Ask a Hairstylist: How to Sleep on Wet Hair


Stocksy / Design by Julie Bang

When we think of our ideal sleeping environment, we picture a soft down comforter, an array of fluffy pillows, and perhaps some soothing flute music to lull us to sleep, because the benefits of a good night's sleep are real (no matter how elusive a full eight hours can seem sometimes). However, nowhere in this dream scenario does sopping wet hair make an appearance—although we all know in real life, it might.

If you shower at night and are sick of blow-drying before bed, there’s still hope. We spoke with Celebrity Hairstylist Creighton Bowman and asked him for his advice on how to sleep on damp strands without ending up regretting it. Keep scrolling to see his advice on the best way to sleep on wet hair.

sleeping on wet hair
Michela Buttignol/Byrdie 

Meet the Expert

Creighton Bowman is a celebrity hairstylist located in Los Angeles, CA. His work has been seen on Laura Dern and Kate Beckinsale as well as seen on the covers of Esquire, Harper's BAZAAR, and InStyle.

First Things First

“You can’t sleep on totally wet hair,” Bowman starts off by saying. If you’re disappointed, we feel you—but here’s the reason: “The problem is that there’s not always enough time to set your hair and allow it to dry by morning.” However, if you’re okay with waking up to damp strands and blow-drying or air-drying them in the a.m., feel free to keep snoozing on damp strands—with one caveat. You have to buy a satin pillowcase first. “It allows your hair to move around freely, so you can just throw it up over the top of the pillow when it’s wet, which then further helps prevent creases in the hair,” he explains.

Slip Silk Queen Pillowcase $89.00

The Scrunchie Trick

Another way to try to prevent creases in your hair while you sleep? Use a scrunchie, which won’t leave marks or dents, says Bowman. Simply fasten your hair at the top of your head in a secure bun. Don’t have a scrunchie? “Just cut the top off a sock, and use it as a makeshift hair tie,” Bowman says.

Shh Silk Oversized Pink Scrunchie
ShhSilk Oversized Pink Silk Scrunchie $30.00

Imperfection Is Key

Bowman suggests flipping your head upside down—it may dry faster this way—and blasting it with a hair dryer until it’s damp, not wet. Then, twist your hair into four loose buns (secured with scrunchies), and call it a night. If you have naturally straight hair, a single bun will give you a looser wave. For those with curls, braids may be a better protective style. “You can braid instead of twist your hair,” says Bowman. “I recommend a loose french braid, starting just behind the front layers of your head. Your inability to make a perfect braid or perfect curl is working in your favor when you’re styling before bed,” he says. “It’s what makes the final outcome look cool—don’t worry about making it look fancy or perfect.”

Yves Durif The Yves Durif Comb $55.00

Keep reading as we separate fact from fiction when it comes to sleeping on wet hair.

Related Stories