The Best Ways to Wear your Hair to Bed to Prevent Breakage

Hollie Shirley / Hair & Skincare Editor

Is the way you wear your hair to bed the cause of your hair troubles?We’ve got you covered with the best ways to pevent hair breakage at night while you sleep.

Why is my hair breaking so much?

Hair breakage is caused by so many reasons and for different reasons. These reasons range from diet, heat damage, stress, incorrect brushing/combing, elastic hair ties, high manipulation hairdos, irregular or no hair trims, hypothyroidism, over washing, using the wrong hair products for your hair type and more. Of all these, the most common is over washing and dryness.

So, what causes hair breakage?

All of the above possibilities of why your hair is breaking have one thing in common: inadequate hair moisture. 

In order to avoid hair breakage, it is important to have a night routine and to wear hair to bed correctly to minimise damage and maximise moisture retention. 

What to do to minimise hair breakage at night

1. Keep hair moisturized 

The ultimate goal of wearing hair in a special way to bed is to retain moisture, avoid dryness and eventually prevent breakage. Get yourself a spray bottle and fill it up with water. Yes, water is the best moisturizer. You can choose to add a small portion of leave-in conditioners or even natural aloe vera extracts to suit you. 

Detangle your hair gently as you spritz your hair with water or your homemade moisturizer (or probably purchase an organic hair moisturizer from a trusted store). Part hair into sections and secure portions into twists or very loose knots. Avoid high manipulation hairdos and wear hair into a very loose knot if you must tie your hair up.   

Please note that you shouldn’t get your hair too wet as that isn’t the goal, you want to add a little moisture, not soak your hair. for extra added moisture, consider using an oil treatment instead of water. 

2. Don’t go to bed with wet hair

While it is important to retain moisture overnight, do not confuse this with going to bed with wet hair. Your hair is in its most fragile state when it is wet, so sleeping with it when it is wet is a one-way ticket to breakage, tangles and split ends, especially if you are an active sleeper with a tendency to toss and turn in your sleep. If you are washing your hair at night, it’s worth making sure you have enough time to let your hair air dry sufficiently.


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3. Invest in overnight treatments or hair oils

As hair lovers, we know how important it is to include masks and treatments in our weekly hair care routines.  Take advantage of the downtime while you sleep and apply a hair mask or an intensive oil treatment before bed, leaving it on as an overnight treatment to repair and hydrate your hair.

Maybe see if hair slugging is the right treatment for your hair.


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4. Wrap your hair in silk

Whether it is a bonnet, a turban, a scarf, wrap or any head covering at all, ensure that they are made from silk fabric. Wrapping your hair in silk will protect it from the roughness of cotton, and ensure your hair retains moisture, which will help with improving strength over time. This is because of the loose ends of cotton fabrics which snag at your hair strands, causing tangles and eventually breakage. This is not the case with silk head coverings which are soft and ideal for your hair. Read: why you should sleep in silk.

If you are concerned that your silk wrap will come down before the sun comes up, then you can always invest in a pair of silk pillowcases. They save you the stress of wondering in your dreams about whether your cap is still on, and will also do wonders for your skin. 


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5. Step. Away. From. The. Hot. Tools.

Yep, we mean it. Try and have a break from the heat styling to give your frazzled hair a rest. Try to reply on heat free-styling, like two-strand rope braids, french plaits etc.  If you absolutely must use heat, make sure you use heat protection spray, and always keep the hair tool moving

6. Get a trim 

If you’re struggling with split ends and breakage, getting a trim might seem counterintuitive, but seriously, go get a trim. Removing split ends is the only way to prevent further damage on other parts of the same hair shaft where split ends are present.  If the word trim scares you, ask your stylist for a “dusting,” which is code for takeoff the least amount. Please and thank you.

Other ways to ensure that you are not wearing your hair wrong to bed include: 

  • removing clip-in hair extensions before going to bed 
  • Try out some of our overnight hairstyles including braiding your hair before bed
  • 4c Hair needs extra care, read more here
  • never using elastic ties. Use satin or silk scrunchies instead. 
  • Don’t pull your hair back too tightly when you style or leave your hair under traction for too long. This can cut into the hair shaft and cause breakage, and add unnecessary strain on the roots.
  • Don’t brush your hair too often just because it feels satisfying!
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.