Long hair can be challenging in many ways –– it can be tough to wash and condition, and styling may take a long time. But one of the most difficult aspects of having long hair, particularly if it's curly or fine, is getting through a night's sleep without a mess of tangles to deal with in the morning. Spending a few minutes before bed preparing your hair can keep you tangle free through the night.

Brush or comb your hair before bed. For straight or wavy hair, a brush will work best, but for those with curly hair, a wide-tooth comb may be a better option.

Braid hair. People often put hair up in a bun or ponytail for sleeping, but that can lead damage like hair breakage. Braiding helps keep hair tangle-free while minimizing damage. An English or French braid are great options. (See resources for braid instructions.) Make sure the braid is loose. If it's done too tight, it can damage hair at the roots or simply cause discomfort while sleeping. Thick hair can also be braided in two separate braids on either side of the head, tucked behind your ears.

Tip

Use a covered hair elastic to finish your braid; plain rubber bands will break and damage hair.

If braiding is a challenge, consider a night cap, with hair tucked up inside, or a simple silk scarf tied over the head. Both will reduce the amount of rubbing the hair will get on your pillow and reduce tangling.