How to Sleep on Curly Hair Without Ruining it

Maintaining curls can be a chore since, even if they look adorable. If they aren’t well protected at night, going to sleep can make them frizzy and a mess, forcing us to wash and style all over again.

There are several options if you’re concerned about how to sleep with your curls without ruining them! 

Best Ways for Sleeping on Curly Hair without Ruining it

Set reasonable expectations first; you must be aware that your day 2–5 curls won’t resemble your day 1 curls, and that’s alright.

Use a protective cover to prevent hair breakage, frizz, and split ends from tossing, turning, and lying on your hair. It’s best to avoid sleeping on your back as much as you can because doing so makes your hair matted. Instead, try sleeping on your side.

As previously mentioned, there are numerous ways to maintain our curls, and these techniques work for all hair lengths and can be used on dry curls or after your evening regimen.

1. A Silk or Satin Bonnet

A satin bonnet
Instagram / @osocurly

Utilize a satin bonnet at night to protect and avoid ruining curly hair. A silk or satin bonnet can make a big impact since it has a smooth surface that allows curls to flow through easily, decreasing friction that could cause frizz, breakage, and split ends as well as the messiness that you don’t want to see.

If you decide to go ahead and lay your curls on a cotton sheet, you should be aware that cotton has a rougher surface area than other materials, which causes it to take hold of the hair and absorb moisture, giving you all that frizz. Even though wearing your curls under a bonnet sounds straightforward, it can occasionally be done poorly, defeating the entire goal.

Flip your hair down and insert the bonnet through the nape of your neck while carefully tucking the curls within. If you have longer hair, you might need to divide it into two sections, gently twist, and set it on the crown of the head, and then put the bonnet over it. If you’re worried that your wacky sleeping habits will lead your bonnet to fall off as you sleep, you can secure it with bobby pins on the sides.

2. Silk or Satin Pillowcase

Try using a silk or satin pillowcase if you don’t feel comfortable sleeping with a bonnet or don’t feel confident enough in yourself to do so. It provides excellent sleeping conditions and the same benefits as silk or satin bonnet.

3.  Twists or Braids


Other than a protective hairstyle, what is the best way to maintain your curls? Depending on how tight the braid is, your curls may even have more volume and definition.

Divide your hair into pieces to begin the twist, which is rather simple to achieve. It need not be complex; it might be two, four, or six. Just take one section, divide it in half, then twist it by stacking the two halves on top of one another.

In the meantime, divide a chunk of hair into three equal pieces and braid it by piling each strand of hair on top of the other. The list is not all-inclusive; additional braiding techniques include French, Dutch, and Bantu knots. To create a Bantu knot, take a portion, twist it, wrap it around the head, and secure it with a band or bobby pin.

The French Braid and Dutch Braid both use the same braiding technique; the key distinction is that in the French Braid, strands are crossed over, while in the Dutch Braid, sections are crossed underneath.

4. Putting your Hair in a Pineapple

The pineapple method
Instagram / @thecurltakeover

Putting your hair in a Pineapple seems weird; this context isn’t referring to the fruit pineapple. Flip your hair down, gather it into a high ponytail, and fasten it with a silk or satin scrunchie to create a pineapple style; be careful not to knot it too tightly, as this will flatten curls. To help protect your hair, you might also cover it in a silk scarf before retiring to bed.

Divide your hair into front and back pieces if it isn’t long enough for a high ponytail. Do not use elastic bands; instead, take a portion and secure it in a ponytail with a silk or satin scrunchie.

5. Pin Curls

Section your damp hair into small bits. You could start at the front or back, do what’s convenient for you. Take a section of hair, smoothen it out and wrap it around your fingers; note that the more the fingers, the bigger the curls; next, take your finger out, roll, and flatten against the scalp and secure with a bobby pin.

If you feel your hair getting dry during the process, spritz it in some water and continue with the remaining sections. Afterward, overnight, you could air dry or wrap the pinned curls with a silk scarf or satin bonnet.

6. The Plopping Method 

Plopping curls
Instagram / @amandaglowgettr

Both wet and dry curls can be styled using this technique. Using a terry towel for this method would create frizziness because of its rougher surface area, which puts tension on the strands. You could use a light t-shirt or a microfiber towel instead.

Place the plopping device on the bed or another comfortable surface, flip your hair front, then cover your hair with a t-shirt or towel with the sleeves at your sides and tie a knot in the sleeves to secure it.

7. Wrapping with a Silk Scarf

Take the two opposite sides and form a triangle to wrap your curls in a silk scarf. Make sure the triangular point is in the center of your hair when you flip it over and place it over your head. Then, take the two sides from the back and bring them to the front, where you’ll tie a knot over the center section. Finally, bring the pieces back to the back and tie another knot.

8. Flexi Rods

Sleep on some Flexi rods if you’re concerned about your curls maintaining their shape overnight. They’re easy to add in and are very comfortable.

Sections of your hair should first be wrapped around each soft rod, then the roller should be bent into a U shape to hold it in place. Pull at the ends of your curls to lengthen them if the curl is too tight after you take them out in the morning.

How to Refresh Curls After Sleeping

Refreshing curls
Instagram / @curls_boutik

After releasing the curls, spritz on some water; this may be sufficient in some cases. To keep your hair moisturized, you can also add a leave-in conditioner. Apply your preferred curling cream, gel, or oils next.

Try finger coiling to create curls that are more clearly defined. To do this, simply divide your hair into sections with a wide-tooth comb, take smaller pieces, and give them a twirl. Ensure that you twist in the curl pattern.

You might immediately diffuse your hair for 10 seconds or let it air dry. A diffuser is a blow dryer attachment that maintains your curl pattern and adds more definition to your curls while promoting natural air drying and creating a big volume. Always remember to use a heat protectant before heat usage.

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