The way you sleep can have an impact on your hair. From breakage to split ends, here’s how to prevent hair damage while you sleep.
Without proper overnight protection, hair can weaken and sometimes even break during sleep.
“While you are asleep, your hair may be subjected to unintentional friction and pulling caused by tossing and turning,” explains Dr Ophelia Veraitch, who leads the hair clinic at Cranley Clinic, London.
From pillowcases and hairstyles to sleeping with wet hair; the way you set yourself up for sleep can have an impact on the condition of your hair.
But of course, making these simple switches won’t prevent hair loss completely. “Unfortunately, hair loss generally is triggered by something deeper than the type of pillowcase we are using – whether it’s stress related or scalp disease,” says Dr Veraitch. “If you’re concerned about hair loss or hair shedding see an expert who will be able to prescribe suitable treatment and advice for you.”
Here, Dr Veraitch runs through some of the truths, myths and misconceptions around achieving healthier hair overnight.
You may also like
How to tell if there’s too much protein in your hair
Do silk pillowcases help to protect your hair?
“There is some evidence to suggest that silk pillowcases can protect your hair,” explains Dr Veraitch. “A lot of hair loss, especially in afro-textured hair, is traction-related and so using a silk fabric which allows your hair to move and slide naturally will help to prevent unnecessary breakage.”
However, she adds: “It’s important to remember that a silk pillowcase won’t remedy a problem that requires medical attention. If you’re worried about excess hair loss it is best to see a specialist to get to the root of the problem.”
Do silk hair coverings help to protect your hair?
“A silk hair covering would work in very much the same way as a silk pillowcase. The idea behind these products is to reduce any traction between the hair and the pillowcase,” she says. Additionally, silk hair coverings can help with oil absorption.
Are there any protective hairstyles you can do before sleeping?
If you’re wearing a silk hair covering, you may not need to worry about a protective hairstyle. However, if you don’t have one, Dr Veraitch says: “I would always suggest avoiding elastic bands at night. Tying your hair up with an elastic band will put undue stress and tension on your hair shaft and roots which can then cause unnecessary breakage.” If you absolutely need to use one, opt for one made from gentle materials, such as silk or satin.
Should you brush your hair before sleeping?
“It’s a great idea to brush your hair before sleeping,” she says. “This will help to prevent tangles becoming worse over night but this won’t necessarily have any impact on hair loss or hair growth.”
You may also like
How to keep your hair hydrated and prevent breakage
Is it okay to sleep with wet hair?
“I’d suggest not sleeping with wet hair,” says Dr Veraitch. “Hair is at its weakest when it’s wet. The main risk is breakage of hair when tossing and turning while sleeping.
“If you then braid your hair or tie it up [when it’s wet], you will add more tension to the hair shaft. If you can’t avoid sleeping with wet hair I would suggest leaving it down.”
Best products to nourish hair while you sleep
WetBrush Go Green Treatment And Shine - Coconut Oil
Not only is this WetBrush made with flexible bristles to allow 45% less breakage, it’s infused with coconut oil to leave hair conditioned and smooth.
Silke Hair Wrap The Poppy
Made with from 100% pure silk, this hair wrap stops friction from causing breakage or split ends. It also naturally conditions hair, meaning it distributes natural oils along the hair shaft. Pretty clever, right?
Briogeo Paradise Pink Satin Scarf
Much like a silk turban, this satin head scarf protects hair against friction and absorbs oils while you sleep. But thanks to the cut of the fabric, you have more freedom to tie it however works best for you and your hair.
Gallinée Prebiotic Scalp and Hair Serum
This clever hair serum balances your scalp’s microbiome to regulate its oil production. Plus, fermented rice water works to promote healthier, stronger hair.
Slip Silk Pillowcase
Cotton pillowcases can weaken hair, causing breakage. These cult pillowcases by Slip are made from 100% pure silk and promote shine, softness and thickness as you sleep. Plus, the silk is gentler on your skin, too.
As I Am JBCO Water
Hair can dry out overnight and so, it’s handy to apply a treatment or leave in conditioner. This Jamaican black castor oil water is infused with ceramides and vitamins C and E to lock in moisture and make hair stronger. You can use it in the morning prior to styling, too.
Only Curls Silk Scrunchies - Mini
If your protective hairstyle requires hair ties, opt for ones made out of silk. These mini scrunchies from Only Curls (which are also available in larger sizes), glide on hair without causing tangles or breakage.
Moroccanoil Treatment Original
This iconic hair oil is a bestseller for a reason. It’s infused with argan oil to nourish and condition hair while also repairing split ends.
You may also like
The best hair masks for every type, every texture, and every concern
Main image: courtesy of brands