Satin or silk headscarves: Which is best?

We look at the benefits of upgrading your headscarf, from gaining style points to boosting your hair health over time.

Hair & Beauty

The recent rise in satin and silk haircare (thank you natural hair movement) has revolutionised the way that black women care for their tresses at night. Slipping a satin scarf, silk bonnet or pillowcase into your regular natural haircare routine can result in healthier hair. So if you’re yet to try these and want to learn more, here’s everything you need to know…

Miu Miu
Miu Miu

You've got options

Over the last few years we’ve seen more satin haircare options hitting the beauty shelves and online than ever before. If you’re a first timer you may want to consider the different product types on offer and how they might fit into your routine. Satin or silk bonnets are essentially caps that can be worn to tuck your tresses away overnight and keep your style in place. Meanwhile, satin or silk fabric pillowcases give you the freedom to sleep safely with your hair as loose as you like. Another option to consider is satin or silk scrunchies, which can be worn day or night to help prevent spilt ends or keep your hair from tangling in-between styles.


Silk vs. satin

While both silk and satin can work wonders on textured hair, there are a few differences between the fabrics. Authentic silk is super luxurious and is woven by the mulberry silkworm, whereas satin is a man-made weave manufactured from an array of soft and glossy fabrics. “Both satin and silk haircare can help lock in moisture to protect your tresses from dryness that can cause breakage or damage,” says Mimi Koné, stylist and founder for London salon Mimi et Mina. “Using satin or silk haircare on a regular basis can also promote natural hair growth and make looks last longer – I’m talking frizz-free blow-dries that last for days.”

For the most part, satin is used on haircare accessories because it’s more accessible than silk but still has the same look and feel, offering the same results for a fraction of the price.

Design Scene
Design Scene

The beauty benefits

When it comes to wearing satin or silk haircare, there are many benefits that will help to boost the overall health and condition of your tresses over time. “The softness of satin eliminates the friction you usually experience when your hair rubs against a cotton pillowcase,” says Shannon Fitzsimmons, founder of hair accessories brand O So Curly. “It also stops the fabric from soaking up all the natural goodness produced from both your skin and hair.”

She adds: “Another added benefit of satin haircare is that it helps keep your natural curls look fresher and less ‘slept on’ in the morning.

My pro tip is to avoid using heavy products on your hair at night right before using a satin bonnet or pillowcase as it can cause staining. Instead, rub a small amount or shea butter or leave-in conditioner to your ends or scalp and let it dry before sleeping.”

Make it fashion

Let’s face it: some women may not be too keen on the idea of wearing a satin or silk bonnet to bed at night, particularly in the run up to Valentine’s Day. So if you think you’re not quite ready to brave the bonnet in front of your partner, listen up! “Wearing a silk bonnet to bed can be embarrassing at first, but once it becomes a part of your night-time routine, you won’t think twice about it,” says Mimi. “We kept this in mind when designing our very own Mimi et Mina silk bonnet as we want women to feel beautiful at all times. You can pair it with stylish loungewear for an effortlessly chic look.” Shannon agrees: “Try not to over-think it,” she adds. “Explain the need for sleeping with these accessories to your partner so they have a better understanding. It’s important to feel confident and for both of you to embrace the natural you.”

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