Black woman with straight hair, white woman with curly hair in front of pink satin fabric backdrop

Silk hair wraps v. satin hair wraps - What's the difference?

Firstly- there's a difference between silk and satin? "Since when" I hear you ask. Depending on where you are located in the world and your frequented terminology, yes there is a difference but maybe not for the reasons you think. 

So what is satin really? 

Satin simply refers to the weave of the fabric i.e how the fibres are interwoven to create a piece of fabric. This is why you may find in certain parts of the world particularly in the United States of America that satin can be used to refer to fabrics made of silk fibres. This is absolutely correct because what is really being referred to here when we use the term satin is the fact that we have a glossy, lustrous fabric due to its weave. In the UK there is a pretty common understanding that when we refer to satin fabric this will mean a synthetic fibre or man-made silky fabric and silk will be just well… silk. So keeping this in mind whether we are referring to polyester satin fabric or silk fabric, in particular charmeuse silk , the whole key and similarity with these is that they are both satin weaves - high shine on one side with an incredibly smooth surface and slightly duller on the reverse side. 

OK, I understand what satin is now. So the difference between silk hair wraps and satin hair wraps is just the fibre used?


So how would I choose between a satin hair wrap or silk hair wrap?

The main key is wearing a satin (weave) fabric hair wrap -  the dramatic improvement to your hair health will be implementing the use of a hair wrap regardless of fibre content. Whether you opt for mulberry silk of polyester satin will be down to personal preference so it is important to know the pros and cons of each. 


Silk hair wraps - fabric pros and cons

Silk fabric has been held in high esteem for thousands of years and considering that it is naturally packed with various proteins and amino acids, we can see why! The key of Mulberry silk which you will often find in hair wraps is the Mulberry diet of the worms. Whilst the acquisition of the Silk is controversial, one of the amino acids found in silk is glycerine which in turn is an incredibly beneficial product for your hair and skin - and this is just one of the amino acids that make up silk fabric properties. Silk crucially for some is anti-allergenic and of course, we can't ignore the fact that it is beautiful to touch. 

So on the down side whilst silk and therefore the use of a silk hair wrap has many benefits, there are some key points to take note of. How silk is commonly acquired is a pretty brutal process to the silkworms involved. In order to gain the fibres needed to give you the lovely smooth feel of your silk pillow case or silk hair wrap, this may well involve silk worms in their transition to becoming moths being boiled in the silk cocoons they use for this process (this being where the silk fibre comes from). Interestingly despite the brutal farming process, silkworms are still deemed a sustainable fabric source being easily renewable using less water than some other fabric production. Silk is also biodegradable which is great for the environment but you may need to occasionally replace your silk products due to the wear and tear associated with this fabric. The process of creating silk fabric is detailed and labour-intensive and the sewing process requires more skill hence why you will often find silk pillowcases and hair wraps come with a premium price tag.

Satin fabric pro's and cons

What is commonly referred to as satin fabric in the UK, is a fabric that mimics silk but uses man-made fibres. The end result of this means creating fabric that is glossy and lustrous in a way similar to silk but due to being made from a synthetic fibre and using more conventional manufacturing processes, it is nowhere near as a labour intensive as it's silk counterpart and therefore means you have a more cost-effective alternative to silk. Man-made Satin is also easy to care for; often times this can also be washed using a normal spin cycle rather than having to go through a delicates wash for example. 

Whilst there is headway being made in the ability to infuse fabrics with beneficial ingredients such as Argan oil etc, we are yet to see this commonly is poly satin fabric and so whilst this satin offers a weave that is kind and still incredibly beneficial to hair, it cannot mimic the amino acids etc that naturally derive from Mulberry silk. 

Satin is also non-absorbent which depending on what you want to get out of your satin hair wrap, could be a big Plus, particularly if you suffer from moisture deprived hair. Saying this however, man-made satin will not have the same breathability as silk and depending on the climate, time of year, how you sleep etc it may feel a little warmer if you were to use a satin hair wrap instead of a silk hair wrap. 

A very big plus depending on your values is that polyester satin hair wraps can be produced completely devoid of animal products. This therefore means that you can confidently wear a satin hair wrap knowing that animals haven't been directly harmed on account of their production. This being said, we know man-made products take a notoriously long time to decompose which isn't so great for the environment. 

What should I be looking for when buying a hair wrap then? 

Above all, go for a satin weave or textured product i.e. smooth glossy fabric - with this you will see the frizz reduction, reduced split ends and hair style preservation that you can expect from your hair wrap as standard. A satin weave product is absolutely going to give you the most benefit from wearing a hair wrap to bed at night. Whether to go for satin or silk hair wrap will be based on your personal preferences. 

Whichever fibre you do go for, the key is to wear a hair wrap to bed at night. We have had over 500 5-star reviews across our various selling platforms because customers see the dramatic difference to their hair health when they wear a hair wrap versus when they don't. Wearing a hair wrap regardless of whether the fabric is silk or poly satin derived is going to be the reason why you see your hair health dramatically improve. 

We have an extensive range of satin hair wraps and silk hair wraps for you to choose from so be sure to have a look at the range. We are certain there will be an option that's right for you.

Natalie Anderson of Hair Wrap Heaven

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