9 Ways to Care for Your Hair While You Sleep

Sometimes, hair care can feel like a chore. After running around between work, social events and more, you probably don’t feel like spending a ton of time doing hair masks or treatments when you finally get some time to relax. But hair care doesn’t have to be complex—you can even do it in your sleep!

To many people’s surprise, a lot of damage can be done to your hair while you sleep. Fortunately, there are many simple ways to mitigate that damage and improve the health of your hair, all while you get some shut eye!

Here are nine ways you can care for your hair while you sleep.

  1. Brush your hair before bed: After a long day, your strands can quickly become tangled and messy. If you go to sleep with a messy ‘do, the friction from your pillowcase and all your tossing and turning can create bed head that’s nearly impossible to tame in the morning! Yanking through intense tangles is not only painful—it can also cause breakage. To minimize morning tangles, give your hair a quick brush before going to sleep. While it won’t eliminate tangles entirely, it’ll certainly help minimize them and reduce damage done to your locks.
  2. Make sure your hair is dry: Hair is the most prone to breakage when it’s wet, which is why you should avoid brushing and heat styling it right after a shower. This is also why you shouldn’t sleep on hair that’s still wet. Sleeping on wet hair can lead to frizz and cause intense bed head in the morning, which could potentially require heat styling to fix. Although it’s tempting to hop into bed immediately after a shower, give your hair time to dry completely to reduce the risk of damage while you sleep.
  3. Take out all pins, hair ties and styles: If you have the habit of throwing your hair in a top knot or tight ponytail before bed, you might be putting your strands and scalp at risk! Wearing pins and hairstyles to bed could lead to hair loss by pulling on your strands and creating extra tension between your hair and scalp. Remove any pins, tight elastics and hairstyles before you sleep and let your locks hang loose to give your scalp a rest.
  4. Wear a loose braid or sleep cap: If you can’t stand sleeping with your hair down, there are a few safe styles to sleep in. Loosely braid your hair using a three-strand plait or fishtail braid. Not only will this keep your hair contained and protected, but you will wake up the next morning with heatless waves in your hair! You could also use a sleep cap or a silk scarf to pull your hair up. These options are great for people with curly hair because they protect the curls from becoming tangled or bent while simultaneously protecting them from being pulled on.
  5. Secure hairstyles with a scrunchie: If you wear a loose braid or ponytail to bed, make sure you tie it off with a scrunchie rather than a hair tie or rubber elastic. Hair ties and elastics have a better hold, but this also means they tug on your hair when you pull them out. You might even lose a few strands in the process! Scrunchies are made with soft fabric that creates less resistance when you take them out in the morning.
  6. Sleep on satin or silk: If you prefer to sleep with your hair down, your pillowcase might be damaging your hair more than you realize. Cotton pillowcases cause friction between the fabric and your strands, which can damage them over time. Cotton can also absorb moisture and oils from your hair, leaving it feeling drier and duller in the morning. Switching to a satin or silk pillowcase can help your hair glide on top of the fabric instead of pulling it across, which protects your strands from damage.
  7. Use oil or an overnight mask: Nighttime hair care isn’t all about damage prevention. You can also take an active approach to improving your hair’s health by applying an overnight hair oil, mask or treatment. Letting DIY hair masks and hair oils sink into your strands overnight can help the ingredients penetrate deeply and work their magic while you sleep. All you need to do is pick the right treatment for the results you want (such as moisture or shine), go to bed and wash it out in the morning!
  8. Sleep soundly: Another thing you can do to help your hair is to improve your sleep quality. Poor and inadequate sleep can impact the body in many ways, from making you feel fatigued and irritable to harming your health. The body is able to nourish hair in its healthiest state, and to do that, it needs the restorative powers of sleep. Sleeping poorly can also exacerbate daily stress, potentially leading to stress-related hair loss. There are many ways to get better sleep, from taking a warm bath to avoiding electronics before bed. Creating an environment that’s conducive for sleep might help, as well.
  9. Make the air cool and humid: Heat can make the air dry out in your home. Dry air is an even bigger issue in the winter, since you constantly have to run the furnace. When the air is dry, your locks can become brittle and prone to breakage. Plugging in a fan can help cool off your bedroom at night. This can also help you sweat less in your sleep, which reduces the chance of waking up with damp, matted hair. Consider getting a humidifier, too, as it can put moisture back into the air (and your strands).

The next time you think you’re too busy to take care of your hair, think again! Doing these few simple things before you sleep can make a lasting impact on the health and appearance of your gorgeous hair!

Editor’s note: This blog was originally published in April 2020. It has been updated to include more relevant and comprehensive information.

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published