At the end of a long day of living your best melanated life, the last thing you feel like doing is worrying about your curls. However, it’s so important to have a proper nighttime hair care routine. A healthy nighttime hair routine will not only extend your new ‘do but lessen the amount of care you need to do down the line, like early the next morning. 

When you wash your makeup off at night it means less masks and exfoliating later. The same goes for your natural hair care. Properly give your curls and coils love now and you’ll deal with less restorative damage control later. 

Putting in a bit of effort to ensure your curls and coils are protected and moisturized all night will make all the difference as you continue styling it. Preserving your hair while you sleep is not only good for hair health, but also for the convenience of stretching out how long you can make a style last. 

Every curly girl has a unique hair texture, pattern, length, and density that will dictate what protective nighttime style and methods work best for them. What’s universal however, is not wanting to wake up to a frizzy, dented mess on top of your head. 

Simply tying your wash-and-go into a ponytail or slathering up your box braids with gel won’t do the trick. While you dream peacefully, African Pride is here to help keep your curls safe with a few simple tips. Let’s dive into our top 8 proven ways to protect your precious natural hair at night

Check in With Your Curls (and Yourself)

Before you begin trying to settle your hair for the night, do a little check-in with your strands. Mornings can be so crazy busy you likely won’t have the time to fully evaluate the current state of your tresses. 

Use the evening to look for any flaking, dryness, or breakage so that you can better care for your natural hair in the future. Similarly, now is a great time to assess whether or not it’s time to wash or rinse your current protective style

it doesn’t all have to be so scientific. Before hitting the hay use this time to mediate, take deep breaths, give yourself a scalp massage, and take care of you!

Drink Plenty of Water

pitcher of water with lemons

What you do internally matters just as much as what you do externally. Your overall health is super important for many reasons, not to mention this that it relates directly to the health of your natural hair. 

You should be drinking lots of water throughout the day but be sure to drink at least one more glass of water before bedtime to maintain your hydration level overnight.

Nourish Your Scalp

If you noticed any flakes or dry patches while checking your curls or have been experiencing an itchy scalp, add some much-needed hydration directly to the scalp. This is also a great general practice to do for most curly girls whether you have an itchy scalp or not. 

Simply grab a small amount of our African Pride 5 Essential Oils blend and give yourself a soothing scalp massage. Be sure to use your fingertips and not your nails so the nourishing oils like Vitamin E can nurture the scalp without causing damage to the delicate hair follicles.

african pride 5 essential oils

Moisturize, Moisturize, Moisturize

Hopefully in the morning you did your due diligence and moisturized your curls. But that leave-in conditioner meant to fight dryness all day long? Well, the day is over and all that moisture has likely dried up. 

Left untreated, that dryness can cause breakage while you sleep, as well as flattening and frizzing any style you might have been hoping to carry through to the next day. Instead, rehydrate your strands with a lightweight moisturizer, like as a water-based leave-in conditioner.Our African Pride Moisture Miracle Leave-in Conditioner works to replenish moisture and refresh your curls throughout the night. If you’re trying to extend the wear of your wash and go be generous with how much you apply, but be sure to distribute it evenly with a wide tooth comb or gently rake through strands with your fingers.

Seal in Moisture

Now that you’ve thoroughly moisturized your hair it’s important to seal all that good moisture in so that it holds throughout the night and into the next day. If you’ve got your curls in a protective style, we recommend using our Hair & Scalp Sealing Oil. It’s uniquely made to keep braided, twisted, or weaved styles fully conditioned, soothed, and hydrated. 

If you’re rocking your natural free locks, bring back the same essential oil mix you used on your scalp earlier and work the formula into your strands from roots to tips. Pay special attention to your ends since they lose moisture the fastest. Now that you’ve got your hair properly refreshed, moisturized, and sealed it’s time for your bedtime styling.

Use a Protective Style

woman with box braids stretching arms

Keeping hair moisturized, growing, and shielded from the elements is easy for protective styles to manage during the day. To do the same at night however, they may need a bit of a fix. If you have a braided style, divide hair into sections and make one or two big braids to keep everything neat so nothing ends up crooked as you toss and turn. 

This method can also work for twists if you braid them loosely to keep them from bending as you sleep. If your hair isn’t already in a protective style, a single loose braid will keep your natural curl pattern intact, or you can go for mini braids that will add a crimp to your curls.

If you have a bit more time, a quick two-strand twist or chunky twist can get your hair in line for bed and prevent frizz the next day. These styles will not only protect your hair at night, but are also easily undone for a fast, cute look in the morning.  

One of the best ways to keep your wash-and-go intact is using the pineapple method. The pineapple method is an easy way to prevent your curls from getting squished and flattened underneath your head while you sleep. 

To pineapple your hair, simply flip your strands all the way towards the crown of your head and secure it into a very high ponytail on the top of your head. Tie it loosely and use a scrunchie or headband to prevent any dents. If you can find one made of satin, that will give you a gentle hold that won’t cause frizz.

Avoid Applying Heavy Products to Hair

Sometimes you want to make sure your pretty protective style doesn’t budge overnight and so in order to secure it you slather your twists, or braids with gel. Unfortunately, since most traditional gels are incredibly drying this will end up damaging your strands and diminish any of the moisturizing you did earlier. 

Avoid using gel or mousse products on your natural before bed and instead opt for a lightweight cream like our African Pride Moisture Miracle Leave-In Cream or curling cream with hydrating ingredients

african pride leave in cream

Sleep on Satin

You’ve likely heard this before a million times but it can’t be stressed enough. Always. always wear a bonnet to bed and use a silk or satin pillowcase. The friction caused by your hair rubbing against cotton can cause breakage and frizz. Cotton also absorbs moisture, leaving your curls dried out by the time you wake up.

 Using a satin pillowcase and/or bonnet helps to keep your strands full of moisture as satin won’t damage your natural hair, cause tangling, frizz, or split ends. Bonus points, satin is also known to help your skin breathe. It’s one of the easiest ways to ensure you wake up flawless.

By following these 8 easy steps you’ll be rocking healthy, nurtured, hydrated curls every morning. As you rest, just know your curls are spending all night protected and nourished now that they’ve gotten their own special place in your nighttime routine. Sweet dreams!

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