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How To Sleep With Curly Hair: 6 Ways

Sleeping with curls is slightly different from sleeping with straight hair. With curls, it’s all about finding a way to wear it to sleep that won’t leave you with tangles, wonky curls, frizz or flattened curls the next morning. If you put in a little extra effort before you go to sleep, you can sleep easy and wake up with healthy, bouncy curls. In this article, we’ll share 6 ways to sleep with curly hair that will ensure a bouncy and less frizzy morning.

Also read: The main techniques of the Curly Girl Method

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Put your hair up into a pineapple

The best way to keep curly hair intact overnight is to put it up into a pineapple. This is a very high and loose ponytail, on top of your head. Flip your hair all the way over and secure it, preferably with a scrunchie or Invisibobble in order to avoid breaking or denting the hair. Stand back up, and separate the ponytail so that half is on each side of your head. This way your curls won’t stretch out while you sleep. We don’t need to tell you how this technique got its name, do we? 😉

Sleep on a satin or silk pillowcase

Preferably change your cotton pillowcase for a silk or satin one, for maximum protection while you sleep. Cotton pillowcases are very drying on curly hair and cause friction while you sleep, which can lead to breakage, dehydrated hair and frizz. A silk pillowcase, on the other hand, will help keep your hair hydrated and prevent breakage. Your hair will glide smoothly over the pillowcase without creating frizz. You can use this in combination with any of the other tricks on this list. For example, many women pineapple and sleep on a satin pillowcase.

Wear a hair bonnet

If you don’t like the look or feeling of sleeping on a satin pillowcase, you can wear a hair bonnet instead to protect your curls. Hair bonnets are usually made of silk or satin. They keep your hair in one place and prevent friction. They can also prevent knots and tangles. Some people can get away with putting their hair directly into the bonnet, while others prefer to pineapple their hair and then pop it in the bonnet. Alternatively, you can wrap a satin scarf around your head.

Overnight plopping

Plopping is a heat-free styling technique that helps cut down on drying time, without damaging your hair. Instead of letting your curls dry “hanging”, plopping will accordion your curls, helping them keep their defined, spiral shape. Many women plop for 10-20 minutes before they diffuse or air-dry their hair, and some even keep their hair like this overnight.

You plop your wet hair after you’ve applied your styler, and don’t use a normal towel for this, because that’s made to absorb the moisture from your hair. And moisture is very important for curls, which are naturally very dry and sensitive. That’s why it’s better to use a soft fabric, such as a cotton t-shirt, microfibre towel or hydrophilic cloth. 

Also read: The pros and cons of hair plopping

Sleep with a gel cast

When you shower and style your curls with gel, it will dry with a gel cast. Normally you would break this by scrunching out the crunch. But when you do your wash routine at night and go to bed with a gel cast (maybe pull your hair into a pineapple), the cast preserves your curls. It will soften while you sleep, but the actual curl is preserved. So this is a perfect trick for fabulous hair for people that don’t have time for a full routine in the morning!

Refresh your curls

So you did everything you could to protect your curls at night, and the results are impressive. Your curls are looking pretty good, with a little extra frizz here and there. Time to refresh your curls! This will bring your curls back into shape, without washing it. You do this as follows: moisten your hair, in the shower or with a spray bottle with a mix of water and leave-in conditioner. Scrunch thoroughly and let it dry. That’s it! Sometimes it helps to use some extra styling products such as gel or mousse. Doing so can create a small curl cast, so don’t forget to scrunch it out once your curls are dry.

Also read: Freshening up your curls in between washes

What’s your favorite way to sleep with curly hair? Let us know on Instagram!

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