How To Protect Your Hair While Sleeping

Written by Arshiya Syeda

For most people, the health of their hair is just as important as any other part of their body. Due to the unique properties of human hair, it is bound to undergo damage if you avoid taking care of it.

Your hair is made up of three layers, including the cortex, the cuticle, and the medulla. A cell membrane complex binds it together, like the glue that holds hair cells (1).

Typically, shedding hair on a daily basis is quite normal. Many internal and external factors can impact how much hair you lose in a day. The hair growth cycle consists of multiple stages, during which the hair undergoes many changes (2). It is important to know how you should wear your hair to bed so that it does not break easily.

While this cycle itself may not be under your control, there are a few external factors that can impact whether you shed hair. An instance of this is how you sleep with your hair without putting undue stress on it. You should know the best way to wear your hair to bed to prevent breakage.

Let us find out how to wear your hair to bed so that you do not lose any while sleeping.

10 Ways To Protect Your Hair While Sleeping

1. Avoid Damp Hair Before Bed Time

Hair fragility increases when it is wet. If you have a habit of washing your hair at night, you need to know how to style wet hair before going to bed. The protein bonds in your hair are weaker when the strands are wet, which makes them more prone to stretching and breaking (3).

So, the question here is, what to do with wet hair before bed?

Here’s how to sleep with wet hair without damaging it – dry your hair with a microfiber towel to remove excess water. Instead of using a brush, use your fingers to remove any knots and tangles. This is the best way to sleep with long hair without risking breakage and damage.

2. Use A Hair Oil

Applying hair oil to your hair and scalp can give them a healthy dose of nourishment. This way, you will be able to protect your hair while sleeping as well since oils tend to tame down dryness and reduce friction between hair strands. This can go a long way in preventing unwanted hair loss.

3. Use A Silk Pillowcase

Wondering what to do with long hair while sleeping? Long hair is more prone to damage and breakage, which can be a result of friction. If you have been wondering how to sleep with long hair to avoid damage, then a silk pillowcase is the answer to your question.

The fabric composition of silk allows your hair to slide on it easily, without making it rough or brittle. Sleeping on cotton pillowcases is one of the leading causes of split ends and dry hair.

4. Use Hair Silk Cap For Sleeping

A silk hair cap protects your hair overnight. Wearing such a sleep cap for hair ensures that your hair is completely safe inside it. Further, it also prevents tangling of hair and reduces the amount of friction between the strands.

Thus, you should invest in a good quality sleep hair cap that can help prevent breakage and split ends.

5. Remove Hair Products

It is really important to remove all hair accessories and extensions before you tuck yourself in bed. Ideally, you should choose comfortable hairstyles to sleep in and let your hair be free of anything that could increase the level of dryness and breakage.
Most of us want to know how to sleep with hair so it looks good in the morning, but using alcohol-based sprays to style your hair for this purpose will only result in damage. The best way to protect your hair while sleeping is to remove all clips, ties, and tight accessories that can potentially get entangled in your hair.

6. Should You Tie Your Hair While Sleeping? Definitely Yes!

A question that you may often have about your hair might be – is it better to sleep with your hair up or down? Tying your hair in a loose braid or bun prevents it from getting tangled while you sleep. It also prevents the breakage that may result later when you try to ease out those tangles.

7. Avoid Metal Or Rubber Ties

It is really important to pay attention to how you tie your hair while sleeping at night. Using ties that are made of plastic or rubber or those that have a metal clasp not only contributes to ridges in your hair but also causes friction, which leads to breakage.

Instead, choose cute hairstyles for bed using silk hair scrunches that will keep your hair safe at night.

8. Avoid A Dry Room

Dryness not only impacts your skin but also wreaks havoc on your hair. Apart from researching bedtime hairstyles and how to wear your hair to bed, you should also ensure that your room is not too dry and switch off the heater before you doze off. This will prevent your locks from drying out.

9. Comb Your Hair

Just like your teeth, your hair requires a tad bit of grooming before you get some beauty sleep. While you choose hairstyles to sleep in, give your strands a sweep with a comb or brush – but keep it minimal. Contrary to popular belief, there is no scientific proof that giving your hair 100 sweeps a day with a brush keeps it healthy.

10. Add Some Moisture

Just like your skin, even your hair requires enough moisture to remain nourished and regenerate. Sleeping with conditioner in hair is one way to help your hair attain the level of moisture that it needs to stay healthy. However, make sure that you are using a hair mask made for this specific purpose because not all conditioners are suitable for overnight application.

Now that you know how you can protect your hair at night, let us check out some ways to tie it securely.

How To Tie Your Hair At Night To Prevent Hair Loss

Are you in search of hairstyles for sleeping?

Do you often wonder, “Should I sleep with my hair up or down?” It is only natural for you to feel curious about this question so that you do not lose your hair.

There are several hairstyles that you can wear to bed that prevent damage and breakage.

You can try some simple yet protective hairstyles for sleeping:

  • Try sleeping in braids to get wavy hair the next morning. You will wake up to a few kinks of waves in your hair, which is how you can protect them from breakage during the night.
  • You may have often wondered – is it bad to sleep with your hair in a bun? As long as you are making a loose bun with your hair and tying it up with a silk scrunch, it is a safe way to style your hair for sleeping.
  • Another way to practice braiding your hair before bed is to twist two sections of your hair together such that they look like a rope. Secure the twisted braids with silk ties to keep them in place.

Whether you choose to twist your hair before bed or sleep with your hair up, these hairstyles will surely secure your hair the right way.


It is important to understand how to protect hair while sleeping because ignoring your hair health can cause breakage and hair fall. You can follow these practices to ensure that you take optimum care of your hair. Also, do these easy bedtime hairstyles to give your hair the right bounce and help it stay in shape.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can hair break when stretched while sleeping?

The hair fiber naturally has an elastic characteristic, which makes it stretchable up to 20-50% of its natural length. However, exposure to the sun, heating tools, and the use of chemicals may affect this property, making it more susceptible to breakage (3).

Should I sleep with my hair open?

It is better to sleep with your hair tied up since it helps to reduce the friction between the hair strands, thus preventing hair breakage.


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Arshiya Syeda is an editor and certified counselor. Ever the lover of the written word, she served on the editorial boards of her school and college newsletters. Writing articles on hairstyles, hair care, and nutrition helped her combine her love for reading, writing, and research. As an editor, she helps her team members deliver polished and meticulously researched content. Arshiya is fluent in English, Urdu, and Hindi and aims to become a multilinguist by learning German and teaching herself American Sign Language (ASL).