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Wrap It Up: How to Keep Your Hair in Place While Sleeping

There’s a reason why it’s called bedhead! There are so many ways that sleeping can muss up your hair and leave you with a bird’s nest to deal with the next morning. For morning showerers and people who do their hair from scratch each day, this may not be a problem. But it can be a nightmare for those who don’t want to spend hours on their hair at the start of the day, and therefore should keep their hair in place while sleeping.

On the bright side, there are many things you can do to protect your hair while you’re asleep, leaving you with just a few minor adjustments in the morning. Below, we go into the causes of bedhead and what you can do to prevent them.

1. Tangled Hair

Much of that bedhead hair we face early in the morning is because of tangled or knotty strands. If you go to sleep with your hair already a little tangled, this will only intensify during the night to create a real bird’s nest. If your hair is thin, fine, or curly, it will tangle even easier, especially if you toss and turn while sleeping or if it’s a humid night and you get a little sweaty.

Solution: Brush your hair thoroughly before you go to sleep every night. Not only will this detangle it, but it will also distribute the natural oils from root to tip. Remember to brush gently and use a soft-bristled brush, particularly if your hair is prone to breakage. Those with natural hair types should comb their hair with a wide-tooth comb while it’s still damp, then wait for it to dry and sleep with it wrapped in a silk scarf, turban, or bonnet.

2. Dry, Weak, Or Damaged Hair

Some people are more prone to tangling than others because their hair is more brittle, weak, or damaged. As we age, our hair loses the ability to produce an abundance of natural oils, making it weaker and less elastic than before.

Dry and damaged hair tangles more easily, thus creating the dreaded bedhead mop. A vicious cycle then emerges as you try to detangle your hair, damaging and breaking it further during the process.

Solution: Make it a regular practice to apply a nourishing deep conditioning hair treatment before you sleep. Leave the treatment on overnight with your hair wrapped in a silk scarf or other similar covering. Not only will this give you smooth tresses in the morning, but it will also make your hair more beautiful and lustrous in general. Leaving the treatment on overnight is a great way to give it a generous amount of time to soak into your strands and work its magic. Just be sure to put a towel on your pillow, so you don’t stain it.

3. Sleeping With Wet Hair

Although we all know that sleeping with wet hair can lead to the worst bedhead imaginable—not to mention the chance of catching a cold—many of us are guilty of doing it occasionally. The most surefire way to end up with hair all over the place when you wake up is to sleep with wet hair.

But not only that: wet hair is weaker than dry hair, so not drying your hair makes it much more vulnerable to damage and breakage as you move around during the night. Plus, if you fall asleep with wet hair, styling it the next morning will require more heat from your hairdryer, flat iron, or curling tongs, and added heat means extra damage.

Solution: Never sleep with wet hair! Shower several hours before bed and let your hair air dry, or otherwise blow dry it before you sleep. If you opt to blow dry your hair, make sure it’s completely dry and not still damp underneath. Not only does this prevent an untamable mane in the morning, but it also protects your hair against damage.

4. Tossing and Turning

People that roll around a lot while they sleep are much more likely to end up with mussed-up, frizzy hair in the morning. And while you may not be able to change what your body does while you sleep, you can protect your hair from the pulling and damage it faces as you toss and turn.

Solution: One solution is to braid your hair before bed, but this isn’t always the most comfortable, especially if you sleep on your back. The alternative is to make a slight bedding change. For example, you can get yourself a silk pillowcase. It may seem like an extravagant splurge, but your hair will thank you. The fibers in silk are smaller than cotton and other materials, making it gentler on your hair strands. The silk will pull your hair less as you turn, minimizing breakage and damage. This is one purchase you won’t regret.

5. Morning Frizz

Some people are especially prone to frizz, whether they have curls or straight hair. Those who are prone to it often find that they wake up with excessively frizzy hair and have to spend lots of extra time and product on de-frizzing. But there’s one simple way to minimize morning frizz so that you don’t have to pile on the product and spend ages each morning just to get smooth hair.

Solution: Wrap it up! Wrapping your hair in a silk or satin headscarf—or even a cotton T-shirt—can prevent frizz from developing due to the friction of your hair against your pillowcase. This is a similar trick to using a silk pillowcase and is a great alternative if the pillowcase is outside of your budget. It will also prevent breakage and keep your hair in place! Plus, it has the added benefit of being uber chic.

6. Hair Tangled In Elastic

If you like to keep your hair out of your face while you sleep, you likely tie it up with a hair elastic. There’s nothing wrong with putting your hair up at night, but traditional hair elastics pull the hair and can cause undue breakage and tangling.

How often have you woken up with your hair in a tangled knot around the elastic and pulled away several strands as you took it out? Not only is it painful, but it can also lead to hair loss or bald patches in the long run.

Solution: If you must tie your hair up while sleeping, put it in a loose topknot and use a soft fabric scrunchie. This will be much gentler on your hair, and it can help you avoid pulling out a clump of tangled strands each morning.

Even with a scrunchie, tie it loosely and undo it gently in the morning. For very long hair, keeping it in a braid is fine, but make sure this is loose, as having a tight hairstyle overnight is damaging to your scalp and hair.

Always be gentle on your locks. We’re often unthinkingly harsh with our hair, pulling out elastics and forcing it into tight hairstyles. Then we’re surprised when our hair falls out or becomes brittle or damaged! Keeping your hair protected and in place overnight is relatively simple, and it can go a long way towards having strong, luscious locks. All you need to do is wrap it up in a way that works best for you. 

Read Next:

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Vitamin C Benefits for Young, Healthy Looking Hair

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