Getting significant shut-eye is a priority for many people, and you’ll likely already have a pre-bed ritual for your skin. but did you know it’s as important to look after your hair? In this article, we reveal the best way to sleep with long hair.
The best way to sleep with long hair will depend on whether you have straight or curly hair, but fundamentally there are habits that you can shape no matter what your hair type. These include braiding and brushing hair, using silk or satin sheets, and never sleeping on wet hair.
Below, we give you a comprehensive routine for sleeping with long hair. We also outline eight key tips to protect your long hair whilst you get some shut-eye.
Why Protect Your Long Hair At Night?
Beauty sleep is something we all need. Sleep is important for a number of reasons, but primarily for our cognitive abilities.
No one is keen on having brittle, frizzy, or very dehydrated hair. One of the best steps you can take to keep your long locks looking luscious is by treating them carefully when you sleep.
After all, that’s about seven hours that your hair is subject to high humidity and friction from movement – and you won’t be aware of it at all!
These are some of the reasons why you want to be protecting long hair while you sleep.
Minimize Tangles And Frizz
If you have long hair and are a light sleeper, it’s especially important that you find the best way to sleep with long hair.
Tossing and turning will increase friction between your hair and the sheets you’re sleeping in, which may result in nasty tangles and knots, as well as frizz.
By taking care of long hair, you’re reducing the chance of having to spend hours detangling.
Reduce Split Ends And Breakage
If you don’t look after your hair as you sleep, you can end up with brittle, dehydrated locks that are prone to breakage.
This is particularly the case if you go to bed with wet hair. Dry, brittle hair can have negative effects on other lifestyle choices. For example, hair dye won’t take as well if your tresses are dehydrated.
It’s therefore important to ensure your hair is hydrated and happy. The best way of doing that is by looking after it whilst you sleep.
Helps Hair Growth
Your hair is still working even as you sleep. The epithelial hair follicle stem cells of your hair work overnight to regenerate and regrow hair.
This will both reduce any damage you may have sustained from other habits (for example, using styling tools with heat) whilst also working to support hair growth.
So, if you’re after beautiful long locks, you need to be sure you’re following the best way to sleep with long hair.
Also Read: How To Use Black Pepper Oil for Hair Growth
The Best Way To Sleep With Long Hair
Below, we detail two easy-to-follow routines for people with both straight and curly hair. Read on to learn how best to care for your hair, even whilst you sleep.
Sleep Routine For Straight Hair
- Get yourself a silk or satin pillowcase, and some hair ties without any metal tags.
- Be sure you’re sleeping on totally dry hair. If your strands are slightly damp, work some leave-in conditioner into them – don’t forget to brush, either. You want to remove any tangles or knots you may have.
- If you have a sleep cap, tie your hair up and pop it on. Otherwise, tie your hair into a low braid down your back or a high bun.
- If your locks are feeling a little dry, give them some love with either an overnight mask or an oil treatment. It’s best to do this once a week.
Sleep Routine For Curly Hair
- Get yourself a silk or satin pillowcase, and some hair ties without any metal tags.
- There are plenty of ways to keep your curls looking their best by styling them before bed. You can use hair rollers or sleep in braids – a French braid works well. Don’t be afraid to spritz in some leave-in conditioner too, or smooth some oil over your strands, in order to lock in moisture overnight.
- Alternatively, use the pineappling method (more on this below) to keep your hair up and out of your way whilst you sleep. You can put a sleep cap on over this – or cover your curls with a scarf.
8 Tips For Protecting Your Long Hair At Night
Don’t Sleep With Wet Hair
We’ve all done it: come in late from a night out, washed our hair, and slept on it wet.
But this is not something to be making a habit of, and if you can avoid it entirely, your hair will thank you for it.
When hair is damp or wet, it’s most vulnerable because the keratin in your hair follicles is weaker. This may result in excess damage or breakage caused by the friction between your hair strands and the pillowcase.
Try to ensure that your hair is as dry as possible when you sleep – and ideally you’d be detangling it before bed, too.
If your hair is likely to be damp when you sleep, use a hydrating mask or leave-in conditioner in your locks to minimize damage.
Use An Overnight Cream Or Serum
Nourish your hair with an overnight mask or serum.
Your scalp and strands will thank you for it. if you can get into the habit of using a hair mask once every week, you’ll soon be reaping the benefits.
Your hair will be hydrated and you’ll notice a lack of frizz and split ends.
You’ll also be supporting the growth of your hair follicles which may contribute to overall growth, and you’ll be boosting hair’s nutrients with the vitamins and minerals it needs to look extra strong and feel super soft.
Look for masks or serums that are silicone-free and full of natural ingredients.
Use A Sleep Cap
It might seem like a good idea to sleep with your long hair down – but in actual fact, you’re more likely to be causing damage.
Your hair can get tangled as you sleep, and removing these knots might cause breakages. It’s, therefore, best to sleep with your hair up in a loose bun on top of your head.
Be sure to use a scrunchie without any metal bits, which will catch on hair and cause breakages.
The best way to sleep with long hair, however, is to wear a silk or satin cap.
You’ll be keeping your hair nicely hydrated, as natural oils will condition your strands as you sleep.
It’ll also prevent any friction between your head and the pillow, so you’re reducing any chance of frizz or damage.
Also Read: Unrefined vs Refined Coconut Oil For Hair: Which Is Best?
Use A Hot Oil Treatment
Sometimes the ends of our hair get dry – that’s totally normal. If your locks look like they need some love, turn to an essential oil like coconut or argan oil to really hydrate them.
Smooth the oil over your strands before bed – from roots to ends – and tie it up. You’ll need to wash the oil out the following morning, but your hair will thank you for the treatment, feeling softer, smoother, and more moisturized.
Braid Your Hair
As we’ve said, you want to be tying hair up at night so as to reduce the chance of breakage and friction.
The best hairstyle is a loose braid – plus, if you have straight hair, it’s a heat-free styling technique to get beachy waves.
If you’re a curly girl, you can try putting your hair in a pineapple. Gather your hair at the crown of your head and tie a silk scarf around your base.
You’ll look like a pineapple (hence the name), but it’ll keep all your lovely curls out of harm’s way.
Brush Your Hair
No, you don’t need to brush your hair one hundred times a night, but it’s still a good idea to detangle before you catch your beauty sleep.
Using a wide-toothed comb is great to get out little knots, and it’ll help to distribute your natural oils from roots to ends.
Use A Soft Hair Tie
If your hair is short, it’s fine to sleep with it down. However, if you have long hair, the best way to sleep is with your hair tied up.
It’ll prevent knots, tangles, and potential breakages. Plus, it’s a great way of boosting volume without heat.
Tying your hair with a high bun will keep your hair out of your way whilst you sleep. Just make sure you don’t tie too tightly, as that can cause serious hair damage.
Using a soft hair tie is key – if you can find a silk or satin one, even better. Steer clear of any with metal tags, which will only rip out your hair strands.
Use A Satin Or Silk Pillowcase
Sleeping with a satin or silk pillowcase is undoubtedly one of the best ways to sleep with long hair.
Cotton or linen pillowcases can reduce the moisture levels in your hair and will create friction between the surfaces.
The result is dry, frizzy locks. Invest in a decent pillowcase and both your hair and skin will thank you.
Plus, they’re super soft and silky to the touch, adding an element of luxury to your nightly sleep.
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Alice is an experienced writer and researcher with a background in the Creative Arts. She is a published poet and is currently completing her Ph.D., having worked in a variety of industries, including as a theatre dramaturg.
Alice is passionate about the environment, so is always on the lookout for the best zero-waste products that are vegan and cruelty-free.