Here’s the one tool you need to improve the health of your hair as you sleep: silk, be it in the form of a cap, scarf, or pillowcase. “Sleep with a silk or satin pillowcase, headscarf, or cap, which allows hair to slide as you toss and turn while sleeping. Silk and satin prevent friction (which leads to hair pulling, tugging, stretching, breaking, and tangling), and these smooth fabrics help retain the hair’s natural oils,” says hairstylist Miko Branch, co-founder of hair care brand Miss Jessie’s Original.
It’s not just that silk and satin are better; other fibers come with some downsides, too. Cotton or linen are porous and therefore rougher fabrics. For hair, this means the fabric can snag and pull at hairs, trigger physical damage, lift up the cuticle, and cause frizz. This is especially problematic for those with curly hair, which is already prone to all of these issues. They’re not great for skin, either: Their porosity means the fabrics more readily absorb sebum, bacteria, and even your precious skin care products (silk and satin, on the other hand, are more repellent fabrics). But the benefits of silk don’t stop there: They are hypoallergenic, antimicrobial, moisture-wicking, and breathable.
If you’re looking for some options, check out our favorites here.