Curly hair is both a blessing and a curse. While your straight-haired friends might envy your natural spirals, they don’t understand that having big, bouncy curls is a lot of work! In every curly-haired girl’s quest to tame their tresses, bottles upon bottles of hair products are used, wacky old wives’ tales are tried for luck, and mistakes are learned from along the way. Too often, however, goes overlooked the easiest, most tried-and-true curly hair regimen of them all: sleeping on a pure silk pillowcase.
Not All Pillowcases Are The Same
You might be surprised to hear that the type of fabric you sleep on at night could very well be making more of an impact on your hair’s appearance and health than the miracle-promising potions you rub into your scalp each day. Who would’ve known? Well, when you stop and think about it, it makes perfect sense.
Night after night, your hair comes into contact with the material of the surface you sleep on and rubs against it as you move. Depending on the fibers that make up the composition of your pillowcase, this can be beneficial or detrimental to your hair.
The most common type of pillowcase (and the one most likely adorning your favorite pillow upon your bed right now) is made out of cotton. Though soft and inexpensive, the low cost of cotton comes at a price to your hair! The reason for this is two-fold:
1. Cotton is absorbent.
Cotton is a material designed to absorb any liquid it interacts with – an ideal quality of cloths and towels, but not a pillowcase you sleep on for 8 hours at a time! When you sleep on cotton, all those fancy hair serums you apply during your before-bed routine, the conditioner you treat your hair with in the shower, and your hair’s essential natural oils are winding up in your pillowcase, rather than on your head. This is a total waste of often expensive hair product and can dehydrate your hair, leaving it lifeless.
2. Cotton creates friction.
As you toss around at night, your hair swishes across the fabric of your pillowcase. In the case of cotton, the fibers create a whole lot of friction between hair and pillowcase, resulting in all-too-familiar messy morning hair. This is true for all hair types, but especially so for curly hair, which is more prone to kinks and frizz.
The way cotton is woven also results in fibers that grab at hair as it moves on a cotton pillowcase’s surface, breaking strands, adding split ends, and causing irreparable damage.
Unlike cotton, silk is both non-absorbent and tightly-woven. A pure silk pillowcase will not suck out the moisture and products in your hair as you sleep, nor will a 100% silk pillowcase tug at your hair to the point of breaking the strands during the night. A pure silk pillowcase has an unparalleled smooth surface to allow for hair to gently glide across its surface, reducing friction (and therefore every curly-haired girl’s nightmare, bed-head) tremendously. Switching to a pure silk pillowcase means wonders for your hair in terms of hydration, health, and overall appearance.
Not All Silk Pillowcases Are Equal
That said, not all silk pillowcases are equivalent when it comes to the benefits of a silk pillowcase for curly hair. The quality of a silk pillowcase is determined by two factors: the type of silk that the pillowcase is made out of and its momme (fabric weight):
1. Type of Silk
To put it candidly, a mulberry silk pillowcase is the finest on the market. This is because mulberry silk is spun from silk produced by silkworms raised in a completely controlled space and fed a strict diet of mulberry leaves. These silkworms made the strongest, yet finest, most lustrous silk you can get. When weaved into a mulberry silk pillowcase, mulberry silk proves supreme to all other types of silk and other fabrics used to make linens.
However, not all silk pillowcases are made from mulberry silk. Other types of silk include Tussah silk and Charmeuse silk.
Tussah silk, which is also popularly referred to as ‘Shantung,’ is made from wild silkworms that eat oak and juniper leaves. These worms are not raised in a controlled environment, so the silk quality is all over the board. Compared to mulberry silk, the silk filaments produced by Tussah silkworms are short and coarse.
Unlike mulberry and Tussah silk, Charmeuse silk is not a type of silk in itself. Charmeuse silk is actually a type of fabric which can be made from any kind of silk, such as mulberry or Tussah. It’s woven in a certain way that results in one side being shiny and lustrous at the expense of the back side being very dull.
If you ever buy linens made out of Charmeuse silk, be careful. Some products claiming to be made out of Charmeuse silk are actually weaved with a mix of silk and satin.
Satin is not the same as silk. Whereas silk is naturally made from silkworms, satin is a synthetic material weaved from polyester, a material made out of the same stuff as gasoline! Satin can be called a type of fake imitation silk, but it does not have the benefits of a silk pillowcase. There really is no debate about it. When it comes to a silk vs. satin pillowcase, a pure silk pillowcase is leaps ahead in terms of lush feel, beauty benefits, and appearance.
Momme is the type of measurement used within the silk industry to refer to the fabric weight of silk. The higher the momme, the heavier the fabric, meaning more silk was used in the process of weaving the silk product. Practically speaking, higher momme silk pillowcases are more durable and more luxurious. When it comes to how to wash a silk pillowcase, you want to make sure that the momme is higher rather than lower so that the silk pillowcase is strong enough to last a lifetime through many washes. Although a luxury product, a mulberry silk pillowcase is not difficult to maintain, so long as you’re gentle when hand-washing or running through a very delicate wash setting.
The momme of a mulberry silk pillowcase ranges from a minimum of 6 to a maximum of 30, but the ideal mulberry silk pillowcase momme is between 19-25, with a 22 momme providing the perfect balance of strength, opulence, and affordability.
If you decide to take the plunge and invest in your curly hair with a pure silk pillowcase, keeping these factors in mind should help you narrow down your options of which to choose when reading silk pillowcase reviews online. However, even within the same silk type and momme categories, silk pillowcase prices are all over the board. Some cost as high as $105! So, let’s take a look a few brands that claim to be the best silk pillowcase for hair, from highest to lowest out-of-pocket cost:
The first brand of companies that believe they sell the best silk pillowcase for curly hair on our list is Slip. The company Slip Silk made waves online when Kourtney Kardashian shared about their silk pillowcases on social media, claiming that a Slip pure silk pillowcase is an item she can’t live without for beauty sleep. The brand has won several awards from prominent beauty authorities, like Allure, Women’s Health, and Martha Stewart Living.
Slip sells 22-momme mulberry silk pillowcases in 2 sizes (Queen and King). Their pillowcases come in a range of different colors and patterns, but run very expensive, from $85-105 on their website.
ShhhSilk sells silk pillowcases at the same price point as Slip at $85-105. Just like any good 100% silk pillowcase, ShhhSilk’s pillowcases are made from mulberry silk and have a 22 momme.
The brand has been featured in beauty magazines like Vogue, Cosmopolitan, and Forbes. ShhhSilk mulberry silk pillowcases have also been endorsed by celebrities like Kim Kardashian, Kylie Jenner, Chrissy Teigen, Miley Cyrus, and Jessica Alba.
Blissy is another mulberry silk pillowcase retailer whose prices are slightly less expensive than Slip and ShhhSilk, at $79.95-89.95. The silk used in Blissy pillowcases is the same as the first two, 22-momme pure mulberry silk. On their website, Blissy says that their brand is approved by dermatologists, beauty experts, supermodels, and hairstylists, though they don’t name any names to prove their claim.
The latest silk pillowcase company to step onto the scene is Tafts. Silk pillowcases sold by Tafts are significantly less expensive than the others on our list, running from between $31-35, but they’re made out of the exact same stuff – 22-momme high-grade mulberry silk.
Tafts silk pillowcases come in 3 sizes: Standard, Queen, and King; and, 4 colors: White, Black, Gold, Pink, and Navy. Tafts also offers free delivery, free returns, and a 1 year warranty on all products.
In the pursuit of perfect coils, many curly-haired girls have found the cure to frizz in a mulberry silk pillowcase. Among the many beauty benefits of a silk pillowcase for skin and hair can be found total game changers for curls and coils. When it comes to choosing the best silk pillowcase for hair, you should take into account silk type, momme, and your budget.
Here at Tafts, we’ve personally tested all 4 of the silk pillowcase brands mentioned on our list of 22-momme mulberry silk pillowcase retailers and listened to the insight provided to us by independent, un-biased individuals about the silk pillowcases each company sells. The consensus is clear: Tafts 22-momme mulberry silk pillowcases beat out the competition when it comes to bang for your buck.
A Tafts silk pillowcase, while not endorsed by big names (yet!), is just as high-quality and boasts all the benefits for curly hair as mulberry silk pillowcases sold by other companies, at half the cost! Affordable, luxurious, and loaded with beauty benefits, a Tafts mulberry silk pillowcase truly is the best silk pillowcase for curly hair on the market.