By Sabrina Perkins of NaturalHairForBeginners.com
What to do with your natural hair at night is just as important as what to do with it in the morning. While relaxed we really didn't worry much about it other than making sure to not ruin the style but as we learn more about how to care for our natural tresses we find the importance of everything we do!
When developing a regimen, the same points are pounded into our heads- cleanse, deep condition, moisturize, do protective styles, and etc. but when it comes down to our nighttime routine, we’re given general tips, some that aren’t really universal.
Caring for your hair as you sleep is just as important as caring for it when you’re awake, and even more-so because what you do before bed can be the difference between your curls being on point and being a big matted mess in the morning. Whether you’re rocking a TWA or waist-length Locs, it is important to protect your hair as you sleep in order to retain moisture and preserve your style.
Moisturize & Seal
If your hair is feeling a bit on the dry side, you’ll want to remoisturize the hair before bed. Spritz your hair with a little bit of water or leave-in and seal with a light oil. If you’re rocking a twist/braidout, you can retwist/braid the hair after sealing in order to lock that moisture in and decrease the chance of your hair frizzing.
If you don’t really like spritzing your hair, you can invest in a handheld steamer like Q-Redew which opens the cuticles and moisturizes the hair without actually wetting it. This is a great option for those with low porosity hair, but works well for those with medium and high porosity hair as well and I have and love this tool on my high porosity hair.
Evening Scalp Massages
Everyone wants have long healthy hair and one of the easiest ways to achieve that can be done at night with a simple scalp massage. Scalp massages (with or without an oil) can increase blood circulation to the hair follicles, condition the scalp all the while boosting the strength of the hair roots.
You just use your fingertips with a light oil (or without) and massage gently in a circular motion. Great oils for scalp massages are coconut, olive, jojoba, lavender or rosemary. You can blend some too. I love using jojoba oil with a drop or two of lavender since lavender is excellent at aiding a dry, flaky scalp and has anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, and analgesic properties. A few nights a week is all you need.
Pineapple / Protect Hair
I am not a fan of the pineapple method as my hair does not work well using it but it is a great way to preserve your style for the next day. The pineapple is basically just gathering your hair to the very top of your head, securing with a loose hair band or a scrunchie, and leaving the ends loose.
Pineappling preserves your curls by alleviating the problem of mashing your curls down as you sleep. Since the hair from the nape is what you’ll be sleeping on, the curls at the crown portion of your head will still be intact in the morning. If this is not the ideal method for you, simply wear a satin bonnet, a satin scarf or place hair in twists or braids to keep hair fresh for the next day.
This is one of the secrets to getting 2nd, 3rd and even 4th day hair. I rock a Loc Soc at night and it hold hair in place without completely smashing my curls.
Satin Bonnet Or Sleep On Satin
Now, you have remoisturized your hair, pampered your scalp and put your hair away, make sure to keep that goodness going by further protecting your hair by keeping it away from drying fabrics that can snag the hair. Even if you wear a bonnet/headscarf quite often they come off at night so having the satin pillowcase is extra protection.
It's even better to have as some nights we forget to do our nighttime routine all together! Sleep on a satin pillowcase as you will need to keep your hair away from the cottons and wool while you are sleeping.
Should I Big Chop Or Long-Term Transition?
A great nighttime routine will save styles and save hair. Whether you need to retwist or simply give yourself a much needed scalp massage, make sure your routine is more than you just flopping down on a cotton pillowcase and being sorry in the morning. A little nighttime prep makes for better mornings and as always, your hair will thank you for it!
What's your nighttime routine?