How to Sleep With Curly Hair: Sweet Dreams & Beautiful Curls

curly hair type

Are you tired of waking up to frizzy and tangled hair in the morning? If you have curly hair, you know that keeping those perfect curls can be a nightmare, especially while you sleep. 

Don’t worry, though, as there are many tricks to sleeping with curly hair and waking up with beautiful locks the next morning. Here’s the ultimate guide on how to sleep with curly hair. 

Start With a Good Nightly Routine

Woman sleeping with curly hair

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Sleeping beauty got one thing right: a good night’s sleepOpens in a new tab. is vital for feeling and looking good. But those of us who need to care for our naturally curly hair must undergo some extra steps before we catch those Zs. Here’s the best curly hair night routine to prevent bedhead:

Lock In Hydration

Before you hit the pillow, treat your curls to some moisture. 

Washing your hair with a clarifying shampoo can do wonders. It’s specially designed to deeply cleanse and remove the buildup that weighs down your curls. When buying clarifying shampoos for curly hair, avoid ingredients like sulfates and silicones and go for natural cleansers with botanical extracts.

If you just got out of the shower, apply a leave-in conditioner on your wet hair strands. Your conditioner should be made of natural ingredients as well, like shea butter, aloe vera, argan oil, or honey. 

If you have long curly hair, you can also try a nourishing hair oil like coconut or jojoba oil, focusing on the hair ends where hydration is most craved. 

These shampoos, conditioners, and hair oils nourish curls overnight, helping retain moisture and absorb goodness while you sleep. They also preserve the hair’s natural oils, preventing frizz, reducing hair breakage, and promoting a healthy curl pattern. 

Get a Silk Pillowcase 

All curly girls know that a good pillowcase can make or break naturally curly hair. 

Cotton pillowcases cause frizzy curls and strip your curls of moisture, whether you sleep with wet or dry hair. These will create friction that’s hard to avoid and impossible to deal with the next morning. This is especially true for those with short curly hair or looser curls.

Satin or silk pillowcases are the best choice to protect curly hair. These have a more gentle surface that reduces tangling, so you’ll wake up with smoother, tighter curls the next day. 

By showing your hair a little extra love and care, you’ll keep your curl’s natural pattern; hair maintenance will be a million times easier. 

Get Silk Accessories

woman with curly hair wearing satin bonnet

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While a silk or satin pillowcase goes a long way, a hair bonnet and wrap accessories seal the deal. There’s nothing better for wet curly hair than a silk or satin bonnet that covers your curls entirely and locks products in so your hair can absorb them fully. 

If you’re uncomfortable using one, you can go for a hair wrap that secures your hair and prevents flattened curls the next morning. If you have long hair, you can also try a silk or satin scarf that will minimize frizz and enhance curl definition the next day. 

When choosing between a silk scarf or a full hair wrap, consider your comfort levels and the amount of hair protection you need. Short hair needs a bit more care, so hair wraps are ideal. You can keep your long hair buff with scarves, but make sure to section your hair well beforehand. 

Try to Always Air Dry 

The most important thing you can do for your curly hair is to avoid heat-styling tools, such as curling irons and blow dryers. These tools can break down the hair shaft and damage the strands. Plus, heat exposure can strip away the vibrant color of your hair dye, leaving you with dull curls.  

Instead, after your evening showers, gently scrunch and squeeze out excess water from your hair. Then, allow your hair to air dry naturally. 

As you sleep, your curls will be effortlessly taken care of, and you’ll wake up with bouncy locks ready to shine.  

4 DIY Hairstyles for Curly Hair

Depositphotos styling 3b hair

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With your nightly hair routine set, it’s time to explore some hairstyles that will enhance your curl’s potential and keep them looking fabulous all day.

1. Plopping

PloppingOpens in a new tab. is a popular curly hair technique to preserve definition and prevent frizz while sleeping. 

Start by applying your leave-in conditioner and hair products to your hair. Then, wrap your hair with a microfiber towel or cotton t-shirt so the fabrics can absorb excess moisture without ruining your curls.

2. Loose Bun

Doing a loose ponytail or bun before bed isn’t only stylish but also helpful to minimize frizz and protect curls. 

To do it, gather your locks into a bun on top of your head using a satin scrunchie or curl-hair elastic. 

This hairdo reduces hair loss that comes from unnecessary pillow friction and gets your hair out of the way safely without harming the strands.

3. Pineapple Hairstyle

The pineapple hairdo is a curly hair classic, especially for taking care of wet hair. 

To achieve this look, gather your curls at the crown of your head and secure them with silk scrunchies. You can also use bobby pins to keep untamed strands in place. 

This elevated ponytail keeps your curls from getting crushed while you sleep, so you’ll have more volume and definition the next day. 

4. Mini Braids & French Braid

Creating mini braids before bed can help you wake up to gorgeous, well-defined curls. 

To do it, divide your hair into several small sections and braid each one gently, starting from the mid-length to the ends. 

If you don’t like tight curls, you can also do a French braid, securing your locks with an elastic hair tie or a silk scarf for a less-defined look. 

3 Bonus Tips to Sleep With Curly Hair

How to sleep with curly hair: woman with curly hair lying on a fur bed

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Maintaining beautiful, bouncy curls requires patience, effort, and special care at every step. Once you establish a nighttime routine that works for you, try the following techniques to boost your hair maintenance further.

1. Establish a Morning Routine

Having a morning hair routine can give you the confidence you need for the day. Here’s how you can go about this:

  • Lightly dampen your hair with water or a water-based curl refresher.
  • Gently scrunch and reshape your curls using a wide-tooth comb or your fingers. Do this with your head upside down to restore bounce and maximize volume.
  • Redefine your curl pattern by embracing your natural texture.
  • Avoid over-combing to minimize frizz and prevent flat curls.
  • Try to avoid overburdening your hair with products every day.
  • Avoid placing your locks on a hair tie as much as you can.

2. Elevate Your Pillow

If you move a lot while sleeping, you’ll likely deal with morning frizz the next day. 

To tackle this, consider using a slightly elevated or wedge-shaped pillow, as they can minimize friction between your locks and the pillowcase. If you also add a silk pillowcase to the mix, you’ll take your sleeping game to the next level. 

3. Refresh with a Mist

Keep a water-based mist or spray bottle by your bedside. Use it to spray your hair each night before bed. Doing so helps to reactivate the styling products you’ve put in, which helps maintain the curl definition you long for. 

You can also add a bit of conditioner to the mist for added softness. But be careful not to spray too much near the roots, as this will make your hair look oily the next day. 

Wrapping Up

When it comes to curly hair care, a good nighttime routine plays a crucial role in keeping curls healthy, vibrant, and defined every day. 

Remember, your haircare routine isn’t just a set of tasks. It’s a strategy that goes a long way for the overall well-being of your hair.

Embrace these tips, personalize them to your needs, and wake up to effortless curls each morning. And if you need more help, check out our awesome tips on making curly hair pop, helping wavy hair shine, and adding deep conditioning to your routine.

Paulina Romain

Paulina Romain is an entrepreneur and artist in the beauty industry. She is the founder and owner of The Art of Ink Studio, where she provides services such as permanent cosmetics, microblading, and artistic ink, focusing on personalized body art. Additionally, she owns Mill Pond Salon, through which she aims to deliver big-city salon services in the comfort of a small town. Apart from her hands-on work in her studios, Paulina Romain is also active on social media platforms like TikTok, where she showcases her fine line and cosmetic tattoo work. Furthermore, she's been in the salon and beauty industry for over 14 years and operates Team True Beauty with Sam Romain. This platform includes a blog on various beauty-related topics and marks the opening of two beauty brands by the couple.

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