh terry loops. And all microfiber hair towels are not created. Aquis Hair Towels and Turbans are unlike your average microfiber towels, which are typically designed with an electrostatic charge to grab dirt, ultimately damaging hair and causing flyaways. Because we didn’t just simplify the haircare routine—we reinvented it.
You say water does damage to our hair. In what way?
Hair is at its most vulnerable when wet, losing up to 60% of its strength. This always surprises people, but the best way to visualise this chemical change in your hair (known at ‘water fatigue’) is to picture your nails after a shower – they’re soft, weak and bendy. The same thing happens to your hair (both nails and hair are made of keratin). Therefore, the goal is to get hair to a damp stage as quickly and effectively as possible, where it will start to regain strength. When water absorbs into your hair for too long (i.e. during a shower) the inside of the strand swells and bloats, pushing open the protective layers (cuticles), which allows even more water in. Leaving your hair in this waterlogged state weakens it, leading to cuticle and hair breakages, which in turn cause frizz, tangles and dullness – basically a very bad hair day.
You also don’t advise leaving our hair to dry naturally. Why so?
Many people think that air drying is better for hair, but as I mentioned earlier, hair is most prone to damage when wet so the longer it takes to dry, the more damage can occur. Many people leave hair to air-dry as a direct action against not using a blow dryer (which we all know cause damage) without realising that they are potentially exposing their hair to even more damage. Blow dryers are designed to assist with styling damp hair, not drying it from sobbing wet. Aquis Towels and Turbans were designed to bridge the gap between needing to dry your hair effectively, without the use of heat tools.
Do you have specific types of towels for different hair types (like curly or thin) or is there one style for all?
Yes, we do. We have two main designs – the Hair Towel and Hair Turban and two variations of each. The Lisse Luxe range is best suited to thin, delicate and curly hair, while the flatter woven design of the Waffle Luxe range is perfect for thick and porous hair.
Whether you go for a Towel or Turban is personal preference – some people prefer the extra hold of the Turban hook but the Towel is roomier, so useful for longer or thicker hair. We also have a Long Hair Towel for those with extra-long hair (it measure 10” longer than the standard length).
Is it safe to use it if you dye your hair?
Yes, absolutely. In fact, it is actually very beneficial for those that dye their hair. We conducted a third-party study recently where 100% of participants* who had coloured their hair agreed that the colour had not faded as much as it normally would in the same timeframe (meaning less frequent visits to the salon). This is because when hair cuticles are roughed up (through rubbing with a towel or chemical treatments such as bleach) they are not able to hold colour as well within the hair cortex, resulting in quicker loss of colour. As some damage is unavoidable through the process of colouring hair, it is crucial to prevent further damage to cuticles.
I also have to ask about the hair turban. It just seems like an excellent choice for those (I count myself here as well) who are lazy with their hair care. Can we just wash our hair, put on the turban and leave it to dry our hair?
Definitely, it is my preferred option too. After exiting the shower you simply lean forward so your hair falls in front of your face, placing the end that has the button fastener at the nape of your neck, gently twist the turban to your desired fit and then fasten the loop around the button. Leave-on time varies depending on hair type but as a general rule of thumb remove the Turban/Towel when hair feels damp (for me this is after 15 minutes). The Turban’s super lightweight and compact design also makes it ideal for popping in your gym kit.
What is your hair routine?
I keep my routine simple because, frankly, I have better things to be doing than my hair. I’ll put in extra effort for special occasions or when I feel like getting dressed up on the weekends, but I feel most beautiful and confident when it’s not overdone and I feel more authentic allowing natural beauty to shine through. That goes for hair, skin, body and soul.
I wash my hair every 5-7 days on average as shampooing too often can strip hair of natural oils, triggering overproduction to compensate for the loss. If I’ve engaged in vigorous exercise and sweat a lot, I may rinse the hair quickly without shampooing it between washes. Or if I feel I need it, I may use a very small amount of shampoo/cleanser on my scalp while massaging to remove salt and residues at the root. Conditioner-wise, I always use a high-quality one after shampooing and then another leave-in version after towel drying. After I’m finished washing my hair I immediately gently squeeze out excess water, then pat my hair with my Aquis Hair Towel while fixing it into place. I then leave the Towel to work its magic while I get ready for work.
Once a week I use coconut oil to do a pre-wash treatment, to ensure my hair gets enough moisture and is protected from the elements, especially in the colder winter months. Its small molecular structure allows it to penetrate the cuticle, making hair less thirsty and less vulnerable to environmental elements.
What keeps you going after all this time?
Honestly, I never tire of hearing feedback from customers new and old, especially how Aquis has transformed their relationship (and life-long struggle) with their hair. As we expand into new markets, I feel inspired by the travel and people I meet on these adventures. The brand is constantly evolving and we have some incredibly exciting developments in the UK coming soon so stayed tuned!
What do you like to do in your free time?
Well I don’t have a lot of it but I do enjoy being outdoors – hiking, skiing, horse riding in the mountains.
Look for more at aquishair.co.uk
*The Benchmarking Report Aquis 21 Day Beauty Product Testing Final Report