I am no stranger to a bad case of bed head. Exhibit A: the picture below. Yep, my oh-so-kind boyfriend snapped that one morning while I was still asleep, claiming that I was so beautiful, he had to capture it in a photo. While the sentiment was sweet, all I could see was that birds nest building on my pillow!
You’re familiar with beauty treatments that work in your sleep— like eye cream and face masks— but how can we get better hair while catching Zs? Mario Russo, owner and lead stylist at Salon Mario Russo in Boston, shared the best tricks to prevent bed head and wake up with great hair.
1. Go to Bed with Dry Hair
Hair is most vulnerable when it’s wet, which means it’s easier to break and split as you toss and turn during sleep. Make it a point to let your hair dry (or use a blow dryer) before bed. “If you shower and don’t have time to dry it, use a cotton t-shirt, which is less abrasive than a towel, to wrap hair and keep it tucked in a turban-like creation until morning,” Russo suggests. You could also use a microfiber turban for a more secure wrap.
2. Use a Leave-In Treatment
If your hair is parched and ready for some super hydration, this one’s for you! Russo explains, “Utilizing a leave-in conditioning treatment before bed allows the moisture to seep into hair for a longer uninterrupted time, which in turn leaves your hair super hydrated and smooth the next day!” Use your favorite hair mask overnight and wash out in the morning for best results (I’ve been obsessed with the Macadamia Natural Oil Deep Repair Masque). Alternatively, you can use a moderate amount of coconut oil and wake up with super soft hair. Protect your pillowcases by wearing a shower cap or scarf.
3. Brush It Out Before Bed
Detangling your hair before bed is crucial to preventing bed head, but brushing it out can also help moisturize it! “Using a brush with natural bristles, start at the roots and move down to the ends of your hair. This will help to transfer the natural oils from your scalp throughout your hair shaft, giving hair an added dose of hydration. Additionally, if you’ve used a lot of products on your locks during the day, this will help to break them up on your scalp as well as on your strands, so that build up won’t occur.” I’ve been using the Wet Brush Pro Shine Enhancer lately, which has done wonders in keeping my hair lustrous and the oils evenly distributed.
4. Wrap It Up
If you’re a fan of the salon-blow out, the way you wear your hair while sleeping can make or break the style you just paid for. Russo suggests using the wrapping technique with bobby pins to preserve your ‘do. “Starting at the top of your head, use a brush to begin arranging hair around the head and pinning it down flat. Essentially, you are wrapping hair in a circle pattern around the head to keep it in its straight condition.” You can see a video demo of this technique here.
5. Sport a Top Knot
If you often fall victim to tangly or flat morning hair, try wearing a top knot to bed. Remember to opt for ribbon hair ties or scrunchies to avoid breakage. “As you blow-dry hair before bed, use a volumizing product on the root and once it’s almost dry, apply a texturizing spray throughout. Loosely pull dried hair upward and into a soft top knot. The height will give you an extra boost of volume as you sleep as well as ensure that your locks will maintain tangle-free for your early wake-up call,” says Russo.
6. Switch On a Humidifier
A humidifier is a good idea for any season, because both the air conditioner and the heater can dry out your hair. Using a humidifier can keep your hair moisturized, cutting down on breakage and helping bring out the shine. I have this cute humidifier currently sitting on my desk, which also doubles as an essential oil diffuser.
7. Invest in Silk
“Flannel or cotton sheets cause more friction on hair and, over time, will create damage.” Investing in a soft silk pillowcase or Egyptian cotton pillowcase will ultimately reduce frizz and keep your hair smooth while you sleep. These materials are also known to be better for skin, if you’re a side-sleeper.