We are no stranger to the common belief that sleeping with wet hair isn’t good for us, but we do it anyway — and we all understand why. Waiting for our hair to dry, especially when we’re too tired and want nothing but to sleep, can sometimes feel like a never-ending process — what more for girls who have long and thick hair strands like me.
However, for us who often hit the hay with damped or wet hair, we might wanna reconsider this habit not because we can catch colds — per our overprotective moms and grannies — but because of other hair health risks that may come with it.
This seems kind of minimal risk but come to think of it, we’re talking about our crown in glory here! According to Dr. Adarsh Vijay Mudgil, a dermatologist from New York, sleeping with wet hair alone does not cause the breakage but the turning and twirling while we sleep with wet mane do.
He explains that it’s because our hair is at its weakest when it’s wet and our movement during sleep adds tension to the hair shaft, causing the breakage.
Our hair shines because of the hair’s moisture and scalp’s natural oil. When we lay our head wet on a dry pillow, the fabric absorbs this moisture, leaving the scalp dehydrated and lackluster.
Dandruff and other fungal infections
Dandruff may be caused by many things including fungi like Malassezia, dandruff-causing germs which thrive in warm, dark, and moist environments AKA our scalp when we go to bed with wet hair.
Aside from that, other types of fungi may also form on the wet pillowcases as these, too, provide the ideal breeding ground for them. Some fungi found on the beddings are responsible for causing serious infections in people with weakened immune systems.
What if we can’t help but sleep with wet hair?
Of course, we all live differently, and sometimes drying our hair completely is just not an option on a day-to-day basis. If that’s the case, here are some things that we can do:
Shift to a silk pillowcase
For most curly girls like me, a silk pillowcase is a must-have. But this may do wonders with any hair type as well. Silk pillowcase offers less friction on the skin and it doesn’t snag hair because it’s made of soft and smooth material.
Although evidence is yet to be found for its benefits on hair, many agree that a milder surface can help prevent breakage and dryness when we doze with wet hair — or even dry!
Take as much dampness out of the hair
Use a diffuser, an ordinary blow dryer, or simply sit in front of the electric fan. Do what would work for you to leave your hair close to dry. Less water on your hair means less damage.
Apply a leave-in conditioner
Conditioners help maintain our hair’s moisture. It helps seal the hair cuticle and makes it easier for the hair to detangle when we wake up. Aside from using a conditioner when we’re in the shower, we can also opt for a leave-in one so we can get an extra source of moisture.
Managing hair is self-care, too. It does not only gives us a beautiful luxe to flip over and over, it also contributes to our overall health.
Sure, not all of us can always bathe earlier before bedtime but we shouldn’t let that keep us from having the mane that we deserve. A few simple tweaks in our routine can help us lessen the potential risks of sleeping with damped hair but keep in mind that sleeping with dry hair is still the golden standard. Gradually make this our new habit and our gorgeous tresses will surely thank us.