A Comprehensive Guide to Sleeping Comfortably with Cornrow Braids

Cornrow braids have long been admired for their beauty and cultural significance, transcending fashion and becoming a popular hairstyle for many. While cornrows are a convenient and fashionable way to manage your hair, they also raise questions about maintenance, such as "how to remove cornrow braids" without damaging your hair. They present a unique set of obstacles when it comes to bedtime as well. The tight braids can be uncomfortable, and if not correctly cared for, they can get frizzy or unravel. This article delves into the best methods for sleeping with cornrow braids, ensuring that your style is maintained while you sleep, and will also touch upon the safe removal of cornrows when you're ready for a new look.

Understanding Cornrow Braids

Cornrow braid is a classic African hairstyle that braids hair very close to the scalp, moving downwards and upwards to form a continuous, raised row. They can be styled in simple, straight lines or intricate geometric patterns. The longevity of cornrows can be significantly extended with proper maintenance, which is particularly important at night. Ignoring the care for your cornrow braids can lead to hair breakage, scalp irritation, or the braids coming loose prematurely.
cornrow braids going to the side

Preparing for Bed with Cornrow Braids

Hair Wrapping Techniques

Silk or Satin Scarf Technique: When you sleep, wrap your cornrow braids in a silk or satin scarf to reduce friction, which can prevent curling and damage to the cornrow braids. Silk and satin fibers are gentle on hair and can assist in maintaining moisture balance.

Bonnets: A bonnet, preferably made from silk or satin, serves a similar purpose. It covers the entire head and stays secure throughout the night, especially for those who move a lot in their sleep.

Durag: A durag traditionally used to retain waves and hair lay down can also be effective for cornrows. It exerts uniform pressure over the cornrow braids, which can be soothing and protective.
a silk or satin scarf for cornrow braids

Alternative Protective Methods

Pillowcases:While sleeping, wrap your hair in a silk or satin scarf to reduce friction, which can cause curling and damage to the cornrow braids.

Braid Sprays and Oils: Nightly use of braid sprays or natural oils can keep your scalp moisturized and your cornrow braids fresh. These products can soothe the scalp and reduce itching.
Pillowcases for cornrow braids

The Best Sleeping Positions for Cornrow Braids

The health and appearance of your cornrow braids can be greatly influenced by your sleeping posture. While everyone has a favorite sleeping position, some postures are better than others for keeping your braided hairdo in place.

Sleeping on Your Back

Advantages: Sleeping on your back is considered the optimal position for those with cornrow braids. This position allows your hair to lay flat and undisturbed against the pillow, reducing friction and the potential for frizz. It also evenly distributes your head's weight, preventing excessive pressure on any part of your cornrowcornrow braided hairstyle.

Tips: To enhance comfort, consider using a neck pillow to provide additional support and maintain the alignment of your spine. If you find that your head covering tends to slip off, a pillow with a silk or satin pillowcase can serve as a backup to keep your cornrow braids protected throughout the night.
sleeping on your back with cornrow braids

Sleeping on Your Side

Advantages: Side sleeping is a common position, and it's relatively braids-friendly. It can be less disruptive to cornrows than stomach sleeping, but it does have the potential to cause frizz and flattened braids on the side that is in contact with the pillow.

Tips: If you are a side sleeper, try alternating sides throughout the night or from night to night to distribute any potential pressure or friction evenly. You can also consider tucking your cornrow braids into a silk or satin bonnet to provide an extra layer of protection from friction.

Avoiding Stomach Sleeping

Drawbacks: Stomach sleeping is generally the least favorable position for maintaining cornrow braids. The pressure exerted on the cornrow braids can lead to discomfort and tension on the scalp and may result in the braids looking disheveled. 

Alternatives: If you're a habitual stomach sleeper, it may be worth adjusting your sleeping habits. However, if changing positions is not an option, secure your cornrow braids with a head covering and use a very soft, low-loft pillow to minimize the pressure on your cornrow braids.

Additional Considerations

 ● Loose Top Knot: For those with longer cornrows, gather the cornrow braids into a loose top knot at the crown of your head. This can prevent tangling and keep your cornrow braids from being pressed against the pillow, regardless of your sleeping position.

 ● Repositioning During the Night: If you tend to move a lot during sleep, reposition your cornrow braids so they are always lying in a way that minimizes pressure and friction. This may mean flipping your cornrow braids over the pillow or adjusting your head covering.

 ● Use of Sleep Caps: For any sleeping position, a snug-fitting sleep cap made of silk or satin can help maintain the moisture of the hair and reduce the risk of frizz and tension. Ensure it's comfortable and not too tight to avoid compression headaches.

 ● Cushioning Between Braids: If you have particularly tight or intricate braid patterns, consider gently placing a soft, thin fabric between the cornrow braids to cushion them. This can also absorb any excess oil or product and prevent it from transferring to your pillowcase.

By following these sleeping positions and guidelines, you can protect your cornrow braids from excessive damage and wake up with a hairdo that appears as fresh and neat as the day it was done. It all comes down to finding the ideal balance of comfort and care for your braided hair as you sleep. When discussing cornrow braids and the challenges of sleeping comfortably with them, it's also beneficial to consider alternatives like braided wigs, which can offer the style of cornrows without the need to wear them to bed. Brands like uBraids in JALIZA Premium Wig Store specialize in providing high-quality braided wigs, including cornrow wigs that mimic the appearance of actual cornrows.
sleeping with cornrow braids

Mitigating Scalp Tension and Discomfort

You can reduce tension in your cornrow braids to avoid waking up with a headache or scalp pain. Massaging the scalp gently before bed helps improve blood flow and relieve stress. A regular scalp care routine with mild oils can also help to alleviate irritation. If your cornrows are constantly painful, you should talk to your hairdresser about using less tension in the future.

Nightly Routine for Cornrow Upkeep

1. Apply a braid spray or oil: Lightly spritz your cornrows with a braid spray or apply a natural oil to your scalp and braids to keep them moisturized.
2. Wrap your hair: Use a silk or satin scarf, bonnet, or durag to cover your braids. Ensure it's snug but tight enough.
3. Adjust your pillow:If your head covering comes off, place it on a silk or satin pillowcase to reduce friction.
4. Morning care: In the morning, remove the head covering and apply a light oil if necessary. Gently pat down any frizz using your palms.
Apply a braid spray for cornrow braids

Frequently Asked Questions

 ● Q: How often should I wrap my hair?*
A: You should wrap your hair every night to protect your cornrow braids from frizz and moisture loss.
 ● Q: Can I wash my cornrows?*
A: Yes, but do so sparingly, using a gentle shampoo and following up with a light oil or braid spray.
 ● Q: What if my scalp itches?*
A: Use an anti-itch scalp spray or a light oil to soothe the itch. Avoid scratching, as it can loosen the braids.


It doesn't have to be a nightly battle to sleep with cornrow braids. You can keep your braids clean and decrease discomfort with the correct protective measures and a mild evening regimen. Personal alterations to the methods given may be required, so pay attention to your hair and scalp's needs and modify your routine accordingly. Sweet dreams and lovely cornrow braids can coexist with a bit of care and preparation. At uBraids, we understand the importance of maintaining your hairstyle while ensuring scalp health and hair integrity. Our selection of braided wigs offers a beautiful, stress-free alternative to traditional cornrows, allowing you to enjoy the aesthetic without the nightly maintenance or risk of damage to your natural hair.

Our commitment to quality means that every uBraids wig from the JALIZA Wig Store is designed to be comfortable, durable, and realistic. Using premium materials and featuring options such as HD lace and human baby hair, our wigs mirror the look and feel of natural cornrowed hair. Whether you're looking to give your hair a break from daily styling or seeking an elegant solution for hair loss, uBraids provides versatile options that align with your personal style and needs.


For further information, consult a professional hairstylist or refer to resources on hair care for braided styles. Expert advice can guide you through personalized solutions for your hair type and scalp health. Additionally, online communities often share their experiences and tips, which can be invaluable. Remember, while cornrow braids are beautiful and practical, your comfort and hair health are paramount.
cornrows braids with a curly weave

Related articles