Just like roller sets, wrapping the hair before bed is an old but trusty tool any natural can benefit from trying. Even if it may be seemingly difficult and frustrating at first, getting the hang of it doesn’t take long at all. Once you learn how your hair needs to be wrapped, it’s a quick and easy way to keep your style – and hair – intact throughout your week!
What Is Wrapping the Hair?
Wrapping the hair could be considered a style one can do before bed, for sleeping. Used for when the hair is pressed straight, wrapping the hair allows the hair to remain untangled, secure, and full. It even can be used after your hair has been curled (even after a roller set) if you are looking to loosen the curls or completely flatten them out.
When you wrap the hair, you’re wrapping your strands around your head, taking the circular shape of your scalp. In doing so you are laying the hair flat against your scalp, allowing it to remain flat (keeping it straight) while also allowing it to maintain some shape and body (since your head is a circular shape and the hair is technically on a curve).
Benefits of Wrapping Your Hair
Just like any night time style, wrapping your hair will reduce breakage, dryness, and help to maintain your style.
When the hair is wrapped and secured, there is little room for the hair to move around and tangle itself. When it comes to your ends, they are laid down flat or secured with a pin, making it so they stay in place and aren’t rubbing against each other. This makes it so your ends have little chances of splitting or breaking off completely.
Like mentioned before, when you’re wrapping the hair around your head, the hair is laying on a curve no matter where the hair is. Because of this, wrapping the hair allows for it to keep its shape and body. This is very useful for those who have their hair straight but want it to have a little curl to it. Think of the dreaded “bumped ends” many naturals had as kids when our moms let us get our hair pressed. The ends of your hair will flow into a curve (or “curl”), meaning your ends will not be bone straight.
This may be a turn off for those who wish to secure their hair at night but like for their style to be completely straight with no curls or swoops at all. However, you can simply brush (or comb) whatever curl your ends have out.
Before Wrapping Your Hair
Before you get ready for bed and begin to wrap your hair, you want to knock a few things out of the way first.
- First thing you want to do is make sure your hair is completely detangled and brushed through. The key to preserving your style and making sure your hair remains as straight as possible is keeping it smooth and knot free. You don’t want to attempt to wrap your hair before you’ve brushed it out since it would most likely be difficult to do. If the hair isn’t flat and smooth against your head, it will be hard to keep the hair in place long enough for you to secure your scarf or bonnet over it. Not to mention the fact that your takedown will be difficult since the hair may be difficult to brush through after, leaving it in knots. Overall, not making sure the hair is smooth before wrapping would be counterproductive to what you are trying to achieve in wrapping it. Our Detangling Brush is good for those who wish to get the kinks and knots out of their hair without the harshness traditional brushes have on their hair!
- If you normally use leave-ins, moisturizers, or oils on your hair when pressed, you’ll want to apply them before wrapping. Not only will this help your hair remain moisturized throughout the night, but it will also help your hair take to the shape you are wrapping it in. This makes it easier for the hair to stay in place as well while also fighting against breakage, since your hair is able to smoothly rub against itself without becoming dry and damaged. We offer a light-weight Hydrating Leave-In Conditioner that won’t weigh your hair down but will allow it to remain nice and moisturized!
- Thinking of what you will put over your hair may help you to wrap your hair later. When using a scarf or durag, you know you’ll be able to make it as secure as it needs to be. On the other hand, when using something like a bonnet, you may not be able to necessarily control how tight or secure it is around your head (and hair). Because of this, those planning on using pins to secure their hair could manage using a bonnet, since their hair is already secured in place and doesn’t need the extra help of a covering. Those who don’t wish to use pins (in the fear of them leaving indents) may want to go for a satin scarf of some sort, since they’ll be able to secure the hair in place more with a tight (but not too tight) head covering.
- Decide how you want to wrap the hair. There is one way where you wrap in the direction the hair falls, so your motions would be downwards and to either the right (if working on the left side of your head) or left (if working on the right side of your head). This makes it so the hair is wrapped in the direction that will allow it to keep its shape. The other method is to wrap the hair all in one direction, whether it be clockwise or counterclockwise. During this method, at some point, you’d be wrapping the hair against the grain. This basically means you’re wrapping it in the opposite direction it would naturally fall. If you’re someone who doesn’t mind more shape and curl to their hair after takedown, this would be the method for you. The first method is good for those looking to keep their hair as straight as possible.
How to Wrap Your Hair
Now that we’ve been over the basics and what to do beforehand, let’s get into how you can wrap your hair before bed…
- Brush all of your hair down into the shape it naturally falls in. Make sure that it’s detangled from root to tip. Using a fine tooth comb may be of benefit for this step. Some may also find it useful to use the comb to keep their hair smooth for when they actually are wrapping it. You don’t have to part the hair down the middle (if doing the second method of wrapping), but it may be easier for you starting off to make a part at the front of your hair. This part can be at any point you’d like; it doesn’t have to be perfectly in the middle. If you choose to not have any part in the front, your hair should be brushed over your forehead. Once your hair is all brushed out and down, there should naturally be a circular space in the center of your head. You’ll basically be forming the hair around that spot, in a circular motion around the head.
Once that’s done, you’ll want to pick a side to start on. If doing the first method of wrapping, make sure the hair is split down the middle. If you haven’t created any part, just pick a point to start the wrap. With whatever side you’ve picked to start on, you want to start working from the front of your hair and work your way back. From the front of the hair, take your brush (or comb) and brush the hair along the shape of your head, towards the back. This ensures your hair is laying flat and smooth. Depending on how long your hair is, you’ll brush the ends in the opposite direction of the start of your section until they’re completely flat. This may mean brushing the hair over or around parts of the other section. If so, just make sure the hair from the other side is as much out of the way as possible. After you get to the ends of your hair, you want to secure them with a pin; this can be removed later.
For example, say you’re starting on the right side of your head. Then on the right side, at the front of your head, you want to brush your hair against your head, in a downwards motion. You’ll also be brushing towards the left side of your hair, going with the natural placement of the hair. Once you get to the point where my hair is completely laid and the ends are left, you’ll want to secure them for now with a pin or clip.
Then repeat this process on the other side of your head. If you wish to remove the pin from the first section, make sure your new section is going over the ends of the first one. This ensures that your hair will hold down the ends in place of the clip. If you don’t wish to use a pin for the ends of the last section, make sure you securely put on your hair covering shortly after or use hair spray to secure the ends in place.
If doing the second method, you too want to start at the front of that section. From there, brush the hair along the head, in a downwards motion either counterclockwise or clockwise. It may help to go along the natural movement of the section you’re at.
For example, if starting on the right side of your hair, it may help to brush the hair in a clockwise motion, towards the left side of your head. As you brush the hair towards the left, you’ll find at some point that you’re brushing the hair against the way it naturally wants to go. This point is usually where you’ve hit the other side of your head (if it were to be split straight down the middle in two sections). When you get to this point, you may experience a little difficulty in getting the hair to lay. Use as much pins and time as you need and remember to be patient! Just make sure to keep the hair as flat and smooth as you can.
When brushing the hair, you may find that some of it falls or has trouble taking the circular form the wrapping motion is pushing into. If so, you can use clips to secure these bits or just let them be. As long as they are untangled and can lay flat under your head wrap, it’ll turn out fine.
Depending on the thickness of your hair, you may need to secure it along the way. If your hair is layered or simply not even cut, you’ll find that you’ll have ends (that are most likely sticking out) along the wrap of your hair. You can either use pins or hair spray to secure them. Using a secure enough head covering for bed will eliminate the need to use pins or hairspray, but these tools can be helpful for those not used to the style.
- If you come across the need for pins but don’t want to keep them in while you sleep, simply remove them before going to bed! Using pins while wrapping, especially if you're new to the technique, can help you a lot along the way. So don’t be afraid to use them even if you take them out in the end. They will make the process less frustrating for you in the end!
- If you don’t have any hairspray readily available, any product that will give you hold will work. You just want to make sure whatever you’re applying will set the hair you’re trying to lay down in place.
- You don’t have to do the wrap all in one motion or try. It may take you a few times going over the same part with your brush for you to get it right. Don’t rush or be afraid to start over. Using pins and clips in the process of forming your wrap will reduce the need for you to completely start over.
- Your wrap doesn’t have to look perfectly sleek or smooth when done. Most of us have different lengths of hair all over and it would be impossible to pin every fly away you saw. This is why it’s important to have a good head covering while sleeping. Overall, scarves and durags are preferable over bonnets, but are not necessary if all you have is a bonnet on hand!