You might be familiar with the old wives' tale that if you go outside with wet hair, you'll catch a cold. This myth has been proven false, as an illness is transmitted through microbes, so wet hair alone can't make you sick. However, wet hair can have very real consequences.
Many people make the mistake of going to sleep with wet hair. It's much easier than taking the time to use a hairdryer. However, sleeping with wet hair can have a deceptive amount of consequences for your health, your pillow, and your hair!
Thoroughly drying your hair before sleep is key to keeping a healthy mane. Read on to learn all the reasons why you should never skip this part of your evening routine!
Weakened Immune System
Although wet hair can't make you sick, it can weaken your immune system. A cold, wet head lowers your body's natural defenses.
There are a few theories as to why this is the case. The chill will cause your blood vessels to close, which inhibits the flow of white blood cells. Your white blood cells fight off infections, so if they're impacted, they won't be able to stop a virus.
Of course, as your body warms up again, your blood vessels will dilate again and your white blood cells can target the virus. But, by this point, it might be too late and the virus will have taken hold.
Therefore, while your wet hair can't cause an infection, it can lower your ability to fight one.
Damage to Hair
Bedhead is not just a messy hairstyle, it's broken and damaged hair in the long term!
When your hair is wet, it's stretchy and weak. This makes it incredibly prone to breakage. This is one of the reasons your hairdresser encourages you not to brush your hair while it's wet!
Pulling and friction can stretch and break your hair, especially if it's wet. Tossing and turning in your sleep will cause your hair to break on your pillowcase.
Sleeping with wet hair risks a fungal or bacterial infection on your scalp. The moisture remains trapped around your follicles and gives bacteria the perfect breeding ground. The warm, wet environment allows microbes to swarm!
In addition, fungus and bacteria can contaminate your bedding and your sheets. Washing your sheets will get rid of any colonies on the pillowcases, but the water will seep through into the pillows themselves.
Some studies show that up to 16 kinds of fungus can live on your pillow! When you add wet hair, that means millions of happy fungal spores. Yuck!
One such fungus is called Malassezia. Infection caused by this fungus can cause dandruff, rashes, or dermatitis. Aspergillus fumigatus is another fungus that can worsen asthma and lead to respiratory infection.
One especially nasty strain of fungus is scalp ringworm, which can cause hair loss and is highly infectious. Ringworm loves warm, wet environments and can thrive on a damp pillowcase.
Bacteria on your pillowcase can cause infection on your face and neck too, leading to acne. Keep your scalp and lungs healthy and avoid nasty fungal and bacterial infections by drying your hair before you sleep!
It might seem counterintuitive that wet hair can make your hair dehydrated. If your wet hair is trapped against a pillowcase, it will pull the natural oils out of your hair, making it dry and brittle.
Even drying your hair with a standard towel can pull the moisture out of your hair, making it dull and limp. It's best if you dry it with a microfiber hair towel to avoid excessively dry hair and to keep your hair naturally shiny.
So What Should You Do?
Now that you know you shouldn't sleep with wet hair, it's time to learn what you should do. There are a few steps you can take to make sure your hair stays happy.
Firstly, make sure to wash your hair earlier in the evening so it can dry before you go to sleep. If you have to shower before bed, cover your hair with a shower cap so that it doesn't get wet.
In addition, you can sleep with a silk or a satin pillowcase for your hair. This will reduce friction and prevent breakage so your hair stays healthy even if it's a bit damp. You can also use a hair cover while you sleep to keep it from breaking.
After showering, dry your hair with a microfiber towel. A bath towel will take out too much moisture, which can lead to dry, dull hair. Microfiber towels remove the water without taking out the oils and nutrients.
Then, you can wrap it with a hair wrap to remove the remaining moisture and keep your hair in good condition. Hair wraps are moisture-wicking and will dry your hair more quickly without sucking the nutrients out. You can also avoid using a hairdryer regularly, which will limit the damage caused by heat.
Stop Sleeping With Wet Hair
Sleeping with wet hair can cause damage to your hair, skin, and health. If you thoroughly dry your hair, you can prevent acne, bacteria, fungus, and respiratory concerns. And you can keep your hair lush and beautiful!
For all your hair drying and hair care needs, check out Turbie Twist. You can stock up on the best hair wraps on the market, satin pillowcases, shower caps, and hair towels to keep your mane healthy.
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