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Hair · June 1, 2021

The Right Way to Sleep with Wet Hair

A note for every head: Sleeping with your hair wet or damp is not necessarily bad, but if its excessive (think nightly), you have a high chance of damaging your follicles, causing breakage, or possibly even getting a fungal infection on your scalp, explains Samantha Padilla, whose clients include Alicia Keys and Victory Boyd. She also suggests swapping out your pillowcases frequently.

1. So, first, let your wet hair air dry until its at least damp (or if you need to go to bed, like, yesterday, use a hair dryer to quickly get some of the moisture out).

2. Next, unless you want to wake up to a specific style, sleep with your hair down so it can move freely while you toss and turn. Pulling it up too tight when going to bed can break the hair and cause a receding hairline, warns Kat Zemtsova.

3. Finally, never skip the product. Sleeping on damp, untreated hair can cause frizz, flyaways, and breakage.

1. Sure, you may have tried the two-strand twist before bed, but what about a banded ponytail? It helps elongate your hair while protecting the shape of the curl, explains Padilla.

2. Zemtsova swears by intense moisturizing styling products that are either olive oil-based or specially formulated for textured hair (try Number 4 Texture Styling Crme). After applying this to damp hair, use a paddle brush to loosen until its almost straight. (You might need to blow dry a little to do this, then part your hair to one side). If you want to wake up with straight hair, comb the rest of the hair toward that same side, using large bobby pins to pin it up as you go. If you want a curly look, create twist-outs.

3. Cover your hair with a large silk scarf or bonnet to prevent flyaways and keep the style in place until morning. Silk pillowcases work, too. Overall, you are preventing hair damage and locking moisture by using any or all of these accessories, says Padilla.

(More products we love for 4A to 4C textures, right this way...)

Applying products before bed is especially important for spirals to give them added moisture and definition. Zemtsovas trick: applying different formulas to certain parts of your hair.

1. Use a styling product like Davroe Curl Crme Definer from roots to ends so your curls are less soft and dont flatten while you sleep.

2. Apply a hydrating product like Oribe Supershine Moisturizing Cream from midway down the hair to the endsthe scalp produces natural oil on its own, so you dont need to moisturize the roots.
3. If youre concerned with flatness or frizz, Padilla recommends investing in a silk pillowcase or satin scarf. (Bonnets work too!) It will protect your curly strands from being disrupted while sleeping, she says.

4. Per Padilla, You'll also want to use a few products to help streamline your morning routine. A leave-in spray like Bumble and Bumble Curl Prestyler/Restyler will prep your waves as both a de-tangler and conditioning spray. (We also cant say enough good things about Oribe Curl Gele for Shine & Definition.)

5. Once you wake up, Chase advises clients with curly hair to use a diffuser to help shape the hair, or add a little sea salt spray to help further shape the curls. For waves, he advises running a blow dryer through the hair to eliminate any unwanted moisturepreferably while holding ones head upside down to gain volume.

6. Finally, use a refresher spray or dry shampoo at the root to add a little lift.

(Dont know your hair type? Want more product recommendations for curly/wavy hair? Were here to help.)

Joseph Chase, who works with Billie Eilish, Emma Watson, and Ashley Greene, suggests you prep with mousse at the root for extra body, and a leave-in conditioning spray for the ends. (We love Oribe Grandiose Hair Plumping Mousse and Briogio Farewell Frizz Leave-in Conditioning Spray.)

1. To wake up with straight hair: make sure to gently comb the products through with a boar bristle brush. The dense bristles evenly distribute natural oils so its shinier, less frizzy, and more manageable.

2. And if you want to wake up to light waves: apply a wave-friendly mousse from roots to ends (Bumble and Bumble Curl Mousse is great for this), part your hair in two sections, and gently create two- or three-strand braids. Be sure to use an elastic without a metal clip to avoid crimping at the ends.

3. See you in the morning!

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Erica Smith