How to Wear A Bonnet? A Step-by-Step Guide for Both Curly and Straight Hairs

As for bonnets, opinions are polarized. At one extreme, some people become die-hard fans for their benefits while others note that they barely work. Further, the objectors deem that they make a clown of themselves with expensive bonnets unable to keep on hair.

Is this the real case? Or do they just put it on improperly? Hold your horses. This post covers all you need about wearing a bonnet, including what a bonnet is, what it is for and how to put on and keep it in its place.

What Is A Bonnet?

A bonnet now is different from what it was. It has been limited to a special type of headgear people wear at night – also called hair bonnet or night bonnet. From another point of view, it evolved from a thermal item and head accessory into a tool for added comfort and hair well-being. 

Consequently, it is conducive to hair health and beauty, not inferior to your expensive care products. Thus, wearing a bonnet is more like a nightly ritual to pursue health and beauty now.

How to Put on A Bonnet?

To let a bonnet work magic on your hair, you should above all put it on properly first. On donning a bonnet, you do not need special tricks or expertise, but some extra patience. Here is a step-by-step instruction to put it on and I will put forward some additional advice for straight-hairs. 

Things You Need to Know

  • Make sure you get the right bonnet for you – material, size, texture, and price in compliance with your preference.
  • A bonnet is not a panacea and should be used in a match with other measurements to protect and care for hair. 
  • The benefits of a bonnet can not be seen within one proper wearing. You should check the results after having used it frequently for a period of time. 
  • The benefits of a bonnet will be at a huge discount if you do not clean it regularly. 

A Step-by-Step Guide to Wearing A Silk Bonnet

  • Step 1: Prep your hair. 

It is hard to put a bonnet on stray and unkempt hair. You can first fix your hair according to your hairstyle. If you have curly or wavy hair,  make a “pineapple” with most of your hair. For long hair, piling or folding your hair into an accordion-like shape is a good choice. Anyway, bond your hair together and escape as few strands or fringes as possible. Second, apply some hair care products to the hair. Your bonnet can boost the effects of care cream and oil. Again, it is up to your hair – essential oil for dry hair and cleansing conditioner for wispy hair. 

  • Step 2: Prep your bonnet. 

Take out your bonnet and hold it open with both your hands (one hand one side). Open your fingers and stretch the brim to fluff the caul part. If your bonnet is matched with a ribbon or silk scarf, place it at your hand.

  • Step 3:  Put hair into your bonnet. 

Bend your head down to flip the “pineapple” or “accordion” upside down. If you do not tie your hair, just lean forward with your head down to cascade your hair into the bonnet. Try your best to avoid escaping strands.

  • Step 4: Put on the bonnet.

Lift your bonnet up to make one side of the brim on your forehead. Then pull the bonnet backward to the nape. Here you can free your hands and raise your head 

  • Step 5: Make some adjustments. 

Check the strands and fringes in front of a mirror. You can make it with one hand stretching a short length of brim and the other pulling up hair and tucking it in. 

  • Step 6:Secure the bonnet.

Finally, the last one. You should not ignore this step as your bonnet may slip off soon without proper securement. If your bonnet is with adjustable elastic, downsize it a bit to make the brim cling to your head. But this may make you feel uncomfortable pressing a force on your skin and you can get a cute red mark next morning. Given this, I highly recommend you to get a bonnet with a long and thin silk scarf. You just need to wrap it around the brim and tie the 2 ends. 

  • Step 7: Additional fixation.

Though you have gathered all your hair inside the bonnet in the previous steps, they may still peek out during the night. So you had better make an added fixation to the brim by clips or pins. However, if you do not mind seeing some “ naughty ones”, you can omit this step. 

Otherwise, the steps to donning a bonnet are not always identical. You can make some changes based on your needs and requirements. For example, if you just get a perm today, then you can enjoy a nighttime curl cream with your bonnet to make new coils or curls at their best.

How to Put A Bonnet on Straight Hair?

For some historical reasons, there has formed a stereotype that bonnets are for black women with curls, ringlets or afro. In fact, bonnets are for anyone and can benefit all hair types, including straight tresses, pixie cuts, bobs and even thin and wispy hair. 

But one thing that remains true is that people with straight hair tend to have the issue of sliding off their bonnet. So for them,  I would like to share some extra tips on bonnet fixation except the above steps. 

  • Do not use too much lubricated conditioner or oil before wearing a bonnet. Try some water-based lotions.   
  • Find a bonnet able to fix tightly – one with an adjustable tie, elastic bond, or ribbon. Do not use exposed elastics as they may pull out your hair and break it.
  • Always tie your bonnet a bit tighter. If available, make the tie or knot in front of your head. 
  • You can get another silk scarf to secure your bonnet. It is very comfortable and effective. Hold one end of the scarf and surround it around the edge of your bonnet. Then leave a section on both ends and tie a secure knot (a bowknot is both firm and beautiful). Then pull the scarf to place the knot beforehand or on the crown of the bonnet. 

What Are Bonnets for?

All in all, wearing bonnets benefits your hair, skin and wallet. It not only provides immediate good but also facilitates your life in the long term. Let us start with what you can obtain immediately. 

  • Friction reduction:  Bonnets of sumptuous and smooth fabrics are basically used for better hair condition, such as silk & satin ones. They cradle your hair and provide a less fractional touch. That being so, your hair will get less frizz, and fewer tangles and knots
  • Moisture maintenance: Most commercially available bonnets are less absorbent in water. They lock the moisture in your hair, which may be stolen by your cotton bedding. Then, your hair can remain hydrated and retain its luster the next morning. 

Tip:  Cotton bonnets are used to keep warm during sleep. For people with easily dehydrated hair, steer clear of these absorbent head coverings.

  •  A better enclosed environment for hair saloon: A bonnet is a trendy option to maximize the effects of hair products. Your hair can enjoy conditioner and essential oils overnight and thus absorb more useful substances. 
  • Hairstyle retention: A bonnet improves the longevity of your hairstyle, especially frizz, braids, waves and curls. The reason why you can not keep your hairstyle boils down to a lack of moisture and too much friction on the hair. A bonnet resolves both problems. 
  • Better sleep quality: All types of nighttime bonnets take the texture and touch into account. For example, silk bonnets, one of the finest choices, offer a cool and comfortable feeling overnight. 

Moreover, these immediate effects can accumulate – many a little make a mickle. 

  • Hygiene promotion:  Much to your expectation, your pillowcases are dirty despite their visibly clean surfaces. Everyone spends at least one-third of his or her life in bed so the water in your skin and hair, chemical substances in products, dandruff, etc end up settling in your pillow. What’s worse, dust and mites hold onto the fabric, and bacteria proliferate feeding on your excreta and waste. As we can not wash our bedding every, a bonnet can retard pillowcases’ getting dirty. Working with regular cleaning, you can keep microbes at bay. Also, from this point, bonnets are favorable to your skin.
  • Hair health & beauty: Think about it – your hair glides through smooth fabric every day and meanwhile retains its water and absorbs more nutrients. In the long run, your hair gets fewer splits and less breakage with a bonnet. Furthermore, you can preserve the color and shape you are satisfied with for a longer time. 
  • Saving time and money: As mentioned above, you can turn to your barber less for hairdos with a bonnet. And your bonnet saves the fee you spend on trimming the splits.

Besides, it not only protects the hair at night but also shows the state of your treated hair in the morning. You can really save much time with the manageable lock and no need to repair the damage.

Silk VS Satin Bonnets: How to Make A Choice?

In the past, bonnets were icons of practicality and aesthetics, incorporating numerous kinds of materials from cloth to steel. Now, they have been mostly of soft and comfortable fabrics. Among them, silk and satin are the most preferable to bonnet users. Let us dive deeper into their similarities and differences.

Silk bonnets Satin bonnets
  • Soft and smooth
  • Sleek 
  • Ultra-smooth
  • Less sleek 
  • Natural sheen
  • Unnatural luster
  • A little offensive to the eyes
  • Superior breathability
  • Poor breathability 
  • Absorb some water and release part of it back into the air
  • Absorb less water
  • Hyperallergic 
  • Not so skin-friendly
  • Sustainability
  • Animal cruelty
  • Less sustainable and not eco-friendly
  • Exploitation of petroleum and chemical treatments
  • luxury
  • Cost-efficient
  • Fine storage and elaborate cleaning
  • Easier and cheaper to maintain

Are Silk Bonnets Good for Hair?

When it comes to hair, silk bonnets possess unparalleled power. Apart from the benefits of bonnets earlier in the article, they can do more. 

First, they pamper your hair with soft, smooth and breathable surfaces. Second, they only absorb a part of the excess water from your hair, unlike the chowhound, cotton bonnets. Additionally, silk can transport moisture to the surface and it will release some water into the air afterward. Therefore, you can get a less dry environment for your hair when you are wearing a silk bonnet.

 Eventually, they assume one of the best properties of silk – hyperallergic on the skin. They are gentle and cause little irritation to your scalp.


Can I Wear A Bonnet with Straight Hair?

Of course, you can. You can enjoy a night bonnet in case that you select one suitable for you and do extra fixation. 

Though bonnets are renowned for the maintenance of textured hair, like curls and ringlets, it does not mean they do no good for less textured ones. For straight hair, you can get better hair quality – a more moist, glossy, silky flowing hair.

Can I Put Wet Hair in A Bonnet?

Yes, you can, but it is not advisable to wear a bonnet with wet hair for long or even sleep with it.  

Firstly, you may get cold. Second, wet hair is more fragile and prone to breakage and damage than dry ones. It is less elastic and gets larger friction owning to its inner structure. Thirdly, the excessive moisture makes your bonnet damp and not breathable, a hospitable place for bacteria, fungi, mites, dust, etc. Then you are more liable to irritation and itchiness, even allergy and infection. In a word, try to wear a bonnet when your hair is dry or a bit damp. 

How to Tie A Bonnet?

In the above, we mention this question in several parts. For your sake, let us integrate these fragmented tips and make a summary here.

  • 1. Tie your bonnet with its own built-in elastic or bond.

Make sure you get all your hair inside your bonnet and first fix the front head – stretch the front elastic and half-surround it with your forehead. Then stretch and pull the bonnet to the back of your neck. 

  • 2. Tie your bonnet with a detachable tie or silk scarf.

Grab both ends with your two hands. If it is too long, fold it in half and again grab it into a “U” shape. Hold one end at the forehead and surround the tie or scarf with the other hand.  Then tie a trustable knot on the front or the crown. You may find some guides that suggest you wrap a long bond from the neck or chin to your head, and again return to your neck or chin and make a knot. It actually adds little obvious effect to the fixation and turns out to block the body circulation – bad for your hair health and hair growth.  

  • 3. Tie your bonnet with extra pins and clips. 

You can add some extra pins and clips between the bonnet and your hairline so that it will not slip up when you do not stay put during sleep.

How to Use A Bonnet?

We have mentioned the main and common usage of a bonnet, that is, a night protector of your hair. However, females find it more than that. During the day, they can use it as an assistant to their skincare and makeup to avoid swaying hair, as well as an effective aid in hair care. 

What Does A Bonnet Do for Curly Hair?

People with curly hair can easily be a sucker for bonnets. As known, curled hair is easy to dehydration, frizz, tangles, knots and breakage, all of which can be cured by a bonnet. They can not only preserve the shapes and patterns of their hair but also make their hair healthier and grow better.

How to Keep A Bonnet on at Night?

You can get much information on keeping a bonnet at its place – from the step-by-step guide to putting on a bonnet and the answer to how to tie a bonnet. Here are 3 plus tips that may be helpful.

  • Make it your last ritual to put on a bonnet before sleep. It reduces the jostling and swaying that may loosen your bonnet.
  • Fix most of your hair on the crown. You can do this work just before sleeping. Stretch the brim with one hand, until the other can slip into the bonnet to adjust your hair and bring it on the top of the head. You can make a bun or updo by tying a scrunchy outside the bonnet. 
  • Make the fixation work according to your sleeping habits. For example, if you are a stomach sleeper, make the knot on the side you do not sleep on.

Can You Put A Silk Bonnet on Wet Hair?

Absolutely no. Other than the downsides we mentioned in Q2, wearing a silk bonnet on wet hair is detrimental to your expensive silk as well. Silk becomes weak when get wet. It has weaker tensile strength and can be broken with a little external force – maybe you just tear it apart when you turn in sleep. 

Where Can I Find A Bonnet?

You can purchase a bonnet of fine quality both online and offline. But make sure you turn to a shop or a brand professional in making this product and offering good services, like us, Sinosilk. 


In the end, I highly recommend you to get yourself a bonnet, no matter what hairstyle you have. It is a trustworthy guardian for your hair. After a small switch in your night routine – wearing a bonnet before sleeping, you can gain a lot. To maximize the benefits of your bonnet, you are supposed to select a good one and put it on your hair in proper steps. 

Sinosilk is a professional wholesaler of silk fabric and silk products, and we have explored silk bonnets for years. If you have an interest in silk bonnets, their benefits, their usage, etc, we can give you professional answers. For fabric sellers and fashion brands, we can show the professionalism of a supplier and offer the best custom services. 

More Resources

What is a bonnet?Source: Sinosilk

Benefits of a silk bonnetSource: Sinosilk

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