Reader Q&A: CurlyNikki On Setting Natural Hair For Bed

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Calling all naturalistas: Do you have urgent tress questions? If so, you're in luck. Every Thursday, natural hair blogger extraordinaire CurlyNikki will be solving your curly hair conundrums! Submit your questions by tweeting them to @EssenceMag with the hashtag #AskCurlyNikki.

READER QUESTION: I love wearing twist-outs but my hair rarely makes it through the night without frizzing and falling flat. I need a solid nighttime routine that will help me cut back on frequent styling. Help!


CURLYNIKKI's RESPONSE: You’re not alone and honestly, it seems as if my nightly routine changes as often as I change my product — which is super frequent! For me, I settle on a nighttime routine depending on my current hairstyle. If I’m rocking twist-and-curls or twist-outs, I’ll either pineapple my hair or simply throw on a satin bonnet. If I’m rocking a fierce wash-and-go, I find that pineappling pulls the curls out of my looser textured hair, so after applying oil to the ends, I throw my hair over my satin pillow (this moves my hair from under my face and allows it to hang off the top of the pillow) and call it a night. Below, I’ll give you a quick summary of some of the most popular nighttime hair tactics. Experiment with them and see which ones help you achieve that elusive second, third and even fourth day twist-out!

1. Pineapple: Gather your curls in a high, loose ponytail to keep your curls from shrinking, flattening and frizzing during the night. If your hair is shorter, you can try a low, loose pony, or multiple loose ponytails all over your head.

2. Re-twist /Re-braid: Some folks feel the need to re-twist or re-braid every night to keep the definition alive. Some add more product, others don’t. I try to stay away from this technique as excessive nightly manipulation is a no-no for this fine haired curly.

3. Bonnet: This is about as sexy as bedroom hair gets. **Sarcasm.** As mentioned above, you can either prep the hair before donning the bonnet, or simply stuff, stuff, stuff your loose hair underneath prior to bedtime.

4. Go Rogue: Some folks throw caution to the wind and go to bed hoping for the best. I do this sometimes when I wash and go to preserve the curly q’s, but I still sleep on satin. This technique doesn’t stretch or flatten out your curls but if you’re a nighttime sweater, you may go to sleep with a defined chunky twist-out and awake to a compact 'fro.

Regardless of your routine, always either sleep on a satin pillowcase or cover your hair with a satin scarf or bonnet. Some curly girls do both just in case their scarf or bonnet comes off in the middle of the night. Have fun experimenting!

Nikki "CurlyNikki" Walton is a successful psychotherapist and creator of one of the most credible online sources about natural hair care, maintenance and decoding the psychological ties between black women and their hair. Visit her at her blog CurlyNikki or follow her on Twitter @CurlyNikki.

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