So your hair finally has some hang time!!! The length is finally at a point where it looks good with shrinkage or stretched out. Now you cannot figure out how to keep your curls looking the same when you wake up as they did when you fell asleep? Your 4c hair is finally #goals, and you have no idea how to keep it that way.
I have been there! I have scoured google, Instagram, and YouTube in search of the perfect nighttime routine when I just do not have enough hair for a pineapple. After much research, trial, and error. Here are my favorite nighttime routines for natural hair in order.
1. Silk/satin pillowcases for the win!
As a busy mom who does not have 20-30 minutes for a personal nighttime routine, this is my favorite go-to. For my fresh twist-outs, wash-and-go’s, flat twists, and regular twists, all I have to do is wash my face, brush my teeth, and lay down. However my hair looks at night is how my hair will look in the morning. Something about the satin against the curls does wonders for maintaining moisture and style. At first, I thought that perhaps, in my desire for simplicity, I had simply willed myself to see the curls I wanted to see in the mirror the next day. Yet, time after time, I have noticed the same results. My morning hair is ready to go with little manipulation necessary.
2. Satin Bonnet
So I was not a satin bonnet fan. I bought one for me from the beauty supply store and one for my daughter from a major retailer. When a friend of mine asked if I would try out and review a satin bonnet of a small business she would like to support, I agreed for her sake only. Life. Changing. Sophisticated Bundles provides a fully lined satin bonnet with plenty of space for both my 4c curls and my daughter’s biracial curls. The only reason the bonnet ranks number two is that curls do not fall the way they do with just the satin pillow case. They get just a tad bunched because, no matter how much space, they have been in a bonnet all night. However, the advantage of the bonnet over the pillow case is when twist-outs/wash-and-go’s are not as fresh. When you need a little more preserving of the curls, and a little less “I want it to look exactly like this when I wake up,” the bonnet does a better job. The bonnet is a go-to when you are trying to squeeze out an extra day or two for your curls. You should usually transition to the bonnet around day 3 of whatever style you are rocking.
3. Silk/Satin Scarf
So this one ranks almost evenly with a satin bonnet at night. Loosely tie a satin/silk scarf around your head to preserve or tame curls. I use this mostly in cases where, like today, my hair volume is HUGE. I know that in the morning my curls will either be useless or not to my liking. The advantage to a satin scarf over a bonnet is that it flattens curls that have taken on a life of their own. The disadvantage is that in order for the scarf to hold at night, you have to make a pretty tight knot at the front or back of your head so curls are smooshed and require plenty of fluffing the next day. I have actually combined a scarf with my satin bonnet to ensure that if the scarf slips, the bonnet is there to catch my curls.
So your hair is not quite long enough for one ponytail on the top without LOTS of manipulation. Mini-pineapples may be just what the doctor ordered. Here, I show how I sectioned my hair into three sections (two front, one back) and loosely banded each section with a ponytail holder or a rubber band.
The advantage to this is that it truly stretches the hair at night. Throw a satin bonnet over it or a silk scarf, and the next day, you will definitely see that your hair has more length. The disadvantage, i.e. reason this falls as number four, is that sometimes the length is too much OUTWARD volume. I like my bangs and sides to fall DOWNWARD, and, at times, the mini pineapples do this for me. Other times, they do not. I have especially found that they take away from curl definition when wash-and-go’s or twist outs are fresh so I save this method again for day 3 hair or day 4 hair. However, the magic these pineapples work on your Day 3 or Day 4 nighttime routine is inexplicable. I have seen some of my best hair days follow mini pineapple nights.
5. Twist or Re-twist
So, this is actually my FAVORITE. However, I waited to mention it until the end to mention it as it creates the most stress and manipulation for your hair. It also takes the most time. You can use use this for freshly washed hair. Section, twist, and sleep so curls will not be wild the next day. You can simply take the twists down and be on your way.
You can also re-twist when you have events coming up that require your best natural hair. For example, I had a blogger event on day 5 of my twist out. Instead of re-washing, I did a re-twist two nights before, let me hair sit in twists the day before, and took down the twists the day of the event.
This is such an easy go-to for those of you who need fresh looking curls for multiple days in a row. I worked a natural hair booth for Essence Festival this summer so I needed fresh curls daily. On Day 2, after much walking, heat, humidity, and concert dancing, I decide to do a quick re-twist for Day 3 to ensure I had picture perfect hair for the natural hair vendor the next day.
Remember that re-wetting and using the right products should always happen as a part of your nighttime routine for the best results. If you use the right products, you will not have to reapply nightly but only once every few days. (I only have to apply product when re-twisting.) As usual, you can check out my favorite natural hair line The Love of People to pick up some of my favorite go-to products for my nighttime routine – XXIVK, Control, and Whip It. What are some things you do in your nighttime routine to give your natural hair what it needs?
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Check out my other natural hair blogs for other natural hair care needs.
- Natural Hair Growth: Tips & Tricks
- How to Style Your Short/Medium Natural Hair
- Going Natural 101 – 5 Things No One Ever Told Me
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