Protecting hair while sleeping is a matter of great importance because just like the skin restores itself during sleep, hair too restores itself while we sleep.
How you protect hair while sleeping depends on a number of factors; for instance, is your hair braided or weaved?
Do you have a clip-in hair extension or is your hair extension fixed?
Is your hair long or short?
How to prevent hair damage while sleeping
To better protect hair while sleeping, the following needs to be done;-
- Dry hair before calling it a night. Wet hair tends to be very fragile and this leads to hair loss as the hair tends to break easily in the process of turning and tossing in bed.
- Use a silk or satin pillowcase. These are recommended because they provide a smooth sleep surface which is what your hair needs. The smoother the sleep surface the better because it guarantees the good health and condition of your hair. In addition, unlike Cotton and other materials which are known to absorb hair moisture, Satin and Silk materials tend to retain moisture of both the natural and applied oils in the hair strands during the night.
- Cover hair in either a Silk or Satin headscarf. This is an additional precautionary measure to use a Satin or Silk pillowcase that serves to cool you down, prevent hair breakage and frizz besides retaining the moisture in the hair.
- Apply an overnight treatment or a deeply hydrating hair conditioner. These help to condition and deeply moisturize the hair because they work the entire night. They also serve to strengthen the hair.
- Use fabric hair accessories to tie your hair. These protect the ends of your hair unlike small elastics which tend to trap and pull out hairs. Basically, avoid elastic bands.
- Detangle your hair by thoroughly brushing it before retiring to bed. Use a soft bristle brush for this. This helps to evenly distribute the natural oils from roots to ends. When done, loosely twist or braid sections of your hair to ensure it will not tangle during the night.
- Massage your scalp. This not only helps you relax but it also stimulates blood flow to the hair follicles leading to a healthy scalp.
- Remove hair extensions before going to bed. They are known to cause excess tangling which leads to damage of both your hair and the hair extension.
- Wrap your hair using the wrapping technique. Using a hair brush, brush your hair around your head starting at the apex then use bobby pins to secure it in place
- Do the twist. This is recommended for long hair. Simply twist it into a top knot and use a fabric band to secure it in place.
How do I put my hair in a sleeping cap?
For short cropped hair, short curly hair and short weaves, all you need is to slip on a fitted but comfortable sleeping cap or to tie a headscarf around your head.
Basically, short hairdos do not need any styling prior to putting on a sleeping cap. For long hair and long hairdos, certain techniques need to be employed.
For instance, for long straight hair, the technique you need is to wrap the hair first in the manner prescribed above, then using both your hands to spread out the cap, carefully and gently slip it on your head.
For long curly hair, carefully twist it into a loose knot at the top of the head then hold the end of the knotted hair with one hand and gently put in the hair into the sleeping cap while spreading out the cap with your other hand for ease of wear.
Hold the ends of the sleeping cap and stretch it out as you pull it over your entire head. Be sure to tuck in any protruding hairs.
A good sleeping cap should be large enough to fit the size of your head in whichever hairdo. This is because some hairstyles are bulkier than others.
For instance, for those ladies with curls or frizzy hair, it is advisable to use sleeping caps with large volume while for those with dreadlocks, there are sleeping caps available in the market with a tunnel shape which work perfectly well because they allow you to slide in the locks into the tunnel.
It is therefore recommended that you keep different sizes of sleeping caps for the purpose of accommodating different hairstyles. If a sleeping cap is too small or tight, your scalp will not be able to breathe.
On the other hand, if it is too big, your hair will not be held together in place and the sleeping cap is likely to come off while turning and tossing during the night.
For long loose braids, use a scrunchie to hold it together into a ponytail at the top of the head.
Make one loose braid from the hanging braids, roll it up, and while holding it in place with one hand, use the other hand to slip on the sleeping cap starting with the rolled-up braid, then pull the cap over your entire head. You are good for the night.
How can I keep my hair curly at night?
Over the years, the experience of many ladies in maintaining their hair curls at night has not been good.
Many wake up to great disappointment as their curls tend to loose shape. This need not be the case.
It is possible to retire to bed in perfect curls and wake up looking gorgeous in the same. The trick is to do a few procedures just before hitting the bed.
The procedures are as follows;-
- Braid or twist. If you have curls that are wavy, you can part your hair into 2 or 3 sections then do 2 or 3 loose braids of those parts and spray them with a wave setting spray. Alternatively you can twist your hair into 2 or 3 sections and clip the ends with bobby pins to hold the twists in place. Once done use a wave setting spray to set it. In the morning, all you need to do is take out the braids or twists and the curls should snap back into place.
- Use Bantu knots. These are best for defined curls. Using a wide toothed comb, part your hair into 8 to 12 portions depending on the density of your hair. Twist these portions into knots from roots to ends. Where possible start with prepping your hair with a setting product such as a curl setting spray. Wind down the twists or knots into coils and secure each in place using a bobby pin. Once done, take hold of your sleeping cap, stretch it out at the ends and slip it onto your head. Retire to a good night sleep. In the morning, untie the knots, run your fingers through and shake out your curls. They will be as good as they were the previous day.
- Hold your hair into a ‘pinneaple’. This style is best for voluminous curls. All you need to do is to gently pull all your hair up to the top of your head near your forehead and hold it into place using a scrunchie made of fabric. Put on your satin or silk sleeping cap. In the morning, remove the scrunchie, let your hair loose and spray it with a curl activator spray. You will notice that the volume and bounce of your curls will have been maintained.
- Use Flexi Rods. These are soft rollers that are very flexible. They are made of lightweight foam which makes it easy for one to create or maintain already existing curls. Simply wrap sections of your hair around the rods then bend the rods into a U-shape to hold them in place. In the morning, remove the rollers and run your fingers through the curls of your hair. Doing this helps to achieve the length of curls one desires since flexi rods are known to curl hair in an intense way, especially when won overnight.
- Use a Silk or Satin Scarf or cap. Using a silk or satin scarf or cap helps to keep your hair from rubbing against your pillow and bedding during the night. It also keeps your hair secure and in place while you sleep. However, for those ladies who struggle with sweating at night, a silk scarf is always the best to use because it allows the pores of the scalp to breathe much better as compared to satin.
- Use a Silk or Satin pillowcase. Apart from the pillow cooling aspect, a silk or satin pillowcase is always the best to use because it is soft enough for your hair. It allows you to toss and turn your head during the night without messing up your curls or stressing your hair follicles, making breakage easy.
Are sleeping caps good for your hair?
The answer to this question is an emphatic YES!
There are notable advantages to wearing or using sleeping caps. Wearing a sleeping cap helps to prevent or reduce frizz.
It also helps to prevent friction to hair while you sleep, thus alleviating stress to hair follicles. Lack of friction also protects the structure of your hair strands.
Use of sleeping caps also helps to prevent split ends caused by dried out hair ends, a common result of friction during sleep.
Another advantage of using sleeping caps is that they help to reduce hair breakage caused by friction.
Sleeping caps also help to maintain natural hairstyles as the hair is not subjected to tagging, pulling and rubbing during sleep.
In addition, use of sleeping caps is cost effective in the sense that the hair does not need a lot of styling products, which would be the case if no sleeping caps were used.
Sleeping caps do not absorb hair products like cotton and other materials or fabric do, making hair cheaper and also easier to manage in the long run. Sleeping caps also help to prevent tangles and snarls, making it easy to style in the morning.
In addition, they help to retain moisture in the hair, thus preventing dryness. A dry scalp tends to produce natural oils at a much slower rate, thus the need to lock in moisture every night.
For women in menopause, sleeping caps are of great benefit because our hairs become drier as we age.
Sleeping caps help you to stay warm all night long during cold seasons. Breathable sleeping caps can also help to keep you cool during hot nights, especially in tropical climates by regulating body temperature.
Sleep without worry of spoiling your cute hair
Last but not least, wearing a sleeping cap helps you to get ready for the day in record time.
It ensures that you wake up ready for the day because there is little to do in terms of getting your hair ready, thus you tend to prepare yourself in a relatively short time.
Written by our editor Liberty Njiru