Having great hair days with curly hair is like a dream come true. But keeping those perfect curls intact while you sleep is a whole different story. You might go to bed with a flawless head of curls, only to wake up to a chaotic, frizzy mess.

To prevent this, it's important to develop a nightly routine that involves wrapping your curls in a way that preserves their shape. Here are a couple of easy ways to achieve that:

how to wrap your hair and keep your curls at night

1. Wrapping with a Silk or Satin Scarf

No surprise, using a silk scarf or satin is at the top of the list for preserving curls. These materials have a smooth surface that minimizes friction and keeps frizz away. Wrapping your curls with a scarf can be done in different ways, but the most common one is called the pineapple method. It's called that because your hair ends up looking like a pineapple afterward. To do this, simply grab your scarf and connect the opposite ends to form a triangle shape.

Drape the scarf over your shoulder. Then, lean forward and place the scarf at the nape of your neck, with the sides hanging down. Take the ends of the scarf and tie a knot at the top of your head. If you prefer to keep your curls away from your face, you can wrap them into a bun and secure them with a clip. Another option is to twist the scarf over the curls and tuck them into the wrap.

Another easy technique involves creating a loose bun at the crown of your head. Place the scarf on top of your head, with the triangular point in the center and the ends hanging down the sides. Tie the ends of the scarf at the back of your head. You can stop there or bring the ends forward and tie another knot at the front.

a pink silk bonnet

2. Wrapping in a Bonnet

To preserve your curls and keep them hydrated, using a silk or satin bonnet is a great choice. Putting on a bonnet may seem easy, but there are a few things to keep in mind. To wrap your hair in a bonnet, flip your hair forward and slide the bonnet through the back of your neck while gently tucking your curls inside.

If you have longer hair, you may need to split it into two sections and loosely twist them before putting on the bonnet. If you're a restless sleeper and worry about the bonnet slipping off or getting misplaced, you can secure the sides of the bonnet with pins or drape a silk or satin scarf over it. Alternatively, using a silk pillowcase provides an additional layer of protection for your curls.

3. Wrapping with a T-shirt

The method of wrapping your curls with a t-shirt is similar to a technique called "plopping." However, instead of using it for a short time, you leave it on overnight to achieve defined and voluminous curls. Here's how to do it:

●     Grab an old t-shirt with long sleeves and find a comfortable spot, like your bed, to place it.

●     You can choose to plop your curls when they are wet or dry. But it's generally not recommended to sleep with damp hair, as it can create a breeding ground for bacteria and fungus. So, it's best to ensure your hair is dry before wrapping it.

●     Position the t-shirt at the nape of your neck, allowing the sleeves to dangle on the sides of your face.

●     Take the sleeves and tie a knot at the front of your head. Then, make another knot at the back to secure it in place.

Using a softer fabric like a t-shirt minimizes friction, resulting in less frizz and more defined curls. This method helps you wake up with gorgeous curls and added volume.

wrap braids in a silk bonnet

4. Wrap Braids in a Bonnet

Braids can help maintain the definition and volume of your curls, but sometimes frizz can get in the way. That's where the bonnet trick becomes handy, as it makes a great combination. You don't need any fancy braids; simply divide your hair into two, four, or six sections, depending on what works for you.

Take a section, split it into three parts, and braid by layering one section over the other. You can also twist the section by splitting it into two halves and stacking them over each other. Once you've finished braiding or twisting, cover your braids with a bonnet and go to bed. This pairing of braids and a bonnet will help you maintain your curls while minimizing frizz.

Photo by Kristina Polianskaia:

5. Pin Curl in a Wrap

Pin curls involve pinning up your curls, just as the name suggests. To start, divide your hair into smaller sections. Take a section, wrap it around your finger, then remove your finger and flatten the section against your head. Secure it in place with bobby pins or clips. Repeat this process for the remaining sections.

Pin curls are great for keeping your curls intact and well-defined. After pinning, don't forget to wear a scarf or bonnet made of silk or satin. Speaking of silk and satin, you might be wondering which is better. Simply put, if you can afford it, choose silk as it offers tons of benefits. If not, satin is a good alternative.

June 14, 2023 — Michelle Fletcher Smith