Go to sleep with a perfect head of curls and wake up with a flattened mess. I know I'm not alone in the fight to keep my spirals looking perfect overnight. The truth is that we can't all just simply wake, shake, and go (you do not want to see my #iwokeuplikethis hair). But the struggle doesn't have to be so real if you put in a little extra effort before you hit the sheets. Here are a few prebedtime techniques that will ensure a happier, bouncier, and less frizzy morning (and even a few extra minutes of precious weekday sleep).
How to Keep Curls Overnight
For defined curls try...
"Bantu knots allow your hair to remain elongated and keep its definition," says hairstylist Daryce Brown-Willis. "There is no need to make them perfect or small, and eight to 10 knots depending on density will do the trick." Start by prepping your hair with a setting product. (We love Creme of Nature Pure Honey Texturizing Setting Lotion.) Then use a wide-tooth comb to make small or large sections, depending on your length, throughout your hair. Twist each section from root to tip, then wind the twist into a taut coil that won't easily budge at the base. Secure each with a bobby pin, and put on a silk bonnet to protect the knots from getting too messy as you sleep. How long will this take? No more than five to 10 minutes, tops. When you wake the next morning, unravel each knot, give your curls a shake, and you're good to go.
For wavier curls try...
This quick and easy technique can replace quality time with your curling iron in the morning, giving you one more chance to hit the snooze button. If you have wavy hair, a basic two-strand braid will help maintain that not-so-basic beachy texture. "Loosely braid or twist your hair and apply a wave spray or sea-salt spray to help it set," says celebrity hairstylist Ursula Stephen. "When you wake up, take the braids out and you should still have your original curl pattern."
For voluminous curls try...
Nope, we're not talking about food. Pineappling is such a game-changing technique for preserving your curls overnight that you'll wonder how you got this far without it. For really full, natural curls, simply pulling all your hair up and over near your forehead and securing it while you sleep will allow you to keep your hair from literally falling flat. Lots of volume and plenty of bounce guaranteed for the A.M. Here's how hairstylist Gabrielle Corney describes the technique. "You pull your hair up to the top of your head and put it into a loose ponytail to prevent indents. Then you leave your natural curls out on the ends and secure the 'pineapple' with a headband, clip, or sleep cap. The next morning, give hair an extra pick-me-up with a curl refreshing spray, and style as desired."
For soft curls try...
If you have a softer hair texture but still want "big hair, don't care" bragging rights, pin curls might be the method for you. Gather each curl from the bottom around your index finger, roll it upward, and flatten it onto your scalp. Secure with a bobby pin overnight, and gently release each in the morning for big and bouncy ringlets.
For long, loose curls try...
When it comes to preserving longer curly hair at night, it can be time-consuming when you'd rather be in bed (or watching just one more episode on Netflix). "If you've got longer hair, opt for a lightweight curl mousse," says celebrity hairstylist and Dove curl expert Cynthia Alvarez. Scrunch the mousse into your strands, flip your head over, and twist your hair into a high topknot, making sure it isn't pulled too tightly around your scalp. Secure with a hair tie and pins. In the morning take your hair down and reinforce some of the waves with your fingers or a curling iron for extra hold. For tighter waves and more volume, create multiple buns on your head. Put a soft silk scarf over the buns to keep them in place, without the friction of your pillowcase rubbing on them.
For longer spirals try...
For years women were stuck sleeping in hard, uncomfortable rollers if they wanted big, soft curls in the morning. Enter flexi rods—a set of soft rollers that are easy to use and are barely noticeable while you sleep. They produce curls as defined as Kim Kardashian West's contouring. Start by wrapping sections of your hair around each soft rod, and then bend the roller into a U-shape to hold it in place. After taking them out in the morning, give the ends of your curls a tug to elongate if the curl is too tight. Well-rested and well-curled is a win-win we can get behind.
Illustrations by Tania Guerra
Originally Appeared on Glamour