Allura microfibre hair wrap, found at bargain chain Poundland in UK for only £1($1.5), is meant to be used to put your hair up and out of the way in the morning while applying make-up, or for keeping wet hair covered after swimming.
But message boards on the internet have been ringing with praise.
“It has made so much difference to the condition of my hair,” raves one poster.
“Leaving my hair to dry in it for a while just makes my hair so much softer.”
Another asserts that it leaves her hair “bouncy and shiny”.
Several insist that it cuts down noticeably on drying time – and, because of this, their hair becomes far less frizzy and damaged by the hot air and brushing involved in blow-drying.
And it seems women are snapping them up. According to Poundland’s trading director David Coxon, the shop sells a quarter of a million of the things every year.
“It has always been a very popular item with our customers. I don’t think they can believe it’s just £1,” he says.
A long white hood, it has a button on one side and a corresponding loop on the tail.
Just tip your hair forward into the hood, twist the material up and over your head and secure the loop over the button.
After you wash your hair, secured it into the hood and let the towel start to work.
After 40 minutes your hair will be noticeably dryer than it would have been using an ordinary towel, glossy and full of body.
And it seems there is sound science behind the microfibre towel effects. Because the fibres are so much smaller than cotton ones, their surface area is larger, enabling it to absorb more water, so your hair dries more quickly.
Even celebrity hairdresser Richard Ward – who tends to the Duchess of Cambridge’s tresses – agrees that a microfibre towel has advantages.
“It’s more absorbent,” he says.
“And, as you’re not rubbing the hair as you would with a normal towel, it’s not getting damaged so it feels softer.”
“However, I think it’s better just to blot-dry your hair gently and then blow-dry it from wet to achieve a long-lasting style.”