A couple of years ago a friend boasted to me about the silk pillowcase she’d just bought. “It stops your face from wrinkling,” she told me. “And it’s good for your hair.” I just smiled. I’d been using a silk pillowcase for as long as I could remember, though my main concern was hair breakage and its prevention.
Though I loved my silk pillowcase (purchased on sale from John Lewis, their own brand Ultimate Collection), it was not really convenient to carry a pillowcase around when you travel (and, in my last career in travel, I used to travel every other weekend). In the past I’ve struggled with hair wraps staying on as I slept — a silk pillowcase worked, but it wasn’t a perfect solution — I needed something a little bit more portable (and also changing hotel-bed linen on a daily basis isn’t my idea of fun!).
Not long after that pillowcase chat, I found out about Afrocenchix, after following back company co-founder Rachael Twumasi-Corson on Twitter. I picked up a bonnet soon after. Despite its bargain price, (especially compared to newer companies who’ve jumped on the Black hair-care bandwagon in recent years), it’s super high quality, and currently comes in a range of two prints — these tend to be limited edition so you have to grab the design you like fast.
This bonnet’s thick elastic band is comfortable to wear, but, more importantly, I can count on the fingers of one hand the number of times I’ve woken up to find the bonnet having moved from my head. It really does stay put. When it was brand new I would occasionally find a slight imprint on my forehead each morning (that quickly faded). With use this marking has gone away, but the bonnet still doesn’t shift.
Slipping aside, the satin lining is the key to the bonnet’s success. It helps retain moisture and protects against the friction that causes breakage. As someone who has spent her entire adult life trying to fix the damage done by years of chemical and heat styling (something I now shy away from), I need every help I can get to assist retaining my hair length. As part of my new, kinder hair regime, this bonnet has added inches to my hair, and it looks so much healthier.
Three years on, my Afrocenchix bonnet is still going strong: I throw it into my overnight bag or suitcase when I travel, and keep it in my bedside table drawer at home. It goes in the wash with my clothes once a week and dries quickly over a radiator or towel rack. I’ve had no fading of the colours, no loss of elasticity to the band and no more waking up with a head full of frizz. I’m inclined to repurchase, but purely for a change of print.
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