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Preserving your curls at night

Preserving your curls at night

woman wearing satin bonnet

Those of us with curly hair need to take a little extra care with how we sleep at night to protect our beautiful locks. The key to getting your curls to last longer (even for several days) is to protect them while you sleep.  At first glance, this may seem like a lot of effort, but you will get used to your nightly routine, and your curls will thank you in the morning. 

Following the steps below should help keep your curls intact, so they only need minimal styling each morning.  Please note, not all of these steps may work for every hair texture or person, so find out what works best for your hair.

Here are some tips to preserve your curls while you get a good night’s rest:

If your hair is long enough:

  1. Pineapple Your Hair

One of the best ways to preserve your curls at night is to gently gather them in a pineapple, in a sort of high, front ponytail using a satin or silk scrunchie, a puff cuff, or an invisibobble (avoid using a hair elastic) to tie your hair up. Be careful not to pull too hard or make the pineapple too tight.  You are just gathering your hair together gently, not squeezing too hard.

  1. Wear A Silk Or Satin Lined Bonnet

Bonnets may not look very sexy at bedtime, but they can be very effective in protecting your curls while you sleep. If the bonnet tries to slip off your head overnight, try securing it with some hairpins. Bonnets come in many sizes, including extra-large! Just make sure it has a fabric band instead of elastic to prevent pulling of the fine hairs at your temples. 

  1. Tie A 100% Silk Scarf Or Wrap 

Many curlies tie a scarf around their pineapple before bedtime. It is both stylish and effective. There are many ways to tie a scarf and several vloggers demonstrate the technique.  See Joy Before Her link below.

  1. Pull On A Buff

What is a buff?  Picture a long, soft, extra wide sock with the toes cut off. A buff can be quite effective if you use it correctly and is tolerable overnight without your head getting too hot.

  1. Braid And Twist

Simple twists and well-secured braids can stabilize your curls through the night. Tying a silk scarf or using a hair bonnet over your braids, keeps them in place and frizz-free.

  1. Hydrate Your Hair

Certain parts of our hair, usually the ends, can get more dry and frizzy overnight. One way to keep curls hydrated while you sleep is to do a mini ‘refresh’ with a thin or watered down hydrating cream or conditioner before bed.  Emulsify a small amount of cream or conditioner with a little bit of water in your hands, and glaze it over the drier parts of your hair.  Use very little water to avoid wetting the hair too much. If your hair is thin and/or fine, use only a small amount of product and only on the ends.  

  1. Use a Silk Pillowcase

Cotton pillowcases tend to absorb hair’s natural oils and rub against your hair strands. Using a silk pillowcase helps to reduce friction on the hair since the hair will glide more smoothly over the silk fabric without creating frizz.  Less frizz makes refreshing your curls easier and less time-consuming the next day.  In addition, using a silk pillowcase can keep you cooler at night and prevent damage to the hair follicles.  If you prefer a vegan alternative to silk, you can use a satin pillowcase.  You can combine a silk or satin pillowcase with a bonnet and any of the other techniques mentioned above. Wearing both a satin bonnet or scarf, and sleeping on a silk pillowcase, is a good idea in case some hair slips out of the bonnet during the night. A combination pineapple and silk pillowcase work as well.  Try them out and find a combination that works for you!

If you have short hair:

  1. Multi-Mini-Pineapples

If your hair is too short for one big pineapple on top of your head, you can do a “multi-pineapple” which consists of 2 or 3 smaller pineapples. See Miss Charmsie’s video:

If your hair is still too short for that, try using a satin bonnet or sleep on a silk pillowcase. 

Here are alternative methods and tricks to try:

  1. Satin turban or cap
  2. Silk scrunchie 
  3. Twist and clip
  4. Half pineapple with spiral hair tie
  5. Buff, bandeau or gaiter

Helpful Videos:

How to sleep with curly hair: 10 ways for long and short curly hair

Pineapple method: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XubQiZ6iFaQ 

Sleeping with a buff: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dfw5JLPyVKA 

Satin scarf or bonnet: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LXvD3XQyuDo 

Medusa clipping for short hair: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nvw2oX9x_6U 

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