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How to Sleep With Curly Hair: 7 Tips and Tricks

October 9, 2020

8 Min read

Going to sleep with curly hair isn’t quite as simple as hopping in bed and going to sleep.

Anyone with curly hair will vouch for the fact that a proper nighttime routine is crucial if you want those curls to be intact by the time the morning rolls around. Maintaining curls is actually a fine art that requires care, love—and a little more attention at night. Curly hair may seem strong and bouncy, but curls have their soft side, which requires that little bit of extra care before hitting the sack.

Curly hair naturally forms tight spirals and has a beautiful ribbon-like springy shape to it. However, the elements that create that curly beauty are also the elements that demand that extra attention. Whether your curls are soft, beachy undulations, or sexy spirals, textured hair typically requires more TLC than straight hair, especially at night. Curl definition can become curl-dead overnight, but it doesn’t have to. The question is how to help curls survive overnight, and we’re here with all the answers.

Say your good-byes to dents, frizz, and flattened curls.

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Nighttime Products

Bedtime is the perfect time to use any rich oils or any of your favorite hair care products because your hair will absorb them all night long. Just like our skin, hair replenishes itself overnight, making right before bed the best time to hit it with any extra nourishment and treatments.

Prose hair oil can be specially created to help with curl definition; Cocamidopropyl PG-Dimonium Chloride and Flax Seed Extract are our go-to’s. Cocamidopropyl PGDC may sound intimidating, but it’s really just a natural polymer derived from coconut and sustainable palm oil. It’s a conditioning agent that’s known for its anti-frizz and curl defining properties. And flaxseed extract? That will hydrate, smooth and boost shine. Flaxseed extract is particularly heavenly for curly hair because it helps provide all the definition that your curls deserve.

Bedtime Hairstyles

You’re probably no stranger to some of the funny-looking yet highly necessary nighttime hairstyles that exist for curly hair. We know no two curls are the same, and there’s no one way to sleep with curly hair, but there are a few tried and true bedtime hairstyles for curly hair, and we’re going to go over all of them.

Different lengths of hair, tightness of curls, and whether you go to bed with your hair wet or dry will all play into which bedtime style will work for you. Luckily, you have seven days a week to try out a new sleeping hairstyle, because we have a few for you.

One last thing. We know that days are long and tiring, and sometimes the bed is just calling your name. You may want to get out of your nighttime shower and head straight to bed, but that’s not what your curls want. Hitting the hay with sopping wet hair may leave you waking up with hay-like curls. If your hair is type 3 or 4 curls, it’s particularly vulnerable to becoming damaged overnight. We’re not saying it needs to be completely dry, just not dripping wet.

Ok, now it’s seriously time to talk about bedtime hairstyles.

The Pineapple

We’re starting with perhaps the most popular of the bedtime hairstyles, the pineapple. The pineapple is a loosely tied ponytail that sits on top of your head. It should look just like it sounds— like a pineapple on top of your head. Having the ponytail right on top helps keep your curls from getting squished and squashed as you toss and turn during the night.

To get the pineapple look, flip your head over and let your hair hang to the floor. Create a ponytail that drops straight down and tie it in place with a scrunchie or other fabric covered hair tie.

Using a soft hair tie is an important part of any of the following hairstyles. This is because a soft tie will avoid making big indentations in your hair and is less likely to cause any breakage or tears for your curls.

The Multi-Pineapple

The multi pineapple is the close cousin of the original pineapple hairstyle that is modified for anyone with shorter hair. If your hair isn’t long enough to pull into one ponytail in the middle, you can make mini pineapples on the sides of your head. A classic way to do this would be to have one pineapple on each side of your head and one on top. If your hair is still too short for even mini pineapples, try a satin bonnet instead.

Satin Bonnet

Satin bonnets have been a staple for protecting hair at night for a long time. You’ll have to get past any grandma associations and think about how good your curls will look after a night of being protected— totally worth it.

Satin hair bonnets are great for preserving any natural hairstyles but are especially useful for curls. A bonnet will reduce friction on your hair throughout the night, which will deter frizz and prevent hair damage. And if you’re applying nightly hair products, a bonnet will keep it all contained and will keep your bedding clean and protected from excess product..

Sleep in a satin bonnet and say goodnight to split ends, frizz, breakage, and tangled curls.

Silk or Satin Pillowcase

We can’t keep from tossing and turning during the night, but we can help reduce the harshness of the friction that our hair will experience. A cotton pillowcase is absorbent and can soak up your hair’s natural oils and moisture. An absorbent pillowcase with already delicate curly hair is not a good combination for your morning ‘do.

To prevent frizz and protect against breakage, use a silk or satin pillowcase. They’re softer and will protect the fragile structure of your curls.

Loose Bun

Sleeping with a loose bun is a popular nighttime style for even the non-curly haired. It’s one of the best ways to reduce frizz and helps keep curls in their natural curly-like state. It’s also a great style for when you’re using a product like leave-in conditioner or a curl cream because it will keep everything together and really encourage your curls to soak it all up.

Flip your hair over, twirl it together and twist it into a loose bun. Again, like all of these nighttime styles, we want to be gentle with the hair in order to protect those precious curls. Tuck the ends of your hair into the bun shape that’s on top of your head and secure it in place with a satin scrunchie.

Braids or Twists

Braiding hair is one of the best ways to keep it in place throughout the night. French braids will give your curls the most definition. If you don’t know how to French braid your hair, regular braids will do the trick too, just create a few more (we suggest 5-7) in order to help your curls be more pronounced.

Looser braids will create a more relaxed look the next morning and tighter braids give them more of a crimp. Everyone’s curls will react differently, so go ahead and play around with loose braids, French braids, and regular braids, to see which style gives you your favorite look. Feeling adventurous? Try a rope braid.

In terms of twists before bed, we’re a fan of the two-twister. With any twisting method (and braiding too, for that matter), curls will turn out tighter the next morning if you go to sleep with damp hair. Remember, damp means damp, not wet! Separate your hair into two sections and twist as tightly as you wish. While this technique will work for all curly hair, it works best for the tighter and more coily curls.

The ultimate tip for sleeping with curly hair

We saved the best for last. The ultimate tip for sleeping with curly hair? Hydration before bed.

Why? All those beautiful twists and bends can leave your hair more vulnerable to breakage and moisture loss. The only thing worse than flattened curls is dry and damaged flattened curls.

Curly, coily, and even wavy hair need extra hydration because of the bends that stress the hair’s outer layer. Breaks in the outer layer enable hair’s moisture to leak out. Every step of your hair care regimen should try to sneak in extra hydration and nourishment whenever possible.

Prose formulas are specially crafted for all our curly haired friends out there. With deeply nourishing oils such as plum, argan, and jojoba, your curls will receive extra hydration that’ll stay locked in. We make personalized combinations for all of our products: moisturizing shampoo, a wardrobe of conditioners, and styling products like serums, oils, and creams.

For before bed, our leave-in conditioner is the perfect formula to nourish your hair throughout the night. It’s a hydrating leave-in mist that detangles, smoothes, and leaves hair soft, polished, and manageable.

Sweet dreams and dreamy curls

Curly hair may require a little more time and care at night, but it’s oh so worth it. Waking up with lively and bouncy curls is a great way to start your day. With these 7 tips and tricks, you will definitely find a way that will work for you. Flattened curls will be a thing of the past. Sleep soundly at night knowing your curls will be in good hands— and by hands we mean twists, braids, the pineapple, or any other of these simple tricks.


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The Prose Staff is here to share the best hair tips and tricks to help you achieve all your hair goals with custom hair care, breakthrough innovation and more

Comments [7]

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  1. Hi!
    Just a quick question, are your PRODUCTS Safe for kid? My daughter is 11 years old whith Curly hair.
    Thank you

    1. Hi Ana, We put careful thought into what goes in your formula and are committed to selecting both natural and man made ingredients that meet our high standards in clean beauty. Your custom filled products are perfectly safe for adults.However, our team of chemists takes this seriously and currently, our consultation and our active ingredients are only meant to help with adult hair and scalp needs. Children require different concentrations of our active ingredients because of their age and weight. Also, the biological needs of children and the solutions they need are different! For these reasons, we don’t have a category under 20 within our consultation and we don’t recommend to use our product on children. Hope this helps! If you have any other questions, just let us know.

      -Keely, Prose Community Manager

  2. Does your recommendation regarding bedtime hydration include washing? Can water be used as I don’t have the products you mentioned? I have the curl activator, shampoo, conditioner, and hair mask.

    1. Hi Janet, washing is the best way to hydrate hair. Because hair is fully cleansed and saturated with water it will stay moisturized throughout the night ( + long after it dries.) Just be sure to fully dry and/or diffuse hair before falling asleep as going to bed with a damp head can breed bacteria and mildew!

      -Keely, Prose Community Manager

  3. I am Tinaangel, I came across your blog, it’s interesting to gain information regarding curly hair and it will be useful for 4c curly hair too.

  4. I am Tinaangel, I came across your blog, it’s interesting to gain information regarding 4c curly hair.