Settling the Great “Sleeping with Wet Hair” Debate

Settling the Great “Sleeping with Wet Hair” Debate

Everyone, and I mean everyone, learns at an early age of the cardinal sin of falling asleep with wet hair. Will your hair fall out? Will you wake up with some horrible illness? There never seems to be a consensus as to why it is so bad to go to bed before drying your hair, but at least everyone seems to be in agreement that breaking this rule comes with dire consequences and should be avoided at all costs.

Despite all this, nearly every one of us has broken this rule at one point or another. Perhaps you had a long day at work or were simply exhausted from some late dinner party, and after a quick shower you simply didn’t have the time or energy to blow-dry or airdry your hair. While this obviously isn’t the catastrophic crime that your mother warned you about as a child, you certainly don’t want to make it a habit, as frequently falling asleep with wet hair carries a few risks.

The Negatives

For many, the worry about going to bed with wet hair is solely concerned with waking up with messy, unruly hair. In other words, wet hair at night leads to a bad hair day the following morning. To an extent, this can certainly be true, as the constant tossing and turning that we all do in our sleep can cause our hair to dry into a rather disjointed, untamable mess. But beyond a bad case of bed head, this same tossing and turning can also lead to some noticeable hair breakage, as well. You see, when the hair is wet, it stretches out the follicle and places the hair strand in its most vulnerable position. When you add in the tension and friction caused by moving your head against your pillow, this can very easily lead to broken hair strands. Knowing this, your first thought might be to just tie your hair back into a tight scrunch. Wrong! Tight, tied back hairstyles place the hair strand in a constant state of tension, and coupled with the expanding effects of wet hair, this can lead to even further breakage, or even worse, a receding hairline.

The other major problem with wet hair sleeping is that it provides the ideal breeding ground for fungi to grow and thrive in your scalp. Fungus needs a moist, warm environment to survive, and this is exactly the kind of environment that is created when your wet hair is held against your pillow for several hours. And of course, once a fungal infection takes root on your scalp, the result is flaky, unsightly dandruff that can be a total pain to treat, as well as dermatitis or other sorts of uncomfortable skin conditions.

The Fix

Of course, the obvious solution is to simply dry your hair before bed. However, for those of us who simply cannot avoid going to bed without wet hair, there are a number of preventative steps you can take. Many have touted the benefits of using a silk pillowcase or a hair wrap, and either option is worth a try to keep your hair feeling relaxed and protected. A more effective approach would be to apply some sort of a leave-in conditioner, such as Sutra’s Leave-In Conditioner, which will seal the cuticle and prevent it from stretching out to the point of breakage. A lighter product with similarly beneficial effects would be a hair serum, such as Sutra’s Rejuvenating Hair Serum, or an oil blend, such as Sutra’s Hair Cocktail, that contains ingredients with anti-breakage properties.

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