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Pictured: Franchelli Rodriguez

If one of you were to ask me to name my top five favorite activities, I can assure you that sleeping in my bed would rank in the top three. There is nothing quite like the combination of soft bedding, adorable PJs and cute hair before turning in at night (whether I’m sharing my space with someone or not). Thing is, when it comes to finding a hair look that complements everything else that I mentioned, it can be a bit of a tight rope because, although I want my hair to have some sort of stylish look to it, I also want to make sure that I don’t wake up to a chaotic mess the next morning as well.

The solution? The following five ideas (for starters). If you’ve been trying to figure out how you can turn in for the night with your hair looking as cute as it possibly can (because most of us like cute hair all of the time, not just some of it!), here are some practical tips that are aesthetically pleasing, comfortable and practical (when it comes to easing into your morning hairstyling routine) too.

1. Master the Pineapple

As far as going to bed “cute” goes, one of my favorite looks (on longer hair) is definitely the pineapple. If you’ve heard of it but you’re not exactly sure what that is, a pineapple is when you pull your hair up into a loose ponytail and then tie a scarf around it. It’s a great bedtime option because it can help to decrease tangling while also keeping your curls from flattening out after rolling around all night long. Plus, who isn’t cute in a ponytail, right? For step-by-step instructions on how to make your own pineapple, you can watch the tutorial below, as well as helpful videos here and here. If you happen to have shorter hair, here’s how to create a pineapple for it (here).

2. Try Some Cornrows or Flat Twists

A look that I personally find to be super sexy — whether you’re wearing it outdoors or inside — are cornrows. Since they can also reduce detangling and help your ends to remain “tucked away” (which reduces breakage), of course, they’re a real plus when it comes to adding them to your nighttime routine. No matter how big or small the braids are, it’ll be really cute on you (even if it’s three big ones) and if you decide to tie a bandana around them (to lay your edges down), it will end up looking more stylish than anything else.

Speaking of protective styles at night, flat twists are also pretty cool. They are basically twists that are done in such a way that they lie flat on your head. If you’d like to give them a shot but you need some help on how to do them, this video and this video are super informative. Speaking of twists, another option is to put your hair in twists at night. If you saturate them in one of my favorite products (SheaMoisture Coconut & Hibiscus Curl Enhancing Smoothie) beforehand, you can go to bed with an adorable twisty style and wake up to the cutest ringlets ever!

3. Don’t Break the (Gel) Cast

Back when my hair was super short (boy, do I miss those days sometimes), it was nothing to just jump in the bed with no nighttime routine for my hair at all. A big part of the reason why it was unnecessary was because my hair was so short that sleeping on it wasn’t really going to mess it up, one way or another. Another reason why I wasn’t very concerned was because my hair oftentimes had a gel cast on it (check out our article “What is a Gel Cast? (And How to Break It)”). And so, as long as I was sleeping on a satin pillowcase, it was somewhat difficult to “break the cast” in my sleep. Sure, a gel cast (hair that has gel on it in order to define curls and reduce frizz) can make your hair feel a little “crunchy” but we’re talking about being cute more than just convenient here. Anyway, a gel cast is another styling option to consider if you want to go to bed looking pretty close to being picture perfect (more times than not).

4. What Do You Know About “Plopping”?

If the only time it seems that you can actually wash your hair is after work and you’d prefer to not apply any heat in order to speed up the drying process, another method that you can apply to your bedtime routine is a process known as plopping. It’s similar to a pineapple in the sense that you loosely gather your hair together, except you don’t put it all into a ponytail. Instead, you wrap everything up in a towel or scarf instead. Not only does this “scrunch” your curls naturally but it speeds up the drying process too.

Just make sure that you wash your hair no less than a couple of hours before turning in and that you go with a silk or satin scarf. The first tip will keep you from soaking your pillowcase and the second will reduce any frizz from occurring on your curls. Also, while some people put a bonnet on their head when plopping overnight (check out this video below), if you’re not a fan of those, there are all kinds of cute ways to tie a scarf around your head at night. This brings me to my last point.

5. Learn Aesthetically Appealing Ways to Tie Scarves

Tying up your hair at night can actually be a really great look. It’s all about not just putting a piece of fabric on your head any ole’ kind of way but instead, mastering different ways to tie it. Putting your hair in a high or low turban (instructional video is below), putting a scarf around your head and tying a low knot in the back (instructional video here) or tying your scarf in such a way where the excess material is knotted around your head and secured in the back (instructional video here) are all styles that look great and will protect your hair all throughout the night.

Remember, tying your hair up before turning in doesn’t mean that it has to be with some ratty scarf or that you have to always tie your hair up in the same way each and every evening. Cute PJs and a just-as-cute hair wrap style can make you feel just as good about going to bed as you do about getting out of it and figuring out what you want your look to be the following day. I can personally attest to all of this.