Basically, for as long as I can remember, I was a night shower and therefore generally a wet hair sleeper. But if I admit this habit, there is always someone who withdraws visibly disgusted and barely hides the fact that he now sees me as less human. OK, maybe I'm exaggerating a little, but opinions are strong .
"This is one of these religious areas [in dermatology]", Mary L. Stevenson, MD, assistant professor at the Ronald O. Perelman Department of Dermatology at NYU Langone Health, says SELF. People have really strong beliefs about it! Some find that going to bed with wet hair damages their hair, and they may think it's just gross. Others, like me, swear that going to bed with damp hair doesn't have much of an impact on the thickness of your hair and may actually contribute to a beautiful wavy texture in the morning.
And it is true that "everyone's hair reacts differently," says Dr. Carol Cheng, assistant professor at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and director of the acne procedure clinic at the UCLA Medical Center in Santa Monica, opposite SELF. So what you notice about your wet hair can be quite different from what your friend notices.
Generally, the experts with whom SELF spoke said that the health risks of going to bed with wet hair are fairly low. But depending on how fragile your hair is and what other problems you may have to deal with (e.g. dandruff), you'd better wait until your hair is completely dry before hitting the hay.
Sleeping with wet hair causes breakage.
When hair is wet, it is generally more prone to breakage, says Dr. Cheng. This is because the hair cuticle (the outer protective layer of the hair shaft) opens when wet and makes the hair stretchy and brittle. "When the hair cuticle is open, it can stretch more so that it can stretch so that the hair breaks more easily," she says. This can happen if you brush your hair while it's still wet, or if you move naturally in your sleep.
How much is really important for your hair depends on the natural state of your hair is determined by several other factors that are unique to you. Genetics is one of these factors, says Dr. Cheng, but also how often you style your hair hot, whether or not you treat your hair chemically or with color, and in general how much damage it has already suffered.
So ultimately it depends on you and your own hair preferences. If you feel like going to bed with damp hair, which leads to breaks, this can be very true for you and it is worth thinking about changing your habits. However, if you do not notice any negative effects, you can continue to do so.
"Do what feels best for you," says Dr. Stevenson. If, like me, you are someone who knows that he prefers to go to bed with damp hair, "I can assure you that it is okay to go to bed with damp hair," she adds.
There are some potential health effects to watch out for.
In addition to the possibility of hair breakage, falling asleep with really damp hair can lead to some other health problems. In particular, the wetness of your hair combined with a damp pillow could create the perfect moist, warm environment in which yeast can thrive, including the yeast associated with dandruff, explains Dr. Cheng. If you're already prone to dandruff, you should know that going to bed with damp hair can help.
To sleep safer with wet hair:
Make sure it's not soaking wet. ] Let us be clear: your hair should not be so wet that it dampens your pillow, says Dr. Stevenson. Do your best to let your hair air dry at least a little before going to bed to reduce the risk of damage and dandruff.