Hair bonnets have 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 bonnets can improve your hair health, it’s important to note the cultural history and significance of bonnets. 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 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.
What are bonnets for?
Hair bonnets have always been essential for those with curly 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.
How to wear a bonnet
If you’re going to wear a 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 bonnet to bed
Wearing a 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 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.
How to plop hair
The act of plopping your hair is when you use a t-shirt or towel to help to define curls after washing your hair. If you have curly hair, this technique can help to reduce frizz, keep your curls defined, cut down the time it takes for your hair to dry and give you an instant good hair day.
To plop your hair, once you’ve finished washing your hair and applying your usual curly hair care products, simply flip your hair down and wrap the t-shirt or towel around the base of your head and tie in a knot to secure it onto your head. After 10-20 minutes you can remove your t-shirt or towel and use a diffuser, let it air dry, or you can keep it on overnight if you prefer.
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 hair bonnets for braids
Best hair bonnets for curly hair
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!