Your Pillowcase Might Be Ruining Your Hair!

Last Updated on April 27, 2023

Is your hair a tangled mess when you wake up?

Do you frequently shed hair all over your pillow? if so, it’s not you – it’s your pillowcase!

Chances are, you probably have a cotton sheet set. And included with that cotton sheet set was a pair of cotton pillowcases. That cotton pillowcase is the prime suspect!

Why cotton? And why just the pillowcase?

A pillowcase covered in loose strands of hair



Why Is Cotton The Problem?

We think of cotton fabrics as being smooth.

But are they really?

Run your fingers through a cotton t-shirt, or a cotton sheet. Do you feel all of the grooves and ridges?¬†Cotton might be “soft”, but it’s not necessarily smooth.

It all has to do with the structure of cotton fibers.

Check out the picture below, for example. Cotton is on the far right side.


an infographic comparing the fiber structure of different materials


Did you notice the wavy structure of the cotton fiber?

Cotton does create a thin strand of thread, but it’s still a wavy strand of thread. That wavy structure results in the edges and grooves that you feel when your run your hand across a cotton fabric.

Those edges and grooves create a textured surface.

That textured surface creates friction, which pulls and tugs on your hair. And if you recently switched to a curly hairdo, you know full well what we’re talking about.

You’re not going bald – your cotton pillowcase is just pulling your hair out.

If you’re skeptical, just take a cotton shirt or pillowcase, and rub it over your hair. Is your hair now a mess? Did a few strands come off on the fabric?

Now imagine an entire night…


How To Prevent It

If your cotton pillowcase is usually covered in hair, you need a smoother fabric.

A smooth fabric won’t have the ridges and grooves that tangle your hair or pull it out. A smooth fabric will have less friction – which is essentially the enemy here.

And if you want the smoothest fabric – the answer is silk. You need a quality silk pillowcase.


A silk pillowcase from the Lunar Silks brand


A quality silk pillowcase will offer a smooth surface. One that won’t tug and pull on your hair all night.

As you sleep, the ridges of the wavy cotton strands hold onto your hair strands. When you move, they pull. A smooth fabric, like silk, doesn’t pull.



Why A Silk Pillowcase

Why is a silk pillowcase the best solution?

Here are 3 reasons why:

  1. The smoothness of silk
  2. The cost and availability
  3. No need for a full sheet set


The Smoothness Of Silk

Silk is smooth. It’s the smoothest fabric that you can buy.

It’s also slick.

That slick and smooth combination is what creates a friction-free surface – which is what we need to maintain our hairstyle. But why silk? There are other slick and smooth options.

Yes, you could get synthetic materials, that also offer a smooth surface. But those fabrics don’t breathe.

So unless you want to sweat all night, you need a fabric that breathes. And the breathability of silk fabric is even superior to cotton.


The Cost And Availability

Silk pillowcases are available in individual quantities.

Do you just need one pillowcase? Great, just buy one! Silk bedding is expensive, so if you can get away with buying just one pillowcase, it will definitely keep the cost low.

Which brings us to our next section…


No Need For A Full Sheet Set

Our solution here is a pillowcase.

Why just a single pillowcase? Because a full sheet set is overrated.

Do you wear pajamas to bed? Particularly long sleeve pajamas? If you do, then your skin never touches the fabric. You’ll never actually experience the smoothness, for example, or softness of the sheet.

a woman in pajamas laying in bed

And even then, you need some type of motion to feel that softness.

So unless you constantly toss and turn – and sleep naked – there’s really no point for an expensive sheet set. You really just need the pillowcase.


What To Look For In A Silk Pillowcase

Like most people, you’re probably used to buying cotton sheets. So, you look for the thread count, the type of cotton used, etc. But silk is different.

Silk has a different set of descriptors.


Momme Count & Silk Grade

Cotton sheets have a thread count. In contrast, silk fabrics have a “momme count”.

A momme count is essentially the weight of the fabric. The higher the number, the denser the fabric is.

an infographic about the momme count of silk fabrics

A standard momme count is around 15. A momme count around 20 or higher, for example, is considered to be of very high quality.

Silk is also graded on an A to C scale – with A being the highest. Within each grade, levels are also differentiated by the numbers 2 to 6 – with 6 being the highest.

So a grade of 6A indicates the highest quality silk.


Verified Source

Silk is very expensive. It costs more than cotton to harvest, and process.

So naturally, there are a lot of fake silk products out there.

Look for Oeko-Tex verification. This will ensure that you are buying an actual silk product, of course, from a reputable source. If they can’t mention their Oeko-Tex information, move on to the next.


an image displaying the Oeko-Tex logo



How To Take Care Of Silk

Silk requires a different type of care than a regular cotton pillowcase. While you can machine wash a silk sheet, we recommend hand washing it using a detergent for delicates.


A bottle of Delicate Wash detergent from Laundress


How To Hand Wash A Silk Pillowcase

If you can spare a few minutes to hand wash, the effort is well worth it!

  1. First, fill a bucket or container with cold water. Add 1/2 oz. of detergent.
  2. Next, knead the pillowcase the way you would with another delicate item.
  3. Then, replace with fresh water and rinse until no detergent is left.
  4. Finally, allow to air dry completely.


a lady washing a delicate garment in a square container


How To Machine Wash A Silk Pillowcase

Not everyone has the time to hand wash. If your time is limited, follow these instructions for a washing machine.

  1. Using cool or warm water, wash using the gentle cycle, with a delicate detergent
  2. Then, allow to air dry completely


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