Sometimes, hair care can feel like a chore. When you’re 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 while you 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 seven ways you can care for your hair while you sleep:
- Brush 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 through before going to sleep. While it won’t eliminate tangles entirely, it’ll certainly help minimize them and reduce damage done to your locks.
- Make sure it’s dry: Hair is the most prone to breakage when it is 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 it while it’s wet! Sleeping on wet hair can also lead to frizz and cause intense bed head in the morning, potentially requiring heat styling to fix. Although it is tempting to hop into bed immediately after a shower, give your hair time to dry completely to reduce the risk of damage as you sleep.
- Take out all pins, hair ties and styles: If you’re in 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 might pull on your strands and create extra tension between your style and your scalp, which could lead to hair loss. Remove any pins, tight elastics and hairstyles before you sleep and let your locks hang loose to give your scalp a rest.
- Wear a gentle braid or sleep cap: If you can’t stand the feeling of sleeping with loose hair or your hair is long and gets tangled or pulled, there are a few safe styles to sleep in. Braid your hair loosely using a three-strand plait or fishtail braid and secure with a soft elastic or scrunchie. Not only will this keep your hair contained and protected, but you will wake up with heatless waves in your hair the next morning! Another option is to 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.
- Sleep on satin or silk: If you prefer to sleep with your hair loose, your pillowcase might be damaging your hair more than you realize! Cotton pillowcases cause friction between them and your strands, which can damage them over time. They 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, rather than be pulled, protecting it from damage.
- Use an overnight mask or oil: 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), sleep and wash it out in the morning!
- Sleep soundly: Another thing you can do to help your hair is to actually sleep well every night! 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 the hair when it is 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.
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 locks!