How to Sleep With Curly Hair

Many are born with natural curls, waves, and textured hair. Though curly hair seems effortless, a lot of effort, time, and product goes into making them look as they are. Many find themselves wondering how to sleep with curly hair.

Wavies and curlies should sleep with protective hairstyles. The single or multi-pineapple buns, loose buns, single or two-strand twists, braids, mini braids, Bantu knots, and medusa clipping are some favorites. Plopping your hair, switching to satin or silk pillowcases, and using satin or silk hair wraps and scarves are also options.

Of course, your sleeping routine should be dependent on your preference, hair type, and hair goals. Remember, not all wavies and curlies have the same hair and styling routines.

In this article, we’ll go over all the right ways and practices to sleep with curly hair. We’ll also cover some favorite protective hairstyles to preserve and protect your curls overnight.

Why You Should Sleep Right With Curly Hair

Curly hair and textured looks effortlessly styled no matter the time of day it is. But the thing is, a lot of effort (and products) go into styling and wearing naturally curly hair.

And when curly and wavy girls spend so much time, effort, and product into washing and styling their locks, it would be such a waste to ruin all that when the night comes and it’s time to sleep.

Textured hair needs extra TLC, especially when it comes to sleeping.

Here are all the reasons why you ensure you’re sleeping right with curly hair:

  • Preserve and protect your curls

When you’ve spent time and effort getting your locks to look as curly as they can, you would want to preserve and protect them for as long as you can.

The way you sleep directly affects the definition of your curls. Being careful while sleeping and keeping your curls in protective hairstyles will help protect and preserve them overnight.

  • Minimize hair breakage

Tossing and turning while sleeping can cause hair breakage. This is especially true if your hair is down and loose.

Keeping your curls secured in place will prevent friction and tangles, protecting them and minimizing hair breakage.

  • Prevent dryness and reduce frizz

Wavy, curly, and textured hair tends to be drier than naturally straight hair. Sleeping, tossing, and turning during the night will cause even more friction to your locks. This can further dry curly hair strands and cause frizziness, a common issue for textured hair.

Adjusting your sleeping routine can help prevent these common issues.

  • Keep your locks healthy

When hair is less dry and frizzy or when there is less hair breakage, you are helping keep your locks healthier.

  • Go longer between wash days

When you are able to preserve your curls overnight, this allows you to go longer between your wash days. And in the long run, you would find that washing your hair less could actually be good for your hair’s health.

Additionally, less hair washing will help you save money on products and water bills.

  • Save time in the morning

Lastly, when you wake up with preserved waves and curls, you won’t have to worry about washing your hair and styling it all over again. And if you’ve protected your curls the best way possible, you might even be looking at skipping refreshing your curls.

This helps you save so much time getting ready in the morning.

The Best Position to Sleep With Curly Hair

So we’ve talked plenty about the importance of sleeping the right way if you have wavy, curly, or textured hair. Now you might be wondering, “What exactly is the best sleeping position for protecting and preserving curls overnight?”.

Sleep on your side

Sleeping on your side is one of the two best sleeping positions for curly hair.

This will prevent you from crushing your curls from the weight of your head. This also prevents frizz and knots that could mess with your curls.

Sleep on your stomach

Sleeping on your stomach is the other best way to sleep for curly hair.

Sleeping on your stomach reduces friction so you’re less likely to wake up with frizzy and dry hair. Your head will also not be putting weight on your hair, so you’re not flattening your curls overnight.

Is It Better to Sleep with Curly Hair Up or Down?

Many wavies and curlies would highly suggest that you sleep with your hair up. This keeps locks in place and protected from knots, tangles, and breakage.

Having your hair up when sleeping will also prevent you from crushing them underneath the weight of your head. This helps keep the curl definition on all sides.

How to Sleep With Curly Hair: Our Favorite Protective Hairstyles

If you want to protect your curls overnight, try out any of these curly girl-favorite protective hairstyles:

  1. Pineapple bun

The pineapple bun is a loose high ponytail that sits at the top of your head. Simply gather your hair up at the top of your hair and tie it securely with a scrunchie. Be careful not to tie or pull your hair too hard. This gathers your hair away from the path of your head so they don’t get crushed.

  1. Multi-pineapple buns

Similar to the pineapple bun, the multi-pineapple hairstyle uses several mini “pineapples” around your head. Typically, there are about two to three pineapples around the head.

This technique distributes the weight of your locks throughout your head, instead of having all the weight sit only in one place. This works great for those with short hair who can’t achieve one pineapple at the top of their heads.

  1. Loose bun

A loose bun is a great way to keep your curls out of the way as you sleep, while still keeping them secured in place. When doing a loose bun, make sure you don’t tie your scrunchie too tight to preserve the curls.

  1. Twists or braids

You can also simply twist or braid your curls into one single strand. This will keep your hair out of your way as you sleep while also protecting your curls.

  1. Two-strand twists

You can also opt for a two-strand twist instead of one. Simply section your hair into two parts and twist and secure the two sections in place.

  1. Mini braids

Similar to regular braids, mini braids are tighter around your locks. While this will keep your hair secure and in place, mini braids will give your hair tighter curls when you take them out in the morning.

  1. Bantu knots

To make bantu knots, section your hair into seven to twelve sections. And you won’t even have to even out the sections, uneven sections and parting would do. Twist the sections to create a coil.

This is not only an effective protective hairstyle but will give your locks defined curls you can enjoy the next morning.

  1. Medusa clipping

Medusa clipping is similar to the pineapple hairstyle but for short curly hair. Simply section your hair up and clip them in place. Be careful not to make them too tight or stretch your hair too much.

Get More With Your Curly Hair Night Routine: More Tips for Keeping Curls Intact While Sleeping

Aside from our favorite protective hairstyles, here are a few more tips for keeping your curls intact while you sleep:

  • Plop wet curly hair

Wrap your hair with a cotton t-shirt or microfiber towel when going to sleep. This is also a common technique to speed up the hair’s drying process so you’re not only protecting your curls. Doing this with damp and wet hair will also give your hair even more defined curls.

You can do this after styling damp hair. Lay the shirt or towel on a flat surface and flip your hair over. Tie the sides of the shirt or towel to secure it on your head.

This also prevents your hair and curls from being weighed down by gravity, allowing you to achieve voluminous curls.

  • Sleep on silk or satin pillowcases

A silk or satin pillowcase will reduce friction and breakage on curly, wavy, or textured natural hair. They’re gentler and help preserve your curls.

  • Try a silk or satin bonnet, hair wrap, or scarf

If you don’t have silk or satin pillowcases or are not comfortable using one every night, a silk or satin bonnet, silk or satin hair wrap, or silk or satin scarf shall do the trick.

These simply go on your head, around your curls. They will protect your natural curl pattern so there is less friction, frizz, and breakage.

How to Refresh Your Curls in the Morning

Waking up in the morning – even with the best protective hairstyle or with all the best silk and satin protectants – can lead to messy and unruly curls. When this happens, you will want to refresh your curls before heading out:

  1. Let your hair down from your protective hairstyle or hair wrap.
  2. Give your curls a little shake from the roots just to wiggle them back down.
  3. Spray some water on your hair.
  4. Apply a small amount of serum or leave-in conditioner to your now slightly damp hair.
  5. Scrunch your hair to create tighter and more defined curls.
  6. Use a hair dryer with a diffuser attachment if needed.


Curly, wavy, and textured hair is full of life and bounce and is effortlessly beautiful. They may seem like they don’t take a lot of effort but they do. And after all that time and effort, no one wants to ruin their curls the moment they close their eyes to sleep.

You can protect and preserve your curls using several protective hairstyles. You can choose from a pineapple bun, multi-pineapple buns, a loose bun, twists or braids, two-strand twists, mini braids, Bantu knots, and medusa clipping. Aside from hairstyles, you can plop your hair instead. Try switching to silk or satin pillowcases instead or use silk or satin hair wraps or scarves.

And that has been our guide on how to sleep with curly hair. You can reach out to us below with any of your other queries!

Michelle Jackson
Michelle Jackson