How to Protect Your Curly Hair Overnight

It can be a hassle preserving our day one curls; because after looking cute all day, going to sleep can make the curls frizzy and so messy if it’s not well protected, leaving us to shampoo, wash and begin our styling process all over again! 

If you worry about how to protect and preserve your curls overnight, there is more than one way to do that! Because everyone has a preference and hair type, texture, and porosity differ.

Best Ways to Protect Curls at Night

First and foremost, set realistic expectations; you need to understand that your day 2-5 curls aren’t going to be like your day one curls, and that’s okay. 

So, using a protective cover ensures your curls are not prone to hair breakage, frizz, and split ends from the tossing and turning as well as laying on your hair. It’s best you also restrain from sleeping on your back as much as possible; this causes your hair to become matted; adopt a sleeping on the side position.

As stated earlier, there are several ways to preserve our curls, and these methods are applicable for all hair lengths– short, long, and shoulder. These methods can be done following your nighttime routine or on dry curls.

1. A Silk or Satin Bonnet

Protect Curly Hair at Night using satin bonnet

Using a silk or satin bonnet can make a whole lot of difference; a silk or satin bonnet has a smooth surface area that enables the curls to glide through, reducing friction which could lead to that messiness you don’t want to see, frizziness, hair breakage, and split ends. 

If you still want to go ahead to lay your curls on a cotton sheet, you might want to know this; cotton has a rougher surface area, so it grabs hold of the hair, absorbing its moisture and giving you all that frizz. As simple as wearing your curls in a bonnet seems, it is sometimes done incorrectly, deferring its entire purpose.

To wear a bonnet, flip your hair down and put the bonnet over through the nape of your neck, tucking the curls in gently. For longer hair, you might have to separate your hair into two sections, loosely twist and place it at the crown of your head, and position the bonnet over it. If you are scared, your bonnet might remove as you sleep because you are a crazy sleeper; you could place bobby pins at the sides of the bonnet to secure it.

2. Silk or Satin Pillowcase

Protect Curly Hair at Night with Satin Pillowcase

If you aren’t comfortable with sleeping with bonnets or can’t trust yourself enough with one, you can try out a silk or satin pillowcase. It offers the same privileges as the silk or satin bonnet and a fantastic sleeping experience. 

3. Do some Twists or Braids

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What’s the best way to protect your hair other than a protective hairstyle?! Your curls could even have more volume and definition, depending on how tight the braid is. 

The twist is pretty easy to do and straightforward, divide your hair into sections. It doesn’t have to be elaborate; it could be two, four, or six. Take a section, split into two and twist it by placing one section over the other, and that’s about it.

While for braids, take a section, divide it into three, and braid by layering each hair piece over another. You could also do some French braids and Dutch braids, Bantu Knots; the list isn’t exhaustive.

For Bantu Knots, you take a section, twist, wrap it on the scalp, and secure it with a band or bobby pin.

The French Braid and Dutch Braid follow a similar braiding process; the critical difference lies in the fact that sections are crossed over in the French Braid process while sections are crossed underneath in the Dutch Braid process.

4. Pineappling!

Instagram / @honeybyte_

I’m pretty sure there’s no word like that; if that’s what you think, I see why. But that perfectly describes this method. To put your hair up in a pineapple, flip it down, pack it up in the highest ponytail, and secure it with a silk or satin scrunchie; you don’t want to tie it too tightly because this method can stretch out curls. You could also wrap your hair up in a silk scarf for further protection and go off to bed.

If your hair isn’t long enough for a high ponytail, split it into front and back sections. Take a section and put it in a ponytail securing it with a silk or satin scrunchie, do not use elastic bands as they could tug on your hair and result in hair breakage.

5. Using a Hair Tube

A Hair tube is good; it has a silky surface and is comfortable to sleep in. Take a tube, pull it down over your head, pour your hair out, flip it upside down and pull the tube over. Let your hair fall into it, and give your curls a gentle push to tuck them all in; you can either go to sleep with it open or tighten It and secure it further by making a bun. 

6. Medusa Clipping 

How about doing some clipping to preserve and protect curls? This is extremely easy; take sections of your hair and clip them. You could go in with a bonnet or wrap a scarf around it or go off to sleep like that. They all work.

7. The Plopping Method 

Plopping hair
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This method can be done on both wet and dry curls. You could use a light t-shirt or microfiber towel; using a towel for this method would result in frizziness due to its rougher surface area.

Place your t-shirt or towel on the bed or a comfortable surface, and flip your hair forward; next, place the t-shirt or towel over your hair with the sleeves at your sides, and take the sleeves and make a knot to secure it.

8. Wrapping with a Silk Scarf

Silk Scarf

To wrap your curls with a silk scarf, take the opposite sides and make a triangle. Flip your hair over and place it over your head, making sure the triangular point is in the middle; take the two sides at the back, and bring it to the front, make a knot over the middle piece; after that, take the pieces to the back and knot again.

How to Refresh Curls After Sleeping

After unraveling the curls, spritz on some water, in most cases, that might be all you need; You could also add a leave-in conditioner to ensure your hair stays hydrated. Follow up with your favorite curling cream, gel, or oils.

For more defined curls, try finger coiling by simply dividing your hair into sections using a wide tooth comb, taking smaller bits, and giving it a twirl; ensure your hair has been prepped before this process. Make sure to twirl according to the curl pattern.

You could leave your hair to air dry or quickly diffuse your hair for 10 seconds. A diffuser is a blow dryer attachment that gives more defined curls and keeps your curl pattern intact, stimulating natural air drying and creating a big volume. Always remember to use a heat protectant before heat usage.

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