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GR8NESS expert Expert Reviewed
A woman in bed ponders if she can sleep with her hair wet
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What Happens When You Sleep with Your Hair Wet?

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In the spirit of debunking our grandmothers’ superstitions and saving time on a blow dry, we want to know: How bad is it really to sleep with your hair wet? There’s always been an index finger wave of disapproval at the idea. People will often warn: “you’ll get sick,” or “you’ll damage your hair!”

It is agreed across research that the likelihood of getting a cold solely from sleeping with your hair wet is, in fact, not very high. There is no evidence proving that you are certain or even likely to get sick for this reason.

Does that mean that we’re in the clear sleeping with damp strands? Can you go ahead and sleep with your hair wet worry-free? Well, not exactly.

Watch Out for Bacteria

The warmth of body heat in combination with the moisture from damp hair creates a five-star breeding ground for bacteria on your pillowcase and sheets (try not to cringe). This can lead to the onset of fungal infections or other conditions of the scalp or skin.

It Could Dry Your Scalp

Bacterial growth occurs alongside the stripping of natural oils from your hair, with the moisture being released onto your pillow. The scalp then becomes very dry and begins to flake, otherwise known as dandruff.

More Prone to Break

Another result of the severe dryness that can occur is breakage to the hair. Friction is hairs’ worst enemy, and when you sleep with it wet, the strands are most weak and vulnerable. You may experience split ends, breakage, and fly-aways.

Speed Up hair Loss

Similar to breakage, a prolonged habit of sleeping with hair wet can tug at the follicles and eventually lead to hair loss or recession.

Promotes Acne

Another byproduct of the bacteria that can form when you sleep with your hair wet is the provocation of acne. Pores may become clogged with the bacterial matter, leading to breakouts.

Lower Your Immune System

While there isn’t evidence that wet hair overnight will undoubtedly lead to getting sick, it can lead to a weaker immune system. This can occur if body temperature is lowered from being cold, leaving a slightly lowered defense system.

Now That the Blanket is Wet

It’s probably wise to say that skipping that blow dry or air dry session before bed is not the GR8EST idea. So, what can you do to factor the habit out of your routine?

  • Towel dry with a microfiber towel
  • Wash hair in the morning
  • Try a dry shampoo

And if you must do it:

  • Get crafty with a waterproof pillowcase
  • Brush hair with a soft bristle brush
  • Use a towel to separate your hair from your pillow
  • Try an antibacterial shampoo formula

If none of this puts you off about sleeping with wet hair, remember it is also the leading cause of bed head. Just sayin’!

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Amanda
GR8NESS Writer
Amanda is a GR8NESS contributing writer who lives in celebration of self care, and endeavors to approach all things with a student mentality. Her love for the study of self-development is rooted in fitness, holistic wellness, and skin care. She is an advocate for mental health; and hopes to connect others to their own way of daring to care.
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