The secret to waking up with great curly hair

Hair Romance - The Secret to waking up with great curly hair

You style your curly hair, it looks fabulous. Then you go to sleep and wake up with a birdsnest on top of your head.

If this is you, then I have a secret trick you’ll love that will have you waking up with great curly hair.

Nicole recently wrote to me about her curly hair problem:

So I have naturally curly hair too! Mine curls are just slightly tighter then yours. The problem I have most is keeping the curls smooth and soft during the night. I will have great curls one day and then go to sleep and the next day they are horribly tangled and some are flat! How do you keep your hair from going crazy at night!?!?

I hear you Nicole, and I have a few simple tips that will make your second day curls look as good as day one, if not better! If you need advice on making the most of your curls you need to ready this post on how to style curly hair and read the comments too.

The secret to waking up with great curly hair

The secret to waking up with great curly hair - Hair Romance

  1. Clip your hair up – also referred to as “pineapple-ing” as you do resemble a pineapple with all your curls piled up on top of your head. Why does this work? When you sleep, you create tangles every time you turn your head. Clipping your hair up stops the knots, and also creates more volume in your hair in the morning. It’s simple, but it really works.
    I recommend using a clip, not a hair elastic, as it won’t leave a marks in your hair. Position the clip at the crown of your head or above so that it’s comfortable for you to sleep.
  2. Change your pillowcase – since I switched from cotton to a silk pillowcase I have noticed a difference in my hair. Silk, or satin, is smoother and so there is less friction on your hair and therefore less frizz. The added bonus is no pillow creases in your face in the morning either!
  3. Steamy shower – In the morning, give your curls a shake and have a steamy shower. For my curls, this works to rehydrate my hair without having to wet it too much. Alternatively you can use a water spray bottle to dampen and reshape any curls that need it. Apply your favourite oil or serum to smooth your curls.

Now the first two tips are also perfect for straight hair or wavy hair too. You can see how I restyle straight hair here. Skip the steamy shower if you straightened your hair!

If your second day curls need to be more polished, watch my video tutorial on how I restyle my curly hair for an extra styling secret for messy hair. 

Do you “pineapple” your hair? What are your secrets for waking up with great hair?

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  1. curlywurly says

    Yay for pineapple-ing! I’ve done this on and off for years with my wavy hair.I just use a hair elastic (super stretched so not to leave dents) as I could not get my hands on a scrunchie (who knew they were so hard to find? I had a million when I was little). I like the idea of a clip though. I may just have to invest in one of these. I too swapped to satin and silk pillow cases and that has done wonders. I’ve tried sleeping in silk scarves etc but I’m a restless sleeper and they always seem to end up thrown accross the room somewhere. The major hurdle for me was accepting that second day hair (or beyond) was never going to be as frizz free as first day hair. Somehow once I realised and accepted that, I could deal better with my second day hair.

    • Hair Romance says

      haha finally a use for a scrunchie 😉 I’m like you and scarves don’t work that well for me. Before I bought the pillowcases I would tie a scarf around my pillow which worked ok.

  2. Lisa says

    Just found your site and love it! I have thick wavy (curly) hair. It’s odd because it’s nearly straight at the nape and the curliest at the top. Anyway, I don’t know how you could sleep with a clip in your hair – ouch! But I do agree with the satin. LOVE my satin pillowcase. Also, I tend to have BETTER hair after I sleep. If I wash at night, let it air dry about 85% before I go to bed, I wake up with amazing curls and body. I tend not to sleep ON my hair though. It’s usually all over the place. All I do is spritz a little hair spray in the morning and I’m out the door. I THINK it’s because my hair is so heavy and if I let it air dry while upright, the weight of my hair pulls out the curl. Not sure. But interesting regardless. Also, a product I love for 2nd day hair is TIGI’s Catwalk dry shampoo. Best I’ve tried so far (& I’ve tried a lot – mom is a hair stylist so she gets me a lot of products). Shake and spray on the roots for a little extra texture/lift. Not white or powdery at all and feels great.

    • Hair Romance says

      Thanks for the tip Lisa! I love dry shampoo. You’d be surprised about the clip, it looks big but it holds all my hair on top of my head and I can’t even feel it when I sleep. My sister is the same, she loved her curls slept on as they become more defined. Mine turn into dreadlocks haha!

  3. Jaclyn says

    I guess this post was more for already dry hair but the best routine I’ve found is to go to bed with damp hair. I take a shower at night, towel dry my hair, brush it while damp, and run Miss Jessie’s Pillow Soft Curls through it. When I wake up in the morning it’s almost perfect! I usually throw the front pieces back into a clip to keep them out of my face and wet anything that got funky to fix the shape. It takes 2 minutes in the morning and I actually can wake up later!

    • Hair Romance says

      Thanks for sharing your tips Jaclyn! I wish I could do this but I end up with a half flat / half tangled mess in my temperamental curls

  4. jacqueline says

    I do have a hard time with my curls in the night. I wake up with a nest. I heard that you aren’t supposed to brush curly hair. So I am undecided. I definitely try the clip though!!!! It is a must when it comes to my hair to wear it in a low pony tail or a little pull through bun.

  5. Athena says

    First I’d like to say I am BEYOND happy I stumbled upon your site… I have always been able to put up my very curly hair into a ponytail using one of my curls as a wrap… I never had any sort of inkling to try a top knot bun just using my hair. After seeing your tutorial it was up & done in under a minute. Thank you so much!!! In regards to sleeping & not creating frizz I usually place my hair up so it won’t get smashed & rolled over thru the night. It’s become such a habit that even in my sleep I’m able to switch from left to right or vice versa & always lay my hair so it won’t get crushed. It’s been working for me for years. :) Thanks again & I look forward to more curly hair tutorials from you. Next up for me to try is your “Rolled Headband Updo”. :)

  6. Carly says

    Hi, I’m Carly and my hair is, when straightened, down to probably the bottom of my chest. When it’s curly, it always scrunches up to my shoulders by the end of the day, even when I wet it in the morning. Any tips? I have thin, curly hair that is straighter at the top. I’m going to try the clip trick, I hope it keeps my curls stretched!

  7. Bonnie says

    I love this site!

    I love the idea of clipping your hair while you sleep. I typically would braid it in 1 or 2 braids and in the morning it would be calm and wavy, and only required a few touch-ups with some sprayed water and a curling iron, but it was always hit or miss!

    • Hair Romance says

      Thanks Bonnie! I sometimes sleep in a braid if my hair is wavy or if I wash my hair before bed. Experiment with a few different braid locations to get the combo that’s comfortable and leaves great waves in your hair xx

    • Hair Romance says

      I know, Julie! They’re the best but the major brands don’t seem to sell them. Maybe I should start my own line? 😉

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