Satin Vs. Silk: Is One Material Better For Your Hair?

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The value of a good night's sleep cannot be understated. You can be using expensive skincare products in your nighttime routine, but if you do not get the recommended seven to nine hours of sleep every night, it will show in your skin. On this, Michael Breus, Ph.D., a board-certified sleep specialist, told WebMD, "Sleep deprivation causes a decrease in blood flow to the skin surrounding your face." Breus added that getting plenty of sleep is the secret to glowing skin and healthier hair because even your hair follicles receive necessary nutrients from the blood flow. No wonder it's called beauty sleep! In addition to getting plenty of zzzs, investing in a silk or satin pillowcase can also do wonders for your hair and skin.

Furthermore, celebrity hairstylist and Hairstory hairdresser Derrick Keith explained to The Zoe Report that "silk or satin pillowcases will boost your beauty game more than any traditional bedding materials (ahem, cotton)." If you are prone to waking up with tangled and frizzy hair with less shine, switching over to a silk or satin pillowcase can help you wake up with fewer split ends. The smoother texture of silk and satin can also help "maintain your twist-out" and "preserve your blowout." Even Kourtney Kardashian admitted that using one of these pillowcases is the secret to her waking up with "glossy hair" (via Hello! Magazine). Both silk and satin are great for your hair, and here we help you decide the best option for you.

A silk pillowcase is more luxurious

Silk is a "natural protein fiber produced by silkworms" that was first made in China around 1100 B.C., per The Zoe Report. It's great for your skin and hair because it is "a breathable fabric that allows circulation" and doesn't trap oil, dirt, or bacteria like cotton. Michelle O'Connor, Matrix Global's artistic director, told the outlet, "Silk also doesn't absorb oils and products from your skin and hair, therefore [it] won't transfer any of that onto your face, which can lead to breakouts." 

It reduces friction between the hair and the pillowcase, which could lead to frizz, tangles, and hair damage. "Silk helps to keep the moisture in the hair, while cotton pillows or scarves absorb natural oils leaving hair dry and brittle," hairstylist Cheryl Bergamy told Byrdie. Silk is hypoallergenic and helps hair maintain its natural shine and extend the life of your blowout, too. Still, silk is an expensive, decadent fabric ranging between $30- to $90 (via The Zoe Report) and requires extra care to wash.

Kourtney Kardashian's go-to silk pillowcase is the Slip silk pillowcase made of mulberry silk, per Poosh. This luxurious pillowcase was included among "effective life hacks" to help you save time in the morning because you wake up with frizz-free hair. It boasts an impressive 4.6 out of 5 stars on Amazon, with a reviewer saying, "My face is not as puffy as it is with normal pillows, and my hair is so smooth when I wake up."

Satin pillowcases are more affordable and easier to clean

Satin is made of a combination of materials like polyester, rayon, and cotton. BosleyMD trichologist Gretchen Friese told The Zoe Report that satin "is technically a type of weaving, rather than a type of fabric." Satin pillowcases are great for your hair because they are super smooth and reduce friction between hair and the pillow. Like silk, satin is also "hypoallergenic, less absorbent, and breathable" and will not absorb your hair's natural oils, unlike cotton. Satin pillowcases have similar benefits to silk pillowcases but are more affordable as they usually cost between $8 to $20. Since satin is a blend of multiple fabrics, unlike silk, you can easily wash it in a washing machine.

Though satin is not as smooth as natural silk, it still works well, and it's much cheaper and stronger than silk and can help your skin and your hair (via Good Housekeeping). If you aren't quite ready to spend a lot on silk, a satin pillowcase is a great alternative. Good Housekeeping recommends trying Bedsure Satin Pillowcase as it has a smooth, silky feel and is excellent for your wallet. It has over 244,000 reviews on Amazon, with an average rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars. One of the reviewers even said, "I have seen a noticeable difference in my hair in the mornings and overall they are so smooth and comfortable to sleep on. I've washed them several times and haven't seen a difference in the quality."

Hairstylists prefer this material for your hair more

Switching to a silk or satin pillowcase is better for your hair because the materials are breathable, hypoallergenic, and less absorbent to make your hair smoother, shinier, and tangle-free. In fact, Hairstory hairdresser Jennifer Covington-Bowers told The Zoe Report, "Satin and silk pillowcases lack friction and won't rough up the cuticle — meaning less chances of breakage," and added that if money is not an option, silk might be better as it has "a bit more slip." Celebrity hairstylist Derrick Keith recommends silk for those with curly and textured hair since silk is a bit smoother than satin.

Hairstylist and the founder of Contents Haircare, Cheryl Bergamy, also agrees that silk might be better than satin for all hair types, especially more so if you have curly or textured hair, per Byrdie. According to Good Housekeeping, silk can be extremely cooling and luxurious to sleep on but can be pricey and need a little extra work to maintain. At the same time, satin is more durable and affordable and still helps you wake up in the morning with smoother hair. In the end, you should ultimately consider your budget and hair texture before choosing one for you, but both will be better than common cotton pillowcases.