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The best way to keep your hair healthy while sleeping. Seven reasons to sleep with a hair wrap.

Healthy Hair LoveSilk

We do so much to our natural hair to make it shine and look at its best. Our hair has been styled, deep conditioned, and even styled with protective styles over the course of many hours, so it would be a shame to undo all of that progress overnight. That's where silk bonnets come in, since they maintain moisture and prevent damaging friction that can cause breakage and bad hair days.

We've come a long way since our mothers and grandmothers wore bonnets.  From an emblem of social rank and tool of division to a beauty ritual, today's silk bonnets are making room for function and style to live in harmony.

What Is a Bonnet ? 

Silk Bonnet in 1800s

The first photograph of a woman; 1839 or 1840; Dorothy Catherine Draper wearing a bonnet decorated under the brim with pleats and flowers Photo by John William Draper; wikimedia commons; Public Domain

Using a bonnet may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think about how to bring out and protect your style.  Silk hair bonnets have been used by certain cultures for centuries to protect hair and keep one's style intact. Truth be told, bonnets aren't just for older church ladies! Since the Middle Ages, these caps have been protecting heads and setting trends. 

Originally, the word bonnet was used to describe a specific type of material in France. For centuries, men, women, and children from all backgrounds and social classes have worn bonnets.

The History of the Bonnet

Our knowledge of bonnets dates back to the Middle Ages. A variety of headgear has been associated with bonnets throughout history. 

Bonnets were cloth head coverings worn by women in the 1700s to protect their heads and hair from harsh weather conditions such as wind, rain, sun, and dust. Most of these hats had a small brim in the front, but were brimless at the back, with a piece of fabric attached to protect the neck. A ribbon or string ties the cap at the bottom of the chin. Rural women wore these bonnets, which were known as slat bonnets.

Women's hats circa 1800

Women's hats circa 1800. Magazineof Feminine Fashion of London and Paris May 1800; wikimedia commons; PDs

Well-to-do women wore bonnets as an informal fashion while at home in the 18th century. In the 19th century, head coverings were mostly worn by upper class women. 

Victorian fashion. Women wearing bonnets

Victorian fashion. Women wearing dresses & bonnets. Date: 1860

Over time, the purpose of a bonnet would continue to evolve. They have been used to keep the sun off of babies’ heads, a staple for women in some religions, and as a way to protect hair during the night.

The best way to keep your hair safe while sleeping

The effects of childbirth and aging can be devastating to hair. Over time, hair loses nutrients and becomes weak. If the hair is not protected, it can become so fragile that it can cause damage and hair loss. 

Even the most luxurious cotton pillowcases have rough surfaces, so they make your hair rub against them while you sleep. This leads to not only dreaded bed head, but a roughened hair cuticle, resulting in frizz, damage, and ultimately breakage. Additionally, since cotton is an absorbent material, it will soak up any oils on your head, which may then be transferred to your skin, leading to breakouts.Luckily, there is a way to avoid this! Silk bonnets are a great way to protect your hair while you sleep. 

Why should you choose a silk bonnet for your hair?

Silk's natural, smooth texture has been shown to improve the quality of hair. It prevents frizziness and reduces thinning without causing split ends.

Silk bonnets are also known for protecting hair from breakage by causing less friction and tension on the hair, as they cause less friction and tension than other materials. In addition, they control tangling and leave your hair feeling soft! For this reason, it makes an excellent material for all hair types, but especially for hair that is dry and prone to breakage.

Silk bonnets can also prevent dry hair because cotton pillows absorb moisture from our hair, resulting in dryness. A silk bonnet will reduce moisture loss.

Seven reasons to sleep with a hair wrap

‘Nothing is so “messy” as untidy hair, and the cap not only covers the hair, but keeps it from getting snarled and rumpled.’ (Los Angeles Herald, 1912)

1. Maintain a stylish hairstyle

It isn't cheap to have your hair styled. In the morning, nothing is worse than waking up with your hair completely undone. By wearing a silk bonnet, you will be able to protect your hair from friction caused by tossing and turning in bed all night. This will allow your new hairstyle to last longer。

2. Helps prevent damage

Breakage is reduced, so your hair looks healthier and fuller.

3. Bedhead is no longer an issue

You may wake up looking like a bird's nest if you like to toss and turn in your sleep. Cute when you're 5, not so cute when you're an adult with only twenty minutes to get out the door.

4. Protect your curls

Curly hair can be prone to frizz; a hair wrap will prevent that. In addition, they can help artificial curls to keep their shape and definition and prevent them from dropping.

5. Reduce the number of washes

You won't need to reach for the dry shampoo as much as your hair wrap will distribute your scalp's oil evenly from root to tip, which means less grease around the roots. It will also keep your hair away from your face, where products like moisturiser and toner, as well as your skin's natural oils, can contribute to a greasy build-up.

6. Less frequent styling required

Instead of using a comb, wrap your hair to achieve tangle-free tresses that don't require as much styling or brushing.

7. Keeps Moisture In

Dry hair is the worst enemy of your hair. In addition to causing an itchy scalp and frizzy hair, dry hair can also cause split ends and hair loss. Dry hair is often caused by your pillow. Imagine it as a sponge soaking up moisture from your hair at night. If you wear a silk bonnet, your head will be off the sponge, pillow, and full of moisture.

Which hair types benefit most from silk bonnets?

Silk wraps can be transformational for hair types that frizz easily. They're great for curly hair and have been a necessity for women for decades. Curly hair tribes have been using this bonnet secret for a long time, but all hair textures could benefit from it. Everyone wants healthy, hydrated hair, so silk bonnets are beneficial to all hair types. After using a silk bonnet, curlly, coily hair will benefit more from their curls. A hair wrap will make a big difference if you use it every night, especially if your hair is dry and brittle.

Silk vs. satin bonnets: what's the difference?

Silk or satin are the best fabrics for different styles, depending on your budget and style preferences. The main difference is the fabric. Silk bonnets are made of natural fibres, while satin bonnets are a combination of fabrics such as nylon, polyester. Silk is generally more expensive as well; however Auckland-based brand Lovesilk ltd is leading the charge with inexpensive, 100% mulberry silk hair wrapping products. If you want to use exclusively natural fibres, then silk is the best choice. 

How to use a silk hair wrap

Really, it couldn't be easier: simply tuck your hair inside before bed, and you’ll wake up to fresher, less tangled hair with a noticeable bounce and brighter shine.

Can silk hair wrapping help you grow your hair?

Wrapping your hair won't add inches to your hair overnight. You can, however, prevent damage like breakage and split ends - two big no no's if you're trying for Rapunzel-like lengths. Incorporate a hair wrap into your routine if you recently had your hair trimmed to remove split ends. Consider adding ginseng supplements to your diet and using an intensive hydrating hair mask to boost hair growth.

Silk hair wraps vs silk pillowcases

The silk pillowcase has proven to be one of the hottest hair accessories of this year, but the bonnet is about to take over. There's a good reason for that. Silk pillowcases are popular among curly hair tribes, and scrunchies add an element of elegance to any bun, but bonnets keep your coils free of friction. Your hair can rest freely in the bonnet. This also means avoiding any involuntary pulling or tugging of your hair while you’re asleep.

One could argue that silk pillowcases are more effective than hair wraps. Which is best for you? You might want to consider a pillowcase if you have short hair and if you sleep peacefully at night without much tossing and turning. Choose a hair wrap if you tend to move around a lot or if you have a lot of hair.

Silk pillowcases are a great place to start, but hair wraps offer so many more benefits.  Silk bonnets enclose your hair, preventing oils from transferring from it to the pillow. The oils on your scalp are re-distributed across the hair shaft while you sleep, nourishing and conditioning your hair as you do so.

Silk bonnets: 9 reasons why you should use them

  1. Hair breakage and damage can be repaired, protected, and prevented.
  2. Keep your hair style longer (hello second, third, fourth day hair!)
  3. Reduce the amount of time spent restyling in the mornings.
  4. Balance oily roots with dry ends.
  5. Wash your hair less often.
  6. Enhance hair growth and reduce hair loss.
  7. Frizzes and flyaways will be eliminated.
  8. Natural hair conditioning.
  9. Enhance the appearance of your hair dramatically.