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How Do I Protect Hair While Sleeping?


You probably already have a nighttime skincare routine. But do you have a routine to protect your hair while sleeping? If not, it’s definitely time to get one! 

Tossing and turning at night can rough up your hairs’ cuticles and can put tension on your scalp. And that can lead to dryness, breakage, and even thinning hair. Long hair and curly hair are particularly prone to overnight damage, but all hair types can benefit from taking protective measures before bed. Keep reading to learn why it’s important to develop a pre-sleep haircare routine and learn how to protect hair while sleeping. 

6 Ways to Protect Hair While Sleeping

1. Brush Your Hair

There’s an old wives’ tale that brushing your hair 100 strokes before bed will leave hair shiny and healthy. While 100 strokes might be overkill, brushing your hair with a boar-bristle brush before bed does have advantages. For one, detangling your hair before bed keeps all those knots from getting worse while you sleep. Plus, natural boar bristles help to evenly distribute the oils from your scalp throughout the hair, which keeps hair moisturized overnight. 

2. Apply Dry Shampoo

If dry shampoo is a regular part of your routine, try applying it before bed. The dry shampoo will absorb any oils that form overnight. So you’ll wake up with refreshed hair that feels cleaner. 

3. Braid Before Bed

Sleeping with a top knot or ponytail might seem harmless. But tight hairstyles like those can pull on the scalp and strands while you’re sleeping, which can cause breakage and eventually even hair thinning. 

brunette woman braiding hair, bed back view. protect hair while sleeping toppik hair blog

Instead, we recommend styling hair in a single loose braid before bed. Like a hair bun, a braid will keep your hair out of your face while you sleep. But loose braids put less tension on your hair and scalp. As an added bonus, when you sleep with your hair in braids, you’ll wake up with heatless waves

In the morning, finger-comb hair to loosen the waves, then add Toppik Hair Building Fibers wherever you need a little extra boost of coverage. Finish with Toppik FiberHold Spray to strengthen the bond between Fibers and hair strands for longer-lasting results plus natural-looking shine.

4. Dry Hair Completely

Showering at night definitely saves time in the morning. But if you wash your hair before bed, make sure to dry it completely before hitting the hay. Hair is more fragile when it’s wet. So if you sleep with wet hair, the natural friction caused by your pillowcase every night can lead to even more breakage for fragile wet or damp strands.

After washing, gently squeeze excess moisture out of hair with a microfiber towel and allow your hair to dry for at least one or two hours before bed. Or spritz hair with a heat protectant spray and blow-dry on low heat.

woman drying wet hair with towel. protect hair while sleeping toppik hair blog

5. Apply Leave-In Conditioner

If your hair is prone to dryness, apply a leave-in conditioner before bed. Then braid hair in a loose braid. The conditioner will help to repair and hydrate hair overnight so you wake up with healthier-looking hair.

6. Sleep On Silk

Most pillowcases are made from rough cotton fibers that can snag on the hair cuticle, causing friction that leaves it looking frizzy in the morning. Plus, cotton’s absorbent properties means that your cotton pillowcase can actually soak up moisture from your hair, leaving strands parched and fragile.

blonde woman sleeping on a white silk pillowcase and sheets. protect hair while sleeping toppik hair blog

Swap out your regular cotton pillowcase for a silk model. Silk has smoother, finer fibers so your hair cuticle glides against the pillow for less snagging. If you don’t want to change your pillowcase, you could also wrap your hair in a silk or satin scarf while you sleep for the same results.

How do you protect hair while sleeping? Share your tips and tricks with other readers in the comment section below. 

Colleen Welsch is a freelance beauty writer and blogger specializing in hair care, hair growth education and beauty.

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