If you have curly, afro or textured hair, you’re probably already very familiar with the concept, and maybe even rolled your eyes at the title. We get it–this is hardly the first time something that has been done by communities of color for generations suddenly gains popularity once it starts being mass marketed. Still, hair bonnets can benefit people of all hair types.
So, what is a hair bonnet?
For those not in the know, hair bonnets are special caps made to be used during sleep time in order to protect hair. A good one will be made of, or at least be lined with, satin or silk. This is because unlike cotton and linen, which may be comfortable but are also drying, satin and silk help hair retain moisture.
These fibers also help reduce friction, meaning you’re less likely to deal with things like split ends. In an interview with the Washington Post, specialist Misty Eleryan put it like this: “It’s all a domino effect: If the silk or satin doesn’t absorb that moisture, then your hair stays moisturized and [it] isn’t as prone to breakage.”
They are also a great alternative to silk scarves, which can look great but might slip off during the night–especially if you move a lot in your sleep.
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What are some benefits of using it?
Because it helps your hair retain moisture, hair bonnets keep it hydrated and minimize frizz. Less friction can also prevent tangling, and even help with hair loss, though this will also depend on whether there are other underlying conditions causing it.
It can also protect hairstyles, ensuring curls and braids last longer, especially if you have a busy routine and no time to freshen them up each morning. And if you’re going to bed with curlers, the bonnet will ensure they stay in place.
Not only that, it can help your hair absorb products more easily overnight, and keep your sheets clean of any oils, conditioner, or dye.
What if I already have a silk pillowcase?
Honestly? It will be a matter of preference. A silk or satin pillowcase will have the same benefits, and can also help reduce sleep creases and fine lines for smoother skin.
We recommend a bonnet instead (or in addition to) if you’re looking to protect a hairstyle, keep your pillow clean of products, or have long enough hair that just the pillowcase isn’t quite cutting it.