Caring for your curls while sleeping can be a difficult task. In the beginning of my Curly Girl journey, I struggled a lot with next day curls and my results were never consistent. I then heard about the benefits of sleeping in a satin silk cap (or silk bonnets if you prefer) and although I didn’t really know that this was a thing, I was very intrigued!
Successful refresh here I come! Or not? Anyway, I decided to give the silk cap a try to see what all the fuss was about.
To my surprise, I discovered that there are in fact many benefits of sleeping in a silk cap.
- Hair protection
- Frizz reduction
- Retaining moisture
- Keeping curls intact
- Fewer split ends
Even more surprising, I found that sleeping with a silk cap can actually save you time and money! Let’s dive right in shall we?
As you toss and turn at night, friction is created between your head and your pillow. This rubbing, pulling, and tugging action can cause your curls to split, no matter how elegant a sleeper you may be!
As the night progresses, each of these splits slowly degrade the look and feel of your curls, leading to a plethora of split ends.
Fortunately, a silk sleeping cap can reduce this damage.
Silk is smooth, obviously, but what you may not know is that silk is so soft because it is comprised of two layers. The outer layer is a rough, course texture, whereas the inner layer is soft, shiny, and smooth.
Manufacturers remove the tough outer layer, leaving the inner layer, dubbed fibroin, behind.
Unlike a cotton pillow, silk material causes no friction to your hair, thus protecting the structure of your hair strands.
After sleeping with a silk cap for over a week, I found that my hair felt stronger, bouncier and indeed better protected at night.
Another benefit of sleeping in a silk cap is avoiding the dreaded f word…frizz!
When you sleep, your body becomes dehydrated which in turn causes your scalp to become dehydrated too. Dry scalps tend to produce natural oils at a much slower rate and without these natural oils, hair becomes dry and brittle.
This essentially undoes all the work you put into your hair routine during the day.
I found by sleeping in a satin silk cap, I was able to reduce my morning frizz up to as much as 50%! The silk does an excellent job at wrapping my curls, keeping in the absorption of the natural oils.
Besides using a sleeping silk cap, in order to keep your body and hair hydrated, you should also do the following:
- Follow the Curly Girl Method
- Wash hair less often to avoid stripping oils from hair
- Keep shower temperatures moderate
- Avoid excessive heat exposure
- Drink plenty of water
As mentioned above, symptoms of frizz is really your hair screaming out for hydration.
Silk does not absorb water at the same rate as cotton does so moisture is actually retained within the cap. But even better, silk does not have the ability to absorb oil. How’s that for a fact?
This means that you will retain the natural oils in your hair and your curls will not lose their bounce and longevity overnight.
I really struggle with frizz if I don’t hydrate both my body and my hair enough with water and wearing the silk sleeping cap helped me tremendously.
My curls stayed moisturised and nourished throughout the night and I woke up to much more defined locks.
If you want to completely avoid the loss of moisture, also consider getting a silk pillowcase.
Keeping Curls Intact
One of the hardest things to do when sleeping is to keep your curls intact.
You spend so long washing, adding products and drying it during the day that it can become overwhelming when next day curls just don’t want to play.
This is where a sleeping silk cap is super beneficial as it will keep your hair in place, retain volume and ensure that your curls do not split.
For best use, ensure that the cap is on tight and tuck in any stray hairs.
I would never recommend sleeping with wet hair so do your refresh in the morning rather than sleeping on newly co-washed hair.
If you co-wash in the evening, make sure that your hair is dry before wearing the sleeping silk cap.
Fewer Split Ends
If you follow the Curly Girl Method, you’ll know that the method promotes the use of non-alcohol and non-silicone products and discourages the use of heat styling.
Overuse of shampoo and heat will most likely be the cause of your split ends and sleeping with a silk cap can prevent your ends from splitting any further.
Most stylists will tell you that the only way to get rid of split ends is to simply get a hair-cut, but I urge you to look into your hair care instead. Stop using shampoo with harsh chemicals, hydrate your hair with lots of conditioner and use a silk cap when sleeping.
The silk cap will nourish your split ends as you sleep and slowly begin to repair your damaged hair.
This is a fool proof way to reignite the bounce and vigor of your curls and you can continue growing your healthy locks.
As mentioned in the beginning, I found that one of the surprising benefits of sleeping with a silk cap is that I was able to save money.
This is due to the fact that I went from co-washing almost every day to every 3 or 4 days and therefore now spend less money on both conditioner as well as additional hydrating products.
The reduction in split ends also means that I have saved myself a trip to the hairdressers which again, saved me even more money.
If you’re anything like me, you really don’t want to do a full co-wash at 6am in the morning. If you work early hours, you simply don’t have the time to wash your hair and dry it every morning.
I found that wearing the silk cap, I saved myself at least 2 co-washes per week. I also didn’t spend as much time on refreshing in the morning as my curls were much more defined and hydrated.
Investing in a silk sleeping can therefore save you time and effort during the course of the week. It certainly did for me!
Other benefits of sleeping with a silk cap include:
Hydrated locks = fewer washes! I went from washing my hair almost every day to maybe twice a week and this has massively improved the condition of my hair.
Since silk sleeping caps do not absorb oil, hair can retain as much of the liquid as feasibly possible as you sleep.
In addition, the soft, silky material creates a barrier between your hair and other elements which means anything that can potentially introduce dirt particles to your hair is immediately shut down.
Caring for your curls and split ends by wearing a silk cap rather than visiting the hairdresser will ultimately lead to longer locks. Natural oils contained within the silk cap keeps your hair protected for longer and you’ll slowly start to repair your split ends. You don’t have to cut them off!
Say Goodbye to Dandruff
Having a dry scalp can lead to dandruff if you’re not careful. This is one of the reasons why I would encourage you to purchase a sleeping silk cap if you do suffer from dandruff as it really will be of great benefit to you.
The silk cap will ensure your scalp stays moisturised and nourished throughout the night. Also make sure you use a scalp massager when clarifying or co-washing so as to remove as much build up as possible.
Although it is not likely to be as noticeable in curly hair as it is in straight, tangles are still incredibly annoying. If ignored, these can turn into big problems which eventually may to be cut out. To avoid having to deal with tangles, I would suggest investing in a silk sleeping cap.
The cap will leave your curls intact and moisturized as well as defined throughout the night. You could even use a detangling spray before going to bed as to ensure the product is sealed in and that you’re utilising the silk cap to its maximum potential.
So there you have it. There are so many benefits to sleeping with a silk cap that I can’t believe I haven’t purchased one before.
Yes it may look a bit silly to begin with, but you can find really cute and inexpensive ones online. Just make sure that the product is 100% silk and that you get the right size.
Regardless of whether you prefer to put your hair into a loose bun, pineapple or braids when you sleep, protecting your hair with a silk cap ensures that your hair also gets to rest while you do.