How To Protect Your Hair While Sleeping

Aly Walansky
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How To Protect Your Hair While Sleeping
Photo: Kathrin Ziegler/Digital Vision

Sleeping with long hair can wreck even the best of blow outs overnight—literally. But you don’t have to wake up to greet a hot mess of bedhead in the mirror every morning. There are actually some amazing tactics on how to wear your hair to bed that can make all the difference.

Avoid elastic bands

“Believe it or not you can do damage to your hair when sleeping. We see so many people who spend a good deal of money on great haircuts, color, and care products then turn in for the night with a ponytail tied with an elastic band. That elastic band will put undue stress on your hair shaft and roots,” says Mary Rascon, Creative Director and Owner of  Cambio Salon and Spa.

MORE: This Color-Changing Hair Dye Transforms Your Hair When You Blush

Apply an overnight treatment

“An overnight treatment can sometimes be the best medicine for overly-dry or broken ends,” says stylist and makeup artist Mia Silverio of Paul Labrecque Salon and Spa. Place a small bottle of lemongrass oil in a cup of hot water to let the oil become more fluid, then apply the oil to your ends (or all the way up to your scalp if needed) and put your hair in a high bun or a braid. Wrap your hair in a silk scarf or gentle fabric to keep the oil off your pillow covers, and let the treatment do its magic while you sleep. The very next morning, don’t get your hair wet or shower! Instead, take your shampoo and apply it directly to your oily hair. Afterwards, start the shower and continue as you would with your daily routine.

Do the twist

Twist your hair around itself into a top knot at the top of the head and use a fabric scrunchie to secure. The scrunchie is best because it is gentle on the hair and the elastic is covered. When you unravel it in the morning you will have preserved or created waves (depending on your hair’s natural texture), says Mia Moore of Pierre Michel salon.

Wrapping

If you like to keep you hair sleek and straight, use the wrapping technique. Starting at apex of the head, use a brush to begin directionally arranging the hair around the head using large bobby pins to secure as you go.

Upgrade your pillow case

Your cotton pillow case can cause pulling on your hair. The best pillow cover for your hair is silk or satin. If your budget does not have room for silk or satin pillow cases, you can get the same effect by wrapping your hair in a silk or satin scarf, says Rascon.

Brush your hair out before bed

One of the best things that you can do for your hair is to brush or comb it before turning in for the night. Use a brush with natural bristles or a wide tooth comb. Brush your hair from root to tip for several minutes. The strokes help you move your scalp’s natural oils through your hair, says Rascon.

MORE: How to Copy Chrissy Teigen’s Chill Oscars Hair on Yourself

Originally published July 2014. Updated February 2017.

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