How To Sleep With Curly Hair

Written by Arshiya Syeda

While some people try to get their hair curled, you might be born with curly hair. Curly hair may take the shape of a tight spiral, or it could be like a ribbon. You need not make much effort for styling it. But, having curly hair means that you need to follow a curly night hair routine to ensure that it looks as healthy and curly as possible when you get up in the morning.

In this article, we talk about the right way to sleep with curly hair, its importance, and how you can keep your curls intact.
Let us begin with the importance of sleeping right with curly hair.

The Importance Of Sleeping Right With Curly Hair

Your curls cannot take care of themselves, so you need to put in that tender loving care (or TLC) when you go to sleep. You might not be able to follow a curly hair night routine every day, but try to stick to a routine nonetheless.

Here are some reasons why you need to protect your curls when you sleep:

1. Your Hair Stays Healthy

You can break your hair while tossing and turning during sleep. Your bedsheets may be made of drying material that can damage your curls. Curls need to be well-hydrated, and the conventional cotton pillowcases absorb moisture from your hair. Your hair gets stuck due to the drying material, and this causes breakage. This is why you need to sleep on a silk pillowcase.

2. Keeps Your Curls In Shape

If you struggle with maintaining your curls for more than a day, it is time to start following a curly hair night routine. With the right sleeping position, you will not need to worry about styling a lot. For example, if you are a side sleeper, you don’t sleep on your curls. Thus, your curls stay intact. You could also wear a sleeping cap to protect your curls.

3. Prevents Flattening

Sleeping on curly hair flattens it. Do not expect your curls to bounce back in the morning after you have slept on them for hours. The curls are crushed by the weight of your head. They look messy and matted the next day. Therefore, you should avoid sleeping on your back and sleep on your side or on your stomach instead.

Let us find out the best way of sleeping with curly hair.

Best Ways To Sleep With Curly Hair

Getting into a hair night routine is not as difficult as you think. All you need is to find the right hairstyle that protects your hair and a few simple hair tools.

If you do not wash your hair every day, then keeping your curls intact is easy. Your hairstyle will depend on whether your hair is dry or wet when you are sleeping.

Here are some hairstyles to sleep in for curly hair when it is dry:

1. Pineapple

This sleeping hairstyle for curly hair looks like a pineapple on top of your head. Here is the best way to do the pineapple:

  • Bend your head down until your hair falls in front of you.
  • Collect your hair and bring it to the top of the head. Ideally, it should be between your forehead and the crown of your head.
  • When sleeping with short curly hair, try to get as near as possible to the ideal spot.
  • Tie up your hair in a loose bun with a cloth, headband, or a satin scrunchie.

When your hair is collected at the top, the chances of sleeping on it are minimal. Keep the scrunchie loose to prevent breakage.

There is lower friction with this hairstyle, your curls are not crushed, there is reduced frizz, and the curl definition remains intact.

2. Bun

The pineapple works for short hair. But if your hair is long, try the bun:

  • Pull up your hair in a ponytail.
  • Loosely wrap a hair elastic around it once.
  • When you pull the hair elastic around it the second time, pull your hair only halfway through. This creates a bun.

Tying your hair in a bun reduces breakage and friction. Apply a leave-in conditioner before you tie a bun and make sure it stays loose.

3. Buff Or Headscarf

Here are the steps for the buff hairstyle:

  • Stretch the buff or headscarf and guide it gently over your head till it ends up around your neck like a necklace.
  • Tip your hair upside-down.
  • Gently pull the top of the buff until your hair is completely encased in it.
  • If you have long hair, tie it at the top.

When you are sleeping with curly hair, the buff keeps your hair above your head. You can also use a curly hair sleep cap in its place.

4. Braid

Here are the steps for braiding curly hair at night:

  • Pull your hair back and divide it into two sections.
  • Twist both the sections clockwise, individually, until the very ends.
  • Wrap the two sections around each other in a counter-clockwise motion and secure it at the ends with a hair elastic.

5. Plopping It

  • Start with washing your hair.
  • Apply some leave-in conditioner to it.
  • Spread a T-shirt on your bed, with the sleeves facing toward you.
  • Toss your hair forward and place it in the center of the T-shirt.
  • Pull the hem of the T-shirt to the back of your neck and tie the sleeves over it.

6. Sleeping With Wet Curly Hair

When you are sleeping with wet curly hair, here is a routine you can follow:

  • If you have to start early the next day, wash your hair the previous night.
  • Make sure you wash your hair 2 to 3 hours before you go to sleep.
  • Remove all the excess water from your hair with a microfiber towel.
  • You can apply a light moisturizing hair gel for the best results.
  • Scrunch your hair with your fingers and plop it in a soft T-shirt.

Now, let us check out some smart tips for sleeping with curly hair.

Smart Tips For Keeping Your Curls Intact

To keep your curls healthy and intact, you need to follow these smart tips. You need to work harder for curly hair than for normal hair. Whether it is following a curly hair sleep routine or using hair masks, you need a customized solution for your curly hair. This is the best way to prevent dents, tangles, and frizz in your hair before they can occur.

Here are some easy tips for sleeping with curly hair:

1. Use A Silk Pillowcase:

The key to keeping your hair hydrated, preventing breakage, and minimizing frizz is using a silk pillowcase. Your hair faces less friction since silk provides you with a smooth and comfortable surface.

Cotton pillowcases are drying. This leads to dehydrated hair and breakage, so switch to a silk pillowcase for a night of great sleep and dreamy curls.

There are some points you need to consider when buying a silk pillowcase for sleeping with curly hair:

  • Stick To Genuine Silk: You should only buy pillowcases made of 100% pure mulberry silk. An easy way to check whether the pillowcase is made of genuine silk would be the price tag. Anything under $20 will be inferior-quality silk.
  • Feel Of Silk: Genuine mulberry silk is the best type of silk. It is smooth, strong, and has a uniform color. It is stronger compared to a steel fiber of the same proportions. The best weave is mulberry silk charmeuse, which is smooth and free of friction. You will not have problems with bed head, sleep wrinkles, or frizz when you sleep on it.
  • Silk Grade: Silk has different grades ranging from A (the lowest) to 6A, the highest. When buying a silk pillowcase, make sure the label says 6A, indicating the best quality.
  • Weight Of Silk: Silk is measured in terms of momme units. The higher the momme unit, the more superior the quality of silk. If your pillowcase does not indicate the momme weight, avoid it.
  • Environmentally Safe Silk: The best quality silk pillowcases should be free of harmful chemicals. This should be certified by an independent agency. Do not forget to check the certification when buying the pillowcase.

2. Keep Your Hair Hydrated

If you want to avoid frizzy and damaged hair, use a moisturizing cream or conditioner before going to sleep. Hair tends to dry out during the night, so a bit of curl cream will ensure it stays hydrated all night.

The cream and conditioner you need for your hair depend on your hair’s thickness. A dash of cream would do for fine hair. Anything more will flatten your curls.

3. Satin Bonnet

To keep your hair ends from breaking due to friction, your best option is a satin bonnet. With this bonnet, you will not have any problems with frizz and breakage.

4. Morning Refresher

A quick way to keep your curls refreshed is using a bit of water. After spraying your hair with water, you can use your hands to reshape your curls. Not only will your curls stay intact, but they will also have a sparkling shine.

5. Leave-In Conditioner

When you provide keratin to your hair follicles with a leave-in conditioner, your curls get a greater bounce and shine. If there are any hair strands that are damaged due to hair dye and heat styling, a spray-on conditioner will make them stronger. Softer hair is easier to style.


Sleeping with curly hair requires extra care. Depending on the thickness of your hair and what you are comfortable with, there are different hairstyles to choose from. It is necessary to take precautions for your curly hair to keep it healthy and intact.

While the pineapple works great for short hair, the bun and buff are best suited for long hair. Use a satin pillowcase to keep your hair hydrated along with the right hair gel when sleeping with curly hair.

Follow these tips to keep your curls looking curly all the time!

Frequently Asked Questions

What hairstyle should I use for short curly hair?

The best hairstyle for sleeping with short curly hair is the pineapple. It prevents breakage and frizz when you sleep at night.

What is the best material for sleeping with curly hair?

It is best to avoid cotton pillowcases when sleeping with curly hair. These pillowcases make curly hair dry by absorbing moisture from it. The right materials for sleeping with curly hair are satin or silk since they do not absorb moisture.

What is the best hairstyle for long curly hair?

The bun and the buff are the best hairstyles for sleeping with curly hair that is long. The bun keeps your curls intact.
For the buff, you need a stretchable fabric. This fabric keeps your hair in place. Be careful not to move a lot, or else the buff will come off. The buff keeps your hair over your head and prevents damage.

What is the best option for wet curly hair?

If you are sleeping with wet curly, wash it 2 to 3 hours before going to sleep. Apply a gel for curly hair to keep it hydrated all night and plop it in a T-shirt.

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