How to Sleep with Long Hair

By Geoff McKinnen Certified Sleep Coach

Last Updated On November 29th, 2023
How to Sleep with Long Hair

Key Takeaways

  • Take Care of Hair with Accessories: Use gentle hair accessories like silk scrunchies or sleep caps to prevent tangling and friction against the pillow. Using a wide-toothed comb before bed can take care of small tangles. Silk is extremely gentle on hair.
  • Style Long Hair with a Loose Braid: Braid your hair or put it in a loose, low ponytail before bed. This keeps hair contained and prevents knots and tangles from forming while you sleep.
  • Moisturize Long Hair: Apply a hair oil or leave-in conditioner before bed to seal in moisture and prevent breakage. Keeping hair properly hydrated prevents damage. However, avoid sleeping with wet hair to prevent fragility and damage.

Long hair is a crucial part of how we look, and lots of folks put in a bunch of time and money to take care of it. To get long, healthy locks, it’s important to do the right stuff during the day and before bedtime. Many people dream of having long, beautiful hair, but sometimes it can turn into a bit of a problem when it’s time to go to sleep.

You see, long hair can get all knotted up, tangled, and hurt while we’re getting our beauty rest. But don’t worry! We’ve got some great tips to help you keep your long hair safe and sound while you’re having a good night’s sleep.

Save $450 On Any Mattress

Plus free shipping

Get $450 OFF Mattresses

Tips on How to Keep Your Hair Safe While You Sleep

If you’ve got very long hair, you know how important it is to keep your hair healthy. But when it’s time to hit the hay, keeping those long locks in tip-top shape can be a bit tricky. That’s why we’ve gathered some helpful tips on how to keep your hair safe while you sleep.

Use a Wide-Toothed Comb before Bed

At night, your hair can turn into a tangled mess if you don’t take care of it. Small tangles can grow into big knots, making your hair super messy and tough to fix in the morning. So, why let your hair become a tumbleweed of knots? Instead, use a wide-tooth comb before bed to stop hair tangling and prevent hair damage.

Wear a Silk Scarf or Sleep Cap

One of the best tips for sleeping with long hair is to wear a silk scarf, silk bonnet, or a sleep cap. When you cover your head with silk, it helps protect your hair overnight. Silk is super gentle on your locks, reducing the chances of hair getting tangled or damaged while you sleep.

Silk pillowcases are a complete game-changer because they don’t tug at your hair or absorb moisture from your hair and face. Meanwhile, sleeping in a bonnet or cap can help preserve your hairstyle.

So, remember to slip on that silk scarf or sleep cap before bedtime to keep your long hair looking its best in the morning. It’s a simple step that can make a big difference in maintaining healthy and beautiful hair.

Use a Silk or Satin Pillowcase

Satin and silk pillowcases, unlike polyester ones, are super soft. They do a great job at preventing tangles and frizz by reducing the friction between your long hair and the pillow. So, if you want to keep your long hair healthy and frizz-free, consider using a silk pillowcase.

Schedule Your Showers

To prevent hair loss and breakage, change up your routine by scheduling your showers earlier in the day. By doing this, you can avoid the need to blow dry your hair before bedtime, saving you time and preventing potential damage. Aim for a morning shower and hair wash to eliminate the need for towels or hairdryers when it’s time to hit the hay.

If possible, time your showers before bed so that your hair has a few hours to naturally dry completely and you aren’t sleeping with wet hair. As a bonus, give your hair a quick blast of cold water at the end of your shower. This chilly trick helps seal in moisture, leaving your hair looking healthier overall.

Protect Ends with an Essential Oil

To keep your hair healthy and prevent split ends, consider applying a few drops of essential oil before bedtime (not to be confused with scented essential oils for sleep that you might use). Hair oil helps seal moisture into your hair cuticle, ensuring your strands stay hydrated. When your hair lacks moisture, it becomes more prone to breaking and developing split ends.

Opt for a lighter formula of quality hair oil to care for your long hair. This lighter essential oil will create a protective barrier, reducing the chances of frizz, tangling, and breakage. It also offers a slip that helps safeguard your hair follicles and prevents issues like traction alopecia. So, give your long locks the moisture they need for a healthier, happier mane.

Condition Your Hair While You Sleep

Boost your hair’s health while you sleep by using a leave-in conditioner with nourishing botanical extracts. Applying a leave-in conditioner before bedtime is a fantastic way to provide your hair with extra care. The best part? It is perfect for overnight use.

To maximize its effectiveness, braid your hair loosely after applying the conditioner. This keeps your hair contained and helps the conditioner work its magic throughout the night. When you wake up, your hair will feel super soft and look amazing, thanks to the extra TLC it got while you were sleeping.

Braid Your Hair or Put It in a Loosely Tied Ponytail

For a comfortable night’s sleep, consider braiding your hair or putting it in a loosely tied ponytail using a scrunchie instead of elastic hairbands. This helps keep your hair contained and prevents tangles while you rest.

Before you hit the hay, make sure to free your hair from any hair cosmetics or styling products to allow it to breathe and recover during the night. Additionally, gently brush your hair extensions to remove any knots or tangles, ensuring that you wake up with tangle-free and beautiful hair in the morning.

Switch to Soft Scrunchies

Prevent breakage by switching to a satin scrunchie. Unlike elastic hair bands, which can pull your hair too tight and lead to damage, satin scrunchies are gentle. They keep your hair neatly in place without causing friction, especially at night.

With a silk scrunchie, you can also reduce the chance of waking up with dented hair, saving you time on styling in the morning. Simply opt for a low ponytail with your silk scrunchie, and your hair will thank you for the care it deserves.

Plug in a Fan or Humidifier in Your Bedroom

To maintain the health of your hair and sleep comfortably, it’s crucial to control the bedroom environment. High temperatures can be tough on your hair as excess sweating can lead to more tangles and knots. So, make sure to set the air conditioning to a cool, comfortable level or sleep with a fan on in your room.

Sleeping in a cooler environment not only benefits your hair but also makes it easier to fall asleep comfortably and enjoy a good night’s rest. If your bedroom tends to have dry air, consider the benefits of a humidifier for sleep in the room. Adding moisture to the air will help keep your hair properly moisturized overnight, promoting overall hair health.

Ensuring you have a good humidity for sleep is important. However, make sure your bedroom isn’t too wet and warm, as this can promote mold and mildew and allow pests like lice to flourish.

See also:

Should You Wear Your Hair Up or Down?

Leaving your long hair open while sleeping can lead to increased frizziness and, over time, even hair loss. When you tie your hair too tightly, it can harm the hair roots and potentially result in traction alopecia. To avoid these issues, it’s essential to handle your hair gently, especially at night.

Instead of leaving your hair free-flowing, use a hair dryer and consider wearing it in a loose ponytail or loose braids. These styles apply less pulling force to your scalp, reducing the risk of damage. Avoid hair clips as this will make your sleep uncomfortable.

Taking care of your hair at night is crucial. So, before bedtime, take a deep breath, and make it a part of your nightly routine. By doing so, you’ll not only protect your hair but also ensure it stays healthy and beautiful in the long run.

What Not to Do with Long Hair

To keep your long hair in great shape, it’s important to know what not to do. First, avoid sleeping with wet hair or even damp hair. Wet hair is more fragile and prone to damage, so be sure to dry it completely before hitting the sheets.

Next, steer clear of tight hairstyles, such as overly tight ponytails or buns, which can pull on your hair and lead to breakage. Give your hair some breathing room with styles like a loose braid.

Avoid using harsh hair accessories like metal clips or tight rubber bands, as they can damage your hair over time. Opt for gentler options like scrunchies or soft hair ties.

Don’t skip regular hair care routines, including brushing and conditioning. Neglecting your hair can result in tangles, knots, and a less-than-healthy mane. If you have a nighttime skin routine, you’ll also want to factor your long hair into it, as longer hair can get in the way and applying product and become damaged by certain ingredients.

With these tips, you’ll be on your way to keeping your long hair looking its best.


Should you sleep with your hair in a ponytail?

No, we can’t recommend regularly sleeping with your hair in a ponytail. Tying your hair tightly in a ponytail while sleeping can lead to hair breakage, friction, and discomfort. If you prefer to keep your hair out of your face while you sleep, you can use a loose scrunchie or a hair-friendly accessory designed for sleep, like a silk or satin hair tie.

Should you sleep with your hair in a bun?

Sleeping with your hair in a bun can be more comfortable than a tight ponytail or free-flowing long hair, but it still carries some risks. Tying your hair too tightly in a bun can cause stress on your hair strands and potentially lead to breakage.

If you choose to sleep with your hair in a bun, make sure it’s loose and not pulling on your hair. Using a soft scrunchie can be a gentler option for securing your bun during sleep.

Is it better to sleep with long hair up or down?

Sleeping with your long hair in an updo, such as a loose ponytail or bun, can help prevent tangling and reduce friction between your hair and the pillow. We particularly recommend this style for those with very long or thick hair.

Conversely, some people find sleeping with their hair down more comfortable, as it allows their hair to flow freely without any tension. However, this can potentially lead to more tangling and hair breakage if not properly managed. Experimenting with both styles can help you see which one helps you sleep more comfortably and keeps your hair in better condition.

How do I stop my hair from tangling when I sleep?

One effective method is to tie your hair in a loose braid before going to bed. This keeps your hair contained and reduces friction against the pillow, minimizing the chances of tangling. Do not use tight hairstyles or hair accessories that can cause stress on your hair during the night.

Gentle detangling before sleep and regular hair care, including moisturizing treatments, can further help prevent tangles and maintain the health of your hair.

Why does my hair get matted overnight?

One common cause of hair matting is friction between your hair and the pillowcase. Hair can become tangled and matted as you shift positions during the night. Cotton pillowcases, in particular, can create more friction, leading to overnight hair matting. Using sleek pillowcases can reduce this friction. You can also loosely restrain your hair with ties to keep it contained.

Lastly, the texture and condition of your hair play a role. Dry or damaged hair is simply more prone to matting. Therefore, maintaining a good hair care routine and keeping your hair moisturized can also contribute to reducing matting overnight.


Ensuring the well-being of your long hair during slumber is a key part of maintaining its quality and appearance. By incorporating these practices and avoiding detrimental habits, you can ensure your hair remains free from tangles and damage while you sleep, waking up to a splendid head of hair each morning. Sweet dreams and healthy, beautiful long locks.

About the author

Geoff McKinnen is a writer focusing mainly on the healthcare industry and has written articles on everything from foods to help you lose weight to the connection between Alzheimer’s and sleep. Geoff’s passionate about helping readers improve their well-being to lead happier lives. Outside of work, Geoff enjoys cycling and hiking and believes that by leading a healthy lifestyle, he can help others do the same.

View all posts

Discover the ultimate sleep system

Choose your mattress

Shop top-rated mattresses with proven sleep-boosting materials.

Get a pillow

We have the perfect pillow to pair with your mattress.

Browse Pillows

Pick out bedding

Bring out the best in your mattress with our soft and breathable bedding.

Browse Bedding