How to Sleep with Wet Curly Hair

There are several ways you can help preserve your curls if you're sleeping with wet hair, whether you're using a styling product or not. Put your wet hair up into a pineapple, braid it to keep it in place, or create a bun on top of your head to keep your curls bouncy. If your hair needs some refreshing in the morning, spritz it with water or use a leave-in conditioner to add some moisture to your curls.


[Edit]Preserving Your Curls as You Sleep

  1. Shower 2-3 hours before you sleep if possible. Its best if you shower a couple hours before you plan on going to bed, as this will ensure that your hair isnt soaking wet. When your hair is partially dry, itll be easier for your curls to take shape and remain curly overnight.[1]
    Sleep with Wet Curly Hair Step 1.jpg
  2. Apply your chosen styling product to damp hair. This can be whatever styling product you normally use, such as a curl-defining cream to get bouncy curls, or an anti-humidity oil for hair that tends to frizz. Dab a bit of the product throughout your hair after you come out of the shower to help shape your curls as youd like them.[2]
    Sleep with Wet Curly Hair Step 2.jpg
    • Consider using a leave-in conditioner as your styling product to help your hair retain its moisture throughout the night.
    • Choose a product depending on the kind of results you'd like, such as no frizz or softer hair.
  3. Plop your hair for frizz-free curls. Spread a soft T-shirt on a flat surface upside down with the sleeves close to you. After you shower, flip your wet hair onto the T-shirt so your head is in the middle of the shirt. Pull the bottom hem of the shirt towards you so it covers the back of your head and wrap the arms of the shirt around your head to tie them together, holding the shirt in place on your hair.[3]
    Sleep with Wet Curly Hair Step 3.jpg
    • Sleep with the T-shirt tied on top of your head to let your hair dry naturally overnight, leaving you with perfect curls when you remove the shirt the next morning.
    • Use a shirt with long sleeves to wrap the arms of the shirt around your head more tightly.
  4. Braid your curls for wavy curls. Braid your hair into one braid going down the back of your head, or create two pigtail braids instead. This keeps your hair from moving all about as youre sleeping, but be aware that the braid may affect how your curls dry.[4]
    Sleep with Wet Curly Hair Step 4.jpg
    • Braid your hair after your curls have dried about 50% to help prevent them from drying in the same texture as the braid.
  5. Put your hair in a loose bun for natural-looking curls. If you have long hair, this is a good way to keep your curls out of your eyes and prevent yourself from laying on them. Gather your hair up on top of your head and use a hair tie to create a bun, holding your curls in place overnight.[5]
    Sleep with Wet Curly Hair Step 5.jpg
    • Make the bun high enough up that you wont squish your curls when youre lying down.
  6. Create a pineapple on top of your head for looser curls. Flip your hair upside down and gather it up on the top of your head. Use a loose hair tie or scrunchy to secure your hair on top of your head, creating a pineapple shape with all of your curls. This style keeps you from flattening your curls as you sleep.[6]
    Sleep with Wet Curly Hair Step 6.jpg
    • Gather your hair up as high on the top of your head as possiblethis will add volume to your roots in the morning as well as keep you from squishing your curls.
  7. Secure your hair in pin curls for bouncy curls. Take each curl or small clump of curls and use your finger to push them up towards your scalp, keeping them in their curl shape as you compress them. Use a bobby pin to hold each curl in place on your head. When you wake up, youll remove all of the bobby pins to reveal beautiful bouncy curls.[7]
    Sleep with Wet Curly Hair Step 7.jpg
    • Its best to cover your head in a silk scarf or satin bonnet before sleeping to keep the pin curls in place.
    • Pin curls work well if you have short hair.
  8. Use bantu knots to create defined curls. Separate your hair into small sections using a comb, and then twist each section from the root up until it forms a spiral. Continue twisting the section until it's in a twist flat against your head, using a bobby pin to secure it. Do this to the other sections of your hair, creating secure curls.[8]
    Sleep with Wet Curly Hair Step 8.jpg
    • Consider separating your hair into 8-10 sections to create 8-10 twists.
    • Unravel each bantu knot in the morning to reveal your defined curls.
  9. Cover your hair with a satin bonnet for extra protection. If you put your hair up in something like pin curls or a pineapple, placing a satin bonnet over your hair can help keep it in place and ensure your styling doesnt come undone. Look for a satin bonnet at your local big box store or online.[9]
    Sleep with Wet Curly Hair Step 9.jpg
    • The satin bonnet goes over all of your hair with an elastic to stay on your head, keeping your curls from coming undone.
  10. Exchange a regular pillowcase for a satin or silk one for softer curls. When its time to fall asleep, use a satin or silk pillowcase to keep your curls smooth. Satin or silk helps prevent friction, meaning your hair will slide smoothly over the pillowcase instead of getting caught on it which creates tangles and bedhead.[10]
    Sleep with Wet Curly Hair Step 10.jpg
    • Look for satin or silk pillowcase at your local home goods store or online.

[Edit]Freshening up Your Curls in the Morning

  1. Spritz your hair with water to reawaken your curls. Fill a spray bottle with water and spray a light mist over your hair. This will add some moisture and help revitalize your hair style, giving your curls more volume.[11]
    Sleep with Wet Curly Hair Step 11.jpg
    • Spray sections more heavily with water if you want them to re-dry a certain way or are styling them.
  2. Step into a hot shower to use the steam to help style your curls. If you take a shower in the morning, turn on the hot water and pin your hair on top of your head to avoid getting it wet. The steam will help add volume to your hair so that your curls are full and bouncy by the time youre done showering.[12]
    Sleep with Wet Curly Hair Step 12.jpg
  3. Add a sea salt spray to your curls to redefine them. Spray a few spritzes of sea salt spray on the mid-lengths and ends of your hair to add texture and volume. If you find that your hair dries out due to the sea salt, add a layer of leave-in conditioner to help add moisture back into your curls.[13]
    Sleep with Wet Curly Hair Step 13.jpg
    • How much sea salt spray you use will depend on the specific brand of spray as well as how curly your hair is.
  4. Apply dry shampoo to the roots of your hair for a quick lift. If your curls are feeling flat or your hair is already a bit oily, spray dry shampoo at the roots to add volume or on sections that could use a bit more definition. Dry shampoo is also great for separating clumps of curls because it covers up your hair's oils and prevents the curls from sliding back into one another.[14]
    Sleep with Wet Curly Hair Step 14.jpg
    • Look for a dry shampoo at your local drugstore, grocery store, or big box store.
    • Spray the dry shampoo generously on the sections you'd like to be more voluminous.
  5. Use a diffuser on slightly damp hair to reshape curls. If you wake up and your curls aren't looking like you'd like them to, dampen your hair generously with a spray bottle. Use a diffuser attachment on your blow dryer to dry your curls, aiming the air straight up from the bottom of your curls to reduce frizziness while creating natural curls.[15]
    Sleep with Wet Curly Hair Step 15.jpg
    • Purchase a diffuser extension at your local big box store or online.
    • Consider drying your hair on a cool setting to reduce frizziness even more.
  6. Give your curls a shake to add volume to your hair. If your curls are already fairly styled when you wake up, flip your hair over and give it a good shake. Use your fingers to lift up the hair at your roots to add even more volume.[16]
    Sleep with Wet Curly Hair Step 16.jpg
    • Shake your hair gently to avoid creating tangles.
  7. Use a serum to smooth any frizzy sections. If your hair tends to frizz overnight, squeeze out a small drop of serum to apply to your hair. Spread the serum lightly over the frizzy sections of your hair, rubbing it in thoroughly so your curls arent stringy.[17]
    Sleep with Wet Curly Hair Step 17.jpg
    • Look for an anti-frizz serum at your local big box store or grocery store.
  8. Spray a leave-in conditioner in your hair to add moisture. If your curls are feeling dry or in need of extra nutrients in the morning, spritz them with a leave-in conditioner. Spray the conditioner throughout your hair, lifting up your curls to ensure it reaches all of them.[18]
    Sleep with Wet Curly Hair Step 18.jpg
    • Look for leave-in conditioners that contain argan oil which helps lock in moisture in curls.
    • You can find a leave-in conditioner at a grocery store or big box store.

[Edit]Things You'll Need

[Edit]Preserving Your Curls as You Sleep

  • Styling product (Curl-defining cream, anti-humidity oil, etc.)
  • Soft T-shirt (optional)
  • Hair ties (optional)
  • Bobby pins (optional)
  • Satin bonnet (optional)
  • Satin or silk pillowcase

[Edit]Freshening up Your Curls in the Morning

  • Spray bottle with water
  • Sea salt spray
  • Leave-in conditioner
  • Dry shampoo
  • Diffuser
  • Anti-frizz serum