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Although haircare for natural hair can be demanding and a little overwhelming—what with all the shampoos and conditioners, strengthening and hydrating oils, masks, treatments, and styling creams on the market—the results are endlessly rewarding. There's nothing quite like showing off a head full of moisturized, healthy locks, whether you're going completely natural or rocking a stunning protective style (opens in new tab). But one oft-underappreciated product is the hair wrap, which is often made of satin or silk and can come in the form of a headband, bonnet, turban, and more.
People use silk and satin hair wraps to preserve hairstyles, prevent frizz, and lock in moisture. I personally adore my growing collection of silk hair wraps, and wearing them has been an absolute game-changer in terms of keeping my curls looking bouncy and defined. Still, understanding the advantages of a hair wrap and shopping for the right one can be daunting, so we asked Whitney Eaddy, expert hairstylist and founder of Juices & Botanics, to demystify the world of hair wraps for us. Keep scrolling for her expertise on all things hair wraps, along with some of our (and her) absolute favorite options out there.
Why Use a Hair Wrap?
"Traditionally, headwraps have served functional purposes like protecting women's scalps from the sun, sweat, and grime," says Eaddy. The benefits of hair wraps, however, extend far beyond that. To be specific, Eaddy names five key benefits of wearing silk or satin headwraps.
First, and foremost, headwraps provide protection to hair follicles. "Headwraps protect your fragile strands, reduce moisture loss, help avoid tangles and hair breakage," says Eaddy, "especially if worn at night while you sleep." Secondly, she says, wraps "preserve the natural hair oils that are produced in your hair, which will benefit your hair, scalp, and skin."
And if you're trying to grow Rapunzel-length locks, hair wraps can help with that, too. "Headwraps ensure that your stands are protected from root to tip allowing for optimal protection, moisture, and length retention," says Eaddy, meaning that donning a protective hair wrap can help you achieve your hair goals sooner rather than later.
By promoting hair health in these ways, hair wraps provide quick, visible results, beautifying your locks from the inside-out. The most obvious of these results, Eaddy notes, is the way that hair wraps fight frizz by "keeping curls in place during the night while you sleep. But wearing a hair wrap—especially overnight—can also "help preserve your style at any time of the day or night." This makes a wrap the perfect accessory for those who love a low-maintenance hair routine because, in the words of Eaddy, "After sleeping in a headwrap overnight, you will have a minimal amount of work to do to refresh your style, so it saves you a lot of time getting ready in the morning."
Finally, hair wraps are more than just functional: With all the colors, styles, and designs they can come in, they're also fashion statements!
"In modern times, head wraps have become a central accessory for many," agrees Eaddy. "The headwrap, just like with textured hair, is about embracing your hair and style simultaneously."
What To Look For In a Hair Wrap
First of all, there's a reason why most hair wraps are made from silk or satin. Eaddy says that when looking for something to swathe your hair in, it's best to "look for a soft material that will not irritate or scratch against the skin," and calls silk and satin "the beauty industry standard for protecting natural hair."
When it comes to choosing between a turban, bonnet, or other style of hair wrap, though, Eaddy says that the decision is determined entirely by your "function and style goals." She explains, "Bonnets are great to protect and preserve styles, as are turbans."
Silk vs. Satin Hair Wraps
At first glance—especially to the beginner buyer—satin and silk may seem essentially the same. However, there is, indeed, a difference between the two, which Eaddy breaks down. "Satin is the way a fabric is woven, which means that satin fabric can be made of many fabrics, such as cotton or polyester," she explains. "Satin is made from synthetic fibers. While it may be smooth and shiny, it doesn’t necessarily have the same superpower as 100 percent silk."
On the other hand, "silk is the fabric itself. Silk is a 100 percent natural protein that is gained from the cocoons of silkworms," she says. "The fabric helps protect against split ends, does not absorb all the moisture found in your hair and scalp, helps maintain thermal regulation, and extends time in between your washdays."
Styling a Hair Wrap
Hair wraps can either be worn in the privacy of your own home or as fashionable accessories while you're out and about. "Turbans come in many fashionable and chic styles that can also be paired with your favorite outfit," Eaddy says. Try going monochromatic by matching your wrap to the same color scheme as the rest of your outfit, or pick a a statement hair wrap with a floral, paisley, or geometric print to add a burst of excitement to an otherwise subdued look.
Wondering how to tie your wrap? "Headwraps and scarves are extremely versatile," Eaddy reassures us. "There are endless ways to wrap and tie a headwrap, and many examples and tutorials can easily be found online."
The Best Silk Hair Wraps
"Silk is a higher quality fabric and is the best option when it comes to hair care," says Eaddy. And not only does this fabric go a long way in terms of pretending your strands from the damage that causes split-ends and frizz, but it's also gorgeous and luxurious to the touch. Keep scrolling for some of our favorite silk hair wraps, many of which are stylist-or expert-approved.
The Scalp Protector
"I love this Ivie Silk Lined Headwrap from CeeCee’s closet," says Eaddy. "It has so much style yet offers function while protecting your hair and scalp with silk."
Best for Maintaining Hairstyles
Crafted with high-quality mulberry silk, this luxe hair wrap is a go-to nighttime protection tool for optimal hair health. I love this piece for its snug-fitting elastic band, which prevents this option from slipping whether you're nestled in bed or bouncing around town.
This piece is perfect for those with short hair or those looking for specific coverage around the scalp area. One customer raves, "This wrap is wonderful. I have a silk pillowcase but it doesn't do as good a job at keeping my hair tangle-free as my turban."
For Immediate Results
One reviewer says that this hair wrap, which works best on short hair, made a "fairly major difference in my hair even after the first night."
The No-Budge Design
"I love this Silken Silk Turban because it locks in moisture and is perfect for those blow-out or straight styles as well as perfect for setting natural styles like two-strand twists, braid-outs, etc," Eaddy says. "This flat edge design won’t skip off like a regular bonnet."
The Headband Design
"This open turban design by YGN is such a great option, especially for the summer months when yours looking to tie up your curls & protect your edges at the same time," says Eaddy. And she's not the only one who loves this brand—Gabrielle Union has also been spotted sporting their pieces!
For Your Edges
Another advantage that Eaddy suggests you look out for in hair wraps: Edge control. Of this 100 percent silk bonnet, she says, "This luxurious, reversible 100 percent silk bonnet is curated to protect your hair's moisture balance...The flat edge design helps smooth and preserve your edges."
The Friction Fighter
Best known for their silk pillowcases, Slip caters to all your luxury beauty sleep needs. Of this gorgeous, luxurious turban, one review reads, "I love this so much that I wear it even when I’m not sleeping. It fits very well and doesn’t pinch the way some other brands do. I’ve had no problems with it coming off and it’s so easy to wash...It does a beautiful job of protecting my extensions."
The Best Satin Hair Wraps
While silk hair wraps are the premium option in the world of natural haircare, satin wraps are great when you're in a pinch or on a budget. Below, some of our favorite satin hair wraps that will keep your lock looking bouncy without breaking the bank.
The Glam One
This colorful bonnet, by Black-owned brand NeoCurly, will have you looking extra cute while you're giving those strands some love. Plus, according to one enthusiastic customer, this bonnet is "one of [her] best purchases for [her] hair."
The Reversible Wrap
The reviews for this product are positively glowing, with one customer helpfully contributing, "I finally have a bonnet that stays on all night with out having a death grip on my head. I wear it all the time."
For Long Hair
This design is excellent for long-haired ladies who don't like the way traditional bonnets force their hair into a nest at the top of their heads. I personally use this bonnet (I have waist-length, curly hair) and not only does it comfortably fit all of my hair, but it also stays on even I've spent the night tossing and turning.
The Fancy One
This satin-lined option is not only regal-looking, but according to reviews, it's also long-lasting and high-quality. One reviewer highly recommends the pieces for type 3 to type 4 hair in particular, while another writes about her excitement to wear her piece out and about with her boyfriend, who got a hair wrap from this site in the same color!
People love this comfortable piece, which is completely adjustable. It's called a sleeping beanie, but don't let the name fool you: Multiple reviewers write about how cute this cap looks when they're on the go.
For Thick Hair
According to reviewers, this bonnet is deceptively large, which makes it great for long, thick hair. It's also double-layered for durability and is reversible, so you can count on being able to use it for years to come.
Meet the Expert
Known as "The Growth Guru," Whitney Eaddy is an expert hairstylist who has worked with hundreds of clients around the world with the mission of helping people (especially women of color) love their natural hair textures. She has founded five haircare businesses, all of which are centered around self-love and self-acceptance.