Sunday, 8 May 2011

Night time experimentation

Heh, clever title, huh?

We all have our ideas of what we do best and what we do worst for our hair. Those things we have worked out perfectly and those we really need to work on to make better.

My thing that I’m worst at comes to sleeping. I sleep on my sides (and somewhere between side and stomach) and I’m a restless sleeper. This is where people will usually just recommend silk pillow covers and that would fix the problem. But…

Silk freaks me out when I sleep.

There. I wrote it. Yes, it sounds weird. But it does.

It’s like silk just balances that fine line between feeling organic and not feeling organic and the times I have tried to sleep on silk covers, I wake up every time I turn around. Silk just creep me out, even when I’m not conscious. It’s like some primal part of my brain sounds the alarm thinking I have rolled over to rest my head on a slippery snake (And I’m not afraid of snakes) and it will eat me alive.

I don’t know what’s worst and the most annoying: Waking up so often and not getting any real quality sleep or that half a second where the caveman part of my brain has taken over and is telling me to run for my life!

You can’t argue with the results though. Sleeping on silk left my hair practically unruffled even for a restless sleeper. If I just could get used to it, I could really save those fragile temple-hairs from a lot of damage.

The area around the temples has hairs that have a shorter life span than the rest. This is why people start going grey around the temples first. Just like all other cells in the body, the follicles have a certain life span. They can only produce so many “sets” of hair strand before they start breaking down and not function as flawless as before. The follicles will stop producing melanin as efficiently as before and eventually stop putting the melanin in the hair strands layers.
I always thought that on top of the hairs having a shorter life span than the rest of the scalp, they grow more fragile too even when you’re young. But I have never seen any scientific evidence to that, so I guess it will stay my personal suspicion.

I tried with satin: Same deal. I tried with microfiber and wasn’t sure if that was actually better than cotton, sure it feels smoother to touch, but on the microscopic level, is it really? My hair seemed to “stick” to it a lot.

So, smooth pillow cases were kind of out of the question. Of course I guess if I just “soldiered on” for long enough I could get used to it, but that would probably take me a very, very long time. And cost me too much quality sleep.

Then I had the idea of sleeping on the couch and covering the top half of the sheets with silk. Of course that wouldn’t help the hair that would rest on my pillow, but it would be gentler to the hair from my shoulders and down. I tried it and sure, the silk still freaked me out, but not as bad as when it’s touching my face. I still woke up from time to time turning over and touching my naked arms to the smooth fabric.
Of course the problem is making some silk that can cover the entire top half of a king sized bed and not get bunched up from me turning over…

A few nights ago I had the idea of shortening up my braid for sleeping. I sleep with my hair in a braid. If I have my hair in a braid during the day, I completely ignore it all day and then sleep on it. If I have my hair in a bun, I take it down and braid it for night.

A single braid is classic length on me, so it gets caught under my hips when I turn over. By now I have made an unconscious habit out of doing some weird little extra tug/motion thing whenever I turn over in my sleep so I don’t yank my head back. It’s about the same I do when I wear a braid and go sit on a chair: A little shrug with one shoulder so the braid falls in front of me instead of getting caught. In the bed, the little tug doesn’t work 100% though.

Anyways, I looped the end of my braid up to about waist length and secured it with a soft elastic. It worked really well. No more getting the braid caught under my weight. I will keep doing that loop up for sleeping. Maybe combine it with some sort of silk bag-thingie (It’s a technical term!) to protect the ends. No matter what, the loop will be here to stay!

And I really should go hunting for some sort of silk bonnet. It would really save my fragile temple hairs from a lot of rubbing.

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