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About two weeks ago, I had an epiphany about making my twist outs and Curlformers sets last longer.

I was staying with family out of town and was so exhausted one night I didn’t even bother pulling my satin cap out of my luggage.  Instead, I merely pineappled my freshly Culformed hair and went to sleep.  In my drowsy state, I was faintly nervous about how messed up and frizzy my hair would be in the morning—but not nervous enough to get up.

The next morning, I took my hair down to check it and was absolutely shocked at how straight and clean my roots were.  I flipped my hair back—and forth—much to the amusement of my family, then pinned it back up and went along my way.  That evening, I drove home and put on my satin scarf and bonnet as usual, turned up the heater in my apartment as usual, and went to bed.

The next morning, my roots were puffy and fused together with frizziness.

An annoying conundrum, you say?  You bet.  And I intended to get to the bottom of it immediately.

Obviously, frizziness comes from excess moisture—excess trapped moisture.  The two factors that form such a state on the scalp are heat and a barrier on a sweaty scalp.

Ergo, ifso-facto, etc, etc – I sweated too much.

In order to rectify this situation, I knew I had to get more air to my scalp at night, just like when I stayed with my family.  However, sleeping straight on a cotton pillowcase was absolutely out of the question.  Cotton pillowcases and all related fabrics act like one of three medians, or a combination of the three:

    • An absorbent sponge, soaking up all amounts of moisture from the hair shafts and leaving nothing left for your head.
    • An abrasive weave that snags hair microscopically and causes faster damage—resulting in more frequent trims and less length retention.
    • Heat buildup during the night, leaving you uncomfortable, unnecessarily hot and—well, frizzy.

I even checked out the properties of satin from the bonnets that I buy and was a little unnerved when I discovered that even more “affordable” satins were of mixed, synthetic weaves (including oils and plastics) that, while better than just lying loose on cotton, still wasn’t the best that I could do.

So, I went further until I came upon the properties of silk pillowcases.  The properties between silk – namely, charmeuse silk – and other fabrics were miles apart:

    • Silk is less than 15% absorbent vs. the 100% absorbency of cotton.  This means that the majority of oils and night creams on your hair and face will stay where you put them.
    • Silk is natural, derived from the silk worms that wove them.  Thus, the proteins in the silk fibers actually assist your hair strands, even lending in lasting strength.
    • The smooth nature of the charmeuse weave allows for hair strands to glide easily along its surface.  No friction, no breakage, no frizziness.
    • Silk is a temperature regulator.  If you’re hot, it will keep you cool.  If you’re cold, it will keep you warm.  There’s absolutely no need to flip your pillow every five minutes.

I have worn a sleeping bonnet since I was five years old.  I could probably count the number of times I haven’t worn anything to protect my hair at night.  So the thought of going hair “commando” was a little thrilling—naughty, even.

I purchased a silk pillowcase from Amazon last week using standard shipping, and it arrived within three days.  Despite the description of having a foldover envelope closure in the middle of the pillow back, it was actually to one side on the back.  That worked better for me, even though I had no intention of flipping the pillow.

The pillowcase itself was smooth and surprisingly soft.  The last time I slept on a “silky” pillow, I was eight, and my head kept sliding off of the shiny, bulky top.  It was funny, but it wasn’t comfortable.  In this case, I couldn’t help but rub my hands over the surface of the pillow randomly, marveling at the satin weave on the silk fibers.

Sleep for the most part has been as it always was.  I managed not to flip the pillow –not that I felt that I needed to.  Still, I think I had anxiety sleeping without a bonnet; every little noise woke me up, and I kept wanting to pull the front of my scarf down.

I trimmed my hair this week and put small twists in, tying them up in various positions as I slept straight on the pillow for the last five days.  As far as I could see each morning, my twists have been tight and stayed exactly where I put them the night before.  The big test will be the next time I put in Curlformers, which I expect to do next week.  I will keep you informed of the progress, but so far, so good.