For anyone with any kind of interest into the hair world, whether natural or not, chances are that you have come across the term bonnet. In this article we will delve into the world of bonnets as a way to protect hair and why they are so important.
What is a bonnet?
A bonnet is an assured way of keeping your hair protected while sleeping or taking naps. It is ideal for all hair types but preferable for the curly/coil-y hair types as they keep hair free of frizz.
What is a bonnet used for?
For the longest time, bonnets were not silk or satin and they were not used correctly to do exactly what they were meant to. These are the main reasons why you should use a bonnet when sleeping;
- To prevent frizz
What’s worse than doing your hair and waking up the next day looking like you ran through a land mine, hay and a tornado combined? One word, FRIZZ. Frizz causes hair to look fuzzy and unkempt thus ruining its natural appearance.
Bonnets are a great way to keep your hair from frizzing due to friction from your pillowcase making your hairstyles last longer and look neater.
- Reduce tangling.
Tangling is worse for hair types that are naturally curly/coil-y. Hair tangles when constantly touched, exposed to high winds, humidity and sleeping without a bonnet. Detangling is stressful especially without the right products and tools.
If detangling is badly done, breakage and damage are inevitable. For this reason, remember to always wrap your hair well when sleeping as it will help keep your hair tangle-free and less prone to any kind of damage.
- Keep hair moisturized for longer.
Dealing with dry hair is not only a headache but it is one of the ways to experience breakage, stunted growth and eventual damage. Cotton pillowcases may be breathable but they also allow for moisture to be lost by draining hair off its nutrients.
Opting for a silk bonnet/pillowcase may save you constant moisturizing and manipulation that will ruin your hair. Keep in mind that dry hair is prone to split ends damaging your hair even more.
- As a way to cost-cut on hair expenses.
Most bonnets are very affordable with the most expensive not exceeding $20. This is not much for a hairstyle that is well over $100. This is because apart from offering protection at night, it keeps hair moisturized thus making your style last longer.
Another way that bonnets help in cost-cutting, is by considering how much hair products cost. Let’s be real for a minute. Hair product are not exactly cheap and since cotton absorbs more of these products out of your hair than silk does, this means less hair products get used when styling and in the duration that the bonnet is in use.
It is important to understand that having a protective style does not exempt you from using a bonnet when sleeping. Bonnets will keep your styles tangle-free and frizz-free as long as they are used constantly and correctly.
What is a bonnet for black hair?
If we are being honest, were it not for afro textured (black) hair users of bonnets, they would not have risen to the level of popularity they got to. Although they were not silk/satin when we were using them, knowledge has taught us that they are the things standing between us and the hair goals we want to smash.
When it comes to black hair, our hair is the easiest to tangle, frizz, have split ends and break. Because of how fragile and weak our strands are, damage is always next on the menu. You could be doing everything right when it comes to cleansing, moisturizing, hydrating and even the use of the right products and tools but if don’t protect your hair as you sleep, chances are that you will not have the desired results you want to see in your hair.
Finally, please keep in mind that there is never ‘one thing, product or elixir’ that will help you on your hair journey or curb damage. Everything has to be done collectively and properly without skipping any important stage so please invest in that bonnet and you will not regret it.
What are satin/silk bonnets used for?
Silk/satin bonnets are used to protect your hair as you sleep, nap or lie down. They are aimed at reducing friction between your hair and whatever surface you lay on. This in turn reduces the chances of having frizzy and tangled hair.
They are also responsible for significantly reducing split ends and breakage. However, there are a few things you should know in order to invest in the right bonnet.
- Make sure that your bonnet’s borders are also silk/satin. What is the point of protecting your entire head but completely suffocating your hairline? Your edges need protection too and if the border is cotton, it will suck out all the moisture content to an already fragile part of your hair.
- If the bonnet is adjustable, ensure that it is in no way too tight. Apart from getting a splitting headache, it will constrict and limit blood flow to your hair thus inhibiting hair growth.
- Cleanse your bonnet at least weekly to get rid of any build-up, dirt, and debris and of course sweat and smells. This way, if your wash day is on a weekly basis, then freshly washed and moisturized hair meets an equally clean bonnet.
- Hand wash your bonnets to avoid ruining them. Washing machines can be very thorough destroying your bonnet completely. On that note do not hang your bonnets in direct sunlight, rather opt for a place that has a great shade.
What do bonnets do for curly hair?
Curly hair may have a more defined curl pattern but it tangles and has frizz just like its coil-y counterpart. It is also needy when it comes to moisture posing a great threat to breakage. Bonnets help curb this problem by keeping it bouncy, defined and moisturized.
What is the difference between silk and velvet bonnet?
The main difference between these two materials is that one is natural and the other is a man-made weave.
Silk is an animal protein fiber produced by various insects used in building cocoons and webs. It does not sound as glamorous as you had hoped right? It may not be as classy as you had hoped but that is why it is so luxurious; because it is 100% natural.
This makes the material breathable, comfortable and a bit costly as it has to be well harvested for it to be of high quality. It is cooler to the touch thus ideal for humid and hotter regions as it keeps hair safe from direct heat and elements.
Due to its natural form, it is better to use it as a pillowcase, scarf or bonnet. It should be hand washed in cold water but is very easy to damage this fabric so please be gentle with it.
Velvet is a piled weave. This means that it is a fabric made of layers of weaving hence appears raised. It has a more lustrous look while silk appears smooth and soft to touch. It is an iridescent material making it appear as if it is a completely different texture once your hands run through it.
It is used best in cooler temperatures as a way of making blankets, hats and upholstery. This means that it may not be the best to use as a sleeping bonnet as it retains heat making hair sweaty, smelly and of course itchy in the long run.
It is not as breathable as silk due to its lack of natural properties. It should not be exposed to direct heat, hot water and should be hand washed to avoid damaging the material. It is also more durable than silk with a more luxurious look for coats and hats.
Now that you have an idea of the difference between silk and velvet, which one is best used for hair care? Silk is what you need to look out for. Sure velvet gives off a luxurious finish but it is not ideal for everyday hair care. Although velvet can be woven from silk, it will not give you the protection you are looking for.
Silk on the other hand is not just good for your hair protection, it is great for your all round sleep wear, be it pajamas, sheets or pillowcases, it is the most luxurious feel when in bed with protection being a luxury only it can provide.
Bonnets are just one of the ways to keep your hair protected as you sleep. With each waking day, they are more and more aesthetically pleasing but that should never be the reason you purchase one. If you are uncomfortable with a bonnet, you can use a silk/satin scarf or pillowcase.
Just a reminder, there are long bonnets that can be used for longer hairstyles like braids and extensions. Note that having a protective style is not an excuse to neglect your hair.
Additionally, remember to use silk as way to keep hair constantly protected. This means lining your hats with silk to protect it from the elements. Whether at the gym, on a stroll, or at the beach, ensure that your hats are doing their part when it comes to keeping your hair luscious and gorgeous.