Here's How to Keep Your Curls Healthy and Bouncy While You Sleep
If you have naturally textured hair, you know that styling and caring for it can be a challenge. That's why we created The Curl Corner, a monthly column that celebrates the versatility of textured hair. Here, we cover everything from how to properly style your coils to how to protect them—and include expert tips for curl patterns of all types.
For as long as I can remember, I've been protecting my hair overnight. Growing up as a Black girl with natural texture, it was always instilled in me that prioritizing hair care was non-negotiable. However, when I decided to go natural, that emphasis grew even stronger. Suddenly, I was presented with hair care challenges I had been unfamiliar with, and I had to learn how to sleep with curly hair—the right way. With time, I learned to manage and conquer overnight haircare, and now, I'm here to pass along my tips.
1. Retain as much moisture as possible.
When sleeping with natural hair, the priority is to always retain moisture. "It's important to make sure your hair is well conditioned and moisturized, as it's easy for it to dry out overnight," Maeva Heim, founder of BREAD Beauty Supply tells HelloGiggles. "If I'm planning to do a wash day the next day, I'll put hair oil all over my strands and let it do its magic overnight. I wake up with super soft locks once I wash it out."
2. Sleep on silk or satin.
Using satin and silk materials on your hair is inarguably one of the most important things you can do to maintain its health. "Ultimately, anything that combats excessive dryness or harsh rubbing of the hair will assist in the longevity of protective and natural styles," Heim says. Furthermore, she explains that the reason it's so useful to sleep on silk and satin pillowcases is that some fabrics, such as cotton, are extremely absorbent and will pull moisture from your hair, hence drying it out.
3. Style your hair for sleep.
How you style the hair overnight is very important, as it will help maintain your curl pattern. "When it comes to maintaining your curls overnight, there are many methods to choose from depending on your hair texture or the way you want your curls to fall the next day," says Dominique Atkinson, a curl expert and owner of La Fleur Hair Studio. "You have twist-outs, braid-outs, Bantu knots, flexi rods, wash n' gos—so many styles that require care."
One of the most popular methods to protect curl patterns, she says, is the pineapple method. "All of your curls are placed in a high ponytail and secured with a silk scrunchie or hair tie. You only wrap the scrunchie around the hair once, just enough to keep your curls in place without denting your hair," she says. "You complete this method by protecting your pineapple with a satin or silk head wrap or bonnet."
4. Pay attention to your edges.
Techniques like the pineapple method are great for maintaining your curl pattern and keeping your edges laid. Remember, the devil is in the details, so you must pay attention to your whole head of hair. "Adding a satin scarf or some kind of wrap will add a barrier to lay your edges," Heim explains. For the best results, make sure to prep your edges before applying your wrap. "Oiling your edges and lightly brushing them with a soft brush before wrapping up your hair will guarantee your edges to be in full cooperation the next morning," Fleur adds.