Is It Bad to Sleep with Wet Hair?

Is It Bad to Sleep with Wet Hair?

Sleeping with wet hair is a contentious issue that has sparked decades of debate! You've already heard a lot of reasons why you shouldn't sleep with your hair wet, even though you might find it convenient. This raises the age-old question of whether or not it is healthy. Let's take a closer look at what happens to your hair when you sleep with it wet.

Catching a Cold - Fact or Fiction?

Let's start with the most important topic. No, you will not catch a cold, despite what your mother claims. Coming into contact with one of over 200 virus strains causes a cold. Colds are caused by viruses, not by being physically cold. This one can be chalked up to urban legend rather than a justification to be afraid of wet hair.

Let's face it, most of us weren't born with flawless hair that just air dries. Most of us like a little heat styling to get our hair to look the way we want it to. Friction, frizz, and tangles are more likely to occur when you sleep with wet hair, particularly if you toss and turn a lot. Keep in mind that anywhere the head meets the pillow, the drying and texture can be uneven.

The Bad News About Sleeping with Wet Hair

When your hair is wet, it is at its most vulnerable state. Wet hair expands, allowing the cuticle (exterior) to open, making strands stretchy, brittle, and prone to breakage. When the hair is wet, it takes less force to sever than when it is dry. Sleeping on top of your hair, tossing and turning in your sleep, plus sleeping with wet hair are some of the conditions that can be harmful to your hair.

If you have dandruff it's also not a smart idea to sleep with wet hair because fungus and bacteria like most microorganisms grow faster in wet, moist conditions. An overabundance of a yeast-like fungus (Malassezia) that is present on your scalp causes dandruff and other folliculitis on the scalp. 


We recommend using AtOne Itchy Scalp Shampoo and Treatment to moisturize your scalp and keep your hair hydrated. After applying, let it air dry. This allows your hair to expel excess moisture until you go to sleep. Hair should not be dripping wet through your pillow, but just mildly damp. Second, earlier showering. One stone, two birds. You shower earlier in the day to provide more time for your hair to air dry before going to bed. Don't go to bed with wet hair every night to prevent more harm. Switch it up by blow drying one night and allowing plenty of time for air drying the next. 

Silk scrunchies are a gentle and convenient choice for protecting your hair and keeping it damage-free when used with the above hair styles. Alternatively, sleep on a silk pillowcase, which is less drying and reduces hair friction. This should come as no surprise, but washing your sheets and pillowcases at least once a week is a good habit to develop. This helps you avoid coming into contact with pesky microorganisms that can cause hair and skin problems.

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