I've often said I'm a crap girl.
I can't braid hair. I'm bad at painting my nails -- in fact, I've never had my nails professionally painted. I don't wear fake tan. And up until six months ago, when I started working at IMAGE, my skincare routine consisted of a daily shower and a cheap moisturiser I lashed on before I applied the same brand of foundation I'd been wearing since I was 17.
But one beauty routine I've always remained on top of is my hair. Prior to Covid-19, my roots were always professionally taken care of every six weeks in a salon and I regularly treated myself to a fresh blow dry, perhaps twice weekly, or more if I had somewhere to be.
This is why I'm missing my hairdresser most of all in lockdown. And with salons not slated to open until July 20, I've invested in some touch-up spray to cover my roots, a new shampoo, conditioner and hair mask set, and most luxurious of all, a silk pillowcase.
Luxury bedding can transform a night's sleep. Photo: White & Green
Like the three new baking trays, grater and chopping board I've bought in lockdown, I didn't know I needed a silk pillowcase until I began using one.
For starters, they're incredibly smooth and soft on your skin, meaning as soon as your head hits the pillow, it's goodbye Covid-19-induced anxiety and hello Dream Land. Not only am I looking forward to going to bed every night, I am quite happy to have a lie in on my days off from work. This could have something to do with the fact that there is nothing exciting within 5km of my house, but I also put it down to my great night's sleep having invested in some luxury bedding, including 100% organic fitted sheets and an organic cotton duvet cover.
Zoom calls from home have never looked better after a night's sleep on a silk pillowcase. Photo: White & Green
But back to my dreamy pillowcase.
After one night's sleep on my new silk pillowcase -- I got this organic charmeuse silk one in ivory from White & Green -- I woke up with virtually no bed head. This, after not seeing the inside of a hairdressing salon for eight weeks now, is ideal for someone like myself who has several work-related Zoom calls throughout the day. Neat hair, I'm told, is due to less friction between your head and the silk material on the pillowcase, compared with a synthetic or cotton pillowcase.
Don't just take my word for it. Creative director of Hair Café in Dublin's Smithfield, Steve Kucsera, says there is less frizz and damage done to the hair if you sleep on a silk pillowcase. "If you have coarse hair or split ends a silk pillowcase can be kinder to your hair," he says.
Steve also credits a silk pillowcase with being kinder to hair extensions. The worst thing you want is a matted hair extension, he says, which could result in replacement extensions -- costing you more money down the line.
A silk pillowcase can cause less friction on your face, resulting in less sleep 'lines'. Photo: Getty Images
But wait. There's more!
The premium material used in a silk pillowcase can also benefit your anti-ageing routine. Consultant dermatologist Dr Rosemary Coleman, of the Centre for Restorative Dermatology at Blackrock Clinic, says she can definitely tell which side of a face a person sleeps on due to sleep 'lines'.
"Because of the smoothness of a silk pillowcase there is less friction, which could possibly reduce sleep 'lines' which are often vertical and especially visible on the forehead," says Dr Coleman. "Particularly for somebody who sleeps on their tummy with their face squashed into the pillow, you'll find they go to sleep on the same side every night."
The best way to get your beauty sleep is to try sleep on your back, says Dr Coleman.
"Your blow dry is also better preserved because you've less friction and the hair will move around more on the silk," she adds.
How to care for your silk pillowcase
After investing in a silk pillowcase, especially an organic one, such as this White and Green one, you want to take care of it. My one can be washed in the machine on a cold wash at 30, but I would recommend going a step further and soaking it in an organic natural laundry detergent which will be kinder to your skin, hair and the environment. White & Green has 100% sustainable ones here.
A silk pillowcase would also make a wonderfully luxurious gift for a loved one during this turbulent time.
While I'm very much looking forward to my hairdresser reopening again (silk pillowcases draw the line at painting over your grey hairs and trimming your split ends) I am fully embracing my new self-care bedtime routine. Who knows, maybe I'll start wearing fake tan.
Oh no... that'd ruin my pillowcase.