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How To Refresh Curly Hair After Sleeping On It

No matter how much you hydrate, condition, and even finger coil your natural curls before going to bed, chances are you’ll wake up to a tangled-up mess of locks.

It’s just natural to lose definition in your perfect curls as you toss and turn in bed – but still, it can be frustrating waking up to that.

Sometimes, it feels as though you’re trading in beautiful, well-defined curls for a good night’s sleep.

Well, we’re here to tell you that it’s not the case.

As long as you know how to refresh your curls properly upon waking up in the morning, you can still rock gorgeous spirals that will turn heads.

All that your hair needs in the morning is a bit of extra rejuvenation, and you’ll have bouncy curls once again.

If you’ve been wondering how to refresh curly hair after sleeping on it, then you’ve come to the right place.

how to refresh curly hair after sleeping on it

How To Refresh Curly Hair After Sleeping On It

Here’s what you need to do, step by step:


Dampen Hair With Water In A Spray Bottle

The first thing you want to do is get your hair damp again.

After all, moisture is key when it comes to making your curls look defined.

Plus, natural curls are at their smoothest when they’re wet.

You don’t want it to be sopping wet – just damp enough for it to be malleable and easy to style.

Dampening your hair reactivates all the water-soluble products that you put in your hair during your last hair wash day, like your gels and mousses.

When you reawaken these products, you can style your hair as if you had just used them for the first time.

Before adding any moisture back to your hair, make sure to shake out your locks with your fingers first.

Throughout the night, you’ve likely matted your hair a little.

Some of the strands may have clumped up together and are stuck in a weird position.

Get rid of those tangles and knots by shaking your hair out.

Then, it’s time to dampen your hair.

Fill up an empty spray bottle with water and then spray it into your hair in sections.

how to refresh curly hair after sleeping on it

Make sure you don’t oversaturate your locks.

Your goal is to reactivate the products in your hair, not wash your hair all over again.


Apply Your Favorite Styling Products Again

If the leftover products reactivated by the water are enough to re-style your curls efficiently, you can simply work with that.

But if you feel like you need to use more products to refresh your hair for the day, feel free to add them in this step.

When your hair is feeling a little more dehydrated than usual, don’t hesitate to grab that leave-in conditioner and apply some to your hair.

If you’re looking for extra definition, go in with a dime-sized amount of your favorite curling mousse or gel again while the hair is damp.

Just make sure that you don’t weigh your hair down by adding too much product on top of residue that was already there from your last wash day.

If you have a few extra minutes to spare, you can even finger coil your damp hair to bring out picture-perfect, heatless curls.

Just take a thin section of hair, wrap it around your finger, and release it to create a flawless, springy curl.

how to refresh curly hair after sleeping on it


Squeeze Out Excess Moisture

Because you’ve dampened your hair and likely added more product to it, there’s a lot of excess moisture sitting in your locks at this point.

Excess moisture will do nothing but weigh down your curls, making them look flat, lifeless, and not defined.

To get rid of the unnecessary moisture and enhance that curl pattern for extra bounce, you must scrunch your curls.

Scrunching is perfect for those with loose natural curls that need a little extra help holding their shape.

Flip your head upside down and take a handful of hair in your palm from the ends scrunching upwards to the roots.

Squeeze out as much water as you can while you do it.

Do this to every section of hair until you’ve done it across your entire head.

If your hair is wetter than you’d imagined, use a microfiber towel to scrunch your locks.

Microfiber towels are way better than cotton ones for scrunching because they keep frizz and breakage at bay.


Diffuse Your Hair To Lock The Style In Place

At this point, you can air dry if you want to.

You’ve already done the tedious work of restyling and reactivating your curls, and all you have to do is wait until your hair is dry to see the fruit of your hard work.

But if you want to get your hair completely dry while adding a boost of volume, attach your diffuser to your favorite blow dryer and heat-style your hair that way.

Flip your hair upside down and diffuse your hair from the ends going up to the roots at low heat.

Always use a diffuser while doing this – using your hairdryer without one will simply disrupt the curls you worked so hard to achieve.

Once the section of hair you’re working on is dry, use the cool shot button to lock the volume and curl in place.

Suggested Read: Cold Air Hair Dryer Benefits You Should Know

Apply some hair serum and shake out your hair’s roots, and you’ll be ready to flaunt those refreshed, well-defined curls.

Nobody will realize that your hair isn’t freshly styled out of the shower!


How Often Can You Refresh Your Curls Before Wash Day?

Although refreshing your curls in the morning is relatively easy, it can still take a toll on your hair.

Over time, adding new products can weigh down your hair.

Plus, at some point, the hair products you try to reactivate with water in your hair won’t work anymore.

The reality is that if you’ve refreshed and diffused your hair over and over again without washing it, it may not turn out in that perfect way every single time.

While taking a few minutes each morning to refresh your curls between wash days is super convenient, try to do it just once or twice until your next wash day.

And when you finally hop into the shower to shampoo your hair, make sure to scrub and lather up well to get rid of all the product residue in your hair.


How To Preserve Your Curls As You Sleep

Even if refreshing curly hair in the morning is easy (and even a lot of fun!), the best way to ensure that you don’t wake up with out-of-control curls is by preventing that mess from happening in the first place.

Here are three tips for preserving the natural definition of your curls while you get some beauty sleep:


Use Satin Or Silk Pillowcase

Switch to a silk or satin pillowcase or bonnet when going to bed.

Tossing and turning in bed at night on ordinary cotton sheets can create friction against your strands, causing frizz and destroyed curls.

A satin pillowcase, satin bonnet or satin sheets, on the other hand, allow your strands to simply slide off when you move around in bed.

If you hate waking up with disrupted curls, invest in some silk and satin sheets and pillowcases to keep it from being a regular occurrence.

Silk and satin are also fabulous as bonnets, whether you get them as a hair cap or just use a silk scarf you have lying around at home.

Wear this over your head as you sleep, making sure to keep every lock of hair in the bonnet.

These keep your curls intact as you snooze.


Put Your Hair In A Protective Style

If you’re not a bonnet type of girl, you can always just tie your hair in a protective style before hitting the sack for the night.

With a silk or satin scrunchie, tie your hair in a loose, high bun, also called a pineapple.

That way, you can retain your curls until you wake up the next day.

Braids and twists also do a terrific job with this, and may even add more smoothness to an unruly curl pattern.


Sleep On Your Side Or Stomach

If you sleep on your back, your head will likely rub against your pillow all night, creating a messy, matted, frizzy mane for you to wake up to.

Try sleeping on your side or stomach at night so that you don’t disturb your curls.

It may take some getting used to if you love sleeping on your back, but the result is so worth it!



It can be super annoying waking up to disheveled curls, especially if you worked hard on moisturizing and scrunching your hair the night before.

But there’s no need to hop in the shower to wash and style your hair all over again.

With just four steps and a few extra minutes in the morning, you can refresh the look of your curls and make them look amazing and well-defined again.

Just remember to dampen your hair and add or reactivate your styling products.

Then, recreate that well-defined curl shape by scrunching and diffusing your locks.

Once you’re done, you’ll be met with those perfect, eye-catching curls you worked hard to achieve the day before.

Don’t forget to take extra precautions to ensure that you don’t disrupt your curls as you snooze!

Switch to silk and satin sheets, put your hair in protective styles, and sleep on your side to give your locks the best chance at retaining those luscious curls overnight.

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