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How to Protect and Sleep On Your Hair

All Hair Types

How to Protect and Sleep On Your Hair How to Protect and Sleep On Your Hair How to Protect and Sleep On Your Hair

What if we told you that with just a bit of prep before getting under the covers, you could set your hair up for the next day? Yep, we’re talking about getting gorgeous-looking locks with minimal effort—all while you sleep. Seems too good to be true, right? Well, if you follow our favorite pre-sleep hair care tips to learn how to sleep on your hair the right way, you’ll soon realize that you’re not dreaming! Whether you’re braiding your hair to get waves, nourishing damaged hair, or trying to preserve the look of a sleek blowout, there are steps you can take to ensure your strands stay looking absolutely stunning while you snooze. Read on for our best tips and hair hacks to teach you how to sleep on your hair tonight.


This might seem like a no-brainer but think about all the times you’ve fallen asleep without brushing your strands thoroughly. It’s probably a lot! The simple and quick step of brushing your hair every night before bed can not only help to detangle your tresses, but it can also help evenly distribute your hair’s natural oils from root to tip. What kind of brush should you use? A boar bristle brush is always a great option. However, as with everything in life, don’t go overboard on the brushing—that old wives tale of needing 100 strokes before bed isn’t true, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. Instead, a gentle, all-over brushing to disperse your hair’s oils throughout your strands is all you need. Another pro tip to remember: Don’t brush your hair when it's wet! Instead, use a comb to gently untangle wet hair.


We’re all guilty of it: Plenty of us shower right before bed and then lay our head down on our pillow while our hair is still wet. Your hair is at its most fragile when it’s wet, however, so this isn’t actually doing you any favors. Over time, going to sleep with wet or even damp strands can cause hair breakage and lead to damage. So, consider switching up your routine—maybe you wash your hair a few hours before bedtime or even in the morning. Or, if you shower right before bed, use a heat protectant, like the L'Oréal Paris Advanced Hairstyle SLEEK IT Iron Straight Heatspray, and give your hair a quick blow-dry before you hit the hay. If you’re trying to avoid heat styling, we salute you! Instead of reaching for your blow-dryer, use a soft t-shirt to dry your strands—it’s gentler on your hair than a regular towel.


Managing frizz and flyaways can be super-frustrating, no matter the time of day. To help prevent your hair from going haywire, apply a hair serum on your locks before heading to sleep. Try the L'Oréal Paris Eversleek Frizz Finish Oil-In-Serum, which is formulated with a blend of argan oil and flower oils and delivers a silky finish and luminous shine. Just this easy (and quick!) step can help ensure that you wake up with silky strands that are softer and healthier. Just don’t overdo it here, otherwise, you’ll wake up with hair that looks greasy. Just a couple of pumps will do the trick. The idea here is to nourish and replenish your hair with the moisture it needs to look its best, not to oversaturate it with product. The general rule of thumb of focusing hair products only on your lengths and ends also applies here.


Ahhh…isn’t the best part of going to the salon when your hairstylist massages your scalp? Recreate that relaxing feeling before bedtime—you won’t regret it! Giving yourself a quick scalp massage also helps stimulate blood flow to your hair follicles, which helps keep them healthy and aids in producing thicker strands, according to research published by the National Institutes of Health. Not to mention, a quick self-scalp massage can also be super relaxing and help lull you into a deep sleep.


Who says you need a curling iron to create effortlessly tousled beachy waves? All you have to do is sleep on a braid for beautiful texture. A loose braid is also one of the most protective hairstyles to wear to sleep—just don’t pull it tight! After you’ve washed your hair, spritz your wet strands with a wave spray, like the L’Oréal Paris Advanced Hairstyle AIR DRY IT Wave Swept Spray. Brush your hair as usual, then simply braid your strands—into one or two braids, your choice. The smaller the braid(s), the tighter your waves will be, while the bigger your braid(s), the looser your waves will be. Once your hair is dry, feel free to go to bed and let those pretty waves form overnight!


Another answer to the question of how to sleep on your hair is actually one of your go-to easy daytime hairstyles—a bun! Twist your hair up into a high bun before hitting the hay to achieve gorgeous locks while you sleep. This style, when done correctly, can help keep your hair protected and also produce pretty waves by morning. The trick to perfect, almost effortless, natural-looking waves is to use a creaseless scrunchie instead of a classic hair tie. And, as a bonus, the high placement of your bun can help to create some lifted volume at your roots. Va-va-va-voom! Just remember, for the same reason you shouldn't braid your hair too tightly, you'll want to keep your bun loose—any pulling of your hair will totally counteract your goal of protecting and beautifying your strands.


Do you normally apply dry shampoo in the morning when you realize your mane looks a little greasy? Well, it’s time to switch things up! Instead, it can be a good idea to use dry shampoo at night. Spray your hair before bed and the dry shampoo will have all night to help absorb excess oil at your roots and refresh your strands. Try the L’Oréal Paris Hair Expert Extraordinary Clay Dry Shampoo, which is formulated for thin hair or oily hair with three refined clays. Hold the can six to eight inches away from your head and spray the dry shampoo directly on oily roots, then lightly through the rest of your hair, brushing through. (Just remember to use dry shampoo in moderation, as it shouldn’t replace your regular hair washing routine.)


If you’ve ever wanted to sleep like royalty, now is as good a time as any to get fancy. Chances are, you’ve already seen plenty of these fancy silk and satin pillowcases popping up in articles and on your social feeds. They’re not a gimmick! Sleeping on a harsh fabric can cause hair breakage and switching to a satin or silk pillowcase can help to keep your hairstyle from getting mussed up while you toss and turn since they're smoother than other fabrics.


This might seem old-fashioned, but if you’re looking to preserve your blowout or perfectly formed curls until tomorrow, consider wearing a protective sleep cap to bed. Often made of soft silk or satin, sleep caps help preserve your hairstyle by preventing your locks from rubbing up against your pillowcase while you snooze. If you don’t have a sleep cap or aren’t ready to invest in one just yet, consider using a silk scarf instead. Simply wrap your dry hair loosely into the silk scarf and head to bed.


One of the most effective methods of ensuring that you’re beautifying your locks while you sleep is to apply a conditioning hair treatment onto your strands before heading to bed. With eight to ten hours work their magic on your strands, a nourishing hair treatment can help your hair overnight, and many of them can be applied onto either damp or dry hair. Simply apply a dime-sized amount of a hair treatment, such as the L'Oréal Paris Everstrong Break Proof Lotion, onto damp hair before drying, or onto strands that are already totally dry.


If you’re the type of gal who shampoos in the morning, or you just have extremely dry hair, then this tip is for you: applying a deep conditioning treatment onto your strands before bed can work wonders in repairing your strands. In fact, Some deep conditioners are specifically formulated for overnight use. In essence, when you sleep with a deep conditioner on your hair you’re giving the product more time to do its job.

Editor’s note: In order to keep the product on your strands (and off of your pillowcase!), consider wearing a sleep or shower cap to bed. Yes, it sounds high maintenance, but waking up with gorgeous strands will be oh so worth it!

Beauty sleep doesn’t just pertain to your hair! Next up: Overnight Face Masks: The Complete Skin Care Guide.