Is sleeping with wet hair bad?

More often than not, people tend to skip evening showers in fear of going to bed with wet hair. Although the common assumption is that going to bed without drying your hair first will lead to you catching a cold, it is not correct.

The notion can be traced back to superstitious tales handed down through generations by over-protective parents. In the past, if you ever caught a cold after having gone to bed without properly drying your hair first – it was utter happenstance.

People catch colds due to viral infections, not sleeping wet hair.

However, that does not mean sleeping with wet hair is without complications.

Risk of fungal infection

Albeit not causing the common cold, sleeping with wet hair can most definitely result in fungal infection forming on your scalp.

Malassezia is a common fungus that can develop on the scalp if the hair is moist for a prolonged period. It can cause conditions such as dermatitis and dandruff.

Moreover, your pillow comes in danger of being contaminated. Pillows are naturally inclined to hosting fungus; when you add moisture and heat to the equation, the situation simply escalates. A wet pillow and pillowcase provide the perfect condition for fungal growth.

Excessive hair breakage

When you wake up the morning after, you are sure to wake up with a dishevelled head, and you can look forward to a lengthy period of serious detangling and tending. However, the troubles can be more than just cosmetic ones.

Wet hair is already prone to damage at the best of times, but when you sleep in it, your hair will be susceptible to breakage. The tossing and turning while you are sleeping causes the most damage to hair in its most vulnerable state.

The issue only worsens if you tie up or braid the wet hair before bedtime.

What if I must go to bed without drying my hair first?

It may be your busy schedule, a broken hairdryer, or some other reason due to which you are forced to sleep with partially dried or full-on wet hair. In such cases, there are a few things you can do to make the situation less harmful for your hair.

Silk pillowcases

Keep a pair of silk pillowcases handy for times such as these. Silk pillowcases may be better for your hair and scalp in wet hair situations as they present minimal friction.

Condition your hair

Use conditioner if you know you will be going to sleep with wet hair. Conditioning helps seal cuticles and reduces friction as well. And later, you will find detangling easier.

Dry your hair as much as possible

Towel dry your hair to the maximum extent possible. And if at all possible, quickly blow-dry your right before you hit the hay.

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