Nighttime Routine for Natural Hair

Nighttime Routine for Natural Hair | ordinarilyextraordinarymom #naturalhairroutine #nighttimeroutinenaturalhair #naturalhaircare #africanamericanhair #nighttimeroutine

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!

Any naturalista anywhere MUST include satin pillowcases in their nighttime routine. #naturalhairnighttimeroutine #naturalhairtips #naturalhaircare #nighttimeroutine #curlyhairtips #curlyhaircare

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

The satin bonnet goes a long way to preserve curls in your natural hair nighttime routine. #naturalhaircare #nighttimeroutine #naturalhairtips #naturalhairgrowth #curlyhaircare #africanamericanhair #curlynaturalhair

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.

4.  Mini-Pineapples

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.

Mini pineapples can work if your hair is not long enough for one large pineapple.  #naturalhaircare #nighttimeroutinenaturalhair #curlyhairnighttimeroutine #curlyhair #naturalhairtips #africanamericanhair

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.

On freshly washed hair, section and twist so that the hair can just be taken down and worn out the next day. #nightimehairroutine #nighttimeroutinenaturalhair #naturalhaircare #africanamericanhair #curlyhairroutine

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.

Re-twists are always an option for a natural hair nighttime routine. #twistout #nighttimeroutinenaturalhair #naturalhaircare #curlyhaircare #nighttimeroutinecurlyhair #naturalhairtips
These fab earrings are available in my Amazon shop. (I get a small commission for any purchases you make there.)

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.

  1.  Natural Hair Growth: Tips & Tricks
  2.  How to Style Your Short/Medium Natural Hair
  3.  Going Natural 101 – 5 Things No One Ever Told Me

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Nighttime Routine for Natural Hair | ordinarilyextraordinarymom #nighttimeroutinenaturalhair #naturalhairgrowth #naturalhaircare #naturalhairtips #curlyhaircare #curlyhairroutine #nighttimeroutinecurlyhair #africanamericanhair

37 thoughts on “Nighttime Routine for Natural Hair

Add yours

  1. I love this! Great job! Honestly, I can’t sleep comfortably without my satin pillow and bonnet. I bought a bonnet for my daughter but she’s only 5 months…it never stays put so satin sheets has been my resolve.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh so I see the mommy and daughter goals…. love it. I significantly trimmed my hair again this past weekend. I’m hopeful that my hair will truly come out nice. From this post, I see that satin or silk is the way to go. Thanks

    Liked by 1 person

  3. My Aunt (professional hair stylist) has always sworn by changing the pillow case to reduce breakage. Just seeing this is a reminder. She used to stress this over 20 years ago. Thanks for the reminder!


  4. I use satin scarf and bonnet together when I sleep. I find curls last through the work we and I may retwist once a week when the curls start lose definition. I tried the mini pineapple but I could not sleep comfortably with them in.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Hi! This was a great read. So many great tips! I purchased a satin pillowcase from another hair blogger (NaturalCurls4Life) years ago and I definitely noticed a difference in my hair for the better. I have worn that satin pillowcase out so I need to contact her again for another. It has been years. Until then, I will keep rocking the satin bonnet. 🙂


  6. Thank you for this great post! The clearest one on night routines I have seen so far.

    My daughter is 5 and she has beautiful mix hair, like your daughter. I have braided it since she was 18 months old, I think. I usually leave the braids/twists/protective styles for 1-2 weeks, as we both think it is a long day of braiding. Thank you for the tip to add extra moisture to the braids more often. I used to let her get her hair wet in the shower occasionally, but then it can stay wet for too long and start getting a bit smelly. However, if I don’t wet it, it becomes too dry. I will try using the spray bottle now!

    My real question is: I would like for her to learn to wear her hair the natural way, without braiding, but I don’t know yet how to go about that. We use a silk bonnet for the night, as she doesn’t stay on her pillow well enough for the pillow case to work. But do you just put the loose hair in the bonnet? And what do you do with it in the morning? Do you comb or detangle, or just not touch it at all? Product(s)? And throughout the day? How do you avoid people touching it all the time? And then at night, what do you do? (Again, comb, detangle, or not touch? Products?) Thank you in advance for your reply! From a grateful and also busy co-mom.


    1. Sorry that I am just seeing this. My goal is to twist my daughter’s hair at night. I always set it before styling (just to make it damp) then I part if in 4 or 6 sections and make chunky twists. My favorite hydrating/ stymying cream is xxivk by the love of people. I literally use it all the time on my hair and her hair. I have a code (brittlp20) if you want to try it out. I wet it, put in the cream, twist and then take out the twists and let her wear her hair out the next day. If I do not have the time or patience for twisting, I may actually just put her hair in the bonnet (yes freely) and then dampen and style it the next day still using the xxivk. Usually that results in a half puff at the top with the back loose, or two big puffs, and two twists in a low puff at the back. I hope this made sense. Let me know if you have any other questions.


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