Wave caps are popular in the maintenance of African hairstyles. With a short haircut, a wave cap is typically worn overnight to create layers of waves within the hair. These caps fit tightly and sometimes leave a wrinkle across the forehead, but some people question if that will lead to a permanent forehead wrinkle later in life.
Nylon and Lycra Wave Caps
Wrinkles depend mostly on the wave cap's fabric. It is important to choose a wave cap that is made of flexible, breathable nylon or lycra. Those types of wave caps allow for flexibility to keep the wave cap tightly in place but do not include a constricting band around the cap's edges, which is what usually causes the wrinkle. This style of wave cap still may leave a wrinkle when you first take the cap off, but the wrinkle should disappear within a few minutes, allowing you to go about your daily activities, with a fresh set of waves.
Cotton-weave Wave Caps
Cotton-weave wave caps are more constricting and known for leaving deep wrinkles in the forehead. Cotton is a heavy material that is not nearly as flexible as nylon or lycra. In order for this kind of wave cap to stay in place, it is made to fit tighter than other wave caps and has a stronger band around its edge, which will cause a heavy wrinkle in the forehead. While this style of wave cap creates excellent waves in the hair, to avoid wrinkles it is suggested that you not wear tight-fitting, cotton-weave wave caps.
Elastic Bands on Wave Caps
The band of a wave cap is what causes a wrinkle on the forehead. Most nylon and lycra wave caps include a built-in band made of the same material as the rest of the cap, but the band material is just a little stronger to hold the cap in place. Some brands, however, have a sewn-in elastic band, which is the main culprit in wrinkles from wave caps. While elastic holds a wave cap in place, it is much stronger than some other materials and constricts the skin that is underneath the band. Read package labels and stay away from wave caps that have elastic bands.
Are These Wrinkles Permanent?
While a wrinkle from a wave cap usually disappears on its own as the blood starts to circulate in that area again, some wrinkles can eventually become permanent. If you wear a wave cap to bed every night, the probability is high that you will eventually end up with a permanent wrinkle where the band of the wave cap rests. To avoid this, wear a wave cap only when necessary, for a few days at a time until waves are positioned properly. Also, sleep in different positions so you don't put pressure on the same part of your head consistently. An alternative to a wave cap is a du-rag. A du-rag can be worn after waves have developed in the hair; the du-rag will hold the hair in place while you sleep. Du-rags do not have constricting bands but are instead tied around the head, preventing constriction on one single section of the head.