5 Things You Should Never Do to Your Hair Before Bed

Updated 10/25/19

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Beauty sleep, as a term, applies to more than just your skin. While we do spend plenty of time and effort investing in a nightly skincare regimen, prepping our locks for sleep is a step that often goes overlooked. How you spend your shut-eye can greatly affect the state of your hair, so before you hit the hay, take care of your tresses by making sure your beauty routine prioritizes healthy hair. The first step is breaking the bad bedtime habits of which we've all been guilty.

While you snooze, your hair is vulnerable to many menacing factors. As we carry on through our REM cycles, our hair is defenseless against its environment—the humidity of the room, the temperature, the pillow on which it rests. How you tie it up and what you tie it up with all contribute to its well-being come morning. Though we're not saying bedhead is completely avoidable, we are suggesting a handful of precautions to take to ensure your hair is getting its best beauty sleep while you get yours.

These are the bad bedtime habits to break if you want to wake up to healthier, more beautiful hair.

Habit 1: Sleeping on Any Old Pillowcase

Your pillowcase has the potential to make a huge impression—literally. "Cotton is known to deplete moisture from the hair leaving it dry and frizzy," says celebrity hairstylist Ashley Wahler. She advises that you switch out your current pillowcase to a silk one, to prevent breakage and keep your hair looking healthy and shiny.

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Habit 2: Not Tying Up Your Hair

Sleeping with your hair down seems like the most natural way to go but can actually be doing more harm than good, especially if you have long hair. "Never go to bed without tying your hair up (for long hair), as loose hair can tangle. Removing tangles later can cause breakage," says celebrity hairstylist Fallon Toni Chavez. The best thing to do is tie your hair up in a loose bun on the top of your head so you're never sleeping directly on top of it while you're lying down.

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Habit 3: Using Metal or Rubber Hair Ties

When you do tie up your tresses for the night, what you use to wrap it up makes a difference. "Stay away from metal and rubber hair ties," says Wahler. "Wearing your hair up to bed can create unnecessary breakage especially around the hairline. If you have unruly hair, try a loose braid tied with a silk scrunchie instead."

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Habit 4: Sleeping on Wet Hair

We’ve all been guilty of heading to bed soon after showering and falling asleep before our hair dries. Just as our mothers chided us for the bad habit when we were young, hairstylists scold us for still doing it in our adult years. "I don’t think you should go to bed with wet hair. It’s always more work in the morning because it can dry super crazy and you will have to use extra tools like a flat iron or curling iron which creates more damage in the long run," says celebrity hairstylist Scotty Cunha. If you must go to bed without letting your hair fully dry, Cunha recommends putting in a super hydrating hair mask or conditioner before heading to sleep.

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Habit 5: Sleeping in a Dry Room

We know the havoc a dry environment can wreak on our skin, but we don’t often consider that it can have very similar and equally negative effects on our hair. If your bedroom is typically dry, or if you have a heater on, your hair might suffer from the dry air. "Never go to bed with central heat on, that can dry your hair out," says Chavez. Try investing in a humidifier to keep your locks from getting dried out (and to prevent other beauty woes like chapped lips and flaky skin).

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