Should you sleep with your hair up or down? Much like when it comes to your skin, hair care doesn’t sleep. There is much to hair care outside the usual washing and styling routines, and your hair’s health and appearance are the result of a collection of beneficial habits – including the right hair care before bedtime.
Wake up to good hair days with these hair protection tips.
What Happens To Your Hair While You Sleep?
How you treat your hair while you sleep matters, because a lot of your hair’s repair and growth occurs at night. Melatonin, a key hormone in the hair growth cycle, is released as you sleep. However, all that tossing and turning often creates friction against your pillowcase. This may result in hair damage and breakage.1
Whether you tie your hair up or down at night could help support healthy hair growth, so read on to know the proper way to secure your strands before hitting the sack.
Settling The Debate: Should You Tie Your Hair At Bed Time?
Ponytails are an easy, quick option for hair, but don’t tug too tightly if you put your hair up before bed. Leaving hair in a tight ponytail at night could tug too harshly on your roots, causing what’s known as traction alopecia. This isn’t a good thing, especially if you’re trying to avoid unsightly frizz and broken hair across your hairline.
If you have short hair, you might consider leaving it loose while you sleep. This allows you to rest comfortably without any tugging or tightness on your scalp. But, if you have long or thick strands, you can still put your hair up before sleeping, as long as you do it carefully. Opt for a loose, low ponytail, braids, or a top knot to keep hair in place without causing too much potential damage. They key is to do it as loosely as possible, to prevent any unnecessary tugging or tension.2
Worst Things You Can Do To Your Hair At Bed Time
Putting hair up too tightly before bed is just one of the bad habits that could be hindering you from achieving beautiful hair. Round out your healthy evening hair care regimen by avoiding these all-too-common mistakes.
Sleeping With Wet Hair
Some people enjoy a hot bath or shower before bedtime, but that often means hitting the sack with wet or damp hair. This is a major no-no, as hair is at its most vulnerable to breakage when wet. Your moisture-ridden strands are no match for the friction against your pillow’s fabric.
To avoid this, make the effort to wash your hair when you know you have ample time to air-dry it before you sleep. If you’re using a blow dryer, you can even wrap your hair in a silk scarf to preserve your blowout as you slumber.3
Sleeping On Just Any Pillowcase
Your strands rubbing against cotton fabric can deplete them of much-needed moisture, resulting in dryness, frizziness, or hair breakage. This is also one of the reasons why those with longer locks should put their hair up while sleeping – to minimize any contact or rubbing against the pillowcase.
To fix this, switch to a silk pillowcase. These smoother fabrics are much gentler on your strands.4
Tying Hair With Rubber Elastics
Your usual elastic hair ties – or worse, those with the metal clip – pull hair together too tightly at night. This causes a lot of stress on your strands, possibly contributing to breakage and frizz.
Combat this by switching to silk scrunchies or silk-covered hair ties. These are gentler on your locks, and you may wake up with less denting on your lengths and pain in your scalp, too.5
Foregoing Detangling Before Bedtime
Sleeping in knotted and tangled hair just makes the situation worse. The friction from moving in your sleep can make the damage already created by these knots and tangles much more serious.
Consider spritzing on a detangling solution before running a wide-toothed comb through your lengths prior to sleeping – whether you’re putting hair up or down.6
Not Giving Hair A Little Extra TLC
Give your hair a hand while you get some shut-eye. The nighttime hours are prime time for giving your hair a little extra boost — with zero effort on your end. After making sure hair is dry and brushing tangles out, try applying a hair oil or hair mask suitable to your hair type or specific hair needs and wrapping strands up in a silk headscarf. This protects hair as you sleep while also providing a little extra nourishment.7
You may also do a little scalp massage to relax you and stimulate blood circulation in your scalp – something that will support healthy hair growth.8
Protect Your Hair From AM To PM
Incorporate some of these hair protection tips to complement your usual daily cleansing and styling habits. Give your hair the best chance to look and feel great by making sure you have a well-rounded nighttime hair care routine.