Remembering to remove your makeup before bed is one thing, but caring for your hair at night is something completely different. While it may seem time-consuming and unnecessary, paying close attention to your hair before hitting the hay can mean the difference between dry, brittle strands, and luscious, healthy-looking hair. One of our favorite ways to care for our hair before bedtime? Braiding.
Not only can braiding keep strands away from your face — which, in turn, helps prevent breakouts from forming while you sleep — it can also help protect your hair from various hair care woes. Curious to know more? From frizz to breakage to hydration, keep reading for all the ways braiding your hair before bed can get you your healthiest hair yet.
It keeps your hair structured while you sleep
One benefit to braiding your hair before bed is that it can keep your strands structured while you sleep. Why does this matter? According to Jamie Brice from amika’s Pro Team, it can “help to avoid friction that creates breakage.” In addition to braiding your hair, Brice recommends adding a silk pillowcase to your nightly routine.
Silk pillowcases — such as this one from Slip — can not only help keep your hair intact, they can help prevent breakage and are so gentle that your hairstyle will last throughout the night. And, unlike cotton, they don’t twist and damage your hair while you sleep or soak up all of your hair’s moisture.
It prevents breakage
Another bonus about braiding your hair before bed? It can keep your strands tamed at night. “Keeping your hair tamed at night helps to avoid snarls and unbearable tangles in the morning that could create breakage when you brush through your hair,” says Brice. For an added bonus, try wrapping a silk scarf around your head. This can help keep the braid intact and make sure any unbraided parts of your hair are not exposed to breakage.
It helps you avoid heat styling
In addition, braiding your hair before bed can help you avoid heat styling. Braids are a great way to add texture and waves to medium-long hairstyles and undoing them in the morning can result in perfect beachy waves. Instead of going over them with a curling iron, spritz some sea salt spray — we love Verb Sea Spray ($16) — for extra texture. Then, use your fingers to scrunch your strands and add more definition to your braid waves.
It locks in moisture
Another bonus of braiding your hair before bed? It can help keep your strands moisturized. “Braiding your hair at night actually helps lock in moisture,” says Brice. “The moisture that would normally be released into the air or the fabric of your pillow when hair is loose is actually being held in by the overlapping strands,” she adds. To pack a powerful punch, Brice suggests reaching for amika’s coveted Oil Treatment ($12) before braiding. The nourishing hair oil can not only soften and condition strands, it can help keep flyaways and frizz at bay, too.
It minimizes frizz
As we mentioned above, braiding your hair before bed can mean the difference between mangled, frizzy hair or smooth, wavy strands come morning. If you want to avoid heat styling but are prone to frizziness, running an anti-frizz serum through your ends and braiding your hair can be of tremendous help. For added protection, sleep on a silk pillow or wrap your head in a silk scarf.
It saves you time in the morning
If you’re not a morning person, this one’s for you. Braiding your hair before bed means you can sleep an extra 30 minutes in the morning. And, no, you’re not dreaming. “An extra ten minutes at night can save you 30 in the morning,” says Brice. “Spray a little of amika’s Un.Done. Texture Spray ($24) when you unbraid your strands in the morning and you’ll have effortless waves.”
Another pro tip? Unbraid and re-braid your hair into a loose braid for the ultimate bohemian goddess look. Just be sure to add texture with the Un.Done Texture Spray and hold everything in place with your favorite lightweight hairspray.
Tips for braiding your hair before bed
Now that you have a few incentives to braid your strands before bed, let’s discuss some helpful tips to help you get your softest, smoothest, healthiest-looking hair:
- Run an anti-frizz serum through your hair before braiding, so your hair remains frizz-free through the night.
- If your hair is completely dry, spritz your strands with a spray bottle before braiding. The added moisture can help make the waves more prominent.
- Once again for good measure, wear a silk scarf around your head or sleep on a silk pillow. Both can help keep frizz and breakage at bay.
- For added nourishment, run a nutrient-packed hair oil through your strands before braiding.
- Use a small elastic band or crease-free hair tie to secure your hair in place. Be sure not to tie it too tight, as this can also cause breakage at your ends.
- If you washed your hair before bed, allow your hair to air dry a bit before braiding. That way, your hair will dry completely overnight.