Skip to Content

How to Sleep With Braids in Your Hair and Not Ruin Them at Night

Beautiful mixed-race female with fragile hair in short box braids with a leave-in conditioner.

The way you sleep with your braids will determine how they look in the morning and how long they ultimately last. So, it’s crucial to take extra steps to protect your braids before you catch your Zs.

How to Sleep With Braids: DIY Step-by-Step Methods

A beautiful Hispanic woman wearing braided hair across her entire head with a beige sweater.

In this article, we will tell you how to wrap your braids up at night, give you step-by-step instructions for how to sleep with braids, including several types of braided styles, and more.

Wrap Them Up in a Satin Scarf Nightly

Wrapping your braids with a scarf is a little more involved than simply covering your head with a bonnet. But it’s worth it because it flattens braided styles and wards off frizz, making them last longer.

In this section, we’ll teach you an easy method you can use to wrap your braids.

#wrap #braids #silkwrap How To Wrap You Braids At Night

Triangle Method

The “triangle method” works best after you’ve secured all of your braids into a ponytail. Here are some instructions on how to complete this method.

What You’ll Need


  1. Take one corner of the scarf and match it with the opposite corner to form a triangle.
  2. Lay the folded side of the scarf on the back of your head, ensuring that all braids and edges are covered. 
  3. Take the left and right corners of the scarf into your hands and bring them forward to the front of your head.
  4. Tie the two corners of the scarf into a knot at the front of your head.
  5. Bring the two corners of the scarf that you just tied around the back of your head and tie them into another knot.
  6. Tuck the loose corners at the front and back of the scarf and make sure that all your braids are under it.

For a visual demo, check out this YouTube video.

How to Sleep With Box Braids

Cute mixed race black girl with new braids wearing colorful hair ties and hair bands.

Sleeping with box braids can be a chore, especially if they are long. If your hair is not secured, you may end up pulling and unraveling your braids as you toss and turn through the night.

In this section, we’ll share two methods you can use to sleep comfortably with short, medium, or long box braids.

This same method can be used with bantu knots, goddess braids, yarn braids, ghana braids, french and dutch braids, or any other braided hairstyles.

Cross-Over Method

The cross-over method works best for short to medium-length box braids. It allows you to sleep comfortably on your side, back, or stomach. Read on to learn the cross under method.

3 Ways to Sleep with Tight Box Braids!!!

What You’ll Need


  1. Part your hair evenly down the middle into two sections using your hands.
  2. Grab the first section of your hair and cross it over the back of your head. Then hold the end of the section against your forehead. Don’t move it. 
  3. Grab the second section of hair and cross it over the first section at the back of the head and hold the ends against your forehead. 
  4. Secure the ends of both sections using the hair tie.
  5. Cover your head with the bonnet or wrap it with a scarf using the triangle method.

You can watch a video tutorial of the cross-over method here.

Top Bun Method

This method is a lifesaver for those with medium-length or long box braids. It ensures that all your braids fit under your scarf or bonnet. Keep reading as we explain how to do the top bun method.

3 Ways to Sleep with Tight Box Braids!!!

What You’ll Need


  1. Separate your hair into two sections at the top and back of your head.
  2. Gather the top section of your hair into both of your hands and begin twisting and wrapping it around itself to form a loose bun.
  3. Secure the bun using the hair tie. If your hair feels tight at the roots, gently pull the braids downward at your roots to relieve the tension.
  4. Grab the remaining braids at the back of your head into two even sections and cross them over each other at the back of the head.
  5. Use the hair tie to secure the ends of both sections at the front of your head.
  6. Cover your head with a bonnet or wrap it with a scarf using the triangle method.

You can view a video tutorial of the top bun method at this link.

Black girl with box braids that keeps her scalp clean and moisturized preventing dryness.

How To Sleep With Cornrows

Sleeping with cornrows is relatively simple if you have short braids. But things can get a little tricky if you have long cornrows. Below we will explore methods to protect both long and short cornrows at night.

Short Cornrows

If you have short cornrows that don’t go past your neck, you can wrap your hair with a silk scarf using the triangle method or cover your head with a silk bonnet.

Long Cornrows

Long cornrows that are shoulder length or longer require more preparation for restful sleep. Below you’ll find a technique to wrap your long cornrows.

Feed in Cornrows!: Maintenance, Itchy Scalp, Sleeping Routine

What You’ll Need

Wrapping The Durag

  1. Place the durag at the front edge of your head, with the rectangular end covering the back of your head.
  2. Wrap the two long ends of the durag around the back of your head, crossing them over each other. Then bring them back around to the front of your head and tie them in a knot. Move onto the next step. 

Wrapping the Silk Scarf

  1. Lay the scarf around your shoulders, leaving one side longer than the other.
  2. Take the short end of the scarf and wrap it around the mid-lengths of your braids. Then tie the scarf in a knot.
  3. Take the long piece of the scarf that is still hanging and wrap it around the entire length of your braids until you reach the ends.
  4. Secure the scarf to the end of your braids using the hair tie.

You can find a video tutorial of this braid wrapping technique here.

How to Sleep With Braided Updos

Braided updos are simple to prepare for sleeping since the braids are already secured to your head. All you need to do is cover your head with a silk bonnet, an anti-frizz curl-friendly hair wrap, or wrap it with a silk scarf using the triangle method. It doesn’t get easier.

General Tips For Sleeping With Braids

Cute Hispanic woman with short braids wearing a light brown sweater and blue jeans.

Your hair requires the same level of care whether it’s braided or loose. Unfortunately, because braids are low maintenance, some people tend to neglect them while sleeping. So, in this section, we will share some general tips for caring for your braids while sleeping.

Keep Hair Dry

Never go to bed with wet hair if you have braids. If you don’t allow your hair to dry properly, you could end up with mildew and unpleasant odors.

Use a Silk Pillowcase

Silk pillowcases decrease friction against your braids at night and won’t dry out your hair. Plus, these pillowcases protect your hair in case your bonnet or scarf comes off while sleeping. A satin pillowcase is also fine, although I would avoid using a cotton pillowcase.

Keep Hair Moisturized

Ample moisture at night prevents frizz when you wake up in the morning. Light moisturizers such as jojoba or grapeseed oil absorb into the hair quickly and won’t weigh your hair down.

Related Articles

No matter what type of braids you have, you have to take care of them to keep them looking flawless, especially at night.

Feel free to experiment with the methods in this article to develop a nighttime routine that works best for you. We hope this article has given you all the information and confidence you need to do nighttime braid care right!