Natural hair is so versatile, there are many new styles and techniques to try. The most popular styles of course are braid outs, twists outs, perm rod sets, flexi rods sets or bantu knot outs to name a few. However, when you try these styles for the first time, you may not know how to maintain them, especially when you go to bed. During the relaxed hair days most of us were used to wrapping our hair at night, but this will not work for curly or kinky natural hair. Here are some methods for maintaining your hair at night.
Some women prefer to simply re-twist or re-braid their hair at night, all over again, for maintaining twist/braid outs. This is done on dry hair and you don’t necessarily have to reapply product, so it is usually quicker than the initial styling.
Pros: it is the most effective way to maintain definition and you can continue to wear a braid/twist out for the entire week. Other methods on the other hand may only maintain definition for couple of days. You could also get away with simply doing four or five twists in the front rather than the whole head. This will make your style look as good as new, as the less defined hair in the back will not be noticeable.
Cons: very time-consuming, especially if you’ve had a long day and simply want to get into bed. The existing curl pattern may interfere with the new twists or braids, making the hair harder to shape as desired.
This is simply putting your hair into a loose low bun. Just put your hair in a ponytail and twist the rest of the hair into a bun, following the general direction of the curls.
Pros: It is the quickest method and doesn’t require you to delay going to bed in order to re-style. It also works to stretch the hair, giving you more length and combating shrinkage. Some women even prefer their second day hair as it is more stretched and fuller after bunning their hair at night.
Cons: It may stretch the hair so much, that it soon loses definition. If definition is important to you, you may have to redo the hair after a couple of days.
This method works well for maintaining bantu knot outs or hair that has been straightened. Check out this method.
Pros: a great way to create elongated waves when you have straightened hair. Less time-consuming than redoing bantu knots.
Cons: may not be suitable for maintaining twist outs and braid outs. Requires the use of a lot of bobbi pins.
Putting your hair into a high, loose ponytail and sleeping on a satin pillowcase or wrapping a satin scarf around your edges.
Pros: can be used for maintaining wash and gos, twist outs, braid outs and flexi rod sets. Preserves the curls by keeping them up high on your head, so you don’t lay and rub on them as you sleep. You can simply sleep on a satin pillowcase and avoid wearing a scarf or bonnet. This method may also help to stretch the hair.
Cons: may not be suitable for type 4 kinky hair, which, has a tendency to adopt whatever shape it has been put into overnight. When I try this method, my hair tends to stick up, and I have to spend time getting my hair to fall how I like it to. Type 4 hair also shrinks more. Shrunken hair may be harder to put into a pineapple and even harder to take down. It does not stretch the hair as well as the bunning method.
Re-twisting or braiding the hair in large sections, usually 3 or 4 twists or braids.
Pros: a much quicker method that allows you to get into bed sooner. The general shape and pattern of the curls are maintained.
Cons: not as thorough as re-braiding in smaller sections. More curl definition will be lost by the end of the week, compared to when the hair is re-twisted/braided in smaller sections.
Sleeping on a satin pillow case
This is simply forgetting the satin scarf or bonnet, no re-twisting, just leaving your hair out and sleeping on a satin pillowcase.
Pros: you can go to bed looking your best, which, may not always be the case when you have to wear a satin scarf. Plus, the satin pillowcase works just as well as a scarf, in preserving the moisture of your hair. You can also go straight to bed, no time-consuming hair maintenance before sleeping.
I’ve tried this myself with a flex-rod set and surprisingly, my hair looked great for the next couple of days. However, I did at least pin the front of my hair away from my face. This may also give your hair more volume, rather than making your hair appear flat, as satin scarves tend to do.
Cons: your hair is left to its own devices during the night, so you may wake up with untameable, messy hair in the morning.
The best method for me is the bunning method and re-twisting/braiding in large sections for braid outs and twist outs. I sometimes use the pineapple method for twist outs, braid outs and flexi-rod sets, but never for wash and gos, it simply doesn’t work as well. Check out how I maintain my wash and gos by clicking here.
How do you maintain your hair at night? Please share your ideas below.