You can call it by any name, but "baggy method" is popular and very descriptive of this hair care method. You use plastic caps, baggies or some women opt for plastic wrap. The goal of the baggy method is to keep your hair moisturized and to prevent breakage of those delicate ends; if long hair is your ultimate aim, you may want to try this on a regular basis or at least from time to time. Some ladies who have long tresses swear by it.
While many women only use this method on the ends of their hair, some women apply it to their whole head. Here's how it works:
Only on the Ends
If you're suffering from extremely dry, crispy ends, it will take a while to notice a difference, but persistence is key in fighting dry hair. The baggy method is a good way to do this. At night, comb or finger comb through your hair, dividing it into several sections. Apply a moisturizing agent on your hair's ends, working it in with your hands or comb so that they're saturated. Good moisturizers include plain olive oil, jojoba oil, coconut oil, shea butter and sweet almond oil. However, if you have a commercial product that works well at keeping your hair soft and supple, use that. You may also want to use a leave-in conditioner first, and apply oil on top of it. After applying your product, place a plastic bag (sandwich size or smaller is suitable) over your ends and secure the bag with a rubber band. Make sure the band is over the bag and not on your hair -- you don't want the elastic tugging at your hair all night. A variation on this is the ponytail method, which you can use if you either don't have time to separate your hair into different sections or just prefer a simpler way to baggy. Pull hair into a loose ponytail and moisturize your ends. Apply a bag to the ends and secure. Cover your hair as you normally would for nighttime protection and remove the bags in the morning.
Over the Entire Head
Maybe you need an overall moisturizing treatment. The baggy method works for an entire head, too. Comb or finger comb through your hair well. Apply products listed above, but instead of only focusing on the ends, work them through your entire head of hair. Wrap your hair around your head; it doesn't need to look perfect. Now take a sheet of plastic wrap and place it firmly around your whole head; alternately, use a cheap plastic cap and secure it with a big elastic band. Leave it on overnight. Unlike "baggying" the ends, which many women do nightly, you may just want to do the whole-head method once a week or so.
Some women view the baggy method and think, "Well, if keeping my ends covered and moisturized overnight is so beneficial, then what can be wrong with keeping my hair in plastic for a whole week?" The answer to that is "Plenty!" This method is fine for overnight use, but hair needs to breathe and dry itself out. It's not healthy for hair to be constantly wet or damp. Unfortunately, some women get caught up in "hair growth challenges" and walk around with wet ponytails or buns all day long. Don't do it. Let your hair air dry and breathe regularly. It will be much healthier as a result. You'll still reap the protective benefits of the baggy method, even if you don't do it religiously every night. Use it as needed and over time, your hair should feel better and suffer less breakage. As with any routine, persistence is key for making it work and seeing results.