woman with curly hair and a scarf in her hairwoman with curly hair and a scarf in her hair

How to Wrap Your Hair, and Why the Experts Think You Should

Whether it’s a multi-step K-beauty routine involving snail jelly or a simple splash of soap and water, most people follow a nightly ritual to take care of their skin. But what you might not know is that how you care for your hair at night is just as important for long-term hair health.

So what can you do at night to ensure gorgeous hair by the morning? Hair wrapping, according to experts. Let’s take a closer look at the benefits of hair wrapping, expert tips for how to wrap your hair and the products you need to get your softest, silkiest hair ever.

What is Hair Wrapping?

So, what does it actually mean to wrap hair? Simply put, a hair wrap is anything you use to keep your strands contained and tangle-free as you toss and turn during the night. 

Originally popularized by Black women looking to nurture their natural hair, wrapped hair has become a daily staple of curly girls with a variety of hair types looking to preserve their natural curls. But just because you’re don't have curly hair doesn’t mean wrapping isn’t for you. The benefits can even be enjoyed by those of us with straighter strands. 

Most women prefer to wrap their hair overnight to maximize moisture, but if you're having a bad hair day or need the extra hydration, you can always apply these tips during the day, too.

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The Benefits of Wrapping Your Hair at Night

Wrapping your hair has a host of benefits that makes it a worthwhile addition to your nighttime beauty routine.

“Using a hair bonnet while you sleep can mean the difference between a tidy hairstyle and a crazy hair day,” said esthetician and beauty consultant Ghanima Abdullah. “Bonnets keep your hair in place and make it easier to refresh and fluff your hair in the morning. They do all this because they are an extra layer between your hair and your pillowcase. Less friction means less frizz.”

Aside from cutting down on frizz, less friction means your hair stays tangle-free and protected from your nighttime tossing and turning. Using hair wraps for sleeping, especially in conjunction with an overnight conditioning mask, also helps to reduce dryness. It effortlessly hydrates your strands while you sleep, preventing strain and breakage and leading to a more lustrous, softer appearance when you wake up. Plus, that protective head wrap keeps your product where it needs to be — on your strands instead of on your pillowcase.

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The Wrapping Techniques You Should Know 

It’s clear that you need to start wrapping, but which hair wrapping techniques are the best for your hair type? Here are some great options to get you started on your hair wrap journey. 

All successful hair wrapping strategies start with two key ingredients: a hydrating product like an overnight restoring hair mask and a proper overnight hair wrap to keep everything where it needs to be. You can also use a square scarf, but a cotton hair wrap is easier to use and guaranteed to stay put while you get your beauty sleep.

Here are some ways to tweak your technique depending on your hair’s individual needs:

The Moisture Maniac: Best for Dry Hair

If your strands are in a serious drought, you might want to try this method to lock in extra moisture where you need it the most. Start by applying a restoring hair mask the same way you’d use a leave-in conditioner, making sure to coat all your hair. Comb through gently with your fingers, a paddle brush or a wide tooth comb.

Then, before you put on your overnight hair wrap, tuck your moisturized strands into a plastic shower cap. If you don’t have one, wrapping saran wrap around your head will do in a pinch — just make sure to secure it with a bobby pin or two. The plastic layer will create a greenhouse effect, helping dehydrated strands soak up extra moisture.

The Pineapple: Best for Curly Hair

The “pineapple” technique is a curly girl classic, and with good reason, according to Abdullah. “Pulling all your hair up to the top of your head like a pineapple will allow your strands to remain relatively untouched by your pillowcase while you sleep,” she said.

To use the pineapple method, comb through your restoring mask, place your hair into a high ponytail and lay across your silk pillowcase. You can also wrap the base of your pony in a silk scarf. This method is a little trickier to master than using an overnight wrap, but if your curls are so generous they won’t fit in a standard wrap, it can be a great solution.

Read More: How the "Squish to Condish" Technique Can Benefit Your Hair

The Turban: Best for All Hair Types

The turban wrap is a foolproof method for protecting your strands. Start by applying a generous amount of your restoring mask, combing through as usual. Then, simply gather your strands so they sit naturally across the top of your head. Some people prefer to clip them down for added control, while others leave them loose for greater comfort. Now tuck your moisturized strands into your overnight wrap, and voila! Wake up with hydrated, healthy strands.

If you want to get started with your turban method but your overnight hair wrap hasn’t arrived yet, you can always substitute a scarf for your cap. Simply fold it into a triangle facing forward and wrap the ends around the back of your head, securing with a flat knot. Although not as effective as an overnight wrap, this shortcut will do in a pinch!

The Wrap-Up

Now that you know the secret of how to wrap hair at night, it’s time to get wrapping. If you struggle to get comfortable wrapping your hair at night, don’t stress — it may take some time to adjust to your new overnight hairstyle. You’ll be sleeping soundly in no time, and waking up to seriously gorgeous strands. 


    Photo credit: SimonPilolla/iStock

    Disclaimer: Information in this article is intended for general informational and entertainment purposes only. It is not intended to constitute medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek professional medical advice from your physician.