Oh, the sleep that comes after you’re done bathing, with a head wash, and lying on your bed. Heaven on earth, it is! But this heaven doesn’t last for long, for it is only short-term satisfaction that comes with long-term dissatisfaction. You should know that as nice as it feels, wet hair and pillows aren’t the best of friends. Never were, never will be. We’ve all been there, and more than likely, we’ve all, at some point, hit that pillow exhausted, with our hair still humid. But unfortunately, doing so may cause some unpleasant effects on the skin on your scalp, face, and other parts of your body. Here’s how:
Why You Must Not Go to Bed with Wet Hair
Hair is at its most fragile when wet, so if you go to bed with it damp and proceed to toss and turn against a pillow, you run a higher risk of breakage due to the excessive friction.
But sleeping with wet hair on your pillow is damaging not only to your hair but also to the skin on your scalp. How? Certain bacteria and fungi thrive in warm, moist environments, and they will proliferate on scalp skin if it stays damp for hours. Warm and wet areas are always home to most of the harmful micro-organisms. A type of yeast called Malassezia most commonly accumulates on the scalp and gives birth to a certain type of flaky product, which is more often than not mistaken for dandruff. However, there can be other reasons for the growth of this fungus as well. But damp hair can be one of those as well. It causes a lot of itchiness and even hair loss at a very fast pace. Hair strands tend to become weaker and break at even a slight pull, leading to hair thinning problems as well.
You might be thinking that only the area that is associated with the hair would be affected if you slept with wet hair. But there’s more to it. Even the skin on your face gets adversely affected if you do not properly manage your hair. You could also be susceptible to developing small acne bumps or pustules that could become itchy or painful. This is a condition called fungal folliculitis. While the name might be extremely scary, folliculitis is a relatively common skin condition that occurs when hair follicles become inflamed. What one must know is that while mild cases may be amenable to treatment with over-the-counter antimicrobial products, more severe cases may require topical and/or oral medication.
Another reason, which is also one of the most common reasons why people are advised not to sleep with their hair wet, is that your hair will rub against the pillowcase, developing a lot of friction, which is obviously not good for the hair strands, leading to split ends and damage to the quality of the hair.
And if you’re wondering whether it is just the skin of your scalp and face that gets affected adversely upon sleeping with wet hair, let me fill you in on how other parts of your body can also get affected. Some of you might have also developed a skin condition called fungal acne on your back. While you may think that it is due to heat or any other reason, the actual cause of the nuisance is your wet hair while you were sleeping.
Pillowcases tend to be prone to bacterial buildups just because each night they spend seven to eight hours in direct contact with your head. So, you should make sure that you change your pillowcase at least once a week. Silk and satin pillowcases are better for creating less friction and therefore less damage to your hair than cotton pillowcases; henceforth, try getting pillows made of these materials to avoid further deterioration of the hair.
The bacteria that live around us in the environment and on our skin, clothes, and fabrics are normal and generally co-exist with us in harmony because that is how nature has been designed. But when your hair is wet, you are more susceptible to picking up pre-existing bacteria from your surroundings—in this case, your pillow covers.
Pillows can hold onto moisture and become a breeding ground for mildew and unwanted bacteria and fungi, so you could also go for a waterproof pillow cover. The only issue is that it creates a crinkly sound, so if that perturbs your sleep, you could add an extra layer of a cotton pillowcase, and that would get the job done.
When it comes to taking care of those beautiful locks, one must never take any risks and do as required, for your mane is one of the key factors of your outer persona.