In the wake of the RHOA Todd/Kandi discussion surrounding hair bonnets and BGLH beaus’ insightful opinions on whether they care about bonnets in the bed, I thought I would bring you a ranking of nighttime maintenance methods for natural hair. The decision about how to wear your hair to bed factors in two important aspects:
1. maintaining your hairstyle
2. protecting your hair’s health.
As this week’s debates have shown, a potential third aspect — cuteness/sex appeal — may also be considered. Keep reading for the ultimate rankings for how to maintain your hairstyle at night and how to protect your hair, from what’s least effective to most effective.
If you still use a bandana at night before going to sleep, get up right now and throw it in the garbage. Now! The cotton in a bandana is awful for retaining moisture in your hair, as the fabric actually absorbs moisture. If you haven’t thrown away your bandanas yet, use them while at the gym to absorb sweat from your hair and scalp, but please don’t wear them to bed. Plus that scattered paisley print is TIRED!
7. Head Scarves
Often made from a blend of fabrics, head scarves come in a variety of prints and colors that can match your nightie, making them a favorite of black women everywhere. However, not too many of us have perfected the art of tying a scarf tightly enough that it stays on the whole night, but loosely enough that it doesn’t cut off our circulation. Use with care.
6. Bonnets/Hair Socks
The debated bonnet. Easy to slap on and off due to its elastic band, and is more likely to come in a moisture retaining fabric like a satin blend. If you have long locs, braids, twists, or just longer hair, a hair sock is a similar option that allows you to cover your hair without having to stuff it all under a bonnet. But even if our boos don’t mind, bonnets can often make women feel geriatric. Spice it up by getting a bonnet in a cute print or color, like leopard print.
5. Satin Pillowcases
To maximize cuteness, change your pillowcases to 100% satin or silk. You’ll not only feel fancier but will be able to slide right into bed without having to compromise protecting your hair and feeling sexy. Since they’re not actually on your head, satin pillowcases are a great (really, the only) option for active sleepers who toss and turn every which way. Plus satin is soft and gentle on your hair and doesn’t rub against it or withdraw moisture!
Now that you know the best and worst methods for protecting your hair at night while in bed, what about what you do to your hair right BEFORE you get in bed?
4. Loose Curls/Kinks
While the easiest style to do since it requires absolutely no effort on your part, wearing your hair to bed just as you wore it during the day wins major effort points. However, you may have to manipulate your hair more in the morning to revive one squashed side or a few smushed curls, so use this method sparingly.
For naturals with longer hair, a bun or a puff at night can seem like the perfect option for maintain stretched, elongated hair. However, if done too tightly, buns can cause severe tension on your edges, and even put a dent (pun intended) on your hair by leaving a ridge.
2. Twists or Braids
Twists and braids, whether to the scalp or falling down, are common nighttime protocols for naturals who want to maintain or enhance the shape of their hair. While they ensure uniform curls and kinks, the regular manipulation several times a week can actually put strain on your hair, so limit these to a few times per week, not nightly.
Pineappling your hair, if it’s long enough, is the best of both worlds because you’re able to preserve your desired shape without having to re-manipulate your hair, while keeping it elongated at night. Christina shows us how pineappling with a wig cap allows for breathability. Combine this with your satin pillowcase, and you have the ultimate maintenance, protection, and sultriness needed in a hairstyle for bed!
Do you agree with these rankings? What is your preferred method of maintaining and protecting your hair at night? Do you prioritize your hairstyle, hair health or cuteness when going to bed?