No matter what your curl type is, maintaining curls while sleeping is a challenge for everyone. We often wake up with flattened, frizzed, or fluffy hair that is very difficult to manage! Whether you prefer to sleep with wet or dry hair, we have an easy solution that will not require you to shampoo your hair each morning!
1. Sleep with crunch
Sleeping with your hair down often requires restyling in the morning, which can be done by rewetting hair with a spray bottle and scrunching with gel, mousse, or curl cream.
Expedite matters by taking a tip from CurlTalk contributor Amda, and go to sleep with hair “crunchy” from gel so that your movement during sleep will "scrunch out the crunch," as opposed to fluffing up hair.
MORE: Scrunch Out the Crunch
2. Wear a wet bun
Many curlies opt to sleep in a wet bun in order to cut down on frizz. Apply a leave-in conditioner and scrunch gel into hair before flipping it over and securing it into a bun. Make sure to keep your bun fairly loose so curls are not stretched out too much. This method allows for many morning styling options.
If your hair is still wet, you can add more curling products and either air-dry or diffuse.
3. Try twists
Another approach to sleeping with wet curls is to take a cue from CurlTalk user HoopsLoops and twist hair into 5 to 8 “big chunks” and clip to the top of the head. This keeps curls intact during the night, and the twists can be loosened with your fingers in the morning.
A popular curl drying method that helps you avoid hair being weighed down by gravity is “plopping.” This technique requires you to apply gel to hair and then lay a microfiber towel on a flat surface and flip hair over, allowing it to pile on top of itself into the towel. Tie the sides of the towel so that it will remain securely on your head. The towel will speed up drying time, and the “pile” of curls will set nicely.
MORE: How to Plop
Many curly girls like to “pineapple” their dry hair as they sleep.
Flip your dry hair all the way over, and secure into a very high and loose ponytail. Use a scrunchie or fabric covered hair tie 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. In the morning, a quick spritz of water or curl refresher will do the trick!
MORE: How to Pineapple
6. Sleep on a satin pillowcase
In order to prevent friction on hair while sleeping, use a silk or satin pillowcase. Hair will glide smoothly over it without creating frizz. Some curlies even like to use a satin sleeping cap over hair after “pineappling” to further hold the shape of their curls.
Braiding hair at night is a very popular way to keep it in place. Experiment with one loose braid, a French braid, or multiple braids to find what works for you. Looser braids will help maintain your natural curl pattern, while tighter braids will add more of a crimp.
Another unique way to style hair for bedtime is to do a two-strand twist. This can be done on wet or dry hair, but curls will turn out tighter if hair starts out damp. This method allows you to target specific sections of hair to shape them in a manner that will not flatten as you sleep.
MORE: How to 2-strand Twist
Mix it up
Experimenting with multiple techniques will allow you to customize the best routine for you! CurlTalk contributor Joce12 shared the multi-step process that she has perfected.
She starts by applying a mix of defining gel, curling milk and leave-in conditioner to her hair, and then cups her curls/waves to get them to clump. She then shapes her curls with her hands while diffusing. She makes sure that her hair is 95% dry before sealing it with coconut oil and putting it into one big braid. The next morning, she spritzes hair with a leave-in conditioner and occasionally touches it up with a curling iron.
Try our methods for sleeping with curly hair and let us know what works best for you!