How to Protect Your Hair While Sleeping

Hollie Shirley / Hair & Skincare Editor

To help keep your hair protected and cared for while you get your beauty sleep, we have rounded up our top tips to upgrade your hair care routine and keep it looking great the next morning.

When people think of nighttime beauty routines, they probably envision a 12 step skincare routine that involves cleansing, tone, moisturize and so on, but what about our hair?

Bad hair days are more often than not a result of a bad hair night. Fortunately, there are a few simple steps you can take to make these a thing of the past. Whether you are trying to get the best from your salon blow out, trying to keep your hair from turning into a birds nest or moisturising damaged hair, the below steps will help to ensure your hair stays looking its best while you sleep.

Avoid going to bed with wet hair

Many of us are guilty of washing our hair and then climbing straight into bed without drying it properly. Your hair is in its most fragile state when it is wet, as the water causes the cuticle to swell, making it more susceptible to breakage and frizz. Not only this, but sleeping on wet hair creates a perfect warm, moist environment for acne-causing bacteria to breed on your pillowcase which can lead to flareups, not to mention irritating your scalp which can trigger dandruff and other issues.

To avoid this, time your hair wash routine wisely, ensuring you have enough time to allow your hair to dry fully before you go to bed or blow dry it if you are pressed for time.


Avoid sleeping with your hair up tightly

If you don’t like the feeling of your hair on your face while you sleep, you may be tempted to tie it up into a ponytail or topknot most nights. Sleeping with your hair up in a messy bun or high ponytail is not bad for your hair, however, doing so repeatedly can cause tension on your hair which can lead to traction alopecia. Continuous tight hairstyles pull at your hair at the root and through the lengths, weakening it at the root causing it to break off. Instead, try earing your hair in a loose ponytail, braids or a headband.

Sleep on a silk pillowcase

Sleeping on a harsh fabric such as cotton or polyester can cause hair breakage, as the fibre is rougher against your hair. Say goodbye to frizz and knotting by switching to a silk pillowcase. These can help to keep your hairstyle from getting mussed up while you toss and turn at night since they’re smoother than other fabrics, thanks to the way they are woven.


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Wrap your hair with a silk wrap

If you want to protect your curls, keep your extensions in perfect condition, or extend the life of your blowdry, wearing a silk hair wrap will help to preserve your style by preventing your hair from rubbing against your pillowcase. They will also help to keep your hair off your face and stop longer hair getting caught under your shoulders.

Brush your hair correctly

There’s an old beauty myth that says you should brush your hair 100 times a day to promote shine and length. Although we haven’t yet proven this myth to be true, brushing your hair gently from bottom to top with a paddle brush before bed will ensure you’ll go to bed tangle-free if you have Type 1 straight hair, or even loose wavy hair. If shine is what your heart desires, brush your hair with a boar bristle brush as this type of brush is known for its ability to evenly distribute natural oils from the scalp through the hair.


Apply dry shampoo before bed

Using dry shampoo at night? Yep, this is a trick we hadn’t heard of either. Spraying dry shampoo on your hair before bed will ensure it has all night to absorb any excess oils from your roots and refresh the length of your hair. When you wake up, the dry shampoo will have worked its way around your hair, and your hair should feel more refreshed. Just don’t do this every night – dry shampoo is not always good for your hair and is not a replacement for washing your hair.

Use an overnight treatment

If you feel like 20-minute conditioning masks aren’t quite giving your hair the insense moisture it needs, you can always kick it up a gear and try hair slugging or use an overnight hair treatment before bed. Apply to your lengths and ends when damp, and then allow your hair to dry before going to bed. Depending on your hair type, you can do this once or twice a month. There are many different ones available for all hair types on the market, but if you want to try a simpler version, you can’t go wrong with Argan oil, coconut oil, or avocado oil.


Fabric scrunchies and hair ties

If you are tying your hair up when you go to bed, swap your elastic hair ties for softer fabric bands or scrunchies. Fabric ties won’t pull as harshly on individual hairs that can get twisted and tangled in your hair. They are also perfect for protective styles such as pineappling your curls on top of your head and won’t leave any dents and kinks in your hair.

Hollie Shirley
Hair & Skincare Editor

Hollie Shirley is SILKUP’s hair and skincare editor. She’s obsessed with all things hair care and results-driven skincare, that is kind to the environment and your wallet. She has a weakness for limited edition eyeshadows and is always testing out the newest and greatest deep conditioners. Hollie has a passion for hair and is studying Trichology, working towards becoming a Member of the Association of Registered Trichologists.