To bonnet or not to bonnet?

That is the 15 dollar question. What are we talking about here? The humble satin sleep bonnet! It has been heralded by many in the natural hair world as key to protecting your hair overnight but it is also despised in equal measure for being totally unsexy. We are caught in between. Personally, I choose to wake up to gorgeous, lint free locs. My struggle, is remembering to put the damn thing on every night!

I bought many many bonnets, satin wraps and durags before I settled on the one I use today. It is massive which is perfect for my long locs, has a smooth satin hairline band -without elastic- which is great to lay down your edges and most importantly it stays on alll night. For real! Is it sexy? Well, that’s debatable…and the hubby hasn’t complained! Yet!

Maybe it is time we let go of the notion that going to bed looking like this…curls fanned out across the pillow is desirable when in reality you will wake up with messy bedhead hair anyway, and THEN regret your choices. I am all for normalizing black girl haircare routines!

Just this week I started wrapping my 3 year old daughter’s hair at bedtime when I realised her hairstyles which I do every Sunday, barely last until Wednesday whereas I need them to last till the following Sunday which is our hair day! She was really excited to look like mama does at bedtime, so that was a win!

So, what are the pros to wearing a satin bonnet to sleep?

  • Locs are protected from lint from your bed linen (the only cure for lint in locs is to avoid it altogether)
  • Your hair whether a loose natural or in locs remains well moisturised because most bed linen are made from cotton which is designed to be absorbent and will thus strip your hair of any moisture
  • Your locs are protected from unnecessary friction and tangling from tossing and turning while you sleep
  • If you have styled your locs, say in an elaborate updo, chances are the style will last longer if you keep it covered while you sleep
  • If you suffer from pollen allergies, doctors advise to wear a bonnet /wrap your hair to sleep because pollen does get in your hair and then transfer to your pillow and then onto your face/eyes which can mean waking up to itchy eyes and a puffy face. In the same vein if you have been in a dusty environment during the day and can’t wash your hair right away, you don’t want that dust all over your pillow.
  • With locs you WILL be able to simply wake up, shake and go…no more bedhead!

Still not convinced? well there is an alternative…the satin pillowcase. I personally think it works well as a backup for those days you forget or can’t find your bonnet.

How to choose a good bonnet

  • It should be roomy and large enough to let your hair breath and not be tightly wrapped to your head
  • Should be made from satin or silk
  • Avoid one with an elastic band as this can damage your fragile hairline

How to care for your bonnet

  • Wash it as often as you wash your hair in warm soapy water and hang to dry. Never put your freshly washed locs in a dirty bonnet
  • Buy at least 3 to have them in rotation for washing and have a spare one to travel
  • Replace your bonnet when it starts to fray so that you don’t end up with the satin fibres in your locs

So, do you bonnet? Leave me a comment below and let me know.

2 thoughts on “To bonnet or not to bonnet?”

  1. I bonnet religiously…except for the few times I forget 😂😂…but seriously it works. My hair doesn’t dry as fast, it help keep new styles on longer, definitely saves my cotton pillowcases from those ugly oily patches (of course that can also be saved by the satin pillowcases), and they do look good…remember the stockings we used to wear growing up🤪🤪.
    I also recently started my daughter on wearing bonnets, and her hairstyles are definitely staying neater longer. The only thing is she was never able to keep on the one with a satin band all night, so for now, she uses the one with an elastic band.

    1. Well done you! Lol! I had forgotten about the stocking caps! Now THOSE were ugly! Thank God for the invention of the satin bonnet instead!

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