The 13 Best Satin and Silk Hair Wraps to Keep Curls Bouncy and Defined

Say farewell to unruly hair days.

two women wearing silk hair wraps
(Image credit: Simon Songhurst)

Hair care for natural hair can be demanding and a little overwhelming—what with all the shampoos and conditioners, strengthening and hydrating hair oils, masks, treatments, and styling creams on the market. But the results are endlessly rewarding. There's nothing quite like showing off a head full of moisturized, healthy hair, whether you're going completely natural or wearing a stunning protective style. One often underappreciated yet essential product is the satin or silk hair wrap, which can come in the form of a headband, bonnet, turban, and more.

The best silk and satin hair wraps preserve hairstyles, prevent frizz, and lock in moisture. I personally adore my growing collection of hair wraps, and wearing them has been an absolute game-changer to keep my curls looking bouncy and defined.

Finding the right hair wrap for your length and curl pattern depends on a multitude of factors, from fabric type to size and texture. For a head start, I asked Whitney Eaddy, expert hairstylist and founder of natural haircare brand Juices & Botanics, to demystify the world of hair wraps. Keep scrolling for her expertise on what defines the best hair wraps, along with some of Marie Claire's absolute favorite options out there. Your best hair days are well within reach.

Overview

Why Use a Hair Wrap?

Hair wraps are often overlooked, seen as either optional or only necessary when preserving a particular hairstyle for the next morning. However, for many people—particularly women with curly hair—silk and/or satin hair wraps are indispensable.

"Traditionally, head wraps have served functional purposes like protecting women's scalps from the sun, sweat, and grime," Eaddy says. The benefits of hair wraps, however, extend far beyond that. To be specific, Eaddy names five key benefits of wearing silk or satin head wraps.

First and foremost, head wraps provide protection to hair follicles. "Head wraps protect your fragile strands, reduce moisture loss, help avoid tangles and hair breakage," the expert elaborates, "especially if worn at night while you sleep." For me, this is the biggest benefit: I notice a huge improvement in my curl definition and hair health when I've worn my bonnet the night before.

Secondly, wraps preserve the natural oils your hair produces, benefitting your hair, scalp, and skin.

If you're trying to grow your hair to Rapunzel-lengths, wraps can help with that, too. "Head wraps ensure that your strands are protected from root to tip, allowing for optimal protection, moisture, and length retention," Eaddy explains. In other words, a protective hair wrap can help you achieve your hair goals sooner rather than later.

By promoting hair health, hair wraps provide quick, visible results—essentially beautifying your hair from the inside-out. The most obvious of these result is the way that hair wraps fight frizz by keeping curls in place while you sleep.

Wearing a hair wrap—especially overnight—can also "help preserve your style at any time of the day or night," Eaddy notes. This makes a wrap the perfect accessory for those who love a low-maintenance hair routine: "After sleeping in a head wrap 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," Eaddy agrees. "The head wrap, just like with textured hair, is about embracing your hair and style simultaneously."

What To Look For in a Hair Wrap

There's a reason why most hair wraps are made from silk and satin. When looking for something to swathe your hair in, soft materials that won't irritate or scratch against the skin are paramount. Silk and satin, Eaddy notes, are "the beauty industry standard for protecting natural hair."

These fabrics can be costly, but investing in a high-quality hair wrap will ultimately protect your hair health and preserve your curls. Ultimately, that saves you money on products for hydration and damage repair.

As for choosing between a turban, bonnet, or other style of hair wrap, let your function and style goals be your guide. Eaddy adds, "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. There is, however, 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," Eaddy 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." Miguel Luis, a professional hairstylist at the Rita Hazan Salon, adds that satin hair wraps are great affordable options for those who want to avail of the fashion and hair protection of a silk hair wrap without the high price tag.
  • "Silk is a 100 percent natural protein that is gained from the cocoons of silkworms," says Eaddy. "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 the time in between your washdays. Silk is a higher quality fabric and is the best option when it comes to hair care." Luis adds, "Silk tends to be softer than satin, resulting in less breakage in the hair." Because of its premium quality, however, silk tends to be more expensive.

The Best Hair Wraps

Gabrielle Ulubay wearing a black satin hair wrap

This was my first ever hair wrap, and it still holds up. The band is secure yet not too tight, and my waist-length curls fit easily without getting flattened.

(Image credit: Gabrielle Ulubay)

Gabrielle Ulubay wearing a pink silk hair wrap

This silk hair wrap from Slip is so comfortable that I often forget I have it on.

(Image credit: Gabrielle Ulubay)

Also Recommended

Gabrielle Ulubay wearing a tan silk hair wrap

I love wearing this hair wrap to turn a look, but I simply can't wear it to sleep.

(Image credit: Gabrielle Ulubay)

Styling a Hair Wrap

Hair wraps can either be worn in the privacy of your own home or as 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? "Head wraps and scarves are extremely versatile," Eaddy reassures us. "There are endless ways to wrap and tie a head wrap, and many examples and tutorials can easily be found online."

Meet the Experts

Whitney Eaddy, hair stylist
Whitney Eaddy

Known as "The Growth Guru," Whitney Eaddy is an expert hairstylist who has worked with hundreds of clients around the world. Her mission is to help 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.

Miguel Luis
Miguel Luis

Miguel Luis is a professional hairstylist at the Rita Hazan Salon in New York City. He also works on fashion shoots, television, and in editorial.

Gabrielle Ulubay
Beauty Writer

Gabrielle Ulubay is a Beauty Writer at Marie Claire. She has also written about sexual wellness, politics, culture, and fashion at Marie Claire and at publications including The New York Times, HuffPost Personal, Bustle, Alma, Muskrat Magazine, O'Bheal, and elsewhere. Her personal essay in The New York Times' Modern Love column kickstarted her professional writing career in 2018, and that piece has since been printed in the 2019 revised edition of the Modern Love book. Having studied history, international relations, and film, she has made films on politics and gender equity in addition to writing about cinema for Film Ireland, University College Cork, and on her personal blog, gabrielleulubay.medium.com. Before working with Marie Claire, Gabrielle worked in local government, higher education, and sales, and has resided in four countries and counting. She has worked extensively in the e-commerce and sales spaces since 2020, and spent two years at Drizly, where she developed an expertise in finding the best, highest quality goods and experiences money can buy.

Deeply political, she believes that skincare, haircare, and sexual wellness are central tenets to one's overall health and fights for them to be taken seriously, especially for people of color. She also loves studying makeup as a means of artistic expression, drawing on her experience as an artist in her analysis of beauty trends. She's based in New York City, where she can be found watching movies or running her art business when she isn't writing. Find her on Twitter at @GabrielleUlubay or on Instagram at @gabrielle.ulubay, or follow her art at @suburban.graffiti.art