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The perfect night-time routine to keep your curls bouncy the next morning

I toss and turn all night, waking up each morning wondering what state my curls will be in. Will they keep their springy ringlets or will I have a frizzy triangle situation on my hands? The struggle is real for us curly-haired girls trying to maintain soft, shiny, defined curls day after day. But fret not! Your nighttime routine is just as crucial as your morning ritual when it comes to preserving nourished, frizz-free locks.

You can wake up with jaw-dropping, bouncy curls every day. The secret lies in setting your curls up for success before you hit the hay. Follow the time-tested suggestions in this article and you’ll perfect your curly hair sleep routine, guaranteeing you gorgeous hair every morning.

Preparing Your Curls Before Bed

The way you prep your curls before bedtime sets the foundation for how they look and feel the following morning. You can employ one or more of these tips in your nighttime curl care routine.

1. Pineapple Them

By now you’ve probably heard of pineappling your hair, but do you know why it’s so magical? Pineappling involves loosely tying your curls atop your head in a loose ponytail resembling a pineapple. Pineappling keeps your hair neatly on top of your head all night instead of being smashed against a pillow. This protects your curl pattern stretching out your curls so they shrink back up nicely in the morning, prevents tangles, and lets you wake up ready to go without having to re-style much!

Make sure not to secure the pineapple too tightly or you risk dents and kinks in areas where elastics dig in overnight. I prefer super stretchy spiral hair ties that don’t leave indents. Scrunchie lovers, this method is perfect for you! The key is gently gathering hair on top without tugging or disrupting curl formation.

Pineappled Curls

2. Plop After shower

This is mostly targeted towards those curlies like me who can’t have a good night’s sleep without showering beforehand. Plopping helps remove excess moisture from curly locks while allowing conditioned curls to spring back after washing. It also enables our favorite styling products to penetrate deeper into hair for amplified definition upon drying.

The only catch with plopping overnight is leaving wet hair wrapped up for that long allowing fungus and bacteria to thrive leading to all sorts of issues like infection or dandruff.

So how can we make plopping work in harmony with pineappling you ask?

Here’s my hack – get your hair about 80% dry post-shower by diffusing or air drying as usual. Next, lightly plop for 20-30 minutes pre-bedtime allowing just a smidge more moisture removal while keeping the scalp healthy.

3. Choose a curl-friendly Pillowcase

Standard cotton cases tend to draw moisture from our hair leaving it dry and frizzy. At the same time, slippery satin and silk allow curls to glide freely without disruption to the cuticle.

Satin offers benefits nearly identical to luxurious silk at a fraction of the price. And these days you can find satin pillowcases practically anywhere starting at $10. Take it from me, swapping out your pillows makes a huge difference in maintaining hydrated hair and keeping those kinks away. Bonus, they prevent sleep lines on your face too!

If satin isn’t in your budget, look for pillowcases labeled “anti-friction” that use slick polyester blends. While not as luxurious as satin or silk, they still minimize disturbance to your hair.

4. Braid Your Hair

And don’t overlook braids for amplifying curls while you catch some zzz’s! Depending on thickness and curl type, divide dry hair into sections then braid larger pieces into 2-4 chunky braids. Secure ends with elastic bands to preserve styling as you sleep. The tug and pull of braiding intensifies coiled formations leading to maximum curl poppage come daybreak!

My recommended braiding techniques for preserving your curls overnight would include (in descending order of priority) –

  • French Braids
  • Inside Out Braids
  • Box Braids
  • Fishtail Braids
  • Pancake Braids

5. Tie a Loose Bun

When I’m looking to switch up my curly sleep routine, a loose bun is my next go-to style. Simply smooth back curls into a gentle high bun atop your crown secured by a wrapped hair tie or spin pin.

The key with bunning is keeping it extremely loose and messy so curls still have room to spring back overnight. I’ll even leave out my ends entirely by wrapping the bun in a spiral hair tie. I’d recommend against using clips or claws to keep the bun in place, use a silk rope to fasten the bun.

This prevents dryness since your ends aren’t tugged into the bun fabric while also creating an awesome lift at the crown the next morning.

6. Wear Hair Bonnets

Silk bonnets provide satiny protection similar to pillowcases but have the added benefit of securing messy ends to prevent dryness or breakage. Loosely tie a silk bonnet over your pineapple or braids at bedtime. It’ll keep ends smoothed down and hydrated overnight so you wake up with salon-fresh locks!

must have Nighttime Curl Styling Products

The right products act like a shield to lock in moisture while you sleep.

After shampooing and conditioning, work a quarter-size amount of a moisturizing leave-in conditioner evenly from roots to ends. This helps strengthen and define curls so they pop gloriously in the AM!

Next, rake through a curl cream, gel, or styling custard concentrating mostly on the middle to ends avoiding the roots. This technique, lovingly dubbed “roping“, shapes and separates while elongating dried-out ends.

If your hair still seems thirsty, seal the deal with a few drops of hair oil or serum massaged gently onto palms then glided over the hair. Try argan, coconut, or marula oils for extra nourishment without a greasy feel.

how to refresh your Curls the next morning?

You adhered to your entire nighttime routine and woke up ready for luscious locks. Not so fast! Take a few minutes to revive strands before heading out the door each morning too.

Simply wetting hands under the faucet and then shaking droplets through hair reactivates styling product leftover from the previous night. After that, I love misting with a hydrating curl refresher spray. The combo of water and conditioners rents life back into my ringlets.

My ultimate hack is diffusing curls on the low cool setting for a speedy blast of volume, an absolute must before big meetings! The combo of finger coiling plus diffusing never fails to wow.

Common Curly Hair Nighttime Issues (and Getting Around Them)

So you’re pineappling, you’ve got a satin pillowcase, yet somehow you’re still waking up with a poofy mess? We’ve all been there! Here are my handy tips for tackling unruly bedheads and lackluster curls.

  • Try sleeping in a loose topknot piled high to achieve awesome height the next morning. Use the hair sticks by crisscrossing two sticks to hold them in place sans elastic.
  • For bedhead, simply shake out knots, add shine spray, and then diffuse for smooth and flawless strands in minutes.
  • What about those pesky flat patches and kinks from tossing and turning all night? Refresh with a curl activator and reshape funky pieces by finger-coiling flattened spots.

Create the Perfect Routine for Your Curls

There’s no definitive rule book declaring exactly how to care for your curls while you catch some sleep. Everything depends on your personal hair type, styling preferences, and desired results upon waking.

For wavy-haired girls, focus on a hydrating leave-in conditioner to boost shine and definition without weighing down barely-there waves. Scrunch in an anti-frizz cream before bed and pile waves loosely on top of your head secured by a spiral hair tie.

Whereas cooler curl types require ultra moisturizing co-washes, deep conditioners, and styling balms to prevent dryness. Loosely braid larger spiral sections, allowing springy ringlets to reform beautifully by morning ready for gentle finger coiling.

With a solid curly hair care regime, you can pinch, coil, twist, scrunch, shake, and diffuse your way to marvelous, resilient ringlets no matter your curl shape. Here’s to nourishing those spirals while you sleep so you wake up with head-turning, bouncy locks every morning!

Gwenda Harmon

Gwenda Harmon

Gwenda Harmon, our esteemed hair stylist and resident beauty expert at Power Your Curls, boasts over a decade of experience. Her specialization lies in dispensing invaluable advice on hair care, styling, and beauty techniques. Frequently featured in reputable publications such as Yahoo!, VEGAMOUR, BestLife Online, and more, Gwenda is dedicated to helping individuals attain healthy, beautiful hair by sharing her wealth of knowledge in effective hair care practices.