The Black Girl’s Guide to Waking Up with Soft, Tangle-Free Tresses

Hair and makeup look at DVF Spring 2016

Image: Imaxtree

If your hair is textured, not protecting it at night is a quick way of ensuring you’ll wake up to a tangled nest in the morning. As you thrash about at night, your curls, coils or crimps get fuzzy and snarled. Friction between hair fibers leads to excessive tangling, matting and damage, making the morning comb-out process nearly impossible. But with a proper evening regimen, frizzed-out morning hair unruliness can be a thing of the past. Follow one or more of these eight methods in your battle against tangles and you’re guaranteed to wake up with gorgeous, silky-smooth, knot-free hair.

Comb Hair Thoroughly Before Sleeping

Before combing, lubricate hair with a hair oil or moisturizer to soften strands, reduce friction between hair fibers and minimize breakage. Starting from the bottom with a seamless, wide-tooth comb, work your way up slowly to the roots, taking extra care with problem spots. If your hair is curly or coily, detangle your hair with your fingers instead. (Just be sure your nails are smooth and snag-free.)

Condition It

If your hair is on the dry, damaged side, a nighttime nourishing treatment will make your hair silky, smooth and easier to manage in the morning. Apply coconut oil, argan oil or any of your favorite leave-in conditioning treatments from root to tip, making sure your strands are evenly coated. Then wrap your hair in a satin scarf so the oils can penetrate your strands more deeply overnight. When you wake in the morning, your hair will be tangle-free and soft to the touch.

Tie It Up

Wrapping your hair in a silk or satin scarf or bonnet at night not only helps preserve your style for the next day, but it also helps reduce friction and breakage. Plus, as you rest, the silky cap allows for deeper penetration of your nightly moisturizing treatment without unwanted evaporation.

Wrap It Up

This technique is perfect for extending a blowout or other straightened styles. It’ll keep hair smooth and frizz-free overnight. Vertically part your hair into two sections. Wrap your hair with a brush or comb, going in the direction of your part and keeping it smooth as you do so. So if your part’s on the right, start your circle on the right and if it’s on the left, start your circle on the left. Simply wrap and pin your hair as you go along around your head. When done, tie it up with a satin scarf so the style doesn’t budge during your sleep. In the morning, unwrap your hair to unveil a sleek, straight ‘do.

Style It in a Protective Style

Placing hair in braids before bed will prevent friction and tangles. Plus, as an added bonus, when you undo the braids in the morning, your tresses will have a nice and uniform wavy texture.

Band Your Hair for Optimal Length

If your hair is naturally coily or crinkly, shrinkage and matting can be of great concern. Banding your hair at night can help stretch out your tresses to their maximum length. This elongation method utilizes covered elastic bands along the length of your hair to stretch it out. First, separate hair into eight sections. Moisten each section with water or a leave-in conditioner. Place a covered band at the base of each section near the scalp to create a ponytail. Then every half inch or so, place a covered band along the length of each section until you reach the end. In the morning, undo the bands for longer locks.

Try the Pineapple Method

Sleeping with your hair in a pineapple top knot is a great way to maintain your hair’s natural texture and style without smushing it. By keeping the pile of curls on the top of your head, it helps amp up your morning style’s natural volume, reduces frizz and aids in the retention of curl definition. The pineappling rundown: Gather your hair on the top of your head into a very high ponytail. Loosely secure with a satin scrunchie. Gently distribute the curly puff so the curls lean more toward the front of your hair. (Secure with clips or pins if you want.)

Sleep on a Satin Pillowcase

Cotton pillowcases absorb necessary oils, making strands drier and frizzier. Instead, opt for a silky satin case to minimize friction and knotting of hair strands.