My Favourite Hair Care Software Is a Silk Pillowcase | Digital Noch

My Favourite Hair Care Software Is a Silk Pillowcase | Digital Noch

My hair didn’t know peace till my companion purchased me a set of LilySilk pillowcases for Christmas a couple of years again. Earlier than receiving this considerate reward, I slept solely on cotton pillowcases, not realizing that smooth-seeming cotton cloth was, at a microscopic degree, the equal of sandpaper rubbing in opposition to my curls and coils all night time (or nap) lengthy. I’d all the time get up to frizzy hair, with lengthy tendrils sticking up and out. Someway I’d missed the lesson different younger Black ladies acquired on wrapping our hair at night time in silk scarves or bonnets to guard our ends from rubbing in opposition to the sheets and breaking off.

However when the silk pillowcases slipped into my life, my hair issues had been solved. I’d get up with noticeably much less frizz, fewer tangles, and drastically lowered mattress head. No extra dangerous hair days, which meant notably higher days total. Though I beloved the pillowcases my companion gave me, I puzzled how they stacked as much as the mountain of different silk circumstances offered all over the place from Amazon to boutique retailers. In true Wirecutter vogue, I dug in to seek out out what makes a fantastic silk pillowcase—and whether or not there’s actually a distinction between a $90 case and one which prices a fraction of that.

Although the origins of silk manufacturing will not be solely clear, Chinese language legends have it that 5,000 years in the past an empress named Si-ling-chi realized easy methods to elevate silkworms, reel their silk, and spin it into fabric for clothes. Since then, the shimmering gossamer has been utilized in the whole lot from clothes to furnishings to linens, together with the delicate cloth that Black girls have a really, very lengthy historical past of utilizing to guard our hair. Carrying caps or bonnets at night time has been a cultural custom for not less than a number of many years. Like most Black historical past, this custom isn’t properly documented, but it’s a ubiquitous a part of our previous and current. Even for somebody like me, who wasn’t taught to wrap my hair at night time, it turned more and more apparent that my curls—which tended to be dry and break up by morning—had been struggling for it.

This occurs as a result of sure kinds of hair—particularly any sort of textured hair, together with coily, kinky, curly, or wavy hair—have a tougher time retaining moisture. Everybody’s scalp produces a pure, waxy oil referred to as sebum, however for folks with textured and even lengthy hair, sebum has a tougher time coating the hair shaft from root to tip, leading to dryness or break up ends. Silk’s {smooth} construction absorbs much less moisture from the pores and skin and hair, which is why silk pillowcases have extra just lately been embraced as a part of many peoples’ skin-care regimens (one thing we’ve beforehand written about).

If you happen to’ve shopped for silk pillowcases, the costs are all around the map—some are comparatively low-cost, whereas others value upwards of $100. I wished to seek out out what you get while you pay extra and fewer. I narrowed my search to circumstances with three qualities:

  • The most effective sort of silk: When folks discuss silk, they’re normally referring to Mulberry silk, which is produced by a species of silkworm referred to as Bombyx mori. These worms are solely fed leaves from Mulberry bushes—high quality meals goes in, high quality silk comes out. They’re primarily farmed in China and India and are selectively bred to supply pure white cocoons that may be unraveled into lengthy, {smooth} threads.
  • A excessive momme depend: Momme (mm) is the unit used to measure the density of silk cloth. It normally ranges from 1 to 30; 19 is a typical momme depend, and 22 is a wonderful one. A 30mm silk pillowcase will value greater than a 19mm pillowcase as a result of the 30mm case has the thickest silk threads woven tightly collectively, which supplies it a hefty density. As you scale down the momme depend, the threads change into thinner, making the material really feel much less weighty. If you happen to’re taking a look at a selected pillowcase and the momme depend isn’t listed, you in all probability need to keep away from it.
  • grade: Lastly, you need silk that has a excessive grade. Not all Mulberry silk is equal, so the grading system, starting from excessive to low, or A to C, helps decide the standard. The A grade is then damaged right down to A, 2A, 3A, 4A, 5A, and 6A (the very best). -quality silk pillowcase may have its momme depend and grade listed within the product description—keep away from something with a grade decrease than 6A. A pillowcase woven from this high-quality materials can be buttery to the contact, and it also needs to maintain its silken options via years of damage and care. (I realized whereas researching this story that my grandmother has been utilizing the identical silk pillowcases for 15 years.)

With that in thoughts, I examined seven pillowcases: the Fishers Finery, J Jimoo, LilySilk, MYK Silk, Ravmix, Olesilk, and Slip.

Picture: LilySilk

LilySilk ($69 on the time of publication)

After I slept on seven totally different pillowcases over the course of per week, my companion was glad to know that the one I discovered myself frequently gravitating towards was the LilySilk 25mm 6A pillowcase he initially gave me. This pillowcase is lustrous and weighty proper out of the field. Possibly I appreciated it a lot as a result of I used to be already accustomed to utilizing it. However what actually sealed the deal for me was its situation after the primary wash: It assumed an virtually matte end that made it much less slippery and extra comfy to sleep on. Most significantly, I get up every morning with corkscrew curls that really feel more healthy, extra hydrated, and unburdened by frizz. (Although I’ve made a number of orders and haven’t skilled any issues, some folks have been disillusioned by LilySilk’s customer support.)

The Slip silk pillowcase, shown in a neutral off-white, covering a pillow.
Picture: Slip

Slip ($89 on the time of publication)

Despite the fact that it has a decrease momme depend, the 22mm Slip pillowcase is simply as thick because the LilySilk. Additionally made with 6A Mulberry silk, this pillowcase has a satin sheen that didn’t budge, even after its first time being hand-washed. However the pillowcase had a slippery high quality that made my head slide off to the facet, which meant I needed to always readjust in the midst of the night time. The Slip was additionally vulnerable to sliding round on the mattress, and after a couple of weeks of use, it seemed extra wrinkled than the LilySilk. Some might choose this pillowcase to the LilySilk due to its super-silky options, however personally I didn’t like waking up with my head on the cotton sheets—and neither did my curls.

The Fishers Finery silk pillowcase, shown in white, covering a pillow.
Picture: Fishers Finery

Fishers Finery ($51 on the time of publication)

The Fishers Finery pillowcase, additionally 25mm 6A Mulberry silk, strikes an excellent stability between value and high quality. Although it’s not as delicate because the Slip or the LilySilk, this pillowcase nonetheless feels luxurious. It’s heavy and never too slick (it’s not as slippery because the Slip), and it saved my hair {smooth} and frizz-less by the morning. It’s nonetheless dear by cotton-pillowcase requirements, however this one is the most effective I discovered for round $50 (and it’s leagues forward of cheaper circumstances).

Regardless of starting from 19mm to 22mm, the opposite pillowcases we tried—the J Jimoo, Olesilk, MYK Silk, and Ravmix—had been all almost an identical to the contact. These pillowcases, which vary between $21 and $30, had been delicate, however they lacked the weighty high quality of their more-expensive counterparts. And so they felt extra like a uncooked, unfinished silk than {smooth} and satiny. The skinny materials of those pillowcases speaks loudly to the distinction in high quality. Nevertheless, should you’re on a funds and easily in search of one thing delicate sufficient to scale back friction to your hair, any of those choices could be an improve from a standard cotton pillowcase.

A irritating actuality of silk pillowcases specifically is that the majority of them are offered individually, not in units of two. As a result of that is such a excessive upfront expense, sustaining your pillowcases will change into simply as necessary as selecting the best ones for you. Silk was initially meant for royalty, and in trendy instances, it nonetheless prices extra to completely take pleasure in its luxurious. Thus far, the advantages outweigh the fee for me, and I feel my hair, with its wholesome sheen, would agree.

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