Your long hair is a serious investment. Think about it: hair only grows a few inches per year, and the upkeep gets more involved as the strands grow. In other words, you've spent a lot of time getting your hair to this gorgeous length!
That's why it can be so frustrating to wake up to bedhead in the morning. You know that flyaway hair can be early signs of hair damage, and caring for your messy hair takes extra time out of your busy day.
Ready for the secret? Start the night before!
Knowing how to sleep with long hair is the key to priming your locks for the morning. Let's take a look at how to style smarter every night.
Let Your Hair Dry
We get it: timing your evening showers can be tricky. After a long day, you may only be able to shower right before you crawl into bed!
However, moisture is your hair's enemy at night. The wetter your hair is, the more likely you are to see messy hair in the morning.
When your hair is moist, it's also at its weakest. While this is fine during the day, it can make your hair vulnerable to friction and breakage as you toss and turn to get comfortable in bed.
Instead of wetting your hair right before bed, hop in the shower with enough time to let your hair air dry afterward. This might require an hour or two between showering and bedtime, depending on the length of your hair. Don't forget to finish your shower by rinsing your hair with cold water, as this can help seal your cuticles.
In addition, make sure you're drying your hair with the right fabrics. If you reach for your usual towel, you might cause frizz and damage once your hair dries! A good alternative is a microfiber towel or t-shirt, both of which absorb water without causing flyway hair.
Don't Skip Detangling
If you're serious about avoiding frizz and flyaways, set aside time to detangle your hair every evening. Getting rid of snarls and knots on the front end can keep these tangles from growing worse as you move overnight. This is even more important if you have thick hair, which is more prone to tangling.
Use a wide-tooth comb or a paddle brush, and make sure to be gentle on your hair.
Reconsider Your Style
On the note of detangling, a great tactic for preventing bedhead is sleeping with a protective hairstyle.
Braids and twists are some of the best styles for avoiding tangles overnight. These protective styles keep hair snug in place without putting extra stress on your strands.
Ponytails and loose buns are also a good option, though higher ones may be better. Low versions of these hairstyles keep your hair at your neck, grinding it against the pillow throughout the night.
Curly-haired girls often swear by the pineapple method, which keeps the bulk of your hair over your head and protects it from nighttime tossing and turning. This style is also great for anyone with thick hair. It's even a great way to protect your hair's volume and keep it from flattening overnight.
As a general rule of thumb, make sure to keep your hairstyle loose to avoid straining your strands. The goal is to keep your hair secure, but the style shouldn't be so tight that it puts stress on the hair of your scalp when you're sleeping.
One added bonus of pulling your hair back is that it can protect your skin as well. If you've applied any product to your hair, as you should if you want to lock in moisture, this product can get onto your skin when your hair's flowing all over the place. Try keeping your hair out of your face to see if it helps with breakouts.
Switch to Scrunchies
No matter what style you choose, you may want to make the switch to scrunchies over the traditional elastic hair band. Elastics can put stress on your hair as they hold strands in place, and the friction from holding tight braids or ponytails may cause frizz and flyaways.
Instead, tie off your hair with a scrunchie. Any scrunchie will do, but smooth fabrics like silk and satin are the best option for your hair. These gentle options can also keep your hair from showing an obvious dent in the morning, which can cut back on your styling time!
Upgrade Your Pillowcase
If you love the luxurious feeling of the silk or satin in your scrunchies, we've got great news: these fabrics are great as pillowcases, too! When used for your pillow, silk and satin can help with preventing bedhead in the morning.
Both of these materials help your hair retain its moisture. They also protect the hair's natural oils and reduce the risk of breakage. Even better, these pillowcases may be great for your skin as well, especially for anyone with sensitive skin.
Some people find that silk pillowcases aid in nighttime temperature control as well. If you're prone to sleeping hot, these pillowcases may help you prevent sweating and preserve your hairstyle.
Use a Hair Wrap
If you prefer not to use a silk pillowcase, a silk or satin hair wrap can give you the same effect. These caps protect your hair from friction as you move during sleep and keep strands from brushing against the cotton fibers of your pillowcase.
You can use your hair wrap with loose hair, but this strategy works best when you combine it with one of the protective hairstyles above.
Condition While You Sleep
One of the most important factors in long hair maintenance is when and how you use your hair products. Why not put them to work while you sleep?
The right lightweight masks, serums, and leave-in conditioners can help your hair retain moisture without getting product on your sheets. No one wants to wake up to dry or frizzy hair, and conditioning products also make it easier to style your hair in the morning.
There are plenty of leave-in conditioners for various hair types, so you may have to play around to find one that works with your hair. Some products are even designed to be used overnight, though this isn't always necessary.
Keep in mind that you shouldn't use products that have acidic ingredients, including apple cider vinegar and citric acid, as these products shouldn't sit on your hair for more than a few hours at a time.
To apply your conditioner, add a little to your hair right after your shower. If you want the lightest possible application, choose a water-based spray conditioner or mix your usual cream conditioner with water before applying.
If you're worried about the product spreading as you sleep, use a silk bonnet or wrap to keep your hair in place.
Apply Some Extra Oil
Experts also recommend using essential oils on the ends of your hair. These parts of your hair are the most vulnerable to friction and breakage while you sleep. If you're prone to split ends, nighttime movements may make this kind of hair damage more likely.
For longer-haired people, it can be difficult for the scalp's natural oils to penetrate down to the ends of the strands.
Coconut oil, argan oil, and jojoba oil are all great choices for protecting your hair. Rub a few drops of oil between your hands and apply it to the ends of your hair. This can help lock in the moisture from your conditioning product while protecting your ends.
Keep in mind that you shouldn't apply this oil to the rest of your hair, especially your scalp. Let your hair's natural oils do their job! Adding excess essential oils on the top of your head can make your hair look greasy or oily in the morning, which is the last thing you want when you're trying to tackle bedhead.
Create the Right Environment
High temperatures are not only uncomfortable, but they also drain moisture from your hair. Worse, if you often wake up sweating during the warmer months, your damp skin and scalp may contribute to your morning bedhead.
Whenever possible, make sure you're sleeping in a cool and comfortable environment. Turning on a fan, even in a warm room, can help circulate air and prevent sweaty mornings.
If you live in an area that has low humidity in the winter, consider getting a humidifier as well. Hair is sensitive to moisture in the air, and addressing the dry winter air can help your locks retain moisture and volume when you wake up in the morning.
Know How to Sleep With Long Hair
When you're hoping to get rid of bedhead, you have to learn how to sleep with long hair! Though your tresses might sometimes seem unruly during your morning styling sessions, the tips above can help you protect your strands and keep them smooth and tidy when you wake.
If you want easier styling, it might be time to check out VOLOOM! From volumizing irons to mousses and masques, our products can help you upgrade your morning hair game while preventing messy hair. Shop our collection to find your new favorite hair products.