How to Sleep with Braids without Ruining Them


braided woman lying in a recliner

Gone are the days when braids were a fashion statement only for women of color. Braids are now here to stay and women of all races are choosing from the wide variety of options available.

From superstar athletes to actors and other celebrities, many guys have also seen the light and adopted braids as their hairstyle of choice.

Have you just started braiding your hair or have you been struggling to maintain your hair for some time now? We are sure you would love to know how you can keep it in tip top shape for a longer time.

How do you sleep with braids without ruining them?

Wrapping your hair in a scarf and a bonnet is the best way to sleep with your braids looking like new when you wake up.

What is the Best Scarf and Bonnet for Sleeping with Braids?

There are different types of scarves and bonnet materials. When I first started wearing braids, I opted for a cotton scarf because I believed it would let my hair breathe and extend its life. But I couldn’t be more wrong.

Not only was a cotton scarf uncomfortable because of the excessive friction, but it significantly shortened the life of my braids.

After investing several hours and a lot of money into my braids, it was very annoying to experience frizzy hair within a few days. But giving up braiding wasn’t an option, so I kept looking.

With a lot of research and after a lot of trial and error, I found that satin headscarves work best for me. They allow my hair to breathe, don’t cause friction, and improve the longevity of my braids.

I found a satin scarf and Bonnet combo on Amazon that allows me to sleep comfortably while keeping my braids in tip-top shape.

Wrapping for Your Favorite Braid Styles

The number of braid style options available can be overwhelming. Since each style has its own idiosyncrasies, there is no universal way to braid your hair. Shall we take a look at how to wrap some of the most popular braids to ensure a perfect morning appearance?

Box Braids and Other Long Braids

Box Braids are beautiful, but braiding them can be a nightmare if you don’t know where to start. Shall we take a look at 2 easy step-by-step methods that will guarantee a super comfy night’s sleep and excellent-looking braids in the morning?

Method 1 – Add a slight curl to your braids and increase their volume. 

  1. Divide your braids into 2 sections and loosely secure each half with a hair tie.
  2. Roll up the ends of the braids with satin rollers or foam.
  3. Avoid rolling all of your hair up to the hair tie, leaving some space will allow you to move around more and of course, sleep better.
  4. Once you have rolled up the first side, switch to the other side and repeat the process.
  5. Tie a large satin scarf around your hair and tuck in the rolls that are still visible.

Method 2 – Keep your braids smooth and straight.

  1. Divide the braids into 2 halves at the back
  2. Cross both halves over and leave one half on your shoulder while you work on the other.
  3. Gather all the braids on that side and secure them with a hair tie.
  4. If your braids are multi-layered, make sure the hair tie secures the short braids as well.
  5. Move to the other side and repeat the process
  6. Grab the halves that are already crossed and bring them both to the front of your head.
  7. Tie the ends together with another hair tie.
  8. Cover the head with a long satin scarf and secure it by tying the ends together at the back.
  9. Tuck the ends that stick out in the front so they don’t get frizzy.

Feed-in Corn Rows, French, and Dutch Braids

lady wearing dutch braids

French Braids is one of the most popular hairstyles on this planet. However, maintaining your amazing locks can be tricky. For this reason, you need to take a lot of care. The good news is that it will be much easier to keep your braids in good condition once you know how to go about it.

Dutch braids are similar to French braids, with only subtle differences. Therefore, the same wrapping formula should work for both.

We do not recommend bonnets for French and Dutch braids, as they are very tight in the back of the hair after the initial braiding. This can make it difficult to lift the head without causing tension in the neck.

Instead, 2 satin or silk scarfs can work well in this scenario.

Method

  1. Place the first silk scarf over your hair and pull it behind your ears.
  2. Pull the strands forward and tie them tightly
  3. Place the knotted strands in front of your hair and pull the scarf tight behind them
  4. Take the second silk scarf and place it under your neck
  5. Make sure one side is much longer than the other so you can tie it effortlessly
  6. Tie it tightly around your braids, as if you were tying the braids behind your back into a ponytail
  7. Take the long piece that is left hanging after tying the 2nd scarf and wrap it around the roots of your braids
  8. Tuck the remnants of the scarf in somewhere and tie the hidden end of the braid with a hair tie.

Cornrows 

Cornrows are no different than the methods described above. However, I recommend bonnets for wrapping your braids after first covering them with your silk scarf.

Also, you can always tie the strands into a chignon if they are too long.

10 Tips For Sleeping Without Ruining Your Braids

It depends on many factors how long your braids can last. You can use the finest wrapping techniques in the world. But more importantly, make sure your braids are in good condition before you sleep.

Here are the top tips for keeping your braids in pristine condition.

1. Braid with Care

woman carefully being braided

The nature of your braids can determine their lifespan. Whatever you do, it is crucial that you braid your braids gently. While tightening your strands may sound like the perfect way to keep your braids in tip-top shape, the opposite is true.

Keep in mind that rough handling of your hair in the name of braiding can cause severe damage to your tresses – something that can take time to recover from.

Also, apply a leave-in conditioner to your hair before braiding. This should loosen up your hair and make it easier to work with.

And of course, this will give your braids the perfect foundation to stay in good condition for a long time.

2. Apply Leave-in Conditioner 

Leave-in conditioners are crucial to keep your braids in pristine condition. Even before you decide whether to braid your braids or not, you need to apply them. These conditioners not only moisturize your hair but also keep your strands smooth and silky.

If you have long hair or intend to go for Dutch or French braids, you cannot afford to go without these conditioners.

They could make the difference between great looking hair that catches the attention of everyone you see, and mediocre hairstyles that look like they’ve been worn straight for months.

3. Anti-frizz Spray

Proper moisture is crucial to the longevity of your braids. If you don’t use a leave-in conditioner, anti-frizz sprays can be a great alternative. These sprays will ensure that your braids can stay in good condition for many weeks.

Applying this spray to your hair at night will keep it from frizzing. Keep in mind that moisture is the key to taking good care of braids. Even in the absence of conditioners and sprays, spraying your hair with a little water before bed can be a better option than dry hair.

Just make sure you don’t flood your braids.

4. Choose the Right Hair Bands

What’s the point of choosing hair bands that are so uncomfortable that your sleep suffers? The best hair bands for sleeping with braids have a fabric-like texture. Not only are these bands gentle on your hair, but they also increase your comfort while you sleep.

If you find that a certain type of hair band makes sleeping difficult or wears out easily, it’s time to switch to a different one.

5. Choose the Right Style

We all have braid styles that we find more comfortable, especially in bed. While many people swear they sleep better with French and Dutch Braids, others find cornrows and box braids more comfortable.

Choosing the right style will let you sleep better at night. Unfortunately, tossing and turning can have a negative impact on the shape and texture of your braids.

Therefore, a suitable braided hairstyle offers better prospects in terms of longevity and comfort.

6. Keep Your Scalp Clean

It is important to have a clean scalp to make your braids last long. The last thing you want is for your hair to take on a bad smell due to sweat and stale hair oils.

Therefore, cleaning your scalp every 3-4 days is non-negotiable. Even if you lead a busy life, make sure you cleanse and moisturize your scalp at least once a week.

7. Keep Your Hair Dry

Going to bed with wet hair can be a recipe for disaster because it can loosen and mess up your braids. It can also lead to hair odor and other unpleasant side effects.

If you must wash it, make sure you do it early in the day so it’s completely dry when you jump into bed.

Whatever you do, always keep your braids dry for long lasting effects.

8. Silk Pillowcase

Want to sleep comfortably with your braids? Silk pillowcases are a must and here are a few reasons why.

First, the smooth feel of silk is fantastic for your tresses. It allows them to retain their texture, which means they look exceptional in the morning.

Silk pillowcases aren’t the cheapest out there. But they really are worth the extra dollars you pay compared to materials like cotton.

I found this Silk Pillowcase from ZIMASILK on Amazon that has not only protected my pigtails, but changed the way I sleep to the better.

9. Get Used to It

Sleeping with braids takes a little getting used to. It’s normal to have trouble falling asleep when you start braiding your head. But most people get their blissful sleep back in no time.

Keep in mind that even the best braiding techniques can’t eliminate some form of comfort, especially for beginners.

In time, you will barely feel your braids as you wander into dreamland.

10. Tuck in any Braids that Pop Out

Braids are notorious for popping out after being wrapped. Always watch out for braids that pop out and pin them immediately. Because a few strands of frizzy hair can mess up your entire look.

Related Questions  

Below are answers to some of the most common questions asked about sleeping with braids.

Does sleeping in braids make your hair grow?

The answer is no. Wearing braids does not explicitly make your hair grow. However, it does protect your hair from hair breakage and other common hair loss factors. Therefore, many people believe that braids have a direct growth effect on your hair volume.

The truth is that braiding is one of the best ways to maintain healthy hair.

Is it good to braid your hair before going bed?

The answer is yes. Not only can it be a quick way to get out of bed in the morning, but braiding before bed can also help you walk out the door with an attractive hairstyle.

How can I sleep without messing up my braids?

The best way to take care of your braids while you sleep is to cover them up. As mentioned above, satin scarfs and bonnets work well, but other options include bandanas and shower caps.

As long as you cover your braids during the night, they can stay protected from frizz and other sources of damage.

Is it better to sleep with your hair down or up?

Sleeping with your hair up is the best way to keep it in pristine condition. Going to bed with your hair down is more common, but can lead to serious damage. If you leave your long hair down when you sleep, expect it to be pulled in different directions when you wake up.

Is it bad to sleep with Coconut Oil in your hair?

The answer is no. Sleeping with coconut oil in your hair is perfectly fine. It can provide a lot of healthy nutrients that nourish your hair. However, make sure you wash it out the next day to avoid stale smells.

Conclusion

Braids can take up several hours of your time and cost a lot of money. The last thing you want is for your hair to be frizzy after just a week or two. That’s why it’s so important to wrap them properly.

If you’re a beginner, know that it will take time for you to master the different coiling techniques. Be patient, keep practicing and you will soon be an expert.

Gabriel Smith

Hello, my name is Gabriel and I LOVE to sleep. Okay, you’re right, a lot of people do like sleep. But my passion is actually not sleeping. My interest lies in the “theoretical part”. What to do before bedtime. What a good night’s sleep is. etc. In short, how to sleep well. I hope you share the same interest as me, and enjoy reading everything about sleep.

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