The Dangers of Cotton Pillowcases

As a girly girl, there is a rite of passage to having beautiful bedding. The higher the thread count, the better. The more colorful, even more better. I even love changing my bed sheets and comforter as I feel and as the seasons change.

Enter the 13th month.

This was years ago but I always stress the dangers to other fellow naturals. When I was 13 months into my natural hair journey, I experienced devastation. I was in the middle of washing my hair. I had it parted into four sections, which were smaller afro puffs. My hair was saturated with conditioner and I was ready for a rinse. At the time, my go-to style was the puff. I had the perfect length for it. I thought I had found my staple style. At night, I would wear my hair in a satin bonnet and I would go to sleep on my beautiful pillowcase.

Before I rinsed my hair, I made a split second decision to let the conditioner sit on it for a few hours. I had errands to run so, I figured that my hair could use the extra pampering. As I was out and about, I decided to touch the back of my hair, near the nape of my neck. Shock and horror filled me as I felt, what I thought, was a balding spot.

Of course, I was nowhere near a mirror but as soon as I found one, I had to see for myself. My greatest fears were confirmed. I had breakage. But from where? And how?

I spent weeks Googling and diagnosing myself with every illness I found. It was total paranoia at this point. I even experimented with essential oils, massaging my scalp, and hair and nail vitamins. When none of these worked, I scheduled an appointment with my physician.

I just knew that my diagnosis was alopecia. I knew it. I had every symptom.

My physician began asking me questions. He asked how I wore my hair, what I put in it, everything! Then, he asked me what kind of pillowcase I slept on. I told him that I had a satin bonnet and a cotton pillowcase.

Then, he said something to me that completely shocked me. My sudden hair loss wasn’t from alopecia, or any other disease.

It was from the cotton pillowcase!

He said that the pillowcase was causing friction and my hair fell out because of it.


He suggested that I get rid of the cotton pillowcase and get a satin one and see if that helped.

What was my result a month later? Hair.

My hair began to grow back almost instantly! I never thought that something seemingly as harmless as a cotton pillowcase could contribute to hair loss.


If you are noticing hair breakage around your edges, or, if the side that you sleep on is noticeably thinner than the other, I encourage you to purchase a satin pillowcase. It has, for me, been the best investment I’ve made since I’ve been natural.