Knowing how to sleep with curly hair is critical for the health of your curls. The proper nighttime essentials will reduce frizz and keep your curls moisturized. You don’t necessarily need to wrap your hair at night to keep it healthy. There are plenty of techniques you can use from styles to products to keep your curls bouncy and frizz free.
This post may contain affiliate links, which means I’ll earn a commission at no cost to you. As an Amazon affiliate I earn from qualifying purchases. Please read full disclosure for more information.
How to Sleep With Curly Hair
There are several factors you’ll need to consider when sleeping with curly hair:
- What you feel comfortable sleeping in
- The products you used on wash day
- The length of time since your last wash day
- Your sleeping environment (ex. traveling, staying at home, staying at a friend’s)
The first factor you need to consider is what you feel comfortable in. There are plenty of options for keeping your hair healthy.
You can wet plop with a microfiber towel overnight if you wash your hair at night. You can use a silk/satin pillowcase, you can use loose protective styles to preserve your curls, or you can use accessories made for curly hair like satin scrunchies.
How to Sleep With Curly Hair: Essentials
Silk & Satin Scrunchies
If you decide to use a silk or satin scrunchies, I recommend putting your hair into a pineapple or a very loose bun if you want to stretch out your curls. You can also use these for protective styles. For example id you divide your hair into two sections, you can loosely twist them together and sleep with that style to preserve your curls.
How to Tie Curly Hair Up Without “Ruining” It
Any time you put your curly hair in an up-do, you risk stretching out your curls. However, there are a few things you can try to prevent affecting the definition of the curls that you worked so hard to define.
- Use a small clip to keep your hair away from your face instead of a hair tie
- Use a satin hair tie to prevent frizz
- If you put your hair in a bun, make it loose and twist your bun in the way your hair curls (for example, if you have counter clockwise curls twist your bun counter clockwise in the same direction that your curls fall)
This is the method I personally recommend because I don’t like to sleep with a bonnet. I find it always falls off and with a pillowcase I do’t have to worry about it. It’s also a travel friendly option, just fold up the pillowcase and you’re set.
Bonnet or Hair Wrap
This is good if you don’t mind sleeping with a wrap. Bonnets have an elastic band that will keep the wrap from falling off in the night. This is also a good travel option and is sure to keep your curls looking amazing.
Microfiber Towel/Wet Plopping
I don’t find this method to work as well for me, and I don’t like to go to sleep with wet hair. However, if you’re tired or short on time, this is a great method. Some swear by this method for curl definition as an easy go-to styling method with minimal effort involved.
The Products You Used on Wash Day
Considering the products you used on wash day is extremely important because you might want to put something in your hair overnight.
Did you use a heavy oil like coconut oil earlier in the day to seal in your products? Did you use a light mouse or gel and you want to add some extra moisture to your ends?
The Length of Time Since Your Last Wash Day
The products you apply to your hair before you go to sleep are also important.
Think about what your curls need and don’t forget to apply some extra product if needed to keep your curls moisturized.
If you haven’t applied any products for a few days, depending on the weather you might want to add something to your curls to either preserve them.
Your Sleeping Environment
Finally, it’s best to consider your sleeping environment because it will affect how you sleep with curly hair.
Traveling with a pillowcase or a bonnet is ideal because you will extend time between wash days.
Having a convenient method to fall back on for traveling is ideal, even if it the method such as a wrap or bonnet isn’t your absolute favorite. Having a bonnet in your travel bag or keeping an extra pillowcase near by can make it easier to keep up your curly hair routine.
Curly Hair Checklist
You’ve tried a million products and you still can’t get the curl definition you want. This simple checklist will help you build a routine that actually works even if you have no idea where to start.