9 Ways To Sleep With Natural Hair Without Ruining Your Curls

by Summer Arlexis

When the stars align and the hair gods work their miracles, the result is a glorious frizz-free curl day that skyrockets your mood to cloud nine. That high quickly comes crashing down, however, when you wake up the next morning to a matted mess. Finding hassle-free ways to sleep on your natural hair is critical to making the best curly 'dos last for days.

Every naturalista is unique with a texture that has its own specific needs, so there isn't a one size fits all method for protecting natural hair at night. Length, thickness, the size of your curls, and whether or not you sleep on wet, dry, or stretched hair all play a part in what will work best for you. You may even find yourself adopting several beauty sleep solutions, depending on the different wash and go routines and protective hairstyles you work into your regimen.

Truth be told, every sleep method won't be super comfortable (especially when rollers and rods come into play), and some techniques require more styling skills than others. But when the end result reveals a head full of beautifully preserved coils, any effort and discomfort will be well worth it. For endless good hair days, check out these nine ways to sleep with curls.


Satin Bonnet

Evolve Exotics Satin Bonnet, $4, Amazon

A must-have for every curly girl, satin bonnets can do wonders for protecting your coils overnight. Unlike other synthetic materials, satin won't snag and pull at your hair, creating unwanted friction and split ends. Even if bonnets aren't quite your steez, a satin scarf big enough to cover your head will do the trick. You'll definitely want this kind of silky defense from rubbing against your pajamas and bedding as your sleep.

My Natural Sista's tutorial even shows how you can DIY a satin bonnet yourself.


Two-Strand Twists

Not too time consuming or difficult to master, two-strand twists can be done on wet or dry hair. You don't have to be a braiding wiz to do them, and the best part is the takedown in the morning unleashes a mesmerizing curly fro. Just be sure to stop your twist about an inch from the bottom and finger coil your ends.


Use A Satin Pillowcase

Sweet Dreams Luxury Satin Pillowcase, $9, Amazon

Just like a bonnet or scarf, a satin pillowcase will keep your curls popping while you slip into dreamland. Unlike cotton cases that absorb moisture and cause frizz, satin will keep your hair from drying out. Feel free to sleep on it scarf-less like some naturals, or combine it with a silk bonnet for good measure.



Satin Square Silk Hair Scarf, $10, Amazon

A fan favorite, the pineapple method requires gathering your curls high at the crown of your head, and securing it loosely with a hair tie or wrapped scarf. It's too easy not to try at least once. You'll sleep like a baby knowing that your curls aren't being smashed to a dull and lifeless pulp.


Flat Twists

Your styling skill set will need to be pretty on point to get the hang of flat twists. Unlike free-hanging two-strand twists, they gather from your roots. They may take effort and patience to master, but the non-puffy root result they create is heavenly.



Naturalistas with short to medium length hair may not be able to nail a single pineapple, but that doesn't mean all hope is lost. Try multi-pineapples instead, a modified method in which you gather curls in three to five smaller sections. You'll achieve the same morning-after look as a mega pineapple without stressing about hair length.


Pin Curls

Black Assorted Hair Pins, $4, Amazon

For recently flat ironed or blown out hair, pin curls can be a go-to method for keeping your tresses in tact. Simply swirl sections of your hair around your finger, securing your handmade curls to your head using bobby pins. And there you have it, heat-free curl preservation for the win!


Flexi Rods

42 Pack Twist Flex, $12, Amazon

A nightmare to rest in if you're not used to sleeping with rollers, flexi rods are actually lifesavers for naturalistas. Roll them on wet, dry, or previously stretched hair and get the spirals of your dreams. They come in various sizes, so you have control over the kind of curl pattern you get when using them.


Bantu Knots

Another staple style for many natural women of color, bantu knots create curls of perfection. Get a handle on this overnight style and you'll be turning heads for days. You can even keep the knots in for a while for a multi-top knot kind of 'do.


There's no need to style your hair from scratch every single morning. With the right overnight technique, you can wake up to beautiful curls every day. Just spritz on a leave-in, tszuj it up a bit, and you're out of the door in minutes to slay away!