How to Sleep with Curly Hair Without Ruining it

Megan Dominion

The struggle is real – going to sleep with well-defined curls, and waking up with a frizzy, squished mess of hair. We’ve got you covered with 5 hairstyles and tips to protect your curls overnight.

Curly hair is a real labour of love, and the last thing you want to happen when you come to the end of a good hair day is to lay your head down and squish, crush and ruin your beautiful curls. The big question for every curly haired girl is – how can you make this last until tomorrow, and the next day, and the next, without having to wash and style all over again? Every curly haired girl’s goal is to make their wonderful curls last until the next hair wash. If you are unsure of your hair curl pattern read our article on the different hair types to learn what yours is!


There is no one way to protect your curls1Jacquelyn Cafasso,, Healthline. Everyone’s curls are different and it’s all about discovering the best solution that works for you and your hair type. Read on for our 5, tried and trusted methods to protect your curls overnight. Top tip – You can use all these methods with your Luna silk hair wrap and silk pillowcase for extra protection, and to keep your curls from being roughed up against cotton which can lead to frizzy hair.

The 5 methods to protect your curls are:

  1. The Pineapple
  2. The Plopping Method
  3. Two Strand Twists
  4. Braids
  5. Buns

Pineapple Method

The pineapple is one of the most popular methods used to protect curly hair, and it takes very minimal effort to do. To pineapple your hair means to loosely tie your hair into a very high ponytail on top of your head. So, you kind of look like a pineapple! Loosely tie your hair up with either a scarf, scrunchie or hairband; we would recommend using a silk scrunchie or scarf to provide further protection and minimise hair damage.

The pineapple method keeps the curls on top of your head and prevents them from being crushed or flattened under your head while you sleep. It is most effective when sleeping with wet hair as it locks in the curls and prevents frizz.

When taking out the pineapple it is important not to comb or fluff the hair. This can cause frizz and shorten the longevity of the hairstyle. Since the pineapple is tied on top of your head it creates a lot of volume and height, so it shouldn’t be necessary to comb it further.


Plopping is a popular method when drying your curls which helps to reduce your hair being weighed down by gravity. It entails gathering all your wet hair on top of your head and wrapping them up while the hair dries. You can wrap the hair in a microfibre towel or sheet, we would recommend a microfibre towel, but some people even wrap it in a t-shirt! The hair wrap will speed up drying time, and the “pile” of curls will set nicely on top of your head, so you won’t need to re-style them the next morning.

This technique involves applying a gel to the hair and then laying a microfibre towel on a flat surface. Flip your hair over allowing it to pile on top of itself into the towel. Wrap and tie the sides of the towel so that it will remain securely on your head. To keep it extra secure while you sleep, you can add a hair bonnet on top of the towel. The next day unravel the towel and your hair should have beautiful curls!

Watch out for these top hair plopping mistakes.

Two Strand Twists

If you’re not so hot at braiding your hair the two-strand twists are a great option for keeping your curls in shape overnight. This method allows you to target specific sections of hair to shape them in a manner that will not flatten as you sleep.

Part your hair into two sections or more depending on how tight you want the curls to be; the more sections the tighter the curls. Then, taking one of those sections, split it in half again and twist the two new sections all the way down your hair and tie at the end. Repeat on all the other sections and secure each with a hair tie. This technique is great for tighter curly and coily hair types but will also add a curly texture to other hair types.


French braids, Dutch braids, and mini braids are all fantastic options for keeping your hair in place overnight. Experiment to find out which works for you and your hair. Looser braids will help to maintain your natural curl pattern, while tighter braids will add more of a crimp. For an easier alternative to French or Dutch braids, divide your hair into 6-8 sections and do regular braids. For loose waves, this will give you tighter curls, and for tighter curl patterns this will stretch your hair. You may find different results depending on your choice in braids and how tightly you braid them. For example, there will be a variation in results between many mini braids and a larger French braid, particularly at the roots, as the French braid method will give you a more stretched curl pattern at the roots. It pays to experiment with one or several braid types to see which gives you the best results.


A similar option to the pineapple method, a loose bun is a great option for keeping your curls on top of your head and helps to avoid crushing or squishing them. Apply a leave-in conditioner or scrunch a gel into the curls before flipping your head upside down and twisting it into a bun. Keep the bun loose so your curls aren’t stretched out too much, and very loosely secure with a scrunchie, we would recommend using a silk scrunchie to further protect the hair.

It is important to remember that no hair is perfect and different style methods and hair types will produce different results. We have several articles on curly hair including ‘How to Maintain your Curls for Longer’ and ‘Embracing your Natural Curls’.

Footnote Links:

  1. Jacquelyn Cafasso,, Healthline
Megan Dominion

Megan Dominion is SILKUP's Managing Editor. She's been down both the curly hair and skincare rabbit holes many times and loves that there's always something new to learn; a new science, method, product or personal experience.