Wednesday, 20 May 2009

Sleepless nights: Cotton or Silk?

Reader question on covering hair during sleeping. I went to John Lewis to get a silk scarf and it cost £20!! (John Lewis is a department store in UK sort of like Macy's and that is $32). I haven't bought it yet because of the price but I began to wonder is there any real need for this spending? Is silk really that much better than cotton and will it really stay on my head when I sleep? I am a convert to silk scarves. I did use to think it was gobbledegook (real English word) but forums have a way of making you try things out. I tried it once and I was sold.. I haven't found research directly to hair but I have found silk being used in treatment of eczema (very dry skin). The reasons cited for doing this are 1. Silk fabrics help to maintain the body temperature by reducing the excessive sweating and moisture loss ( Curr Probl Dermatol. , pg 127-143 , 2006) 2. Compared to cotton, silk fabrics are smoother and less irritating to skin (Pediatric Allergy & Immunology. 18(4):335-338, June 2007. Cotton is a highly absorbent fabric and that is why people say it zaps moisture from hair - great for drying wet hair, but perhaps not so great for sleeping with. I would also quickly add that silk is not regarded as vegan as it is produced from silkworm. For the purpose of keeping the scarf on the head, I have a neat trick based on my material science days. Use a head band outside the scarf and it won't move (one of those head bands that don't catch hair). It should have a rubber/silicone grip in the middle as this is the reason why the scarf won't move. It is all about friction and resistance which is why an ordinary head band may not do such a good job (don't worry I won't bore you with details:)). I got my headband in Sainsbury's (maker is Scunci - I think they cost around £3-£5). The headband will eventually not look very nice but it will have done a fine job. Do you use silk or cotton or nothing (wrist slap!) Image Credit

14 comments:

  1. I haven't tried silk because it is so expensive. I use one of those satin scarves or a satin bonnet you can buy in hair supply shops.

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  2. I use a satin bonnet but we also have satin pillowcases. I usually wear a bonnet but sometimes I don't and the pillowcase is just fine. Silk scarves tended to always come off, even if I used a bobby pin on the sides. But I would NEVER sleep on cotton with my hair exposed if I could help it! :)

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  3. I believe what I have is also a satin scarf but it was given to me from the girl who did my BC like 3 years ago and no longer has a tag on it. I wrap my hair almost everynight with it. :-) If I don't I put a silk type pillow case on my pillow so I don't have to wrap my hair or worry about it coming off. I would do this more often if I didn't worry about waking up with my face in it. The oil stays on top *like you said for cotton which would just absorb it* so if I wipe my face in it while sleeping its showtime for acne LOL.

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  4. I use a silk scarf. I used to use cotton, bandana-like scarves and I did notice that my hair would lack moisture in the morning. I have found a technique that sometimes works at keeping the silk scarf on my head. But it only works sometimes cause I am an admitted tosser and turner when I sleep!lol.
    I use a big long silk scarf, fold it into a triangle, lay it over my head and tie it to the back and wrap right around to the front with a final tyeing.

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  5. I get my silk scarfs from charity/second hand shops. You can buy them a lot cheaper there, but I make sure I really wash the scarf first as you never know where its been : ) I also buy satin material from a fabric store and make pillow cases out of it.

    JC i,m not sure what head bands you mean? Are you talking about the wide stretchy fabric ones? Do you think you could put up a picture please as I am forever loosing my scarf in the middle of the night, lol. Thank you.

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  6. i use a huge satin scarf I get feom the local BSS for about $5. Im thinking if u want to use silk , u may be better of just going to a fabric store

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  7. i've tried many times sleeping with a silk/satin scarf even with the tip you suggested, but it doesn't work for me. it always ends up on the floor in the morning. so i sleep on silk/satin pillowcases.

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  8. Thanks for the contributions

    @Sophie - I'm at a conference right now and I don't have my camera. I'll take a picture at the weekend for you :)

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  9. Why not try Next? I bought a few silk scarves there at reasonable(ish) prices - £10. I use them as accessories. I too find that no matter what I do, my scarves never stay on during sleep so I use a satin bonnet I got at Sallys.

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  10. I have a silk bonnet/scarf combo from http://www.prettywrap.com for $19.99. I caught it on sale for $14.99 around thanksgiving last year, just in time for an overnight hospital stay. My blog review is located at http://kinkyrhonnie.blogspot.com/2009/02/pretty-wrap-is-100-silk-bonnet-that.html.

    Currently I have two satin bonnet's that I wear more often. I'll soon be ordering a silk bonnet from http://www.tenderheaded.com/sislbo.html.

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  11. i buy my silk scarves on sale at macys. its really hard to find them because most scarves are not huge squares rather they are the long strips of silk (cute for headbands, tho). i rarely can get the silk scarf to stay on through the night, so i started using a satin bonnet. but then all the friction caused frizz. now i tie down the bonnet with a silk scarf and no more problems!

    i think $32 is a bit much for a scarf, but if it lasts years, then it's a good investment. i bought two liz claiborne silk scarves for $32 3 or 4 years ago. and they have held up well.

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  12. Thank you JC look forward to our picture.

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  13. I always use silk - with real silk, once its machine washed a few times, it softens and stays tied really easily.

    I toss and turn at night and on rare occasions it may fall off - but thats because I don't tie it too tight. I use a large square silk scarf (usually buy it from TK Maxx but check its 100% silk) and then make it into a triangle tying it loosely at the back of my head.

    x

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  14. I am a firm believer in the use of silk scarves. I found that the quality of the scarf makes a HUGE difference. For example, I used to silk scarves that have a stain texture (they tend to be much more affordable), and I found that they were more likely to slip off at night. However, when I switched using scarves by luxury brands (they are less stainy in texture), I found the texture and hold so, so, much better and stayed firm all night long (i believe this is due to the high density of silk threads) I know these brands are very expensive, you can get them on sale and they are definitely worth the investment.

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