Is Satin The Same As Silk?

And which one should you be taking to bed?

Our founder, Maria Sotiriou, is a London hairstylist with a reputation for being able to tame the most difficult-to-manage hair. With over 37 years’ experience and every product, treatment and fad at her fingertips she still couldn’t find anything that helped her hair to grow, hold its style or prevent breakage. Permanently.

One morning, while staring desolately at a pillow strewn with broken hair and split ends, it hit her: extreme damage happens when we are most unaware – in our sleep! 

Did you know we spend on average a third of our lives in bed? Why not make it count.

Inspired by the time-tested traditional hair wrapping methods of her Caribbean heritage, Maria discovered that wrapping her hair at night specifically in 100% mulberry silk had incredible transformative results.

Widely known for its benefits to the skin, why couldn’t it do the same for our hair?

However, when Maria looked deeper into the haircare market she found there were only very limited bonnet styles, typically in synthetic satin for her to choose from.

It’s an age old ‘hair wrapping’ discussion, ‘silk vs. satin: which is better for your hair?’

When it comes to cocooning your hair overnight you want to be sure you’re opting for the best fabric possible. Opting for material that’s going to give to your hair, rather than take anything away, will give you the best results with very minimal effort! 

The difference between satin and silk

First up, a snapshot of synthetic satin:

  • Cheap, synthetic mixed-fabric weave.
  • Absorbent fabric which tends to strip your hair of its natural oils.
  • Non-breathable, which can make you sweaty and uncomfortable overnight.

Satin came into existence during the Middle Ages, and is often used as a cheap alternative to silk. It’s created using a mix of fabrics, such as cotton and polyester, and chemicals in a synthetic weave; as it’s man-made, it’s not always hypoallergenic or suitable for all skin types. 

It’s a non-breathable fabric which can cause heat, making you uncomfortable and sweaty, especially on those hot summer nights! Not the best idea if it’s those greasy roots you’re trying to avoid. 

Now let's look at 100% 22 momme Mulberry Silk, the highest quality silk on the market: 

  • Totally smooth and a 100% natural fibre with proven health benefits for hair and skin.
  • Non-absorbent which allows the natural oils produced from the scalp to nourish your hair from root to tip.
  • Breathable, keeping you cool and comfortable overnight.

In comparison, silk is a totally smooth, 100% natural fibre which was created in China more than 5000 years ago; the process of making silk can be dated all the way back to 6000 BC. As it’s a natural fabric it’s great for all skin types, even for babies and those who have eczema, and is 100% biodegradable due to it not being man-made. 

So what does that mean for your hair? 

Much like your cotton pillowcase, synthetic satin is an absorbent fabric. This means that it will strip your hair and scalp of its natural oils, making your hair dry, brittle, and more prone to damage whilst you sleep overtime. 

One of the key benefits to wrapping your hair is to create a physical barrier between your luscious locks and your cotton pillowcase. Why? To prevent the snapping and breakage caused by our hair coming into contact with absorbent fabrics that subtract moisture, as well as limiting the friction between our hair, scalp and pillows whilst we sleep. 

A great example of this comes from our founding story. Maria, who found little broken hairs all over her pillow each and every morning, came to the realisation that the breakage she was experiencing was occurring whilst she slept. Hence the birth of her idea; the SILKE London Hair Wrap

So why, if you had a choice, would you choose a fabric which was going to continue to cause the breakage and dryness you were experiencing pre-hair wrapping? With the endless advantages of silk, the decision couldn't have been easier...

Why silk works

Silk thread contains a special type of protein that’s removed during the processing of the silk called sericin. During this removal process, there’s a protein left behind in the material called fibroin, which is rich in 18 amino acids. 

When you wrap your hair in silk, or sleep on it in the form of a pillowcase, your skin and hair benefit from the amino acids. Many luxury beauty and hair products extract this silk protein and add it to their products, so why not benefit straight from the source?

Silk is a more breathable fabric and has a structure with a hollow centre which absorbs heat and can regulate depending on the temperature of your body. This keeps you cool in the Summer and warm in the Winter making for a more comfortable, wearable experience in all temperatures throughout the year, across the globe. Celebrities such as Beyonce and Rihanna have been spotted wearing hair wraps at the beach to protect their hair from the elements, and as they’re made from 100% silk you’ll never have to worry about overheating! 

100% silk is non-absorbent and has a consistent glossy finish on both sides of the material, which may be its most important quality when it comes to using it to benefit your hair. This allows your scalp and lengths to nourish themselves utilising the oils naturally produced at your scalp to hydrate your hair from root to tip. 

Usually the oils would remain on the scalp and build up over time, causing greasy roots and dry ends, but thanks to the natural properties of silk the oils can instead be evenly distributed. This combats a greasy scalp and replaces it with hydrated ends; a perfectly balanced haircare ecosystem of sorts! 

Similarly to a satin option, a silk bonnet acts as a physical barrier. However, because it’s not an absorbent fabric, it’s not abrasive or slippery. It encourages your hair cuticles to lay nice and flat, meaning no unwanted frizz, or bedhead come morning.

Is 100% silk worth the cost?

Whilst silk is a bigger financial investment, it truly is worth it when it comes to comparing the benefits for your hair. After all, that’s what you’re looking for when you commit to donning your hair wrap each and every night. Good quality silk will also stand the test of time, so price per wear practically cancels itself out. 

Cocooning your hair in 100% silk allows you to go longer between hair washes - hello day 4, 5 and 6 hair! This means less water and product waste, as well as less electric usage due to you keeping your ‘hair wash and style routine’ to a minimum. 

Plus there’s the time factor. If you didn’t have to spend all that time re-styling and battling your hair every morning, what would you do instead? If you didn’t have to cancel plans because ‘you’re washing your hair’, what fun could you be having? 

We’re all about simplified hair care that saves you time and effort, all whilst giving you your best hair yet! 

Looking to get yourself a 100% mulberry silk Hair Wrap? Then look no further.

Love, SILKE xo 

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