Girls just wanna have fun…and defined curly hair! Whether you have naturally curly hair or just want to extend a good hair day – the last thing you need is to wake up with frizzy, flattened, messy curls. This is more of a nightmare than the one you had while sleeping!

The secret to keeping curly hair fresh bouncy and frizz free is protecting them at all costs while you lay your head to rest. Basically, if you are looking for a #iwokeuplikethis moment, it just takes a bit of planning to find a way to sleep the night before. The good news is, your curly hair is healthier and intact as a result.

Even though it takes some time before bed, it will save you tons of time styling your hair the next day…and maybe even the day after that! Here are our tips for sleeping with curly hair, you can use one or more! It all depends on your hair, how loose or tight your curls are and whether you like to sleep with wet or dry hair. Mix-and-match to discover the best approach for you.

How to sleep on curly hair without ruining it

Woman with wet damaged hair

Keep your hair hydrated

At the end of the day, your curly hair will feel the effects. They may have lost their glow or bounce, and that’s why it’s important to rehydrate your hair before bed. Just as we need water, our hair needs its moisture – just not too much! Focus on midway though to the ends of your hair. Take a small amount of conditioning spray or a slight mist of water around the ends of your curls. Then apply a light-weight hair oil to lock in the moisture.

Put a buff or t-shirt on your head

To sleep with curly hair and avoid the dreaded hair dent, wrap a t-shirt or buff on the top of your head. Buffs are a long, stretchy fabric that can be scrunched up to cover your hair. You may also be familiar with this being used as a neck warmer. This hack is helpful with securing hair without flattening it down.

A good alternative for the buff is to wrap a t-shirt around your hair and tie the sleeves into a knot. This is a great technique to add with others or on its own. It’s one of the more optimal ways for preserving freshly washed and styled hair.

Do a variation of braids

From french braids, multiple mini braids, or two braids, there are several ways to braid your hair. Braiding is a good option for those with wavier hair as opposed to tight curls, and it will keep your curls in place all night. This will also save you time from using a heated curling iron in the morning!

Woman with long dark hair in two braids

Use the ‘pineapple’ method

This is a raved classic, widespread method, and it’s exactly as it sounds. But instead of using the delicious fruit itself, you want your hair to sort of resemble a pineapple on the top of your head.

To do this, flip your hair and tie it at the top of your head. Use a scrunchie or satin cloth to tie it to avoid breakage. Then flip your hair back up and ensure your hair evenly flops to each side of your head. This is perfect for dry, curly hair and prevents you from sleeping on your hair directly.

If you have short hair – no fear! You can still use the pineappling technique by doing multiple smaller pineapples around your head.

Woman with red curly hair tied in a bun

Wear a loose bun

This isn’t just a good way to keep your hair out of your face during the day, it’s also a mindless way to sleep with curly hair. After you’ve applied some moisture, tie your hair softly into a bun on the top of your head and secure it with a loose-fitting satin scrunchie or piece of fabric. The key emphasis here is a loose bun to keep the curls from stretching out.

Sleep on a satin or silk pillowcase

It’s all about the surface you sleep on. This technique is great because it involves doing nothing directly to your hair, but indirectly preventing frizz. Using a satin or silk pillowcase will keep your hair moisture locked in and reduce friction caused by cotton pillowcases. This is an ideal option to sleep on curly hair when it’s still a little wet.

Some curly hair aficionados swear by using silk hair bonnets, if the pillowcase isn’t quite for you. Still does the trick – and keeps your hair in place!

Then when you wake up…

Release your curls slowly and gently give them a shake. Then plump some curl refreshing spray or defining cream through your luscious locks. You’re good to go!

Woman with dark curly hair wearing sunglasses