Do you wake up to find too many hair strands on the pillow? In their hair protective quest, a lot of people don’t know that sleeping can cause damage to the hair and the scalp and neglect proper nighttime hair routine. Let’s talk about protective hairstyles for sleeping and why they are much needed.
What Happens to Your Hair When Sleeping?
Not sleeping well can lead to several different health problems, including stress, skin problems, low energy levels, and a compromised immune system. What most don’t know is that the quality of their sleep can also impact their hair health and growth.
For the hair to synthesize its protein and for the body to produce the hormones and enzymes required for hair health, one needs to have a night’s sleep that is both restful and rejuvenating.
The method by which your body’s natural hormones are influenced by sleep is arguably the factor that plays the most significant role in avoiding hair loss. Melatonin is a hormone that is naturally produced by your body.
This hormone has been demonstrated to enhance hair growth, in addition to assisting in the regulation of your body’s natural sleep cycle, which it does. You will likely experience hair loss if the levels of melatonin in your body continue to drop over time.
Types of Hair That Are Prone to Damage
Your hair could be breaking off for a variety of reasons, but certain hair types are more prone to breakage than others. Perhaps you have one of these hair types. Because the oil produced by the scalp is unable to travel the entire length of the curly hair shaft, breakage is a significant issue, particularly for people who have hair that is more wavy or coarse.
This is especially true for those who have naturally curlier hair. Because of the structure of the strand, natural oils have a more difficult time traveling the whole length of the shaft, which results in the strand having a natural propensity to become dry. The more tightly something is curled or coiled, the greater the risk that it will break.
In addition, hair that is gray or aging makes it more prone to breakage. The hair of older people, particularly gray and white hair, tends to become coarser and more resistant to the absorption of moisture. It has also lost its suppleness, which makes it more susceptible to breaking.
You might want to read this: Is it Bad to Sleep with Wet Hair?
Protective Hairstyle for Sleeping
One definition of a protective hairstyle is one that “protects” the hair by tucking it away and preventing it from being manipulated in any way. It also keeps it from becoming tangled as you sleep and protects it from the damaging effects of friction.
When you go to bed, you must preserve your long hair from breaking and split ends by wearing it in a protective natural hairstyle. This is especially crucial if you maintain your hair long.
• The Loose Bun
This is a popular choice for people who have naturally curly hair, so if that describes you, give it a try! Before flipping your hair over and locking it in a bun, put on some scrunch gel and a leave-in conditioner to your strands, regardless of whether they are wet or dry. Because you do not want your curls to become overstretched, it is best to keep the bun that you are wearing a little bit loose.
If you twist your hair first, then gently tuck it into your bun, and then secure it with a hair tie, you won’t wake up with a dent in your hair. When you wake up the next day, you will have the freedom to style your curly hair in a variety of different ways if you use this procedure.
• The Playful Braids
This is an excellent choice of hairstyle for you if your goal is to wake up with chic body waves that are smooth to the touch. But, if you prefer to sleep on your back, you might find this position unsatisfactory. If you braid your hair to the sides rather than the back, you will not have the same level of irritation.
To begin, you should brush your hair behind your ears and toward the center of your head. Then, beginning at the back of your head, begin plaiting it into a braid using a twisting motion. Instead of using a rubber band to keep the braid secured, you should use a scrunchie because this will prevent you from waking up with hairband marks.
Try your hand at a variety of braiding styles. Find out which option is more suited to your needs. To French braid your hair, first, divide it into six to nine sections and then proceed with the standard braiding technique.
In addition, before you begin braiding, I recommend that you apply some high-quality hair oils. This will allow your hair to absorb sufficient moisture and nutrients while you sleep.
• The Pineapple
The pineapple hairstyle is quite popular amongst curly hair owners. If your hair isn’t long enough, you won’t be able to pull off the pineapple hairstyle.
To make the pineapple without destroying your hair, flip it from the back to the top of the head and use a silk scrunchie to tie it. Separate the ponytail so that hair falls on different sides of the head.
• The Two-Section Twist
If you have curls and coils, this is a protective hairstyle to take into consideration. If you twist the hair while it is still wet, you will be able to achieve curls that are more defined.
You can deliberately target certain sections of the hair with this haircut, and then style those sections in a way that prevents them from falling flat while you are sleeping.
To accomplish this look, pick a specific segment of your hair, and divide it in half. Wrap each of the halves around each other from the root to the ends.
• The Top Knot
Another solution for those with long hair is to try the top knot. You just pack your hair at the top center of your head and twist it to form a bun. Some people like to tie it before twisting, a technique that’s known as the ponytail twist. This gives your hair plenty of volume, aside from protecting it.
You can try the plopping method if you have long, short, or curly hair that still lacks volume.
If you want a fluffier and more defined hair look, here’s what you have to do. Add gel or products that define your curls into wet strands. Place a towel made of microfiber on a level surface and spread it out.
Turn your wet hair over onto the towel so that it can absorb the moisture. Wrap the towel around your head and secure it by tying the ends together. By the time daybreak arrives, your hair will be completely dry and full of volume.
Other Tips for Protecting Your Hair While Sleeping
Protecting your hair while sleeping may be just as important as brushing your teeth before bed. While you won’t get tooth decay, your hair might easily break, or your scalp could end up with a fungal infection. That’s why the following tips are good for people with all hair types.
• Use Proper Hair Serum
Rejuvenating your hair follicles and promoting new hair growth can be accomplished by massaging a natural serum into your scalp before going to bed. Similarly, smooth and frizz-free hair can be achieved by putting a serum on the hair shaft before going to bed. This allows the serum to work its magic while you sleep.
Before going to bed, you can apply a natural serum to your scalp and hair by spraying it with aloe vera gel that has been diluted with water. As far as hair serums go, the ideal option is to choose one that does not contain silicone and is made of natural ingredients.
• Use Dry Shampoo
Dry shampoos work by soaking excess sebum and oils from the scalp as you sleep, leaving your hair strands and roots feeling clean and revitalized in the morning.
On the other hand, hairstylists suggest using a small amount of dry shampoo. Keep in mind that you should never use it in place of your regular shampoo and conditioner.
• Don’t Tighten Your Hair too Much
When you go to sleep, wear your hair in buns, braids, or ponytails that are as loose as possible. Traction alopecia can be caused by wearing your hair in a tight style, particularly when you are sleeping because this puts your hair in a position where it is subjected to physical harm.
• Don’t Use Elastic Bands
Elastic bands will put more stress on the hair than is needed. To protect your hair from being damaged, the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) suggests using covered rubber bands that are designed specifically for styling hair.
Avoid using rubber bands and elastic bands that don’t have a cover even during the day. It’s very easy for hair to get tangled in the material and break whenever you undo your hair.
Scrunchies made from satin or silk are your best option. This reduces the amount of friction, and you also avoid that nasty “dent” in your hair when you wake up.
• Use Essential Oils
The damage that occurs to your hair as you sleep might sometimes be most noticeable at the ends of your strands. Even back sleepers run the risk of unknowingly squishing their long hair as they move around during the night.
Before you go to bed, applying essential oils to your ends can help protect them from any damage. You may get started on the right foot by using coconut, jojoba, or even almond oil.
Secure your hair, put some drops of essential oils in the palm of your hand and rub your hands together. Apply it to your hair, focusing on the ends.
• Consider a Sleeping Cap
Wearing a silk or satin fabric headband or cap over your hair while you sleep is necessary if you want to maintain the defined curls you worked so hard to get the previous day.
This prevents any kind of friction from occurring between your pillow and your hair, which results in your hair having a more manageable texture when you wake up in the morning.
You might want to check this out: Best Sleep Caps
• Use Quality Pillowcases
If you sleep on pillowcases made of rough fibers, you can find that your hair becomes more brittle as a result. Your hair will become dry, brittle, and more prone to breakage if you sleep on cotton pillowcases because cotton absorbs the moisture from your hair.
You might be interested: Pillowcases for Tangle Free Hair
• Brush Before Bedtime
Before getting into bed, you should thoroughly brush your hair from the roots to the end of the hair strands.
This helps to untangle your hair while also spreading the natural oils produced by your scalp throughout your hair in an even distribution. You want to use a boar bristle brush or a comb with wide teeth. Never brush wet hair.
• Use Conditioner
Even while your hair should be dry before you go to sleep, this does not mean that it should be brittle and lacking in moisture when you wake up. Leave-in conditioners could be the answer to your problem if you frequently wake up with hair that is unruly and difficult to tame.
A leave-in conditioner that contains keratin or protein and one or two spritzes of that conditioner before you style and secure your hair may help your strands become stronger as you sleep.
Your particular hair type will determine which leave-in conditioner works best for you. Leave-in conditioners that hydrate the hair are an excellent choice for treating hair that is prone to drying out.
If your hair tends to be greasy, you could find that your hair responds well to a leave-in conditioner that has a more lightweight composition and contains botanical extracts but not a lot of other additives.
Your best bet is to look for products that come in a spray bottle, are designed to be used on dry hair, and can be purchased at most beauty supply stores.
Sleeping With Wet Hair
For the longest time, mothers and grandmothers everywhere have warned us that sleeping with wet air is going to make us catch a cold. They were partially right: sleeping with wet hair does make you sick but in a different manner.
There’s not really any evidence to support the claim that going to bed with wet hair makes one more susceptible to catching a cold. When someone contracts a cold, it is because they have been infected with a virus.
The common cold is not caused by being exposed to cold temperatures; rather, it is brought on by an infection with one of more than 200 viruses that can cause cold symptoms, most commonly a rhinovirus.
There are different ways in which a virus enters the body, such as through your eyes, nose, or mouth. You can also catch a virus if you touch a contaminated surface or if someone who is infected sneezes/coughs/speaks close to you.
• Fungal Infections
Even though sleeping with damp hair won’t make you catch a cold, it will raise the likelihood that you will wake up with a fungal infection of the scalp. Fungal organisms like Malassezia, for example, have been linked to skin problems including dandruff and dermatitis.
Pillows are a breeding ground for fungus, in addition to the fungus that is already naturally present on your scalp. It requires a warm atmosphere to develop, and a damp pillowcase combined with a damp pillow can create the ideal breeding habitat for it.
An older study conducted on the fungal flora that was detected on bedding reported ranging from four to sixteen species per pillow that was examined.
This includes the common species of fungus known as Aspergillus fumigatus, which is responsible for causing serious infections in those who already have compromised immune systems. Those who suffer from asthma will likely see their symptoms getting worse as well.
• Fragile Hair
It is detrimental to the health of the hair to go to sleep with wet hair. In addition to the certainty that you will wake up with a twisted bedhead, there is also the possibility that you will harm your hair.
When it’s damp, hair is at its most fragile state. Tossing and turning during sleep has several dangers, the most serious of which is the potential of causing damage to one’s hair.
This is a problem that arises more frequently when the hair is braided or worn in a tight updo, as these styles generate additional tension to the hair shaft. If you really cannot steer clear of going to bed with wet hair, your best option is to sleep with it down.
Your hair is likely the last thing that comes to mind when you’re getting ready for bed. Or perhaps, when trying to care for it, you’re making big mistakes, like going to bed with wet hair. Aside from tying your hair the right way to protect it when sleeping, there are other things you can do for your hair’s health, and they’re all included in this article.
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Frequently Asked Questions
Should I sleep with your hair up or down?
It depends on the length of your hair. People with short hair should leave it down because it prevents unneeded stress on the roots and allows hair to freely reach the scalp. Those with long hair should tie their hair to prevent knots.
How should you keep your hair while sleeping?
It depends on the length of your hair. If your hair is long enough, you can tie it up with a silk scrunchie. Always go to sleep with dry hair. If you don’t want to blow-dry it, avoid washing your hair before bed.
Why does my hair get dry and frizzy after sleeping?
When you sleep with your hair loose, it is more likely to be subjected to excessive friction, which will result in a tangled, frizzy disaster in the morning. Just remember to secure your hair with a smooth satin scrunchie so that it does not develop ugly creases or break.