We've all been there. You have to get up early the next morning for a meeting or class, but your hair doesn't look particularly good. You still have to make dinner and put the kids to bed before finishing a few chores around the house, so you won't have time to wash your hair until much later that night.
You've washed your hair but now it’s getting REALLY late and you don't have the energy, so you skip the diffuse. You say to yourself, "Heat is bad for your hair, right?" It will dry faster if you sleep on it.
You wake up and wonder why you look like you've just been electrocuted, but there is no time to rewash it. The mess will have to do. You put your curls in a messy bun and rush out of the house looking like what you were trying to avoid: a mess.
Even though it might seem like the best idea to wash your hair the night before, there are risks you probably don't know about.
1. It could cause severe hair breakage.
Hair is at its weakest when wet, which means that if you sleep with wet hair, you are increasing the amount of breakage your hair endures. Naturally, you will toss and turn at night and the friction from that will cause the hair to snap and break more easily than if your hair was dry.
2. You will spend more time styling your hair.
Ever heard of the term 'bed head'? As your hair dries, it sets into place where it is. When you sleep, your hair gets twisted into all kinds of weird styles, and if it's drying while you sleep, it will also set that way.
Usually, the crown of your head and the ends of your hair are the areas worst affected. The only way to smooth out your hair is to spend a lot of time trying to restyle it, either by (ironically) rewetting it or by using a variety of heat tools and then suffocating it with aerosols and gels. Not exactly the "natural" look you were going for.
3. Worsens your immune system.
The old wives' tale that you'll get sick if you sleep with wet hair isn't entirely true. You can't catch a virus just from having wet hair.
Still, sleeping with wet hair can weaken your immune system, making it more likely that you'll catch a cold or flu virus.
4. Creates a breeding ground for bacterial and fungal growth.
The combination of water and warmth results in the rapid growth of bacteria. So, you can only imagine how much bacteria will be growing on your pillow and worse, your scalp, if you sleep with wet hair! Due to the heat from your head, the damp pillow becomes a breeding ground for harmful bacteria and fungi that spread to your scalp.
No, changing your sheets often won't help because the moisture from your hair will have soaked into the pillow.
5. Causes dandruff.
Because your head is warm and your hair stays damp for a long time, bacteria and fungi will grow on your scalp and pillow. When you sleep with wet hair, the natural oils in your hair are easily stripped away and get soaked up into the pillow along with the extra moisture in your hair.
The combination of bacteria growth and the loss of natural oils will make your scalp more likely to develop dandruff.
6. Makes your hair look dull.
The natural oils in your hair are taken along with the water when it gets soaked up by the pillow. Without these oils, your hair will look much more dull and dehydrated.
Hair that isn't getting enough water is also more likely to break. Don't forget that there is a big difference between hair that feels dry and hair that has lost all of its natural oils.
7. Can cause hair loss.
Believe it or not, going to bed with wet hair can result in hair loss and scalp ringworm. Scalp ringworm is an infection caused by fungi that grows in warm, damp places.
Scalp ringworm is highly contagious, so be sure to disinfect anything that has come into contact with your scalp.
8. It'll make your skin break out and cause acne.
If your pillow is laden with bacteria, the odds are high that you will soon be experiencing a break out of acne. If you dry your hair before bed, your skin will thank you.