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Dry Hair Solutions: The ‘Baggy Method’ Explained

Avatar • Feb 21, 2012


by Jc of The Natural Haven

The baggy method is a moisturising technique that some naturals find effective. In simple terms it involves using a plastic bag (saran wrap, grocery bag, sandwich bag or plastic shower cap) to wrap around hair soon after moisturising it to help the hair retain that moisture. The method works by making water which would have otherwise evaporated, condense and stay as a liquid barrier near the hair, ready to be taken up when needed.

How does it work?

The moisturising effect of the baggy method is reliant on body heat (which condenses the water) and the length of time that the hair is covered. Some naturals will use the baggy method for a few hours a day (2–3 hours after work), overnight and some will even do it all day under a wig, turban or scarf. The length of time is really dependent on the individual as some people will find that the baggy method causes them to sweat more than normal. The baggy method is routinely used to get a moisture boost between washings (instead of wetting the full head) rather than a daily technique.

Modifications to the baggy method

The general basic method is to cover the whole head in a plastic bag. This is usually done by naturals with shorter hair or where the style does not permit you to create separations. There is a modification to this method that is designed to lessen potential sweating and focus moisture on the ends of hair. Hair can be separated into 2–4 sections and each section wrapped in plastic. Some women also use this modified technique to be able to wear the plastic bag underneath a phony puff/ponytail (i.e a ponytail or puff attachment).

Problems with the baggy method

For some, the baggy method will not be successful as it can cause scalp itching (especially if the whole head baggy method is used and/or your skin is quite sensitive to the extra moisture). For some individuals, the baggy method may always leads to soaking wet hair instead of moisturised hair. This second side effect is less common if the baggy method is used for a shorter time (2–3 hours) or if you naturally do not lose body heat fast/sweat very little. As always, let your hair and your body be the guide as to whether this technique is for you or not.

Ladies, have you tried the baggy method? How did it work out for you?

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Nimi
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Nimi

I baggy almost everyday. To keep my hair moisturised and also to protect my pillow case from all the oil and moisturiser from my hair which would otherwise get on my face and cause me to break out really bad! Fortunately this method has reduced breakage in a BIG way. It saves me having to M&S my hair everyday as I am not a fan of manipulating my hair everyday. I either baggy without adding any product or if I want to then I just spritz with some AVJ. Through trial and error I have learned that using as little… Read more »

O0oro0O
Guest

I thought the BM was like : damp your hair, apply a leave in then an oil or butter whereas GHE just wet or not your hair apply or not oil and put your bag on your whole head and that’s it. Now I’m a little bit confused but wtv, sometimes when I’m beign lazy and have neglected my hair, it needs extra boost and so I lightly damp it apply an oil sometimes I don’t and put the bag on for few hour to a night. It does wonder each time I do it but it has been a… Read more »

Jc
Guest

Some people moisturise hair and then proceed with the bag, other people do not add product and just cover their hair with a bag.

For some people no product is necessary because moisture forms anyway. For other people, without product, the baggy method does not work.

I thought it best to just describe how the bag works, it does not mean that you cannot follow your normal moisturising routine.

O0oro0O
Guest

I feel stupid but I don’t get it when you say “how the bag works” what do you mean (I’m thinking to cover whole head vs only length and ends is that right ?). To be honest I didn’t understand the last sentence when you talk about moisturising routine do you mean the daily one like spritz or do you mean the one I used to BM or GHE. Sorry I need precision, just faced that mt english “skills” are limited :s ps : I’ve tried to send u an e‐mail to thank you for the add via member but… Read more »

Jc
Guest

Aww you are so lovely! Your question is not stupid.I think that the green house effect is just another (fancy) name for the baggy method. The concept in both is to use a plastic bag to trap water that would have otherwise evaporated (this is what I meant by ‘how the bag works’). There are women who will wet hair, apply an oil/ moisturiser and then cover their hair with a bag and then go to sleep. However some women will find that their hair gets extremely wet and mushy if they follow this routine. They will therefore choose not… Read more »

O0oro0O
Guest

Yes it helps !

After reading your post I was thinking quite like you do that is more or less the same thing just two different names.

Thank you for the answer.

Lola
Guest
Lola

I did that baggy method early on in my journey but didn’t like it. It caused sores on my scalp and headaches.

Kai
Guest
Kai

@Lola me too! It was really bad. Woke up with such a tender scalp and a terrible migraine. Never again.

Lanny
Guest
Lanny

Me too. It also makes my hair smelly.

Bumper
Guest
Bumper

I have never used the baggy method because any extended period in a shower cap causes my hair to my smell. I can only imagine the stench of baggying overnight, so for me the cons far outweigh the pros.

caribbeancurl
Guest
caribbeancurl

So very true. I tried it overnight and my head was sweaty…yes the hair was moist but i was not having the smell..so then i had to have an unscheduled wash!!!.
I saw however where Chicoro placed the bag over just the ends…and even covered them up with something so that she can go out (to work etc). I’m am liking that alternative and will be trying it soon as I find suitable covers that will match clothing without looking too obvious.
I only do the complete baggy when i plan to wsah the hair next morning.

NubianSoul
Guest

I use it overnight for my locks, like Nimi, I use this to protect my pillowcase from all the oils as well! However, I have been using this for just about two months now I am definitely noticing a difference in terms of breakage!

Kai
Guest
Kai

Hi Row! LOL!

robin
Guest
robin

The plastic shower cap method is great in the winter time for a deep moisturizing conditioning if the hair is dry or dries out. Put the conditioner then a plastic cap over night then rinse out in the morning followed by a shampoo and instant conditioner. Works wonders. Do this once a month or every other month.

Sieta
Guest

I love the baggy method. I do it about twice a week or so for a few hours.

joy
Guest
joy

The BM has enabled my journey to be a much easier one in terms of my hair being much easier to manage. If any naturals suffer with dry hair, I totally recommend this method.

E
Guest
E

I have tried the BM overnight, but when I wake up in the morning…my hair is just wet; however, I do like it. I will be trying it with oil on dry hair and see how that works for me. My hair seems very dry in the front, so I have been trying to find a method that softens that area.

caribbeancurl
Guest
caribbeancurl

For hair that is longer than TWA one can place the bag just over ends and these can be covered with something appropriate to go to work, gyn etc. Trust me this keeps the hair super moist and reduces split ends and knots by a million times. And it is definetely not neccessary to do 7 days a weeks.…4 days average is more than enough.

Others on this post can suggest suitable materials that they can use to cover their baggies for when they leave the house.

Monisola
Guest
Monisola

I am very confused… why doesn’t one just apply a good daily leave in or spritz and then seal? Using a humectant like veggie glycerin will allow the hair to retain moisture. I have very dry, coarse, 4c hair and I never need to baggy…i dont even need to moisturize everyday now. Also, why do naturals only rely on “wash day” or co‐washes to give them moisture? what is all this about “if you need a moisture boost in between washes…” i thought our hair would need moisture more than once a week…and thus the need for a daily spritz..… Read more »

caribbeancurl
Guest
caribbeancurl

I’ll try to answer however since I am not an expert I will call on others to give their input. 1. Applying spritz and seal is indeed a good way of moiturizing.…the baggy method is just ANOTHER way. If you live in a hot climate like me by midday the effect of the spritz is gone…if i leave the baggy on then the hair is moist throughout. 2. You have to remember that everyone’s hair is different. Like you I have coarse dry 4c hair and need daily moisture. Some persons can get away with moisturising every 2–3 days. I… Read more »

Kaasi
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Kaasi

I spritz or run wet fingers through my hair while in the shower daily. I do this to freshen up bed head and then follow up with organic root stimulator oilve oil moisturizing hair lotion. Then I wil apply olive oil to my scalp using an applicator bottle and keep it moving. I feel u on the daily moisture. You are not the only one.

cygnet
Guest
cygnet

I have been moisturizing at least once daily, and sometimes twice, all this week since my most recent cleanse. I co‐washed and then used Giovanni Direct Leave‐In on damp hair, over which I sealed with a mixture of coconut, jojoba, and castor oils. I’ve been spritzing with rosewater and glycerin in the morning and again at night before going to bed, and one night I reapplied a small amount of the oil mix. My hair is twisted this week. This is significant, because last time I cleansed, I used Shea Moisture’s reconstructing conditioner as a leave‐in, over which I sealed… Read more »

Jc
Guest

Monisola Daily spritz — Not all naturals want or need to do a daily spritz. Not all naturals like humectants, some avoid them all together Routines — After conditioning hair during wash day, a good leave in and seal routine will often keep hair moisturised for 2–3 days easily and for some for even upto a week (unless it is very hot and dry where you live). As caribbean curl said, all hair is different, if you need daily moisture, do it, if you don’t then don’t. I will confess that I rarely read the natural style icons articles in… Read more »

KK
Guest

I get the itchy scalp side effect when I baggy with soaked hair (deep conditioning overnight), but I typically rinse my hair out the next morning, so the itchiness goes away. However, when I do a minimal spritz and then baggy, I don’t get the itchy scalp, and my WnG’s last several days well moisturized. I got the idea to do that from Naptural85’s video on how to maintain a WnG. You can watch that video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IksPFSqQ3SI&feature=channel_video_title. The key is the amount of water you put on your hair before you baggy!

Odi
Guest
Odi

Second that idea, I use the same method for my WnG as well and it works well. With a 1–2 sprays of water and small amt of conditioner ( usually I use about the size of a almond for each side), hair in loose ponytail with a scrunchie, plastic bag and my satin scarf I am good to go for the night. Leaves my hair moisturized not wet and good for this dry Chicago winter. Makes my WnG last about 4 days if I am consistent.

Lvflg
Guest
Lvflg

the baggy method works fine for me — but i leave the bag on minutes as not hours and i do it several times a week.

Sharon Johnson
Guest
Sharon Johnson

I use this method for conditioning my hair immediately after washing it. I slather on conditioner and go back to showering, covering my locks with a plain old plastic grocery bag secured at the nape with an elastic rubber band. I condition for about 10 minutes in the steam of the shower. before I get out,I rinse and wrap in a toewl. Excellent results.

Sherice
Guest
Sherice

Does this method result in “sweaty” hair or is it really moisture?

Jc
Guest

It really depends on the individual. As you can see from reading the comments, the opinion is split between those who find it useful and those who find that it leads to sweating/itchiness.

The section baggy method is a useful adaptation for those with longer hair because the bag only covers the ends of the hair instead of the whole head.

However, this method is not for everyone, it is a try and see thing.

df
Guest
df

yeah baggying overnight is just gross for me. my hair smells and it’s just WET which I personally don’t like. Today I baggied for about 9 hours under my beanie but my hair doesn’t smell, my scalp doesn’t itch even though it’s about the same time it would take if I slept on it. It’s what I’m comfy with anyway. My hair has been really dry so I’ve been baggying a couple days a week and deep conditioning twice a week. My hair should be well moisturized and happy very soon. I made sure to do a very mild protein… Read more »

Raven
Guest
Raven

I don’t think anyone’s hair should be forced to stay wet for extended periods of time and never left to dry. Some people have to understand that hair is suppose to be “dry” and you should need to moisturize it everyday or every other day or as much as you need to. Some people mistake their texture for dry hair as well. The baggy method is something I definitely won’t ever be doing.

zyaran
Guest
zyaran

The baggying method really does nothing for my hair to much. Lord knows if I put to much water in my hair while spraying, and then put on the plastic cap. My hair is to wet, and then it dries up crispier than before me doing this method. I like to use my water/glycerin mix with a little bit of conditioner as well. I’m trying out the Aussie 3 minute on my hair, and will see how this product will do in my hair.

K Murray
Guest
K Murray

I have mixed feelings about this method. I slept with this method one time and woke up with the world’s worst headache, funny smelling hair that was soft as cotton all day long.

nathalie valdema
Guest
nathalie valdema

This is just a short article why do they have to make it a ‘click to read more’? So annoying!

embracingnatural
Guest
embracingnatural

I thought that the heat produced from the head does not condense the water, but rather it increases the molecular rate of diffusion onto/into the shaft, as well as increasing the relative humidity of the air around the hair inside of the cap.

Niya Newell
Guest

Whoa…you are one sciency naturalista!

ur smart
Guest
ur smart

…ur my best friend

Lynn
Guest

I love the baggy method!!! I’m wearing a plastic cap as we speak :-). I’m a new natural, been transitioning for the past year and did my BC earlier this month. Right now I’m rocking a little twist out bush. Can’t wait for my hair to grow longer…I have a million new styles I wanna try. PATIENCE, PROTECTIVE STYLES & PROPER CARE!!!!

Kitka
Guest
Kitka

Yeah I’m late to the party. I baggyed last night for the first time in forever. I applied a bit of Shea Moisture Curl & Style Milk to my ends and then baggyed. I didn’t sweat or itch. I just made a weird crinkly noise as I tossed and turned lol. When I unwrapped my hair this morning, I was blown away by how soft my hair was, particularly my ends. I’ll be doing this more often, particularly when my hair has been loose for a couple of days. I don’t think I would spray my hair with anything wet… Read more »

Amber
Guest
Amber

I have 3c/4a and some 4b hair (I know thats a lot, product of lots of mixes) and my hair gets extremely dry. I have found that me sealing my ends with the right oils, only misting my hair with water, then sleeping in the baggy method has made a huge difference on overall health and moisture of my hair. Based on trial and error (and headaches) I use two plastic caps. I place one in the front to the middle of my head and the 2nd from the middle of my head to the bottom. By doing this its… Read more »

Yolanda
Guest
Yolanda

How did you cut the tshirt to make a head wrap?

Tamara
Guest
Tamara

I LOVE the baggy method!!!! This was made JUST for my hair. I am 7 months post relaxer 1 month post big chop and this method is works wonders. I had the hardest time keeping moisture in my hair. NOW, there is no issue with moisture. I have spray bottle with water,aloe vera juice and olive oil in it. I spray my hair before I go to bed at night and put a plastic cap on with my satin bonnet over it and hit the sack!! I wake up my hair is still moisturized and most of all so soft… Read more »

Denisha
Guest

On my head I have about 20% 4a hair,40% 4b and 40% 4c hair. (So 20/40/40). It’s a mix but with this method very easy to retain moisture with. Too bad it took me 8 months before I discovered this or the hair growth situation would’ve been very different. I have 3 1/4 inches so far in 8 months. (My 8 month mark was on January 27th). So at least I can secure 4 inches anyway. Nothing to be upset with at all especially since I exceeded my expectations. I have really healthy 4C hair (I know I have many… Read more »

Debbie
Guest
Debbie

@ Tamara. You are so right. I am 6 months natural with a TWA and I would moisturize my hair day and night. by the time I got up in the morning and during the day it would totally be dry. I now moisturize my hair with the bag tie it up and it is wonderful. It even defines my curls so I do not have to use as much products as I did before. Everything is not for everyone. This method as someone said cause mildew that is so not true. If anyone takes care of their hair the… Read more »

Yolanda
Guest
Yolanda

I love that my hair is uber moisturized in the morning but the baggy but my hair itches like the Dickens! I’m talking all over itching that wakes me throughout the night. I don’t suffer from dry scalp or any other itching at any other time. If there is any known modifications or alternatives I’m all ears.

Mrs. E
Guest
Mrs. E

My scalp used to itch like a muther also until mixed tea tree oil in my water/Aloe Vera juice mixture. I would put about 15–20 drops of tea tree oil in my 8 oz spray bottle. Then lightly spray the mixture over my entire head focusing mainly on my scalp. The smell will dissipate after a few hours under the cap. It also prevents mold or mildew from forming on your hair.

Jacqueline Kaye
Guest
Jacqueline Kaye

My scalp itches like crazy! My hair is soft!!!

Belladonnia
Guest
Belladonnia

Your head or shall I say scalp itches because it’s trying to tell you it needs to breathe. The good natural oils are on scale of 1–5 in clogging pores. The oils clogs pores because they penetrate. Leave oils on for 20–30 mins and wash. And if your scalp still itches, you allergic. Listen to your body.

audrey
Guest
audrey

I use this method often and love it but I was wondering is it ok to use every nite. Thanks..

Pearl
Guest
Pearl

I tried this method today while in braids. well I put the baggy at about 8:00pm and was still up till like 11:00pm. Really wanted to keep it overnight but my head was aching…not badly but could feel it ..don’t know if it’s cos of the baggy or anything else .but wanna know if anyone had this experience before .….
LOVE Y’ALL , PEACE .

Giann
Guest
Giann

I used this method while ago and I loved it, now that I’m fully natural & looking for ways to seal in moisture, I use this method overnight with conditioner. It helps seal in moisture & in the morning I don’t have to add as much product. It’s also a lot easier to work with & I don’t have to worry about my hair rubbing against anything & drying out and matting up. I just tie a grocery bag around my head and top it with a regular scarf. It works great and isn’t uncomfortable as long as it’s not… Read more »

Erin
Guest
Erin

I tried the baggy method for a week, in the beginning it my hair seemed softer more manageable but then I noticed that my head would sweat and smell but i liked how my hair felt after so i’m going to give just wrapping my hair see how that works

trackback

[…] amount of moisture by doing several things. (1) Co‐washed during the week (2) Moisturized daily (3) The Baggy Method for a few hours every other day. My hair feels better but the baggy method made my hair quite […]

Yg
Guest
Yg

Can I use a thick shower cap

Amaya
Guest
Amaya

I want to use it to seal hair like wax. Will hair absorb the water under a bag on each section of hair? I will squeeze the hair then make sure it is drying or not very wet if I have to and make sure the hair is not clumped so water doesn’t stay trapped in between.

k
Guest
k

Sounds like a way to get mildew in your hair to me.. ..

G
Guest
G

Youre not going get mildew in your hair from wearing a cap for a couple hours or even a day

Kristen
Guest
Kristen

I used to try this method and it made my curls pop and my hair really moisturised but my hair also stank… alot. I let it stay 24 hrs a day for a week. The main reason I stopped doing it is because every time I removed the bag after a few hours my hair would be even dryer than before, I thought my hair was getting too used to it so I stopped.

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