Should you sleep with your hair up or down

When we think of the greatest (non-intellectual) debates in history, we remember questions like: “Which came first: the chicken or the egg?” or “How should you hang your toilet paper: over or under?” 

These questions have their equally controversial counterpart in the hair care world: “Should you sleep with your hair up or down?”

This topic is so debatable that we need a full-length article about it. It is high time to finally put an end to this debate. 

Read on to find out the best way to wear your hair when sleeping and the pros and cons of each option.


What is the best way to wear your hair when you sleep?

What is the best way to wear your hair when you sleep

On the internet, we get so many insights from different people.

Some say it is just a matter of preference and that there is no correct way of wearing your hair when sleeping. 

Others say it is more comfortable to let your hair loose since it is the hair's natural state.

However, most people saw huge advantages when they stopped wearing their hair down while sleeping. 

Some put their hair up in a bun, others wrap it with a silk scarf, while a few prefer loose braids.

Although wearing your hair a certain way is largely based on individual preference, there is still a way of wearing your hair that is most beneficial and least damaging. 

Experts say that the best way to wear your hair when you sleep is any way that minimizes friction and discourages tangles.

Intuitively, most of us might think that letting our hair loose is the best option because loose hair does not put pressure on the scalp. 

But, as you toss and turn in bed, your loose hair rubs with sheets, causing friction, leading to breakage.

With that being said, is it good to sleep with your hair up?


Is it good to sleep with your hair up?

Short answer: Yes, it is good to sleep with your hair up. 

Sleeping with your hair up means that your hair is high and secure enough that the strands don’t rub against one another and the pillow. 

It is good to sleep with your hair up because it lessens the friction between the hair and the pillow. Less friction leads to less breakage. Fewer breakage results in less hair fall.

For those who have really bad split ends, avoid sleeping with your hair down because doing so exposes the tips of your hair to friction which worsens your split ends. Instead, it is advisable to sleep with your hair up in a loose high bun.

For those with dry hair, friction makes your hair even drier. You can wrap your hair with silk scarves or sleep caps to prevent this. Using these will result in frizz-free and tangle-free hair as soon as you wake up in the morning.

You may also opt to apply a leave-in conditioner or essential oil before putting on your silk scarf or sleep cap for extra moisture. 


Is it bad to sleep with your hair up in a bun?

Is it bad to sleep with your hair up in a bun

It depends on the kind of bun that you will sleep in. 

A tight bun that pulls on your scalp would be uncomfortable and is definitely a no-no.

A loose bun at the back of your head would be okay, but it can easily get untied. Some people are also not comfortable sleeping with a lump at the back of their heads.

The best bun to wear when sleeping is a loose bun at the top of your head. Tie the bun in a way that does not pull at the scalp and does not rub against the pillow whenever you move in bed.


Should I tie my hair while sleeping?

Tying your hair in a ponytail before sleeping is not exactly the best option. 

With a ponytail, most of your hair lengths are still loose, and thus, they are still prone to friction. So, they will end up getting tangled anyway. 

If you are not a fan of high buns and head turbans, you can opt for loose braids instead. 

Loose braids keep your hair in place and lessen the possibility of breakage and hair fall. Make sure that your braids do not put tension on the roots of your hair. 

Bonus: You get nice, soft curls in the morning. 

If, for some reason, you still do not want a braid, you can tie your hair in low pigtails but with extra hair ties a few inches before the hair tips. The extra hair ties help minimize split ends because they keep your hair's ends in place.


Does sleeping with your hair up make it grow?

Does sleeping with your hair up make it grow

Short answer: No, sleeping with your hair up does not make it grow

There is no evidence to support the claim that sleeping with your hair up makes it grow faster. However, it lessens damage and hair fall, which leads to overall healthier hair. 

Somehow, it can indirectly contribute to hair growth, but it is not the only factor that can cause you to get such results.


How to Care for Your Hair While You Sleep

1. Do not sleep with wet hair.

Your strands are at their weakest when they are wet

If you sleep with wet hair, not only will it be uncomfortable for you, but it will also be disadvantageous to your strands because wet hair is more prone to breakage. 

2. Moisturize hair before sleeping.

You may apply hair serums or leave-in conditioners before bed. Ensure that these moisturizers are lightweight so that they will not result in greasy hair in the morning.

After applying moisturizers, wrap your hair with a silk scarf or sleep caps. This way, the products will not spread to your pillow and your face. 

If your face comes in contact with a hair care product, it can result in pimples or irritation.

3. Invest in a silk or satin pillowcase.

Silk and satin pillowcases are smoother. They are less likely to damage the hair due to friction. 

Also, unlike cotton pillowcases which absorb the scalp’s natural oil, silk and satin pillowcases are not as absorbent. 

So, they’re better at maintaining the hair’s natural moisture as you sleep.

4. Use silk scrunchies

When tying your hair up, opt for silks scrunchies instead. 

These are better than regular hair ties because their silkiness reduces friction on the hair. 

5. Brush before bed.

There is no other way to make sure that your hair is smooth and tangle-free than to brush your hair. 

Doing so before going to bed distributes your hair’s natural oils from the roots to the tips, giving your hair much-needed moisture after a long day.

CHECK OUT: 7 Protective Hairstyles for Sleeping


Up is the way to go!

We spend around one-third of our day in bed. Why not spend this time taking care of our hair, right? 

Although it may seem counterintuitive, sleeping with your hair up is actually better. 

But remember, it is essential to make sure that you do not feel any tension in your roots whenever you tie your hair before bed. 

Last Updated: April 24, 2022

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