Can You Put Wet Hair in a Bonnet?


Having just stepped out of the shower with freshly washed hair, you may be wondering if it’s okay to put your wet locks in a bonnet before heading to bed. While bonnets can help protect hair overnight, is it safe to put wet hair in one? In this comprehensive guide, we’ll discuss everything you need to know about wearing bonnets with wet hair.

Overview of Wearing Bonnets with Wet Hair

  • Wearing a bonnet with wet hair is generally fine if done properly. The key is choosing a breathable bonnet material and making sure hair is not sopping wet.

  • Bonnets made of silk, satin, or microfiber are recommended for wet hair as they won’t cause friction or absorb too much moisture.

  • It’s best to let hair air dry as much as possible before putting it in a bonnet to prevent breakage and excessive dampness.

  • Take care not to tie bonnets too tight on wet hair, which can lead to breakage and damage overnight.

  • Alternatives like braids, loose buns, or hair wraps can also protect wet hair at night without a bonnet.

Can You Put Completely Wet Hair in a Bonnet?

Putting completely soaked, dripping wet hair into a bonnet is not recommended. When hair is freshly washed and highly saturated with water, it is at its most fragile state. Any friction or tension from a bonnet can lead to major breakage, knots, and damage to wet strands.

Instead, it’s best to let very wet hair air dry for at least 20-30 minutes before attempting to put it in a bonnet for sleep. Alternatively, use a soft microfiber towel or t-shirt to gently squeeze out excess moisture before putting hair in a bonnet. The goal is to get hair damp rather than dripping wet before containing it overnight.

Choosing the Best Bonnet Material for Wet Hair

Not all bonnets are created equal when it comes to wearing them on wet hair. The material your bonnet is made of makes a big difference in how it interacts with damp strands. Here are the best bonnet fabrics to look for if you plan to wear one on wet hair:


The smoothest and most gentle fabric against wet hair is 100% mulberry silk. Silk minimizes friction, helps hair retain moisture, and doesn’t absorb water. This keeps hair from getting dried out overnight. Silk bonnets also tend to stay put without needing to be tied too tightly.


Satin bonnets provide many of the same benefits as silk. This soft, smooth fabric won’t cause friction that can damage wet hair. Satin also repels moisture rather than absorbing it, allowing hair to dry gradually overnight. It tends to be more affordable and accessible than silk as well.


For a more budget-friendly option, microfiber bonnets are reasonably smooth and gentle for wet hair. Made from ultra-fine synthetic fibers, microfiber causes less friction than fabrics like cotton or terry cloth. It also dries hair faster than silk or satin. Just be aware that microfiber can sometimes absorb more water.

Avoid Cotton, Terry Cloth, and Wool

Rougher fabrics like cotton, terry cloth, and wool tend to snag and pull at wet, fragile strands. The absorbent nature of these materials can also make hair take longer to dry and lead to hygral fatigue. Save these bonnet materials for when your hair is completely dry.

Caring for Wet Hair in a Bonnet

Once you’ve selected a suitable bonnet material for your wet locks, follow these tips to keep hair healthy overnight:

  • Gently blot hair with a towel before putting it in a bonnet to absorb excess dripping moisture. Don’t aggressively rub the strands.

  • Use a wide-toothed comb or fingers to detangle wet hair before containing it in a bonnet. This prevents knots and breakage.

  • Let hair air dry for 20-30 minutes or more before putting it in a bonnet for best results. The more damp vs. dripping wet it is, the better.

  • Put hair in loose, gentle styles like a braid or bun before placing it in a bonnet. Avoid tight ponytails or buns.

  • Tie bonnets snugly but not tightly on wet hair. they should not cause pulling on the scalp or forehead.

  • Sleep on a silk or satin pillowcase if not wearing a bonnet to minimize friction.

  • In the morning, gently detangle hair and apply a moisturizing or anti-frizz product before styling as needed.

Alternatives for Protecting Wet Hair Overnight

If you don’t have a suitable bonnet for wet hair or prefer not to use one, these alternatives can also help protect damp locks overnight:

Silk or Satin Hair Wrap

Wrapping hair in a silk or satin scarf mimics the smooth, gentle surface of a silk bonnet. Tie the wrap loosely to prevent pressure on wet strands.

Satin-Lined Sleep Cap

Search for sleep caps made of smooth satin on the inside, with cotton on the outer layer for structure. The satin interior glides softly against wet hair.

Sparse Pineapple Ponytail

Loosely pull damp hair into a very loose top ponytail. Use a soft scrunchie and avoid tight hair ties.


Braid wet hair into 1-2 basic plaits before bed. Braids keep hair contained and minimize tangles.

Loose Low Bun

Twist hair into a loose messy bun at the nape of your neck. Pull out pieces around the face.

Hair Clips

Gently clip up sections of damp hair using padded hair clips instead of tight hair ties.

Things to Avoid for Wet Hair in Bonnets

On the flip side, there are a few things you’ll want to avoid when dealing with wet locks in bonnets:

  • Putting hair in a bonnet while it’s still dripping wet

  • Using bonnets made of rough, absorbent fabrics

  • Tightly tying bonnets and ponytails

  • Sleeping on cotton pillowcases instead of silk or satin

  • Not detangling before putting wet hair in a bonnet

  • Leaving a bonnet on too long and postponing washing hair

  • Using harsh brushes instead of wide-tooth combs on wet hair

Tips for Healthy Bonnet Hair Care

Caring for your hair properly while using bonnets is key to keeping strands healthy and minimizing damage. Here are some top tips:

  • Wash hair 1-2 times per week at most when wearing bonnets frequently

  • Use moisturizing, sulfate-free shampoos and conditioners

  • Let hair fully air dry before putting it into a bonnet

  • Apply a hair serum or oil before bonneting to hydrate strands

  • Give hair a break from bonnets 1-2 nights per week

  • Change out bonnets regularly so they stay hygienic

  • Avoid pulling too tightly when securing bonnets under the chin

  • Invest in a quality bonnet made with smooth fabrics like silk or satin

  • Sleep on a silk pillowcase on nights without a bonnet

Common Concerns About Wet Hair in Bonnets

Will my wet hair dry properly in a bonnet?

Hair should dry sufficiently overnight in a breathable, smooth fabric bonnet as long as it’s not sopping wet when you put it on. Just don’t tightly tie bonnets, which can block airflow.

Can putting wet hair in a bonnet cause breakage?

If done improperly, yes. Putting extremely wet hair in a bonnet and tying it too tightly can lead to breakage. Minimize this by only putting damp, detangled hair in bonnets and tying them snugly but not tightly.

Is it bad to put wet hair in a cotton bonnet?

Yes, cotton bonnets are too rough and absorbent for wet strands. Stick to silk, satin, or microfiber bonnets instead.

Should I towel dry before putting wet hair in a bonnet?

Yes, it’s best to gently blot hair with a towel before bonneting to absorb excess dripping moisture for optimal overnight results.

Can wet hair in a bonnet cause split ends or knots?

It can potentially cause some knots if hair is not detangled beforehand. To prevent split ends, avoid tight ponytails under bonnets and use gentle fabrics.

Will my curls get messed up putting wet hair in a bonnet?

They can potentially become misshapen if hair is too wet or the bonnet is tied tightly. Scrunch curls back into shape in the morning.

Maintain Healthy, Hydrated Hair

While wet hair and bonnets may seem like a risky combination, you can absolutely help your locks stay healthy and hydrated overnight by following these tips. Be sure to choose a high-quality bonnet made with gentle fabrics, wring out excess moisture before bonneting, and tie straps snugly but

How to Put on a Bonnet & How to Preserve Curls at Night


Should I let my hair air dry in a bonnet?

Drying it in a bonnet properly isn’t doing anything for the health of your hair unless you’re laying down as it dries. Completely safe to air dry.

What to do before putting hair in bonnet?

Prepare your hair

If your hair is coily or curly, a simple curl cream application can leave you with manageable curls when you wake. If your hair is long, braiding and wrapping it on the top of your head before donning your bonnet will offer a more comfortable sleeping experience and better breakage protection.

How should I sleep with wet hair?

Twist your hair in a top knot and wrap it into a bun while going to bed. Use a silk scarf or cloth and tie it like a hairband to make sure your hair does not touch the pillowcase. Once you wake up, flip your hair upside down, gently separate the hair and flip it back up.

Do bonnets absorb moisture?

However, cotton or linen bonnets can absorb moisture from our hair, making it dry, and can cause hair damage. Bonnets made of silk have been found that prevent drying, split ends, and breakage, helping keep the moisture of the hair.

Leave a Comment