How to sleep with braids and not ruin them

Braids Style

When it comes to getting styled or beautified, “no pain, no gain” still holds. It may take up to 8 hours of sitting at a salon chair to get those stylish box braids.

So preserving its freshness as long as possible makes a lot of sense. Now here comes the most asked question by braiding enthusiasts out there, “How to sleep with braids and not ruin them?”. 

Steps to Longer-Lasting Braids

1. Use a scarf or hair wrap to protect your braids

Wrapping your hair with a headscarf, a hair wrap, or a bonnet would be the easiest way to protect your braids. So even when you toss and turn at night, you will wake up to braids that still look brand new. 

In case you are not comfortable using anything that wraps around your head overnight, you can use a silk or satin pillowcase instead. Satin or silk pillowcases also offer you some braid protection while you sleep.

2. Prep your hair before bedtime

Getting stylish braids doesn’t mean letting go of hair care basics. It means not only keeping your hair frizz-free but also preventing any discomfort down the line due to scalp irritation or dandruff. 

Must-haves to protect your braids 

Scalp cleansers, aka dry shampoos or no-rinse foams – They replace your regular shampoos, except you can do this no more than two times per week. Remember, this is just a quick solution to a greasy scalp build up. Apply the shampoo onto your scalp with a cotton ball. Let it stay on your scalp for about 5-10 minutes before wiping off with cotton dipped in lukewarm water. 

Choose a product that has soothing ingredients such as aloe vera, castor oil, and peppermint. Look for cleansers that help you get rid of gunk rather than adding more to the mess. An anti-residue cleanser is something you want to check out.

Moisturizers – Moisturizing your scalp is a must at least twice or thrice a week. If you have a dry scalp and are prone to flaking, look for oil ingredients that will help you fight the itch. 

Natural moisturizers will replenish and hydrate the scalp. Coconut oil, jojoba oil, black seed oil, and shea butter are among the favorites. These oils also promote healthy new hair growth and add luster to your hair. Be careful not to overdo it and drench your scalp. 

Tip: If you use natural oils, try wrapping your head with a warm towel after application to allow better absorption and also stop itching (in case you suffer from it). But remember to let your hair dry first before heading to bed.

Hair spritz – You may do this during the day whenever you notice that your hair is becoming dry and lifeless. It also helps to hydrate the scalp.

To Braid or Not to Braid

Some of you might ask, “Is it bad to sleep with braids?

Well, not really. It all comes down to how diligent you are in terms of observing basic haircare routines. The tips and tricks listed above can help you maintain beautiful braids while not forgoing essential hair grooming and hygiene. The bottom line… it depends on how you manage and maintain your hairstyle.

How long should you keep braids in?

Other Helpful Tips When Wearing Braids for a Long Time

Put a stop to stink before it happens

Braiding while sleeping is more beneficial than you imagined. But more than the stylish appearance, you will never want to attract second glances for the wrong reason – hair odor!

Smelly hair can be avoided with the right hair care regimen and by using the right hair treatment. Over time, product residues, dead skin cells, pollution, and dirt can accumulate on your hair and scalp. Not to mention sweat and bacteria will so lovingly cling to your hair shafts if your braids are left without proper care.

The solution? Good grooming and hygiene play a major part in keeping hair smell-free. So really, it’s all about keeping your hair and scalp clean. If you want to keep funky smells in check, get rid of odor-causing bacteria from your hair. If you wash your hair, wait until they’re dry before sleeping. This is to prevent a musty smell due to mildew growth.

Don’t forget your baby hairs

Your edges or baby hair aren’t there for you to ignore altogether, especially when you are braid-styling your manes. Keep your hair healthy by dabbing a couple of drops of essential oil or spritzing with water. There are also edge control products on the market to choose from if you want. Level up your hairstyle by taking care of your edges. So start digging for edge-styling video tutorials now and see the difference!

Unleash the creative genius in you

Braid-styling by itself is already a form of art. But it doesn’t mean that you stop jazzing up your style or finding ways to express your uniqueness even further. There are lots of hair braid accessories to choose from that will help you get the look you want. From hair rings to hair cuffs, beads, and other handmade jewelry pieces, there is a piece that will match your taste and style. Just take your pick!

In Summary

Sleeping with box braids and not ruining them is absolutely doable. As long as you follow all the steps for looking after your braids before, during, and after sleep, you will enjoy the joys and benefits of having a fabulous braided hairstyle for a longer time. 

Three steps to remember to maintain a frizz-free appearance and prevent some discomforts associated with wearing them for a long period. 

  • Proper hair and scalp routine – braid-styling doesn’t mean forgoing the basics of hair and scalp care
  • Using appropriate and good quality products (containing anti-itch, nourishing ingredients, and anti-residue formula)
  • Practicing hair protective measures like wrapping your hair at night


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