Why this Black girl beauty secret is the answer to better hair, better skin, and better sleep
I grew up sleeping in silk scarves and bonnets with stacks of silk pillowcases piled up in the linen closet. I didn’t know why, I just did as I was told. It’s good for your hair, was the only answer provided. After a childhood spent suffering relaxers, hot combs, and tedious protective styles — I knew better than to mess with my hair. It would only cause me trouble in the long run.
Years later, my haircare routine remains the same. Why? Because I know that silk accessories protect and transform your hair. Although this hack has been around decades, the beauty world has finally caught on. While it might be a while before silk bonnets and headwraps become mainstream, silk pillowcases, scrunchies, and more are finally entering the chat.
And I’m thrilled it’s getting its chance to shine. More and more celebrities and beauty experts are proclaiming their love for sleeping with silk. Trust me, in a world of useless celebrity brands and weird celeb beauty tricks, this one actually checks out.
Silk accessories are game changers for many aspects of your life. They promote longer, stronger strands. They reduce skin breakouts and help slow signs of aging. They even support more restful sleep, which impacts your overall health. So, if you’re looking for an simple way to upgrade your life, think silk.
You may think silk accessories are pretentious and imagine a primadonna lounging around in silk pajamas and a silk sleep mask. But this is not what I’m talking about. While adding silky materials may infuse feel luxurious — who doesn’t like sleeping in a 90s-inspired slinky nightdress and sipping coffee in a silky robe — it’s the little things that make all the difference.
Photo by Sarah Brown on Unsplash
Why use silk accessories for your hair?
Switching to silk scrunchies and hair ties will improve your quality of life. Silk hair ties won’t tug on your strands like elastic does. No matter what look you’re styling, they provide a more gentle hold. Similarly, silk pillowcases won’t tug your hair while you sleep, helping your locks retain moisture and prevent breakage. They’ll also keep your styles fresh longer. No more bedheads in your future with a silk pillowcase.
Why use a silk pillowcase for your skin?
Silk pillowcases have a similar effect on your skin. First and foremost, they won’t crease your skin making it clear on morning Zoom meetings that you just woke up. Let me tell you, no amount of face-rolling eliminates them. But you know what does? A silk pillowcase. That’s because it doesn’t cause friction and prevents more permanent fine lines from forming.
I hate to break it to you, but if you’re doing a full skincare routine and then sleeping on cotton, you could be wasting your time. Silk pillowcases help keep the moisture in your skin and off the pillow. It’s less absorbent than cotton, so it won't strip your skin of its natural oils. Cotton pillowcases also absorb and retain bacteria. So, while your pillowcase — regardless of the material — needs more frequent washing, silk pillowcases are less likely to transfer acne-causing bacteria. Bye-bye breakouts!
Why use a silk pillowcase for your sleep?
Beyond the aesthetic benefits, silk pillowcases can also improve your quality of sleep. You know how restless it makes you feel to constantly turn the pillow to find the cold side? Well, problem solved. As a fabric, silk naturally regulates temperature, keeping you cool all night. Silk also naturally protects against allergens like pet dander and dust mites. That makes it ideal for people with sensitive skin or allergies.
Best silk accessories to buy now!
There are no downsides to switching to silk-everything in order to get more restful sleep. If it makes you feel lovely, go ahead and don those storied silk pajamas. And if you’re worried about the cost, there are high-quality satins that have a similar effect at a lower price!
The popularization of these accessories can be a good thing. More brands are jumping into the mix and offering cuter options every day. But like many trends, credit is due to the marginalized communities for whom these practices are part of everyday life. Communities of Color often get ridiculed for their traditions like hair oiling and or lip lining … until they hit the shelves at Sephora.
While I’m glad that I don’t have to trek to obscure beauty stores to get my silk fix, I hope mainstream attention doesn’t dilute the importance of these accessories in the very communities that have been here forever.
My years of devotion to finding the best quality silk products has given me a discerning eye for which products match the hype. Here are some of my tried-and-true silk accessories for better hair, better sleep, and better skin:
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