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8 Nighttime Hair Maintenance Methods Ranked by Cuteness and Effectiveness

Avatar • Mar 6, 2015

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.

8. Bandanas

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

The NightScarf Project by Angela Dennis

Photographer: Angela Dennis

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

Woman Sleeping in Bed

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.

3. Bun

Alicia James

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

color purple natural hair meme

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.

1. Pineapple

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?

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About Klassy Kinks

KlassyKinks.com founder and editor, Ijeoma Eboh, is on a mission to change perceptions of kinky textured hair around the world. You can find her on social media @klassykinks.

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Veronica
Veronica
5 years ago

I’m a good olé satin scarf kinda gal.… I think the hubby likes it cuz he remarks on how cute they are… gotta admit tho, I can’t wait for my hair to be long enough to pineapple on a satin pillow case… ultimate sexy!!

Anonin
Anonin
5 years ago

I have a silk pillowcase and its BECAUSE I’m a sleeper that moves around that it doesn’t work. I wake up with my hair a mess.

Diva B.
5 years ago
Reply to  Anonin

Are you pineappling? Are you doing anything else to keep it in place as you sleep?

Anonin
Anonin
5 years ago
Reply to  Diva B.

My hair isn’t that long to pineapple but I could look to give that a try next time I’m at sallys.

MaravilhaKristina
MaravilhaKristina
5 years ago
Reply to  Diva B.

Does pineappling work for anything but 3s? I’m a 4c, and pineappling leaves certain parts stretched, and certain parts shrunken. It seems pointless for my texture.

Diva B.
5 years ago

It depends on your technique and your length. If it’s shorter then you should be doing several smaller bunches. It also depends on the type of hair ties you use. This is why we need tutorials, so we can experiment with new techniques and find what works best for us. 🙂

nylse
5 years ago

i actually think this is a tad ridiculous. why are so many black women confused about taking care of their hair and do we really need a whole discourse about the best method for night protection? Really???

Diva B.
5 years ago
Reply to  nylse

Because everyone is different and everyone can use a new method every now and then. 🙂

Rosie
Rosie
5 years ago
Reply to  nylse

This whole blog is dedicated to women that want to learn about taking care of their hair. If this doesn’t interest you, you don’t have to read it.

POPPIN'BIG'BOTTLES
POPPIN'BIG'BOTTLES
5 years ago
Reply to  nylse

The more I think about it, the more I kind of agree with you lol.

Nicole L. Mack
Nicole L. Mack
5 years ago
Reply to  nylse

Sadly it IS needed. It’s embarrassing to admit, but I knew very little about taking care of my own hair until I started studying it in depth. I was always told my hair was constantly breaking due to my Sickle Cell Anemia & accepted that it would always be no longer than ear length. After research & applying the knowledge I’ve learned here & other places (BGLH was the 1st to educate me); my hair went from ear length to armpit length in a year. Knowledge is always power!

facepalm
facepalm
3 years ago
Reply to  nylse

ummm, YES. dear, an entire generation of black women were subjected to relaxers at an early age and are now going natural. we were never taught how to style or protect our natural hair, so now we’re playing catch up. This has been going on forever. Where have you been?

eljjai
eljjai
5 years ago

Okay, I’m going to say this for the 100th time: SILK IS A FIBER SATIN IS A WEAVE FIBER mean the actual strands that make the fabric. WEAVE means the way they are woven together. you can get satin that is made out of silk or polyester or other blends. Silk can be WOVEN into anything- jersey, satin, brocade for example. The point of a SATIN SCARF is the slippery weave. Slippery equals less friction which means less damage. A silk fabric can still be rough and draw moisture aways from you hair. For the best results get your self SILK SATIN, that is… Read more »

cryssi
cryssi
5 years ago
Reply to  eljjai

Thank you!!!

Briana Hicks
Briana Hicks
5 years ago
Reply to  eljjai

Well dang, I cam down here to say the same thing! “To maximize cuteness, change your pillowcases to 100% satin or silk.” Satin is a weave type so a fabric can’t be 100% satin. It just *is* satin. Silk is a fiber. You can have a 100% silk satin scarf, or 100% polyester satin scarf, or 100% rayon satin scarf, or whatever else as long as it is a satin weave with made with yarns made out of filament (really long) fibers. A satin weave using short staple fibers like cotton, wool, linen, or man made fibers shortened to resemble natural staple fibers is… Read more »

lorrwill
lorrwill
5 years ago
Reply to  Briana Hicks

Thanks for this Briana! This is exactly what I was looking for. I don’t want to use silk for ethical reasons and swelter in polyester — or stick to it, in the case of pillow cases. I will be looking for rayon satin.
(Rayon used to be called “poor man’s silk” when it first because popular for clothing.)

Miss Thang
Miss Thang
5 years ago
Reply to  eljjai

THANK YOU!!!

Bigantic
Bigantic
5 years ago

I just use a plain black bonnet. It’s stylish. Black goes with everything, right? 😉

Oh, and did anybody notice the man from #8 is that “hide yo wife, hide you kids” celebrity? X‑D

Cygnet
Cygnet
5 years ago
Reply to  Bigantic

Hahahaha :-D!!! And the instant I saw him, I was gonna ask, “Okay, did y’all HAVE to go get him as the example of a bandana?!”

On another note, I owe Christina thanks for the wig cap idea. Now I need to go find a wig cap … :-)!

J.Nicole
5 years ago

Pineapples never work for me. I still end up with half flattened hair. Unless I’m too tired (or drunk) I make sure to put in some twists then a scarf. I’m not worried about if it’s cute unless dude want to help me untangle the mess in the morning!

Dee
Dee
5 years ago

I used to be ok with wearing a silk scarf to bed. It only worked when my hair was short. However, I will be going out to purchase a bonnet soon.

R Says
R Says
5 years ago

FOCUS!

Malynn
Malynn
5 years ago

I cannot work with the regular pineapple any longer. The only time I ever do one is if I’m with my boyfriend for the weekend. I think it’s because I’m a fine haired curly girl with 3b and 3c curls, and the pineapple always manages to slip down in the night and my curls end up looking squashed and flat. I’ve solved this problem by wrapping my hair in a satin scarf and letting the ends peek out but covering most of my head and tying it in the back. BOOM. I guess it’s a pineapple, but a covered pineapple?… Read more »

April Caddell
April Caddell
5 years ago

With my length, about a medium size afro unstretched (and I hardly stretch my hair either), I just either sleep on a satin pillowcase (most of the times) or sleep with a satin bonnet (when I’m traveling). The satin pillowcase is good for wild sleepers like myself, and is cute as well. The bonnet with the elastic band is less likely to come off in the night, and is good for keeping edges smooth when my hair is braided down.

Rosie
Rosie
5 years ago

The author was like, I’m just gonna use the craziest pictures I can find. lmao
I do about 4 chunky twist at night but I pull the twist back in a ponytail so I don’t scare my husband away. lol

POPPIN'BIG'BOTTLES
POPPIN'BIG'BOTTLES
5 years ago

Pinappling looks cool, but it doesn’t look too much better than a bonnet?

Jacky
Jacky
5 years ago

Nice article. I especially love the tip on ‘Pineappling with a wig cap for ease and breathability’ at the end, I hope to try it soon. I maintain my natural hair at night by putting it into a loose pineapple and sleeping on a satin pillowcase. I tried using the bonnet and satin scarf but they kept falling off during the night and I hated how they looked on me( especially the scarf since I couldn’t tie it properly ) so I converted my satin scarves to satin pillowcases and this works for me.

Sky
Sky
5 years ago

REALLY? Go to bed black (Whoopi) wake up mixed race.

Natural MiMi
Natural MiMi
5 years ago

I use a bonnet, and a satin pillow case…

CaramelKurly
CaramelKurly
5 years ago

I have neck length hair can’t pineapple. I like my satin scarf and pillow case thank you very much!

Rina
Rina
3 years ago

Iove the article! 😉 I’m hispanic and have straight hair but it still needs to be protected from breakage- I’m an active sleeper and move around all night. I always find at least 10 hairs on my pillows and bed in the morning. I started sleeping with super soft loose pigtails but always wake up to dreaded pony-tail dents (even though it saved my hair from breaking off). I have silk pillowcases, but they’re old so they don’t provide the slip they use to. I think it’s just time for me to bite the bullet and invest $100 in new… Read more »

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