Is It Bad To Sleep With Wet Hair? (9 Side Effects)

is it bad to sleep with wet hair?
Image: @mandylynnphoto via Twenty20

Sleeping with wet hair is bad, it can cause a lot of harm to your hair and health. however, if you must, there are things to do to prevent the damages.  

There are a lot of things we do to our hair that are not healthy. Apart from the fact that they can cause a lot of harm to your hair, some of them have a not good effect on our health. You know some of them already, your mum or grandma probably kept repeating it to you and maybe they exaggerated a little to get you to comply, there’s still an element of truth in whatever it is they told you.

One such habit is sleeping with your hair wet. We’ve all been there and if you were asked, chanced are you can give a million reasons why you go to bed with your hair wet. However, it’s time to put those reasons aside and face the truth.

Sleeping with wet hair is bad; it can cause damages to your hair and also your health; your mother was right after all.

The following are some of the damages sleeping with wet hair can cause.

1. Hair Breakage 

You most certainly do not know that your hair is very weak when it is wet, as you toss and turn while you sleep, the friction lets your hair snap faster than it does when your hair is dry and this will lead to a great amount of hair breakage. Sleeping with your wet hair, in a bid to let it “air dry” isn’t the right one for your hair.

2. Spend Time Styling 

When you sleep with your hair wet, the hair twists in strange ways and it stays this way as it dries up. you can only smoothen it by either getting it wet again, using heat tools, or aerosol and gels. All of these will make you spend more time on your hair.

3. Wet Hair May Foster Bacteria Growth

The microorganism exists and thrives in a damp environment. This means that when your pillow gets soaked in water and warmth from your hair, it breeds harmful bacteria. Changing bedsheets may not solve the problem, because the bacteria must have penetrated the pillow itself and this can cause harm to your skin and health.

4. May Cause Dandruff

Sleeping with wet hair strips the hair of its natural out, as the pillow fabrics can easily absorb the oil when the hair is wet and this results in dryness. The dampness of the hair also causes bacteria and fungi to multiply on the scalp and then transferred to the pillow.

All of these can result in dandruff on the scalp and dandruff is an indication of poor hair health.

5. Dull Hair

The natural oil produced by the scalp can be easily absorbed by the pillow fabrics when the hair is wet, and as the hair is stripped of its natural oils, it becomes dull and dehydrated. This often leads to hair breakage.

6. Weakens The Immune System

We agree that your mum exaggerated, it is impossible to get cold from being cold. However, it can weaken your immune system, which makes you susceptible to viruses that can lead to illness.

7. Breakout On The Face

As bacteria begin to build upon the pillow, it won’t be long before they get to your face and you will probably experience a breakout.


Sleeping with your hair wet can cause these and many more to you. we understand that on few occasions, you just cannot help it and that’s fine. However, if you must, there are things to do to avoid all of the damages wet hair would cause you.

  1. Wash your hair early, this will give your hair enough time to hair dry and prevent your pillow from getting soaked.
  1. To reduce friction and prevent breakage, it is best to sleep with a silk pillowcase
  1. Make use of a leave-in conditioner, this will strengthen your hair.
  1. Make use of a waterproof pillow cover.

Final Thoughts

Sleeping with wet hair can cause a lot more harm than you think, hence you should stop it. it is best to do all that you can to avoid it, you should also reduce the amount of time you wash your hair. Some people most likely may not have experienced any damage from sleeping with their wet, this is possible, however, you should do the right thing to avoid damages.