How to Sleep With Short Curly Hair

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a girl with messy hair that needs to learn how to sleep with short curly hair
Author Name: Beth Rush
Date: Wednesday June 8, 2022

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Your nighttime routine consists of beauty regimens for your skin and teeth, but for you curly-haired beauties, going to bed is still a distant dream. If you’re not sure how to sleep with short curly hair, you’ve probably experienced what it looks like the following day. When you crash on your pillow at the end of the night without properly caring for your hair, you end up with a frizzy, matted mess. 

This doesn’t have to be your reality. With just a few extra steps each night, you can wake up to curls full of moisture and vitality and extend the length of each wash. 

Use Sleep to Your Advantage

We spend so much of our lives asleep. Why not use that time to treat your hair. Add an overnight mask, leave-in conditioner or hair oil before putting your hair up for the night. These products work to restore moisture, protect against breakage and tame frizz. 

Choose products that work well with your curl type — from 2a loose waves to super kinky 4c. This process will probably take some trial and error since everyone’s hair is different. In general, those with waves will want to light products that won’t weigh them down. The higher you are up the curly scale, the more moisture your hair will need during the night, so you can go a little heavier with your products.

Perfect Bedtime Hairstyles

Once you’ve finished your hair pampering treatments, it’s time to keep things rolling with a hairstyle designed to prevent damage. Laying directly on curly hair can be dangerous for your strands. They’re prone to breakage and will flatten and tangle as you toss and turn. The best way to sleep with curls is to pull them up at night. 

However, pulling it up isn’t an option for women with short curly hair. Instead, use one of these four methods to protect your gorgeous locks. 

1. Modified Pineapple

The original style works great for long hair, but short-haired gals can still make it work. In a traditional pineapple, you mimic the fruit by pulling all of your hair onto the very top of your head and securing it loosely with a scrunchie or silk scarf. 

Short strands, especially from the sides, won’t make it all the way to the top of your head. So, instead of one pineapple, you can use three — one on top of your head and one on each side. Just like with the original hairdo, secure it with a silk or cotton scrunchie or silk scarf to avoid crease marks or damage while you sleep.  

2. Plop

Sleeping with wet hair can cause serious damage since that is when they’re at their weakest. However, if your schedule demands you shower before bed, give yourself as much time for the hair to dry as possible. Plopping is a common way for curly girls to dry their hair after a shower, but sleeping in this style can also keep still-damp hair safe overnight. 

Right before bed, remove the damp shirt from your hair and redo the style with a clean, dry T-shirt. Before wrapping it up, don’t forget to pamper your hair with moisturizing masks, creams, or oils. 

3. Medusa Clipping

This method is similar to the modified pineapple, but you use a series of jaw clips instead of scrunchies. You want to split your hair into small sections — at least four or five. If you put too much hair into each clip, it will stretch from the root, and you’ll lose the volume at your scalp.  

Your jaw clips should be tight enough to hold the hair in place but not so tight that it leaves marks or indents in your hair, especially if you want to avoid rewashing it. If you’re worried about the clips falling out while you sleep, you can wrap your hair in a satin bonnet or buff. 

4. Satin Bonnet or Buff

Buffs and satin caps are a great way to hold a curly girl hairstyle in place overnight and further prevent damage from rolling around on your pillow. However, they can also be a great time saver, especially for those with short curly hair. 

Instead of going through the process of clipping, plopping or pineappling your hair, throw it straight into one of these protective coverings. This method will save you time while still providing a barrier between your hair and the bed. 

Sleep Easier

After all the trouble you’ve gone through to protect your hair, don’t stop now. Use a satin or silk pillowcase for even more protection from hair breakage. Also, traditional cotton pillowcases pull natural oils from hair, which curly girls can’t afford. Satin and silk leave that lovely moisture where it belongs. 

The position you sleep in can also affect your health and the appearance of your hair. Laying on your back is the worst since it affects the largest surface area of your scalp. It would pin large amounts of your curls down, flattening them. Laying on your stomach is the best for your lovely locks but not necessarily for your overall health. So, we recommend sleeping on your side, which is the best of both worlds for hair and physical health. 

Wake Up and Refresh

Once you wake up, you’ll want to pull your hair out of whichever style you chose and give it 20-30 minutes to spring back into shape. Refrain from touching it or adding product during that time. Afterward, style it like you usually would and enjoy. Follow these tips to help your hair look like it got beauty sleep too, and tell other curly girls how to sleep with short curly hair. 

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