The ingenuity of the NaturallyCurly community never fails to impress us. The techniques that you invent and the names that you come up with enter the vernacular of curlies all over the world, and that’s true of the popular nighttime style developed right here on NaturallyCurly: pineappling. 

When you cut down on shampooing your hair, you have to find ways to make your wash day definition last much longer. Pineappling is a technique for preserving your curls while you sleep, for your best second and third day hair and beyond. 

What is a pineapple?

The pineapple is a loose, high ponytail on top of your head, that prevents the frizz, knots and flattened curls that come with lying on a pillow. Only the back and sides of your hair will be subject to your tossing and turning.

What you need

  • A scrunchie or any type of loose ponytail holder. Nikki used this spiral elastic in the video above, and Amanda used a scarf.
  • For extra protection, a satin scarf, bonnet or pillow

The scrunchie or ponytail holder should be loose/tight enough that you loop it around your hair just once if possible. This prevents a crease or dent from forming overnight. Many curlies like to use a satin scrunchie to prevent breakage and that terrible feeling of ripping your hair out with your hair tie.

Many curlies also wrap their pineapple in a satin scarf or bonnet to protect their hair from the knots and dryness that comes with rubbing on a pillow, but if you don’t like to sleep with that on your head you can just sleep on a satin pillowcase.

If you have Type 4 coils

You may find that a scrunchie or elastic still leaves an indentation in your hair, if that's true for you then you can pineapple just using a satin scarf and bonnet. This is especially helpful for shorter hair.

How to pineapple

This is going to be a very loose ponytail, so NaturallyCurly community members Grace Currier, aka gncurrier, and Marni Foster recommend doing it “right before you lay down for the night. It may slip a little but your hair should still be protected. Don't forget your satin pillowcase!”

  1. Bend all the way forward.
  2. Gently gather your hair on top of your head.
  3. Slip a scrunchie or elastic around the base of your ponytail just once (or as loosely as possible) The looser the better.
  4. *Optional: You can clip the ends of your pineapple to your head or don’t pull the ends all the way through to create a loose bun. Find a version that works for you.
  5. Add your scarf or bonnet last.

How to take down your pineapple

The take down is as important as putting it up. You can’t simply take your hair out of a pineapple and expect to walk out of the house, there is some light styling involved.

This is how our Type 4a Editor Amanda takes down her pineapple.

Read her full article dedicated to taking down her pineapple, including what not to do, here.

What if your hair's too short to pineapple?

Like I said above, the curly community is endlessly innovative! They've invented the multi-pineapple, the modified pineapple, the TWA pineapple, and more. Click here for a list of alternative pineapple methods for all lengths of hair.

A pineapple is definitely not the only way to sleep with curly hair. If you've tried it and it didn't work for you, here are 8 more ways to sleep without ruining your curls. You may have even invented your own, if so share it below!

How do you pineapple?

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This article was originally published in 2010.