How to protect hair while sleeping

How To Protect Hair While Sleeping | 7 Easy Ways To Prevent Hair Damage At Night

Check out how to protect hair while sleeping and learn how to tie hair up at night to prevent breakage. 

One of the best things in the world? A full night’s undisturbed sleep. One of the worst things? Getting a gorgeous Brazilian blowout only to have it look like a bird’s nest after sleeping! 

Sleep doesn’t just mess up your perfect hairstyle, it can cause a lot of hair problems too.

Shocked? Well, it’s not sleeping technically. But the act of sleeping. All that tossing and turning increases friction between pillowcases and hair, leading to split ends and breakage. 

Related: How To Sleep With Curly Hair

Also the fabric of the pillowcases can absorb hair’s necessary moisture and leave it dry. And don’t get me started on the tangles and knots! 

So how do you protect your hair while sleeping? Don’t fret. It’s easy. I’ve listed out some handy tips and tricks for you that will keep hair safe while you nap. Take a look!

How To Protect Hair While Sleeping

If you’re confused about how to protect hair while sleeping you can try these tips to keep your tresses safe. Read on below! 

Do Not Ever Sleep With Wet Hair

how to keep hair from parting in back while sleeping

We all have been there. You have a tiring day and take a nice shower before bedtime and plunk down on bed with wet hair. But sorry to inform you that it’s really bad for your hair.  

Wet hair is more prone to damage as it’s fragile and the hair cuticles are already raised. So any friction during this time can cause two times the damage. 

Also wetness breeds bacteria and microbes. So sleeping with wet hair can cause fungal or bacterial infections on the scalp to worsen. This of course leads to dandruff, itching, and other scalp conditions. 

If you’re really worried about your hair being dirty then I suggest using dry shampoo before bed instead of going the traditional water and shampoo route. 

Use A Scrunchie and Not An Elastic Hair Band

how to wrap hair to prevent breakage

I know a lot of hair experts suggest not going to bed with open hair, but what a lot of them forget to tell people is that what you use to tie your hair is equally important. 

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Using tight, elastic hair bands can constrict blood flow while sleeping. Plus, they cause unnecessary tension on hair, leading to breakage, knots, etc. 

I always use a scrunchie in silk or satin material so that there’s an additional layer of protection. These particular fabrics are much better for hair as they reduce tangles and static on hair. 

Invest In A Silk or Satin Pillowcase

I know this escapes notice a lot of the time, but the pillowcases you use are also important to protect hair.

Most bed covers are made of cotton or polyester material. Both of these fabrics have long fibers that cause friction between the strands of your hair causing knots and tangles.

Cotton is also notoriously absorbent. It not only absorbs excess grease from hair, pillowcases made of this fabric can soak up natural oils from the scalp, leaving strands looking dry. 

A silk or satin pillowcase is a fantastic investment. These fabrics have shorter fibers, they are not absorbent, and they also do not cause static, so there’s less chance of frizzy, poofy hair. 

Moisturize Your Hair Before Sleeping

how to sleep with hair so it looks good in the morning

If you follow a skincare routine you will know that it’s recommended to use a heavy night cream or serum on your face to ensure it gets absorbed thoroughly while you are sleeping.

It is actually the same case with hair!

Using a moisturizing hair serum or oil on your hair before sleeping ensures that it gets maximum hydration throughout the night. 

I always prefer slugging my hair with oil (I use coconut oil) before bed if I’m going to wash it the next morning. 

This not only protects my hair pre-shampooing, but the oils also act as lubricant and reduce friction between hair strands.

Note: Always use a silk scarf or bonnet to cover your hair after you apply a hair mask or oil before sleeping. Otherwise the oils from the hair strands can drip down to your face and clog your pores. Also, the oily residue remains on the pillowcases and can likewise cause skin infections while you’re putting your face on it and sleeping. 

Give Hair A Massage Before Bed

This goes hand in hand with moisturizing your hair. While you’re in there applying oil to your tresses, why not spend a good 5-10 minutes giving your head a massage. 

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According to research, hair growth like any other form of cell growth and development is most rapid when you’re fast asleep. 

So massaging your scalp before bed will increase blood circulation to the hair follicles, boosting growth.

Wear A Loose Braid or Low Ponytail

how to tie hair while sleeping for hair growth

Wearing your hair in a tight hairstyle while sleeping is an invitation for disaster. Firstly, these hairstyles restrict blood flow to your scalp which is essential to promote hair growth in follicles while you’re sleeping. 

And secondly, these tight hairstyles can increase friction while sleeping, leading to breakage. 

So it’s best to put your hair in a style that keeps it out of the way but isn’t too restrictive. I usually wear it in a loose braid or low ponytail and tie it with a silk ribbon or a scrunchie. 

However, this might not be possible if you have natural hair (type 4 curls) so what you can do is either tie hair in protective hairstyles or try the “pineapple bun” hack. 

To try the pineapple bun you need to gather all your curls at the top of your head and use a scrunchie to wrap it into a loose bun. Next, wrap the hair in a silk bonnet to protect it further. 

Brush The Tangles Out Of Hair Before Sleeping

how to sleep with long hair in summer

There will always be some amount of friction and tangles when you sleep. But this is considerably reduced if you start off with a clean slate so to speak. 

So make sure you always detangle your hair before going to bed.

Oh and don’t forget to use a wide toothed comb to remove knots and tangles from your hair and only then brushing it out.

I always add a few drops of lightweight oil like argan oil or jojoba oil to the brush to increase slip. You can even serum at this stage and distribute it through the hair while brushing. 

Leave A Humidifier On Overnight 

Now this isn’t a very orthodox tip. But if you feel like your hair gets too dry and frizzy, use a humidifier in your hair at night. 

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This is especially helpful if you sleep with the heat on.

You can also switch on the fan at night to make sure there is enough air circulation and you do not get sweaty at night. 

FAQs about Protecting Hair From Breakage While Sleeping

How to tie hair while sleeping for hair growth?

The biggest enemies of hair growth is a lack of blood circulation on the scalp and hair breakage. To prevent both of these you should tie your hair loosely, preferably in a braid before going to bed. If your hair is in layers or too short to be braided, put it up in a loose ponytail and wrap it in a silk scarf or bonnet before sleeping. 

Is it good to leave hair open while sleeping?

No, you shouldn’t leave your hair open while sleeping. This increases friction between your strands of hair and can lead to split ends and breakage. If you sleep with open hair, you are also increasing your chances of tangling your hair in knots. 

How do you sleep with long hair in summer?

A lot of people with long hair tie their hair in a bun while sleeping during the summers. While this trick is good for keeping the sweat from your face, it can be detrimental to your hair. 
Instead of using an elastic hair tie to create a tight bun, try creating a pineapple bun with a scrunchie instead. In this hairstyle, all your hair is gathered at the top of your head (hence the name pineapple) but it isn’t tied tightly. 
Also, wrapping a silk bonnet or scarf around your pineapple bun is also a great idea. 

Is it ok to wear a cap to protect hair while sleeping?

Yes, you can wear a hair cap while sleeping without any problem. Just remember to use a silk or satin bonnet as these do not absorb excess moisture from hair. And unlike cotton they don’t have long fibers that tangle your hair.


If you want to protect your hair while sleeping the main thing you need to keep in mind is to reduce friction between hair and pillowcases. 

Using silk pillowcases, hair caps and moisturizing hair before bed will help. And if you want to keep the tangles to a minimum, ensure you loosely braid your hair and brush it before bed.

This pre-bedtime hair care routine is especially important if you have curly hair or long hair as the chances of frizz and damage is higher.

Also Read:

How to Pin Back Your Hair

Why Is My Hair So Frizzy And Poofy

How To Protect Hair And Scalp From Sun

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