Waking up with curls as luscious as they were on day one for the second (or even third) morning in a row may sound like a dream come true. You may have even heard rumors that the only way to achieve that gravity-defying dream look is to pop into the shower and dedicate part of your morning routine to revamping and revitalizing.
Let’s vanquish those myths once and for all—with a dedicated nighttime curly hair routine. You can reserve your mornings for what they’re really for, hitting that snooze button just one more time.
This guide will break down the essential steps for a curly hair night routine.
Step #1: Gather Tools & Moisturizing Products
Whether you’re tending to a garden of petunias or nurturing a bouquet of curls—proper preparation is the key to simplicity. When it comes to your bedtime hair care routine, by collecting all the necessary tools and curly hair products beforehand, you can refresh your locks and jumpstart your day come morning, all without a hair out of place.
So, what will you need to incorporate into your routine? Here’s a list of a few curly hair products and tools to have on hand:
- Silk or satin cap like PATTERN’s Satin Cap, headscarf, or pillowcase
- A cloth-covered hair tie or scrunchies such as PATTERN’s Satin Scrunchies
- Moisturizing styling products such as curly hair cream or curl custard
- Curly hair oil such as Argan oil or Jojoba oil
- A misting spray bottle for water
For your sleep routine for curly hair, focus on products that will seal in moisture so the natural curl of your hair stays nourished and hydrated while you sleep.
Oil Your Hair Before Bed
While your night routine should be customized with your hair care needs in mind, applying oil to your healthy hair and scalp can have many hydrating benefits. There are a variety of oils to choose from for your nighttime routine, such as:
Oils such as coconut and argan oil are the most common ones used to hydrate natural hair. Coconut oil is rich in nourishing ingredients such as vitamin E and omega-3 fatty acids that make it beneficial for hair that is more dry in nature.1
Note: Some of these oils, like coconut oil, are solid at room temperature. You can warm them up to liquify the oil and condition your hair before you sleep in a cap.
Step #2: Choose a Protective Style for the Night
As a natural hair queen, you already know how many protective hairstyles for sleeping save you time and keep your hair shielded from the elements. In a similar vein, when sleeping with curly hair, a protective style can help prevent rubbing against rough or drying material such as your bedding.
Some common protective hairstyles include:
Depending on your hair length and curl type, one style may work better over another. The pineapple method, for example, may add more volume to your hair, while braids may bring loose waves. Feel free to experiment and find the style that gives you the desired results. Your curly hair bedtime routine should be tailored to your specific hair wishes.
Tips for Protective Styling at Night
Naturally, hair can lose moisture or start to frizz overnight. By utilizing a protective style and investing in the proper curly hair accessories, like keeping your hair tucked away in a cap or headscarf, your hair can stay moisturized and maintain its shape.
Follow these tips to guarantee you’re getting the most out of your protective style:
- Keep your knots loose and gentle whether you choose a topknot or the pineapple method.
- Use a cloth-covered or satin scrunchie, so each hair strand stays intact.
- Consider adding a satin or silk scarf or cap for extra protection from bedding materials.
There are many different styles you could do to your hair at night. Don’t be afraid to experiment or change up your look. Find what works best for you and your hair.
Step #3: Add in Moisture & Hydration
Happy curls are hydrated curls. And the best way to wake up to happy hair is to lock in moisture at night.
Here are some of our favorite, most helpful tips:
- Use a spray bottle, like PATTERN’s Mist Spray Bottle, filled with a moisturizing hair product to ensure your bouncy curls stay juicy and luscious come sunrise.
- Focus on nourishing hair products like our leave-in treatment or detangler for curly hair that include moisturizing ingredients and oils.
- Lightly mist your braids or twists for better definition as you unravel your bouncy curls.
Whether you shower in the morning, at night or both, this will affect your nighttime hair care routine. Try experimenting with washing your hair at night versus during the day to see which works best for your long or short curly hair.
Washing Curly Hair: Night vs Day
Some naturals prefer to start their day with freshly washed and styled hair. Others find that they can better dedicate the time to wash and style their hair at night. So, which is right?
Neither preference is wrong or right. For example, wet hair at night can be easier to style and shape. That said, hair is also in its weakest state when wet. So, be sure to implement the proper hair care practice to protect against breakage or tangles.
Regardless of when you wash your hair, the most important element is that your curls are protected. That means using the right hair products to seal in moisture and protective hairstyles to avoid tangles or frizz.
Step #4: Secure Your Hair with a Scarf or Cap
After you’ve finished styling and moisturizing your hair, a cap or headscarf will help to secure the style in place. It will also prevent your freshly moisturized strands from rubbing against your bedding while you sleep, which at times may contribute to frizzy hair.
Satin and silk material can protect your strands from breaking off. How so? Let’s break it down:
- Your hair shaft varies in thickness, especially being tighter hair texture.2
- As a result, your gorgeous curls and coils may be more prone to tangles.
- So, if your hair rubs against rough, cotton material, your locks may experience frizz caused by friction.
To ensure your strands are receiving the moisturize they deserve, protect your hair overnight with a satin or silk cap, pillowcase or headscarf.
Style Your Edges
One bonus of wearing a scarf is that you can lay your edges overnight. By morning, your curls will be defined and your edges will be ready.
Unsure of how to accomplish this look? Follow these steps:
- Separate your edges, or the shorter strands along the hairline, from the rest of your hair.
- Slick them down using a professional tool such as PATTERN’s Edge Tool.
- Create swoops and swirls using your edge tool and edge control styling product.
- Use the pointed tip on your tool to define the edges.
- Wrap a scarf around your edges to secure them in place.
You can get a professional edge control tool or use a toothbrush if it’s handy. You’ll also need oils and an edge control product to help the process. In the morning, you can unravel the scarf and marvel at your hair’s beauty.
Step #5: Customize Your Routine to Suit Your Hair Needs
As noted above, your morning routine should be about what’s best for you and your hair. Personalizing your routine will ensure it stays just that—a routine. Hair care isn’t a one-and-done situation. It’s something that must be kept up day-in and day-out (or, in this case, night-in and night-out).
When you first start your natural hair journey, it’s all about experimenting and exploring your options. You never know what works best for your hair until you’ve tried your options. This is how you’ll learn what your hair likes and dislikes.
With time and practice, your crown will continue to flourish and grow.
Step #6: Refresh Curls in the Morning
Despite all your best efforts, your scarf may come off in the middle of the night or your protective style unravels. In that case, your hair may need a little refresher in the morning.
Refreshing your curls is a quick technique to extend your style in between wash days. If you notice a few curls that need to be shaped, then this is how to refresh curls after sleeping:
- Grab your spray bottle or Hydrating Mist to dampen the hair.
- Using a styling gel like PATTERN’s Curl Gel, cup the product into your hair from the ends to the roots.
- Finger coil any strands that need a little extra love to create better shape and definition.
It takes only a few minutes but leaves you with curls almost as juicy and bouncy as day one.
Embrace Dream Curls with PATTERN
Nourished second- and third-day hair no longer has to be a fantasy. Embrace your curls in all their glory with our moisture-rich products. Need an Argan Oil Blend? Or a rice water-infused hydrating hair mask for your nighttime routine?
We can help.
At PATTERN, we prioritize tried-and-true formulas capable of softening and hydrating your strands to help you achieve gravity-defying curls that last.
Build a curly hair night routine with products that celebrate your hair’s natural state.
- Gallagher, Grace. "The Best Oils for Treating Dry Hair." Healthline. 28 January, 2020. https://www.healthline.com/health/oil-for-dry-hair
- Watson, Kathryn. "The Best Way to Sleep to Protect Your Curly Hair." Healthline. 11 June, 2020. https://www.healthline.com/health/beauty-skin-care/how-to-sleep-with-curly-hair#tips-for-curls