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Healthy Nighttime Routines for Your Hair

Updated on July 9, 2014

The Importance of Preserving Your Hair at Night

If you're African American, you probably know that you'll never go to bed with your hair down and wake up with bouncing luscious locks like you see other women do on television. And, if you currently go to bed with your hair in a ponytail or messy bun, that may be the culprit of dryness, split ends and brittle hair texture.

The truth is the amount of work you put into your hair to make it look gorgeous during the day is equally imperative to the effort you put into your hair before going to bed. Although some of these methods may not be the most romantic appearance you'd like to embody at nighttime, it's essential to maintaining sexy hair throughout your life. These helpful methods include wrapping your hair, wearing rollers, or pinning your hair into a bun. Using a moisturizer is also key to retaining good hair health while you sleep.

Wrapping Your Hair for Bedtime

This nighttime method is a great way to keep your hair protected while you're in dreamland. It can be tedious at first, but once your hair is "trained," you will be able to wrap it with ease without using bobby pins. This is a good routine to use if you wear your hair down a lot and like it fairly straight with a little bit of a bump at the ends--it basically gives you a flat-iron look without using a flat iron daily.

If you have just washed your hair, wrapping the hair is a useful practice for helping your hair dry straight. The first morning it may need some heat to help it straighten further. After that you should be able to achieve the desired results every morning after waking up from your wrap until it's time to wash your hair again.

How to wrap your hair:

  1. Apply a moisturizer to the hair
  2. Part a two-inch section of your hair down the middle or to the side (whichever way you wear it down). The part should go to the center of your head where your soft spot is.
  3. Brush the section around your head in the direction where you normally wear it. Use a bobby pin to pin it down with the bobby pin opening sliding down from your soft spot pointing away from the top of your head. You may also secure additional bobby pins facing towards the center of your head such as near your ear or the back of your neck to keep the hair secure.
  4. As your brush the hair away and secure it, it will reveal where to start the next part. About two inches away from that parted section, create a new one and brush it towards the section that is pinned down and secure this section with bobby pins.
  5. Keep repeating section four until your hair is totally wrapped around your head and secured with bobby pins. It will look like a smooth bee hive.
  6. Tightly tie a silk or polyester scarf over your head to prevent the hair from adjusting in the night. Some people will use an old nylons and cut off the legs, tie the ends together, and place the opening over your head. Using the nylon cap on top of the scarf will further keep the wrap in place.
  7. In the morning, remove your scarf (and nylon cap). Remove visible booby pins.
  8. Carefully comb the hair downward in the direction the sections are facing. You may snag some bobby pins so be very gentle as you comb the hair down and remove the bobby pins.
  9. Once you have all the bobby pins out and all of your hair is down, you can part it and style it as your normally would. If it's not after the first wash, you shouldn't have to use any heat.

Challenges with the Wrap

The main issue with the wrap is if your hair adjusts in the middle of the night, you may run the risk of breakage. This is not my favorite method because I have had the sides of my hair break, especially because I would put the nylon cap directly on my head which created friction. It is recommended that you reverse your wrap every few days to avoid putting the same amount of stress on your hair at night.

Satin Hair Scarf


Wearing Rollers to Bed

This is my favorite method for keeping my hair preserved at night. First, it is less unpredictable than the wrap as far as possibility of breakage. Two, this method is great for those women who want more volume and the ability to feather their hair.

Always use solid plastic rollers; never use Velcro or foam. Plastic rollers are smooth and will not break off your hair while Velcro and foam rollers crate friction and can snag the hair.

How to Use Rollers at Night

1. Moisturize your hair.

2. Part a small section in the front of your hair (for your bangs) and roll your hair with a roller with the hair facing in its natural downward direction. Secure with roller clips at the base of the head on either side of the roller.

3. Part the remainder of your hair down the middle. Take the top quarter of your hair. Comb of brush it smooth and roll it back and secure with roller clips. The rolled hair should sit vertically on your head in line with your ear for optimal comfort. Repeat this step for the second top section.

4. Grab the bottom quarter. Once its brushed or combed smooth, roll it with a roller at an angle so that the hair is secured the roller vertically on your head. Repeat this step for the opposite bottom quarter. The rollered hair should be symmetrical to one another.

5. Place a scarf or night cap on your head

6. In the morning simply remove the clips and then rollers with care and comb and style as you like. You should not have to use any heat.

Challenges with Rollers

The main challenge with rollers is comfort. Most women complain that they can't sleep with rollers in their hair. Back sleepers tend to be the ones who cannot adapt to rollers as a nighttime routine. The steps above mitigate the chance of discomfort in the way that the rollers are placed on the head. This should allow you to comfortably sleep on your sides or tummy.


The Sleep Bun

This bun is identical to the "wash n' go" bun that I talk about in my other article. It is best used for helping wet hair dry while attempting to keep it straight for further styling in the morning. However, it was can also be utilized as a quick way to protect your hair at night while sleeping.

This method is great if you are not at home and don't have your "hair stuff" with you or maybe you have company over and are too embarrassed, busy, or tired to practice your typical nighttime routine. All you need is bobby pins and a strong brush so wherever you go, keep them nearby.

1. Moisturize your hair.

2. Brush the hair back or to the side as sleek as possible while holding your hair with your hand as if it were in a low or high pony tail.

3. Swing the hair to either side so that it wraps tightly around the base of the hair.

4. Secure the hair coil down with bobby pins and be sure to keep the ends straight and tucked in as you pin your bun.

Nighttime Hair Care

What do you do to your hair at night?

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More Tips on Nighttime Hair Regimens

With three methods from which to choose, it's easy to find the best for you. Think about how you want to wear your hair in the morning and how much or how little work you want to do when you wake up.

Also keep in mind that your pillow plays a role in your hair health, too. Select a pillowcase that is silk or polyester so that it glides easily with your silk or polyester night cap or scarf as you toss and turn. Creating any friction with fabric leaves your susceptible to breakage.

Always moisturize before wrapping, rolling, or bunning the hair. And moisturize once again in the morning when you style your hair.


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    • mbusley profile image

      Mekia Busley 3 years ago from Bay Area

      Thanks for your comment, mdscoggins and thanks for reading :)

    • mdscoggins profile image

      Michelle Scoggins 3 years ago from Fresno, CA

      Great hub. I have taught my daughters these helpful tips and they have long healthy hair.