Can Silk Pillowcases Damage Hair? Absolutely NOT! (But your regular pillowcase may be causing serious harm.)

Pillowcases can definitely damage hair. But NOT if those pillowcases are made from pure mulberry silk. This article discusses how some pillowcases damage hair and why silk pillowcases are quite beneficial to hair.

Pillowcases: The Mystery Culprit in Hair Damage

Waking up with tangles, frizz, bedhead, and even breakage is nobody’s idea of a good time. And most of us -- especially if we’ve got thick, coarse, or curly hair -- have been there. We can blame the usual suspects: dry scalp, hair color and chemical treatments, hot flat irons, and blow dryers, and we would be right. But there’s a lesser-known source of major hair damage: Your pillowcase.

This comes down to some good news/bad news:

First, the bad news: Your cotton pillowcase may be doing terrible damage to your hair.

Now, the good news: A mulberry silk pillowcase is fantastic for hair and can even help reverse and repair damage and hair breakage (and give you a great night of beauty sleep to boot!).

The Mulberry Park Silks design team is here to explain everything you need to know. Keep reading to learn more.

How Pillowcase Fabric Can Damage Hair

It may come as a bit of a shock, but cotton pillowcases can be doing a real number on your hair. In fact, by its very nature, cotton has some intrinsic properties that can harm your tresses:

Cotton is absorbent. In fact, cotton is known for its absorbency. This means your cotton pillowcase can be pulling moisture out of your hair, essentially acting as a reverse conditioner while you sleep.

Cotton causes friction. Even the smoothest weave of cotton has tiny fibers that can tear and snag at your hair. Naturally, frizzy hair is especially vulnerable to this type of damage, as the cuticle on hair type does not lay flat and smooth and so can catch on the cotton fiber. (Note: friction also makes cotton a big contributor to your sleep crease problem)

Signs That Your Pillowcase Is Damaging Your Hair

The signs of damaged hair can range from subtle to dramatic. Of course, not all hair damage is caused only by your pillowcase, but you should pay attention if you wake up noticing any of the following:

  • Excessive dryness
  • Knots and tangles
  • Bedhead
  • Frizz
  • Split ends and breakage

…all of which could be due to cotton’s absorbency, texture, and ability to create friction.


Woman Pulls At Her Damaged Hair


The Benefits of Silk Pillowcases for Your Hair

At Mulberry Park Silks, we proudly showcase all the wonderful benefits our silk pillowcases deliver for your hair.

To begin with, silk fiber is made from protein—just like your hair—and as such helps your hair retain its natural moisture. In fact, many salon-quality hair treatments and products contain silk protein, which is known as fibroin. When you sleep on a pure silk pillowcase, you’re in a moisturizing, replenishing environment; this is a stark contrast to the absorbent, drying out that happens with cotton. Along with being moisturizing, silk fabric will leave you with better conditioned, shinier hair that is more resistant to frizz. (You can learn more about the differences between cotton and silk pillowcases here.)

This leads to the next essential property of silk: its smooth surface. Your hair will glide across the luxurious charmeuse weave virtually friction-free. This means you will be less prone to tangles and bedhead, as well as breakage, split ends, and frizz. Sleeping on silk preserves your hairstyle, especially if you’ve invested in a pricey blowout, and protects your hair during periods of high damage such as the summer when you’re exposed to sun, heat, wind, and water. The fact that silk is ever so gentle on your hair and scalp also makes it the perfect environment for preventing hair loss and promoting hair growth; in fact, sleeping on silk is often recommended for anyone experiencing hair loss, including from chemotherapy or during the post-partum period. The smooth, forgiving texture of silk also protects delicate hair regrowth.

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Woman Models Mulberry Park Silks Sleep Mask

Why Silk is Great for Overall Beauty and Wellness

We’ve got more good news for you: the benefits of sleeping on silk don’t end with your hair.

  • Silk helps your skin retain its natural moisture while its smooth surface prevents fine lines and wrinkle formation
  • Silk is naturally hypoallergenic and resistant to mold and dust mites. It’s the ideal sleeping environment for anyone with allergies, eczema, acne, or sensitive skin (including babies!). Dermatologists often recommend adding a silk pillowcase to the skincare routine of their patients because silk fabric is truly non irritating.
  • Silk fabric is breathable and naturally temperature regulating. Silk wicks away moisture and keeps you cool in the summer months; during cold weather, it works to insulate and maintain warmth. This makes silk the ideal material for year-round comfortable sleep, especially for anyone who tends to “sleep hot.” If you like your silk pillowcase, you will love a set of our pure mulberry silk sheets.
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Baby on Mulberry Park Silk Crib Sheets

How to Choose the Best Silk Pillowcase

With the growing popularity of silk pillowcases, there are lots of options on the market. But all silk pillowcases are definitely NOT created equal. In fact, some are not even silk at all! If you read the fine print, you’ll discover that many pillowcases marketed as “silky” or “silk-feel” are actually synthetic satin pillowcases (note: satin is a petroleum-based polyester material that does not deliver the benefits of sleeping on silk). Other pillowcases may be made of silk/polyester blends or an inferior quality of silk.

So how should you go about choosing the best pillowcase for your money?

  1. Purchase only a pillowcase labeled pure mulberry silk.
  2. Look for the grade of silk used. Silk is graded both by letter and number, with 6A being the highest.
  3. Read the label to note the momme weight of your silk pillowcase. All genuine silk will be labeled with a momme weight, which is similar to thread count in sheets. Learn more about momme weight in silk here.
  4. If the price is too good to be true, it’s likely not silk. A good guideline is that any pillowcase priced under $20 is probably not pure, genuine silk but instead a blend of satin pillowcase.
  5. Purchase from a reputable company that is transparent about the quality, pricing, and momme weight of their silk products.

At Mulberry Park Silks, all of our products—from silk pillowcases, sheets, and bedding to accessories like our silk scrunchy, silk scarf, and eye mask collections—are made from 100 percent pure mulberry silk of the highest quality, Grade 6A. We offer a range of momme weights from 19 to 30 in our pillowcases and bedding. And while silk is naturally hypoallergenic, we’ve taken the additional step of ensuring that the fabric used in our products is certified STANDARD 100 by OEKO-TEX® which means that it has been independently tested for safety against more than 400 harmful substances. Learn more about our OEKO-TEX® certification here.

Mulberry Park Silks is based in the United States, with corporate headquarters, warehouse, and offices in Branford, Connecticut. We are available to personally answer any questions and concerns and resolve any issues. We believe we offer the very best value silk pillowcases and bedding and are happy to share everything we know about silk. Check out our informative blog, especially these entries on how to tell genuine silk from artificial, and what to look for when shopping for a silk pillowcase.

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Mulberry Park: Accessible and Affordable Luxury Silk

We founded Mulberry Park with one simple mission: to design the highest quality silk items in the market and offer them at an affordable price. And we've done just that, with a full range of silk products made from 100% pure mulberry long strand silk fabric. The silk fabric used for our silk sheets and silk pillowcases has also been OEKO-TEX® Certified (Standard 100) to be free of chemicals.

Visit us online or call us at (800) 860-1924 to learn more about our silk sheets, silk pillowcases, duvet covers and shams, and real silk accessories including sleep masks, travel pillows, and silk hair scrunchies.