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How to Protect Curls While You Sleep

Updated: Oct 24, 2020

I like sleeping. I also like my curls. What’s the best way to combine both and not wake up with a disaster sitting on your head?

What kind of problems do your curls run into overnight?

  • Breakage from friction on the pillowcase, especially if your hair is dry. By the way, if you can’t remember the last time you washed your pillowcase, do that soon.

Flatness from the weight of your head.

Drying out from contact with air and bedding.

Loss of curl definition from friction and movement.

Tangles from, you guessed it, friction and movement.

You don’t have to sleep sitting upright to avoid these problems. I’ve collected some tips on how to make mornings less of a surprise.

Moisturize! You’ll notice that this will appear in most of our sets of tips on curl care. Prep your curls for the night with a leave-in conditioner and/or hair oil. Find one that not only gives you shine and definition, but also pleases your senses, whether you like lots of scent or none. Ask us for recommendations on our favorite nighttime curl treatments.

Cover your head with a scarf or bonnet before bed. These help your hair breathe while reducing the friction and movement that damages your texture. If head covers aren’t your speed or you want extra protection, try a silk or satin pillowcase. These materials greatly reduce friction and don’t absorb much moisture, letting your hair dry more slowly.

Try a protective style, like a twist out or braid out. If you have big, full curls or waves, you can also gather up your hair into a loose coil or just lift it to the top of your head with a soft scrunchie. This sleep style is called a “pineapple.” By using your options for nighttime styles, you can compress your curls to make them tighter and fuller, or stretch them for a longer, looser look.

In the morning, shake out your curls, take a look at what might have been flattened or mussed, and give your scalp a nice rub to pump up your roots. Apply a smoothing, moisturizing product to any frizzies and let your hair settle a bit if you have time. You can apply product all over or just where needed. To tighten and even out your curls, try a mist of water from a sprayer or some steam from the shower.

Every head of curls is unique, and so is the person who wears them, which is why I form lasting relationships with my clients to give their curls their best life. Come on in, I can’t wait to meet you!

Book an appointment now >

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