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Should You Sleep With Your Hair Up Or Down To Protect It?


Is it just me, or do you also wake up on days with your long hair all messed up and tangled, requiring hours of effort to sort it out? Well, while we all do love our beauty sleep and make sure to diligently follow our nighttime skincare regimen, our mane is something that we tend to overlook before hitting the pillow. A friend of mine who’s always had beautifully sorted hair even when she wakes up provided me a few tips recently. She helped me understand how important it is to pay good attention to our locks during our nighttime routine. If rightly taken care of during bedtime, our hair tends to rejuvenate at a much faster pace and overcome several other issues as well. Read on as I share with you a few bad habits that we unintentionally commit during our bedtime and ways to overcome those to ensure smooth, soft, and beautiful locks. 

Table of Contents 

  • Should You Sleep With Your Hair Up Or Down?
  • Sleeping Habits to Avoid
  • Tips To Protect Your Tresses While Sleeping

Should You Sleep With Your Hair Up Or Down?

We all need a clear answer to the big question looming in our heads all the time, ‘whether to sleep with our hair up or down?’ After a lot of the studies and researches were conducted on this topic, the majority of the experts have opted to stand by the fact that one should not keep their long hair down while sleeping. 

As per dermatologist Dendy Engelman, MD, our hair acts like a magnet attracting dirt and pollution. She believes that if you keep your hair loose while sleeping, it could rub on your face and pillow, making your skin more susceptible to breakouts and acne. 

Though experts suggest not to leave your locks completely free before you hit the hay, tying your hair too tightly is also not advised. As quoted by a renowned New York City dermatologist, Francesca J. Fusco, ‘If someone wore their hair tightly pulled back for years, traction alopecia could occur along the hairline.’

So, it’s safe to say that during bedtime your locks should neither be left completely open nor tied up too tightly.

Sleeping Habits to Avoid

Here’s a mention of few sleeping habits that might be unintentionally a part of your nighttime routine and a significant cause of your messed up and frizzy tresses. 

  • Using an old pillowcase: We hardly pay attention to our pillowcase and the thought of it damaging our hair seems hardly believable. But as per expert hairstylist Ashley Wahler, the quality of a pillowcase and the fabric it is made of is an important factor to consider. A cotton pillowcase is said to soak in all the moisture from your locks during the night, leaving them completely dry and frizzy. It is advised to use a silk pillowcase instead. 
  • Sleeping with wet hair: We’ve all had situations of taking a late-night shower after which we’ve felt too lazy to blow dry our hair and have gone to sleep with wet hair. Damp hair is extremely delicate and prone to break easily. Also, sleeping with wet hair can make your morning more difficult as it could lead to a tangled mess of hair. 
  • Wearing a rubber scrunchie: A hair accessory used while tying your hair up before going to bed is extremely important. Do not invest in rubber hair ties or scrunchies as they can cause unnecessary breakage. Opt for a smooth fabric such as silk or satin, instead, to protect your hair strands from friction and breakage.
  • Central heaters: In winters, we all prefer sleeping in a cozy room with a heater in our room to ensure protection from cold air. But a dry environment can have severe effects on your skin as well as hair. As per celebrity hairstylist Fallon Toni Chavez, going to bed with central heat turned on can lead to your hair drying out, turning frizzy, and getting damaged as well. A humidifier is one safe appliance that can be opted for to get over this situation. 
  • Brushing your hair: We’ve always heard how regularly brushing our hair can help us achieve shiny and smooth locks. But what’s even more important is to brush your hair right before your beauty sleep, as not only will it keep your hair tangle-free, but also ensure enhanced shine and softness of your mane. Invest in a soft bristle hairbrush that has a firm grip and make it an essential part of your bedtime routine. 

Tips To Protect Your Tresses While Sleeping

Taking the necessary measures to protect your hair while sleeping is extremely important. Here are some simple tips and easy ways in which you can keep your hair protected while sleeping. 

  • Invest in a leave-in conditioner: If you’re a hair lover, you clearly understand the importance of incorporating a leave-in treatment in your hair care routine. It’s really important to add a smooth leave-in conditioner to your regimen so that your locks can stay hydrated and deeply nourished all the time. Finding an apt leave-in conditioner that works well with your hair type can be quite a tricky process. 

The hair revitalizer spray and 10-in-1 apple cider vinegar mist tonic from WOW Skin Science are two premium quality leave-in products formulated with the best of the ingredients. 

hair revitalizer spray and 10-in-1 apple cider vinegar mist tonic
  • Deep scalp massage for healthy hair: Before going to bed, make a habit of massaging your scalp with your fingertips. It boosts blood circulation to your scalp, keeping it healthy and nourished. Alternatively, you can use a scalp massager brush
scalp massager brush.
  • Add dry shampoo to your regimen: Before completing your nighttime rituals, do try and apply a dry shampoo, if you didn’t have time to wash your hair, as dry shampoo can help absorb the excess oil and sweat accumulated on your scalp.
  • Wearing a sleep cap: Wearing a hair cap made of smooth fabric such as satin or silk can diminish the friction caused between your locks and pillowcase, thus enhancing the texture of your hair and minimizing the risk of breakage. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

1. How often should you wash your hair?

For an average individual, it is recommended to wash your hair twice or thrice a week. 

2. Do ponytails cause hair loss?

Yes, a tight ponytail can weaken your hair follicles and, in extreme cases, lead to traction alopecia. 

3. Does your hair grow faster when braided?

Braiding your hair does not speed up the growth process, but it works well to reduce friction between your strands, thus preventing hair breakage. 


It’s really important to understand that, just like our skin, our hair too goes through the process of repair and rejuvenation during nighttime. Thus, it’s really important to pay attention to the needs and demands of your hair locks in your bedtime regimen. These simple measures listed in this article, if followed carefully, can help you achieve a beautiful, silky, soft, and ultra-smooth mane. 

Let your long hair get its best beauty sleep while you rest at night with these easy tips and simple precautions! 

Geetika Kapoor

Deeply passionate about writing, I’m a freelancer and have been working on several writing projects for several domains across the globe since last three years. I love reviewing different products ranging from skin care products, perfumes, body lotions, feminine products, hygiene items and several others. An English teacher by profession, I love interacting with kids and discovering different personalities as well. When I’m not writing I spend most of time reading novels, listening to songs, solving tricky puzzles and travelling around the world to my favourite destinations. Collen Hoover and Nicholas Sparks are my all time favourite authors. Their writing leaves a deep impact and stays with me for long.

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