7 Ways to Save Your Strands from Damage While You Sleep
We think a lot about how to protect our hair while we're awake: getting routine trims, not brushing our fragile hair while wet, avoiding tight updos and using a heat protectant prior to applying hot styling tools. But we tend to pay less attention to preventing hair damage while sleeping.
To protect hair while sleeping, it’s important to focus on both hair restoration while we sleep and physically preventing hair breakage during the night. This dual approach to overnight hair health will help you achieve your healthiest, most vibrant hair yet!
Read on for ideas for protective hairstyles to sleep in and our best tips for preventing hair damage while you're sleeping!
1. Upgrade Your Pillowcase
Pillowcases made of cotton or flannel material generate more friction than those made of silk or satin. This friction might not seem like much, but over time, it can add up, leading to tell-tale signs of damage like increased frizz and split ends.
To reduce friction and prevent hair breakage, invest in a silk or satin pillowcase. (Plus, what better reason to upgrade your current bedding for a more luxurious option?) Less friction and tugging on your hair will help your hair appear fuller and more vibrant!
2. Switch Up Your Shower Time
Move your shower a bit earlier. Your hair is weakest when it’s wet, so going to bed with wet hair can lead to breakage and damage—especially if you’re someone who tosses and turns in her sleep! There’s also a chance, even if slight, that this habit could lead to fungal infections on the scalp. Yikes!
Don't worry! These issues can be prevented by moving your shower an hour or two earlier in the evening to give your hair time to fully air dry.
Pro tip: For extra protection after your shower, give your scalp some love with our award-winning Superpower Fortifying Hair & Scalp Duo. This duo combines our Superpower Serum with our Liquid Comb massager to stimulate follicle-nourishing blood flow to the scalp.
3. Wear a Bonnet to Bed
Wearing a bonnet to bed is an excellent way to provide a physical barrier of protection for your hair at bedtime. Just like with the pillowcases we talked about earlier, you want to invest in a silk or satin bonnet.
Be sure that the bonnet fits your head well—it's no good if it falls off in your sleep or squeezes your head too tightly! Some bonnets come already sewn into the shape of a cap, while others arrive flat, allowing you more flexibility in shaping and sizing your bonnet. Shop around and find a silk bonnet with great reviews that fits your head and amount of hair.
Pro tip: Do you move a lot in your sleep? Try using both a silk bonnet and a silk pillowcase to protect your hair while sleeping should your bonnet fall off!
4. Try Low Tension Hairstyles at Bedtime
Wearing a gentle hairstyle at bedtime gives your hair a rest and helps prevent damage while you sleep. Here are three great protective hairstyles for sleeping:
Channel Your Inner Child with Low Braids
Sleeping with braids is an excellent option for preventing hair breakage and damage because it's a low-tension hairstyle. The key for braids to help protect your hair while sleeping is to make them low and loose. Avoid the tight French braids that we loved as kids—these are too tight to sleep in!
If you have long hair, you can create a single braid, but if your hair is shorter (around shoulder length) or has lots of layers, doing two pigtail-style braids will secure your hair better.
Try it: After drying and brushing hair thoroughly, gather your hair at the nape of your neck for one braid or just below and behind your ears for pigtail braids. Loosely braid each section. (Pro tip: you should be able to see light between the weaved pieces in the braid, if you've done them loosely.) Secure ends with a soft scrunchie, instead of a hair tie, and you're done!
Wake Up to Gorgeous Waves with a Loose TwistThis is similar to the loose braid option above, but this is one of our favorite hairstyles to sleep in because of the effortless, beautiful waves we have the next morning! Waves from a loose twist tend to be looser and more beachy than waves you get from sleeping in braids.
Try it: Instead of braids, which are more woven, a loose twist simply involves wrapping two pieces of hair over each other (top over bottom). You can do this in one section or you can divide hair in half, placing one twist by each ear, just like with the braided option. Secure the ends with a scrunchie, and you'll have soft, loose waves when you wake up!
Heatless Curls—It’s What the Kids Are Doing
Gen Z swears by this TikTok trend, and honestly, we love it as a perfect protective hairstyle for sleeping! It's called the TikTok Heatless Curls trend, and it involves wrapping your hair gently around a T-shirt tightly rolled (left to right, not top to bottom) into a U-shape. (Pro tip: If your goal is also to enjoy soft waves in the morning, misting tresses lightly with water will help.)
Try it: Take a long T-shirt and roll it into a thin tube from left to right. Place on the top center of your head as if placing a headband. Separate hair into two sections and part down the middle. On each side, take a section of hair and wrap loosely around the T-shirt, wrapping toward the back of your head away from your face. Pick up the next section of hair, and add it to the section already in your hand and repeat. Continue this process through the length of your hair on both sides. Secure the ends with a soft hair scrunchie, and enjoy your protected, heatless waves the next day! Watch it in action here.
5. Turn on the Humidifier
If your bedroom has super-dry air, a humidifier can impact the hydration of your hair and skin, especially in chilly weather! But while you want more moisture in the air as you sleep, you don't want your bedroom to become swamp-like!
If you're dealing with dry air in your bedroom, your goal with a humidifier isn't to make the room overly humid. Instead, it's just to recalibrate the room's humidity level back to normal levels, which are around 35% to 40% humidity. This level of humidity protects your hair while sleeping, while also helping prevent hair static and dry skin the next day.
Pro tip: Opt for a cool-mist humidifier instead of a warm-mist version because the cooler humidifiers are less susceptible to mold and mildew.
6. Let Collagen Work for You While You Sleep
W've all been there: We buy a collagen supplement with the best intentions to remember to take it. And then a week goes by. We realize that we've been forgetting to take it. A lot.
Our collagen supplements only help our hair, skin and nails if we remember to take them! Instead of trying to remember in the morning when things are more hectic, try taking your supplements in the evening, before bedtime, as part of your nightly bedtime ritual.
We love our tropical fruit–flavored Power Within: Skin & Scalp Collagen Gummies for a delicious option that contains rejuvenating, elasticity-supporting marine collagen Types I and III!
7. Apply a Hair Masque
If you haven't tried a repairing butter hair masque as an overnight hair treatment, we are here to tell you that it is a game-changer! Simply shampoo your hair as usual—skip the conditioner!—and once you're out of the shower, apply a butter masque. Secure your hair in a silk or satin bonnet, and rinse the masque out of your hair in the morning. Instant hydration for parched tresses!
We love our Hair Redemption Restorative Butter Masque with biotin and argan oil for hydrating dry locks. For a hydrating option that enhances gorgeous blondes, grays and brunettes with highlights, try our Silver Lining Purple Butter Masque with folic acid and caffeine!
Tell Us: What is your bedtime hair-care routine? Share your favorite tips for protecting your hair while sleeping in the comments below!
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