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Protective Sleep Hairstyles To Avoid Hair Damage

These protective hairstyles are the best way to wear your hair to bed to prevent breakage. Period.

And while it may not be on your radar, sleeping with your hair out can actually cause damage to your hair.

But don't stress because your favourite pillow isn't the culprit here.

Sure, hair-damage can be caused by the friction of your cotton pillow case against your hair, when you toss and turn in your sleep.

And you can sleep on a silk pillow case to protect your hair from damage while you slumber.


If the silky pillow case isn't your thing, these protective hairstyles will protect your hair while you sleep.

And of course you don't have to be sleeping to throw your hair into one of these cute protective hairstyles.

So, let's get started.

Check out: Halo Hair Extensions (for thicker, longer hair in seconds)

Protective hairstyles that protect your hair from damage while you sleep

Wearing your hair in protective natural hairstyles to bed is really important to avoid breakage and split ends.

Especially if you're trying to grow your hair long.

Because you can actually use these protective hairstyles to grow your hair.

That's right. Anything that protects your hair from breakage will also increase the overall health of your hair.

Therefore, if you find your hair is matted and tangled when you wake up in the mornings then you should definitely consider one of these quick protective hairstyle for bed.

The bonus?

Wearing your hair in a protective hairstyle also doubles as a great way to heatless style your hair. So you can wake up with smooth, detangled, frizz-free hair.

Read next: Here's why your scalp is sore of feels like it's burning

Protective hairstyles for natural hair, or curly hair

If you're wondering if these protective hairstyles work for curly hair, or natural hair, or short natural hair... Well, you're in luck, because in the section below we've provided 3 options that are perfectly suited to all hair types.

So continue reading to learn these easy protective hairstyles for sleeping. 

Also read: The Best Hair Extensions For Fine Hair

How to prep your hair properly for a protective hairstyle.

After a day of exposing your hair to outside toxins and the climate the first thing you want to do is detangle your hair.

It's simple. Using a detangling brush, comb through your hair until you can run your fingers through it. 

Additional option:

If you have a wooden boar bristle brush you can use this to massage your scalp. And then brush through the ends of your hair. This will;

  • Distribute your scalp's natural oil down the hair cuticles for a natural condition.
  • And it helps cleanse your scalp at the same time. 

If you've read our hacks for healthier hair, you'll know it's crucial to keep a healthy scalp for hair growth.

And now, for the main course, here are the 3 best protective hairstyles to help you protect your hair while you sleep.

Popular: 10 Best Hairstyles For Fine Hair Types

Protective Hairstyle #1: The loose plait.

loose braids & loose plaits

A really easy way to manage your hair overnight is with a loose plait. And if you sleep on your back you can do a side plait or even two plaits.

That way you're not laying on top of the plait in your sleep.

Here's what to do:

Make sure to use a scrunchie or coil hair tie that is gentle on your hair when tying your plait. 

If you like to wear your hair wavy then this is the perfect summer protective hairstyle for you. You'll wake up with kinky, wavy hair that you can put some styling product in and head out the door.

However if you're looking for a protective hairstyle for straight hair then there are other protective styles you can use to protect your hair without any plait-induced waves.

Check out the next hairstyle.

Popular: 8 Best Ways To Get Bushy Eyebrows

Protective hairstyle #2: Twisted top bun.

loose top knot buns


To keep your hair on the straighter side while you sleep, a top bun is a great option. And it's dead simple.

Here's what to do:

Twist all your hair on top of your head and secure it with a claw clip. Make sure the clip is positioned at the front of your bun so your head isn't resting on the clip when you sleep. 

If your goal is to get more volume in your hair, this style is for you.


Because sleeping with your hair above your head all night will result in a volume boost when you take your hair out in the morning!

So you could say this is the ultimate protective hairstyle for hair growth (or a hair boost). Especially during winter when the humidity is lower, and natural hair volume is lower...

(Thank me later).

And if you're looking for something different like a protective braid style, then check out the next one.

Also read: DIY Deep Conditioning Treatment At Home For Dry Hair

Protective hairstyle #3: Twisted rope braid.

sleep hairstyles rope braid


For soft, textured waves try a twisted rope braid before bed. Just do this:

  1. Separate your hair in two sections.
  2. Then grab one section of hair and twist, then repeat with the other section.
  3. Once your two sections are twisted, twist the two sections together so that your hair looks like a rope.
  4. Secure with a hair gentle hair tie once again.

And you're ready to sleep!

By the way, this is the ideal protective hairstyle for long hair. Because your hair will be more controlled while you sleep. Whereas with the other two protective hairstyles long haired girls may find their long hair hard to control.

But in any case, try them all out and discover which one works best for you!

Also read: 8 Reasons To Invest In Halo Hair Extensions

BONUS: Pre-sleep hair care tips:

  • Massage your head before bed. It helps stimulate blood flow to your scalp for healthy hair growth.
  • Oil your hair twice a week for extra hydration. If your hair is on the dry side, you'll want to keep your hair moisturised to protect from breakage and split ends. You can do this by using a hair oil or natural oil like coconut oil on your hair once or twice a week. Massage the oil through your scalp to the ends of your hair, then wear your hair in a loose braid. Hack: Sleep on an old pillow case so you don't stain your good linen with hair oil.
  • Avoid sleeping with wet hair! Our hair is much more fragile when it's wet, especially after a hot shower. The hot water opens up our hair follicles, making them more sensitive to damage. If you wash your hair at night, it's best to time it so that your hair has time to dry naturally before bed. That way you can avoid any heat damage from blow drying too.

Loved these hair tips? You might also love these:

Written by Mae

Got something to say? Share your thoughts.

by Logan

Hi Janet, thanks for your comment.

Check out this article about bad ingredients in shampoos & conditioners, where we also share some of our favourite shampoo and conditioners for dry and itchy hair:

Hope that's helpful!

by Logan

Hey Stacey and Theresa, thanks for your comments!

We have added a video which can be found towards the top of the article, which will show you these hairstyles.

Hope this helps!

by Stacie

Pictures of each hairstyle would be super helpful!

by Janet Hill

looking for better shampoo and conditioner My scalp is itchy and dry.

by Theresa

It would be nice to see picture examples. Other than that, thank you!

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