Everything You Need To Know About Sleeping In A Hair Bonnet
Everything You Need To Know About Sleeping In A Hair Bonnet

Everything You Need To Know About Sleeping In A Silk Hair Bonnet

Considering a silk hair bonnet for sleeping? Here’s everything you need to know.

The sleeping staple, the silk hair bonnet, has been worn by black women for decades as a way to protect curly hair and keep it healthy and luscious with minimal effort involved. Before we talk about how a silk hair bonnet can improve your hair health, it’s important to note the cultural history and significance of silk bonnets.

Silk bonnets are definitely not a new trend, but thanks to social media, more and more people who may not have been familiar with the haircare technique are realising the benefits and giving it a try — which has caused a bit of controversy.

Most infamously, Sarah Marantz the founder of Nite Cap was called out for claiming to be the first person to invent a silk headwrap and selling it for a whopping £61(!). Of course, this sparked outrage, as Sarah failed to acknowledge the origins of the bonnet, plus the fact that bonnets are not a new “trend” nor do they have to be so expensive.

Black women have been teased, ridiculed and critiqued for wearing hair bonnets for years, yet with this new shift in attitudes, it’s suddenly being seen as more socially acceptable. However, if you do have curly hair, or even straight hair and want to improve your hair health, you can definitely wear a silk hair bonnet and reap the benefits. As long as you know the history of the bonnet and are respectful of the origins, then you can absolutely try the haircare tip for yourself.

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Everything you need to know about the silk hair bonnet

What are silk hair bonnets for?

Hair bonnets have always been essential for those with curly, frizzy, or wavy hair. A hair bonnet can help to prevent tangling while you’re sleeping (if you’re a frequent tosser and turner) as well as helping to reduce frizziness and dryness, all while being super cost-effective and simple.

Hair bonnets are typically made from silk, but cheaper bonnets can be made from satin. The idea is that by using a bonnet you prevent friction to your hair while you’re moving in your sleep, making it easier to take care of in the morning as well as reducing the chance of breakage or split ends. Goodbye bed-hair!

How to wear a silk hair bonnet

If you’re going to wear a silk bonnet or hair wrap to bed, you can continue with your regular haircare routine first.

Continue to use the same products you normally would when you wash your hair or get ready for bed, but you can also try a leave-in hair mask or conditioner, too. Simply tuck your hair up and into the bonnet and leave it to work its magic.

Why wear a silk hair bonnet to bed

Wearing a silk hair bonnet to bed can instantly help to improve your hair health and hair maintenance the next morning. If you’re not a morning person, getting up and having to do your hair can be super time-consuming. The last thing you want to do before a busy day of uni or work is manage your hair, especially if you have curly hair which can require a lot of products and styling.

A silk hair bonnet will protect your hair while you sleep so that you should be tangle and frizz free when you wake up, meaning that you’ll spend less time styling your hair and you should be good to go pretty quickly. When you sleep on cotton pillowcases, the material can absorb hair products from your hair which can cause dryness. However, satin doesn’t absorb hair products which means you’ll need to use less of your products to style your hair in the morning.

The main benefits of wearing a silk hair bonnet include:

  • Retains moisture in your hair
  • Reduces tangles and breakage
  • Gentle on your hairline — no receding hairlines here!
  • Keeps hair in place all night
  • Keeps hair out of your way and face — good for wearing when doing chores or errands
  • Saves money — protects hair so it needs less products/styling the next day
  • Can prevent dandruff — keeps the scalp hydrated and nourished

Wave and curl types

Every person’s hair is super unique but, you can divide most of us into several categories depending on our wave and curl types.

The curl of someone’s hair is determined by the follicle that your hair grows out from on your scalp. Your hair pattern is also shown by the shape of your hair strands, whether they kink, curve or wind themselves into DNA-like spirals.

Different hair types - silk bonnet hair

How to plop hair

Plopping hair is a way to help define waves and curls after washing your hair. You typically use a t-shirt, microfibre towel, or a silk pillowcase to prevent frizz and help keep your curls or waves defined. It also helps to reduce the time your hair takes to dry. Bonus.

Plopping works by letting the hair dry in an undisturbed position, allowing the hair to be released from its own weight (which can pull and straighten out your wave pattern). As it dries, it removes water from your hair which weighs it down.

To plop your hair, follow these steps:

  1. Wash and condition your hair as normal
  2. Place out a silk wrap, pillowcase, t-shirt, or microfibre towel on a flat surface
  3. Bend over your towel or t-shirt, letting your hair cascade and fall forward. When your hair meets the middle of the material, squish your hair slowly into the material like an accordion
  4. When your hair is squished in the middle, wrap the material around your head to keep it in place — your waves/curls should be sat on the top of your head with the material wrapped around

It can be a bit difficult to master but you’ll get it eventually. Plop for around 10-20 minutes and then release your hair from the material and air dry or diffuse.

We love this TikTok by curlicuelu who shows three different ways of plopping curly hair.

How to keep curls in overnight after curling

If you don’t have naturally curly hair, getting the perfect curl can be a challenge — and getting the curls to stay in place can be even more of a challenge.

This is where a silk hair bonnet can come in handy, as you’ll get all the same benefits that someone with naturally curly hair will get. Also, tying your hair up loosely at night can work too, to prevent friction whilst sleeping. Lots of people with straight hair often like to try heatless curls too, by simply braiding your hair overnight and seeing the results the next morning.

Best silk hair bonnets for braids

Cantu Bonnet — LOOKFANTASTIC, £9

Cantu silk hair bonnet

Get a student discount at LOOKFANTASTIC

Cantu Braid Bonnet — LOOKFANTASTIC, £9

hair bonnet

Get a student discount at LOOKFANTASTIC

Awefeel Double-Layer Satin Sleep Cap for Long Hair — Amazon, £24.44

Amazon satin bonnet for long hair and braids

Best silk hair bonnets for curly hair

Grow Gorgeous Satin Bonnet — LOOKFANTASTIC, £12

satin bonnet

Get a student discount at LOOKFANTASTIC

Vintage Bow-Knot Sleep Cap — LILYSILK, £29

hair bonnet

Get a student discount at LILYSILK

Best silk hair bonnet

SILKE Hair Wrap — Cult Beauty, £50

Silke hair wrap - silk hair bonnet

Get a 20% student discount at Cult Beauty.

Satin Hair Bonnet — Mercy’s Mane, £14

Mercy's mane satin bonnet

Don’t forget to check out all of our health and beauty discounts on Student Beans where you can get a student discount, to help you save some cash on your beauty essentials!